work japan

5 THINGS TAG

tagged by @morevnxs, thank u so much bby, i love it 💕

5 things you’ll find in my bag:

  • headphones
  • books
  • bubblegum or candys
  • cell phone
  • papers with annotations

5 things you’ll find in my room:

  • more books
  • toys
  • lipsticks
  • posters of movies
  • computer

5 things I’ve always wanted to do:

  • learn how to draw
  • go to japan
  • work at a cafeteria
  • work at a library (me too)
  • go to london

5 things that make me feel happy:

  • cats (me too)
  • look at the sky and the stars
  • sleep
  • learn something new
  • music

5 things i’m currently into:

  • natural food
  • graphic design
  • reading
  • writing
  • cooking (me too)

5 things on my to do list:

  • to finish some animes (i’m trying so hard)
  • to finish some books
  • buy new books 
  • search for new bands and groups
  • studys

tagging: @bubbletea-hunnie, @banghim-baby, @y-ngguk, @yteen, @zhpxng, @kongflower, @daehdream, @tinytaehyun, @paperstarxo, @fluffyzelo, @emotionsrevolution, @sangdoldol, @roses-for-jongup, @dixnx-prxncx, @zeloswaffles (feel free to make or not, all my followers are tagged too, enjoy!)  💕

A Guide to Old-Gen Girl Groups

Time moves on and trends change and people change with them. While I can understand this fact, I refuse to accept it (for now) and I just can’t move on and completely forget about all these amazing groups that have either disbanded or have been inactive for a long time.

With that out of the way, I would like to introduce you to this guide I created, to help new K-pop fans who may be interested to check out a few of the older groups that were around for the 2007-2015 era of K-pop.

(Note: Some groups underwent line-up changes along the way of their careers, so I will be using the line-up that was more recently active to present each group)


Girls’ Generation (2007-Present)

Members:

  • Taeyeon - Leader, Main Vocalist
  • Sunny - Lead Vocalist
  • Tiffany - Lead Vocalist
  • Hyoyeon - Vocalist, Main Dancer
  • Yuri - Vocalist, Lead Dancer
  • Sooyoung - Vocalist, Lead Dancer
  • Yoona - Vocalist, Lead Dancer, Face of the Group
  • Seohyun - Lead Vocalist, Maknae

Past Member:

  • Jessica (2007-2014)

Girls’ Generation debuted in 2007 with the single “Into the New World”. Their musical style relies heavily on electropop and bubblegum pop as well as dance music and their image focuses on carefree and cheerful themes but they have tackled other musical and visual styles as well. While they were relatively well-received since debut, their big hit “Gee” is what boosted their way to the top and has made them a household name in South Korea and most of East Asia, with K-pop fans referring to them as “The Nation’s Girl Group” and other similar titles. Their 2010 Japanese debut with a translated version of their 2009 hit “Genie” was largely succesful and they have met further popularity and success in their neighbouring country ever since.

Greatest Hits: “Gee” , “Genie” , “Oh!” , “Mr. Taxi” , “The Boys


2NE1 (2009-2016)

Members:

  • Bom - Main Vocalist
  • Dara - Vocalist, Face of the Group
  • CL - Leader, Lead Vocalist, Main Rapper
  • Minzy - Lead Vocalist, Lead Rapper, Main Dancer, Maknae

2NE1 debuted in 2009 with their hit single “Fire”. Known for their electronic-based sound and bold, in-your-face type of image, 2NE1 was loved for their fierce style and for daring to stand out, refusing to fit into any mold. Their best-selling hit “I Don’t Care” solidified their position as a top-tier group right after their debut and their follow-up hits allowed them to remain on top for the next six years after their debut.

