Skip to main content

Interview with Dave – a Canadian expat in Japan

Updated 30 Jul 2021

Dave is a Canadian writer, originally hailing from Vancouver Island. These days he lives in Kyoto, Japan, and is working on a soon-to-be-published novella. You can keep up with Dave's adventures on his YouTube channel and website.

To learn more about moving to Japan, check out our Japan guide.

About Dave

DaveQ: Where are you originally from?
A: Canada.

Q: Where are you currently living (city and country)?
A: Kyoto.

Q: When did you move here?
A: Three months ago.

Q: Is this your first expat experience?
A: Yes.

Q: Did you move here alone or with a spouse/family?
A: Alone.

Q: Reason for moving?
A: Work.

Living in Japan

Q: What do you enjoy most about Kyoto and Japan in general?
A: The cross between urban and natural.

Q: What do you miss most about home?
A: My family and friends.

Q: What are the biggest adjustments you had to make when settling into expat life here?
A: The language.     

Q: What are your favourite things to do on the weekend?
A: Films and to go to an onsen (hot spring).

Q: What’s the cost of living compared to home?
A: Lower than Vancouver.

Q: What’s public transport like in Kyoto and across the country?
A: Amazing.

Q: What do you think about the healthcare available in Japan? What should expats expect from local doctors and hospitals?
A: Very good.

Q: What’s the standard of housing like in your city? What different options are available?
A: It's good, but there is a lot of racism preventing foreigners from being accepted to a house.

Meeting people and making friends

Q: Was meeting people and making friends easy?
A: Not hard at all.

Q: Have you made friends with locals, or do you mix mainly with other expats?
A: Mostly expats but many locals as well.

Working in Japan

Q: Was getting a work permit or visa a relatively easy process? Did you tackle the visa process yourself, or did you enlist the services of an immigration consultant?
A: Easy if you have everything you need.

Q: What is the economic climate in the city like?
A:  Very exciting, lots of start-ups and many different opportunities.

Q: How does the work culture differ from home?
A: Being at an office just to show face, which creates a very inefficient work environment.

Final thoughts

Q: Is there any advice you would like to offer new expat arrivals to Japan?
A: Enjoy every moment.

– Interviewed in July 2021

Expat Health Insurance

Cigna Health Insurance -

Cigna Global Health Insurance.

Medical insurance specifically designed for expats. With Cigna, you won't have to rely on foreign public health care systems, which may not meet your needs. Cigna allows you to speak to a doctor on demand, for consultations or instant advice, wherever you are in the world. They also offer full cancer care across all levels of cover, and settle the cost of treatments directly with the provider.

Get a quote from Cigna Global

Moving Internationally?

Sirelo logo

International Movers. Get Quotes. Compare Prices.

Sirelo has a network of more than 500 international removal companies that can move your furniture and possessions to your new home. By filling in a form, you’ll get up to 5 quotes from recommended movers. This service is free of charge and will help you select an international moving company that suits your needs and budget.

Get your free no-obligation quotes from select removal companies now!