Greatest Hits: “Fire” , “I Don’t Care” , “Lonely” , “I Am the Best” , “Ugly


SISTAR (2010-2017)

Members:

  • Bora - Sub-Vocalist, Main Rapper, Main Daner
  • Hyolyn - Leader, Main Vocalist, Rapper
  • Soyou - Lead Vocalist
  • Dasom - Vocalist, Face of the Group, Maknae

SISTAR debuted in 2010 with the single “Push Push”. They worked closely with producer Brave Sound for the better part of their career and released extremely catchy dance singles which they accompanied with their sexy image and choreographies. Their rise to stardom started in 2011 with their best-selling hit “So Cool” and for the following six years they dominated the digital singles charts with their subsequent releases, a feat which earned them the nickname “Digital Monsters” for their astonishing digital sales and helped them solidify their position as a top group and form what Korean fans call “The Unbreakable Wall” along with Girls’ Generation and 2NE1.

Greatest Hits: “So Cool” , “Alone” , “Loving U” , “Give It to Me” , “Touch My Body


KARA (2007-2016)

Members (Last Active Line-up):

  • Gyuri (2007-2016) - Leader, Lead Vocalist, Rapper
  • Seungyeon (2007-2016) - Main Vocalist
  • Hara (2008-2016) - Vocalist, Rapper, Main Daner, Face of the Group
  • Youngji (2014-2016) - Vocalist, Main Rapper, Maknae

Past Members:

  • Sunghee (2007-2008)
  • Nicole (2007-2014)
  • Jiyoung (2008-2014)

KARA debuted in 2007 with their first studio album “The First Blooming” and used “Break It” as the lead single to promote it. After failing to reach the expected ammount of sales and recognition they had hoped to achieve, the group underwent a complete image change one year after debut, switching from R&B/Hip-Hop influenced sound and style, to a cute and bubbly image that was well-received by the public. Their first number-one hit, “Honey” (2009) soon followed and the group continued to gain more and more popularity with follow-up singles “Mister” (2009) and “Lupin”(2010), among others . Debuting in Japan with a translated version of their Korean hit “Mister” in 2010, KARA received further love and fame in Japan, making them one of the most-succeful Korean acts promoting in the Japanese market, with some members still working in Japan after the group’s disbandment.

Greatest Hits: “Mister”, “Lupin”, “Jumping” , “GO GO Summer!” , “Step


Wonder Girls (2007-2017)

Members (Last Active Line-Up):

  • Yeeun (2007-2017) - Leader, Main Vocalist, Keyboardist
  • Sunmi (2007-2010, 2015-2017) - Lead Vocalist, Main Dancer, Face of the Group, Bassist
  • Yubin (2007-2017) - Vocalist, Main Rapper, Drummer
  • Hyerim (2010-2017) - Vocalist, Lead Rapper, Lead Dancer, Guitarist, Maknae

Past Members:

  • Hyuna (2007-2007)
  • Sohee (2007-2013)
  • Sunye (2007-2015)

Wonder Girls debuted in 2007 with the maxi single “The Wonder Begins” and “Irony” as their debut single. The Wonder Girls are known as the “Retro Queens” of Korea thanks to their musical style that draws inspiration from the 60s, 70s and 80s and a fashion sense and visual style to match. In the later years of their career, the dance group learned how to play musical instruments, and made it a core part of their revamped image. Their rise to fame followed soon after their debut with their singles “Tell Me” which took their home country by storm and “Nobody” which followed the next year. Following the huge domestic success of “Nobody”, the group released an English version of the song the next year, specifically-made to target the American music market. The song was a hit and the group was the first Korean act to enter the Billboard Hot 100 Chart. They went on to appear on TV and radio shows and even tour with the Jonas Brothers as their opening act and star in their own Nickelodeon-produced movie while working even harder to polish their musical style and skills during their stay in the United States.

Greatest Hits: “Tell Me” , “So Hot” , “Nobody”, “Be My Baby” , “Like This


T-ara (2009-Present)

Members:

  • Boram (2009-2017) - Vocalist, Rapper
  • Q-ri (2009-Present) - Leader, Vocalist
  • Soyeon (2009-2016) - Main Vocalist
  • Eunjung (2009-Present) - Lead Vocalist, Lead Rapper
  • Hyomin (2009-Present) - Lead Vocalist, Main Rapper, Lead Dancer
  • Jiyeon (2009-Present) - Vocalist, Main Dancer, Face of the Group, Maknae

Past Members:

  • Hwayoung (2010-2012)
  • Areum (2012-2013)
  • Dani (Predebut) [2012-2014]

T-ara debuted in 2009 with the single “Lie”. Known as “K-pop’s Chameleons”, T-ara constantly redefine their musical and visual image while at the same time mainting their trademark hook-heavy dance style. Their first hit was “Bo Peep Bo Peep”, released in 2009. They continued to release hit songs for the three following years, and went on to debut in Japan in 2011 with a Japanese version of “Bo Peep Bo Peep” and then China, with their collaboration single “Little Apple” (2014) with Chinese duo Chopstick Brothers, making them one of the most succesful groups in South Korea, Japan and China. Their public image in South Korea suffered a big hit in 2012 after fabricated rumours arouse, claiming that the original members of the group were bullying a member who was removed from the group and company at that time. The group continued to release music in their home country, but were mostly supported by their international fans. Said rumours were finally proven false five years later, restoring the group’s image and ceasing all of the unjust accusations made against them.

Greatest Hits: “Bo Peep Bo Peep” , “Crazy Because of You” , “Roly-Poly” , “Cry Cry” , “Lovey-Dovey


4Minute (2009-2016)

Members:

  • Jihyun - Leader, Vocalist, Face of the Group
  • Gayoon - Main Vocalist
  • Jiyoon - Lead Vocalist, Lead Rapper
  • HyunA - Vocalist, Main Rapper, Main Dancer, Face of the Group
  • Sohyun - Vocalist, Rapper, Lead Dancer, Maknae

4Minute debuted in 2009 with their best-selling hit single “Hot Issue” which helped them gain fame and recognition at the start of their careers. The group focused on dance, electronic and EDM music and sported a sexy but bold and independent image. They maintained their sound and style as well as the popularity they acquired with their debut and never failed to release music each year during the entirety of their career, making them one of the most consistent groups when it comes to hiatus periods between each of their comebacks.

Greatest Hits: “Hot Issue” , “Muzik” , “Volume Up” , “What’s Your Name?” , “Crazy


f(x) [2009-Present]

Members:

  • Victoria - Leader, Vocalist, Main Dancer
  • Amber - Vocalist, Main Rapper
  • Luna - Main Vocalist, Lead Dancer
  • Krystal - Lead Vocalist, Face of the Group, Maknae

Past Member:

  • Sulli (2009-2015)

f(x) made their debut with single “LA chA TA” in 2009. Their style is a perfect mix of cute and soft vocals with an alternative visual and artistic style, often experimenting with new sounds and styles. Their big breakthrough came in 2011 with their single “Pinocchio” and the follow-up and best-selling single “Hot Summer”, receiving much love and adoration from K-pop fans worldwide.

Greatest Hit: “Pinocchio” , “Hot Summer” , “Electric Shock” , “Red Light” , “4 Walls


miss A (2010-Present)

Members:

  • Fei (2010-Present) - Lead Vocalist
  • Jia (2010-2016) - Vocalist, Main Rapper, Lead Dancer
  • Min (2010-Present) - Lead Vocalist, Rapper, Main Dancer
  • Suzy (2010-Present) - Main Vocalist, Rapper, Face of the Group, Maknae

miss A debuted in 2010 with hit single “Bad Girl Good Girl” from their debut EP “Bad but Good”. Adapting a sexy but also strong and independent public image right from the start of their career, miss A are famous for their dance-heavy title tracks and R&B-influenced b-sides and songs that promote female sexuality (”Touch”, “Hush”) but also independence and feminism (”Good Bye Baby”, “I Don’t Need a Man”). miss A’s songs never fail to impress and capture audiences.

Greatest Hits: “Bad Girl Good Girl” , “Breathe” , “Good Bye Baby” , “Touch” , “Hush


Brown Eyed Girls (2006-Present)

Members:

  • JeA - Leader, Main Vocalist
  • Miryo - Sub-Vocalist, Main Rapper
  • Narsha - Lead Vocalist, Lead Dancer
  • Gain - Lead Vocalist, Main Dancer, Face of the Group, Maknae

Brown Eyed Girls debuted as an R&B/Ballad vocal group with “Come Closer” in 2006. Brown Eyed Girls are what one would call the ultimate feminist icons in the K-pop industry. Mature, bold, brave, sexy, strong, independent, unapologetic are all words that perfectly describe the core concepts that the group’s music and image revolve around. They started gaining popularity in 2008 with their song “L.O.V.E” and then captivated their home country with “Abracadabra” the following year. The Brown Eyed Girls are also notable for the relatively big age gap they have compared to their contemporary colleagues, and for staying together for eleven (and counting!) years, without any member changes too.

Greatest Hit: “L.O.V.E.” , “How Come” ,  “Abracadabra” , “Sign” , “Sixth Sense


After School (2009-Present)

Members (Last Active LIne-up):

  • Jung-A (2009-2016) - Leader, Main Vocalist, Main Dancer
  • Juyeon (2009-2015) - Vocalist, Dancer
  • U-ie (2009-2017) - Vocalist, Rapper, Lead Dancer, Face of the Group
  • Raina (2009-Present) - Main Vocalist, Dancer
  • Nana (2009-Present) - Lead Vocalist, Rapper, Lead Dancer
  • Lizzy (2010-Present) - Lead Vocalist, Main Rapper, Dancer
  • E-Young (2011-Present) - Vocalist, Lead Dancer
  • Kaeun (2012-Present) - Lead Vocalist, Lead Rapper, Dancer, Maknae

Past Members:

  • Soyoung (2009-2009)
  • Bekah (2009-2011)
  • Kahi (2009-2012)

After School debuted in 2009 with maxi single “New Schoolgirl” and used “Ah” to promote it. After School are notable for their admission-graduation system, but most importantly, for their complex choreographies; from drum-marching, to tap dancing, to pole dancing, they’ve trained for months to perfect said choreographies and have succeeded with much grace and efficiency. Their best-selling hit “Because of You” is their best-known hit and its success enabled them to continue releasing great music for the next six years after it’s release.

Greatest Hit: “Diva” , “Because of You” , “Bang!” , “Shampoo” , “First Love

[TRANS] ‘Seventeen’ Magazine 2017 Aug Issue - BTS Interview (P1)

Scan © myheaven0624
JPN - KRN © mondomizel1
KRN - ENG © ktaebwi

RAP MONSTER

- Why are you called “the destruction god”?
JIN: He might seem intelligent and cool, but he’s actually very slow and clumsy. He breaks all kind of stuffs in our dorm from electronic equipment to kitchen tools. That’s why we call him “destruction god”. (laughs)

- What’s your favorite place?
RAP MONSTER: The lake park nearby. I really like going for a walk at the park on nice days.

- What do you want to do in Japan?
RAP MONSTER: Shopping!! There are many clothing brands I like in Japan. If I go to Japan for work, I can’t eat out much, not to speak of shopping… But it’s okay. I’m not upset. I want to travel off-work to Japan and have fun as much as I want some day!

JIN

- What are you interested in these days?
JIN: Nintendo DS. I always play it whenever I can, in my room or in the car. I have to fly a lot because of the world tour, so It’s a perfect way to kill time.
JIMIN: I bought one right before going to Japan because of Jin-hyung too. Just a few more week and other members will be into this too for sure. Except Suga-hyung. (laughs)

- You’re called the trendsetter of the group, is it true?
JIMIN: Once Jin-hyung is into something, other members will somehow be into it too. It happens a lot. The only exception is Suga-hyung, he’s way too unwavering. (laughs)

SUGA

- What are you interested in recently?
SUGA:
There’s a convention about music equipment from all over the world, I watch the videos from that convention and check out the newest equipment. I’ve been liking up-to-date equipment since I was young. I adopt computers or electronic equipment faster than anyone else. 

- Any episode that can tell you’re like a music maniac?
RAP MONSTER:
His room is flooded with equipment. Those music equipment emit so much heat that his room’s hot like hell!! No one would be able to stand it without air conditioner. We plan not to come near his room in the summer. (laughs)

J-HOPE

- Tell us J-hope’s secret!
V:
A secret would no longer be a secret if it’s disclosed. But if I have to tell one… He gave me a present not long ago, a watch I wanted to have, as a surprise. He even put in a handwritten letter ♡

- What is the main choreography point in ‘Blood, Sweat & Tears’?
J-HOPE:
The ‘blood, sweat and tears’ chorus. The dance move of stroking from the neck to the face like wiping tears!

- If you can live one day as another person, who do you want to be?
J-HOPE:
Jungkook. I want to be young. What do I want to do? Hmh, I think I would do nothing like a maknae would!

JIMIN

- Where does your nickname (Slow Jimin) come from?
RAP MONSTER:
The reason we call him that… It’s because Jimin’s always late. (laughs) He wakes up late and does many thing slowly. He tends to be slow.

- Anything you were slow on recently?
JIMIN:
May 8th is Parents’ Day in Korea. It’s like ‘Father’s Day’ and ‘Mother’s Day’ in Japan, a day for children to express their gratitude to parents. I wanted to give them something on that day, but I kept thinking of what to give to make them happy… Two months passed and now I still can’t decide what to give. I’m late with presents too. (laughs)

V

- If you can live one day as another person, who do you want to be? 
V: No one. I know the members too well so there’s probably nothing I want to know from becoming them. And I know every secret of Jimin and Jungkook. Right? Right?
JUNGKOOK: …….Right. (laughs)

- What is V’s secret?
JUNGKOOK: He sometimes pretends to be cool. He’s always playful but on some certain days he can be cool depending on his mood. I was saying “Those who are good at English are so cool” and he suddenly spoke in English. He started to appeal himself “I’m cool right?”. It’s cute.
V: That’s right. I’m cute ♡

JUNGKOOK

- If you can live one day as another person, who do you want to be?
JUNGKOOK: Rap Monster-hyung. He’s really smart. I want to be smart too!

- No one can beat me on this!
JUNGKOOK:
Listening to music. I listen to music all the time. Also I don’t lose when it comes to passion. My heart is flaming more than anyone else!! I’m warm-hearted ♡

- Tell us Jungkook’s secret!
J-HOPE:
Secret.. Does he have any? We live together all the time so I don’t know what is a secret anymore. (laughs) Should I say it’s that Jungkook has a lot of greed? Not like doing as he pleases but in a good way. He’s greedy like “I want to challenge this to improve myself”!

P2

How to Become an ALT in Japan

Basic Requirements

1. A university bachelors degree
-Any degree is ok, Latin American Studies, German, Linguistics, Astro-Physics, Sociology, doesn’t matter as long as it’s at least a bachelors 

 2. A clean criminal background check
-Have you been convicted of a murder? Are you a pedo? Do you have outstanding warrants in 3 states? Did you go to jail for a hit and run? Japan doesn’t want you. 

 3. Appropriately healthy and able bodied
-If you have a something that will prevent you from doing your job well, you will most likely not be hired. For example; you can’t use stairs, you can’t stand for 45 minutes at a time, you have a severe speech impediment (I know people here with lisps), things like this prevent you from teaching at full capacity and most places don’t have the time or resources to make special accommodations for you. 

What other skills might recruiters be looking for?

1. Japanese language ability
-NOT required for most positions, but helpful for communication both in and out of the workplace. Unless you live in a metropolitan area, the average Japanese person’s English is VERY limited. I know many people who came here with zero Japanese, but nowadays there are many with at least rudimentary Japanese. People rarely come here fluent, but many people study Japanese while living here to take the JLPT and their level improves by leaps and bounds. I am not one of those people, so don’t ask me for more details lol

 2. TESL/TEFL certification
-NOT required for most positions, but some private companies are starting to lean more towards certified individuals. And honestly, those give you a lot of skills you will absolutely need when teaching English. 

3. Teaching degree
 -NOPE, not required in 99.9% of the cases. I know a few people with them who are ALTs, I’ve heard mixed opinions on how well it helps them as an ALT. Some find it demeaning to work subordinate and be given limited control/responsibilities, other find it freeing because they can spend more time teaching and less time with test related paper pushing and discipline management.

4. Good attitude, flexibility, people skills
-You need to be able to present yourself as someone trustworthy and amiable to recruiters. The environments ALTs work in are often high-paced, prone to sudden last second changes, and being able to make friends in the office and keep a happy face with students is incredibly important. 

5. Prior experience
-Have you worked in a daycare before? Have you volunteered in tutoring centers? Have you led discussion groups as a major requirement?  Have you ever studied abroad? Have you ever volunteered in foreign classrooms? Have you taken charge of a club and organized events? Did you dorm with international students in university? Have you worked for an international program before? Have you given private language lessons before? These are the kinds of things that show you have experience in things that ALTs frequently encounter.

Can I mention my love of [INSERT JAPANESE CULTURE HERE]?

Yes, but keep is professional, relevant, and brief. 

“I became interested in Japan after watching Spirited Away, the cultural aspects of the movie fascinated me and made me want to learn more about Japan.” OK
“I have a collection of anime pillow cases, my favorite is Miku Hatsune in this pose.” NO 

“I started listening to Japanese music in high school. I eventually started learning Japanese to better understand the lyrics.” OK
 "When Pierrot broke up, I was shattered that the fanfic community would move on to other ships.“ NO 

“My school offered a short course on Japanese tea ceremony, and I thought the way that it formed historically was extremely interesting.” OK
“I want to learn the way of the samurai.” NO 

“I’m very interested in Japanese video game production companies. I went to college and majored in game design and I want to further study it by living in Japan and experiencing the community in person.” OK
“I want to play Resident Evil on fiber optic LAN with Japanese players so I can pwn more n00bs when I get back to America.” NO

What kind of ALT positions are available?

First and foremost: READ AND RESEARCH

If you do not do your own intensive research, you can get taken advantage of. You hear horror stories from people here all the time, and those mostly come from people didn’t research what they were getting themselves into. I cannot make a comprehensive guide to the THOUSANDS OF KINDS OF ALT positions across the country, this is only an overview. Look at that link, and always do extensive research of the companies/programs you’re interested in working for.

1. Government
 AKA JET Program
-The JET Program is the only government ALT program. It makes the Japanese government the middleman in your arrangements, which takes less money from your paycheck and gives you a more trustworthy means of income. It’s very competitive and the application process takes about 6 months. They only hire once a year. It’s arguably the best program, as it pays well, you have a lot of guaranteed vacation time, and they pay for your flights to and from the country. On the downside, you don’t really have a lot of say in where you are placed. Also, you cannot get a transfer unless VERY specific requirements are met. Also some prefectures/localities are nicer to their ALTs than others, but if they try to fuck you over you know you have the Japanese government backing you and they will keep you from being taken advantage of.

 2. Private Dispatch
examples: Interac, AEON, Borderlink, JIEC and MANY others
 -These are private companies that workplaces hire to provide them with ALTs. Workplaces do this because some of the intricacies in hiring an ALT and getting them a VISA and housing are really complicated, and they’d rather pay a middleman than deal with it. Upsides, you get a little more wiggle-room with being transferred. Downside by far is the pay. It depends on the company, but that middleman definitely takes a big chunk of your pay. If you work for a place like this, you need to VERY carefully read your contract. Research dispatch companies carefully, check their ratings online, see what former employees have to say about them. 

 3. Private Hire
 AKA working directly under the local government office, a private company, or even one-on-one’s in wealthy households
-These are places that will directly hire you without a middleman. Obviously, you need to look carefully at the details of your contract before working privately. Most local government places won’t hire you without prior ALT experience in Japan. Private English Conversation Schools (Eikaiwa) have non-9 to 5 working hours to provide for business workers and students. They sometimes require you to already have a VISA prior to being hired. Private Hire really is outside of my experience, but from what I understand they can pay as well as JET, but don’t usually have as many perks.

Where do I look for open positions?

GaijinPot is the website I’ve heard of the most. Check there and research research research. There are scammers, be careful. 

JET hires once a year starting around September or October. It’s available online on their official webpage.

There are a bajillion different dispatch companies. I couldn’t possibly name them all, I don’t really have a lot of experience with them, and don’t know which are particularly good or not. Check Google-sensei for their applications, websites, and reputations.

Other than that, please be wary of Craigslist. Although legit job openings do show up, there are scammers. If it’s someone looking for a “private female in-home English tutor from ages 19~25” or something like that, don’t be dumb. Many will require you to have a VISA with a minimum of 1 year on it already. Many will require you to already live in the area of the position. Research everything carefully.

Words of warning

If you think mental health issues are stigmatized in your home country, oh honey you ain’t seen nothin` yet.

If you have mental health issues, Japan may not be the place for you. You may think going to Japan, being surrounded by your hobbies and interests, and just “getting away” will make things better… IT WON’T.

Please be aware that you most likely will not be able to get your meds over the counter in Japan. And it’s not uncommon for your meds to be banned entirely even with a prescription. Bi-polar, anxiety, OCD, depression? Your meds might not be available here. Oh and having people send them over from home by mail can get you detained and deported if you’re caught.

You’ll also be leaving the support of friends and family by coming to Japan. The ALT community is pretty cool, but people come and go so quickly, it’s hard to find groups of people that will stick together through really tough spots.

Supervisors and coworkers aren’t much help either. In Japan, people don’t talk about mental health issues at all. If you take meds for anything other than a physical illness, you do it in private where people can’t see you. If you see a psychiatrist, you do it in a different prefecture, where no one can see you. It’s not uncommon for Japanese people to be asked to leave their jobs because their boss or coworkers have suspicions.

If you self medicate with something like marijuana, be aware that recreational drug use here is VERY VERY VERY illegal. Marijuana use is treated with the same seriousness as crack cocaine. You WILL be caught, you WILL be detained, you WILL be tried without a lawyer present, you WILL be held in solitary, you WILL be convicted of drug possession, and you WILL be deported.

Some ALTs will replace their marijuana use with alcohol. That goes about as well as it sounds :|

For LGBT, if you’re used to a very supportive queer community, it’s not the same here. Japanese people are extremely closeted and unless you live near a large metropolitan area, getting into the gay scene is nearly impossible. I’m fine because I was never in the gay scene back home, but for some people it’s very hard.

If you’re trans and want to come here to transition, please reconsider. I would suggest not coming to Japan as an ALT if you intend to transition in the immediate future. If your gender dysphoria is pretty bad, you’re gonna have a bad time. Gender segregation and enforcement of gender roles will probably seriously affect your mental health. The paperwork for transitioning is even harder from overseas and lot of things need to be done in person so you’ll have to fly back and forth from your home country a lot (which is damn expensive and needs vacation leave). Even if you do get everything done, there’s no telling how your work will respond. They won’t outright say they’re firing you for your gender identity, that’s illegal, they’ll come up with some other reason.

People who come here with a goal like paying off college loans or wanting to experience another culture usually have a better time that people who come here because OMG I JUST LOVE JAPAN. Please keep that in mind.