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Ashley Thompson

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The unconventional how-to guide for living in Japan.

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Other Tags: Japan, Japanese, English, resources, howto

Latest Blog Posts

  • HOW TO: Make Your Baby Legal in Japan (if You're American)
    on Dec 5, 2013 in Giving Birth in Japan
    Thanks to Ashley Tieman, mom and former missionary from Okayama, Japan, for this post.For most new parents, the hardest part about having a newborn is adjusting to a demanding new schedule. But for children of foreign parents in Japan, there's a long...
  • HOW TO: Use An Electronic Japanese Toilet
    on Jul 28, 2013 in electronics Daily Life
    The high-tech Japanese toilet. That's what so many of you may have heard about Japan. While others of you might be wondering why I'm writing this as a how-to. But considering how many blog posts I've seen by people who travel to Japan and inevitably...
  • HOW TO: Find and Call a Taxi in Japan
    on Jul 18, 2013 in travel
    If you have lived in Japan without a car, chances are good you've been stuck somewhere before. Japan has, for the most part, a useful public transportation system. Bullet trains zoom all over the country. Local trains service even more areas, while...
  • HOW TO: Survive Summer in Japan [24 Resources]
    on Jul 11, 2013 in summer seasonal
    It's July and I'm sure most of you are in the thick of the stick! Sticky humidity that is. Unless you're in Hokkaido. Regardless of where you are, you need to be prepared for what summer brings. Humidity, bugs, bug bites, mold, nasty smells, sunburns...
  • Do You Read Surviving in Japan via Google Reader? Read This.
    on Jun 29, 2013
    To our many, many lovely readers using RSS feed readers, you may or may not already know that Google Reader is shutting down on July 1st. Yes, this coming Monday. So if you haven't already migrated your feeds elsewhere, you may want to find a new RS...
  • Starting a Business in Japan: Yoyo Market [Interview]
    on Jun 23, 2013 in Interview business in Japan
    Today we're talking with Jason Maitland, President and CEO of Yoyo Market, about starting a business in Japan. Yoyo Market is a fantastic online store for "almost anything from Costco, IKEA, organic and health foods and more". SiJ: Tell us a l...
  • Moving to Japan This Summer? 31 Posts to Help You Prepare
    on Jun 21, 2013 in howto moving to Japan packing
    Summer is almost here and if you're part of the JET Program, you're likely preparing and trying to figure out what to bring and what to expect when you arrive. While there are a lot advice-givers out there (forums in particular), I'd strongly suggest...
  • 24 Places to Find Infant and Children's Toys in JapanBig thanks to Ashley Tieman for putting together this very useful post and to Annamarie for her contributions! Just had a baby in Japan? Have small children? And looking for a few toys for them to play with? You may already have found some at near...
  • What I Miss (and Don't Miss) About Living in Japan
    on May 24, 2013
    Having been back in the States for just over two months now nearly four months now, I've thought quite a bit about what I miss and don't miss about life in Japan as I attempt to overcome reverse culture shock and settle in here. I'll be honest,...
  • 3 Things for Spring
    on Mar 12, 2013 in Daily Life health seasonal
    Spring is upon us, more or less, and soon (if not already, wherever you might be) the sakura will be showing off their bright petals. And unfortunately, spring also means hay fever for many of us, and the obnoxious "yellow sand" (which I've heard has...
  • HOW TO: Prepare for an Earthquake in Japan
    on Mar 10, 2013 in electronics Daily Life Emergency
    It's still March 10 here in the States, but it's March 11 now in Japan. I hope we can all take a moment to remember those who have been affected by the earthquake, tsunami, and nuclear disaster and also support and help those still going through diff...
  • Thank You, Reverse Culture Shock, and A Call For Help
    on Mar 10, 2013
    Hello all! It's been a little while, and my family is now back in the U.S. after a whirlwind move from Japan. I've got business to still take care of here and elsewhere, but have been struggling with health problems, reverse culture shock and attempt...
  • When You're Suddenly Forced Out...
    on Jan 3, 2013
    I've been mulling this post over in my head for the past few days. Not sure what exactly to say, or how to say it. So I'll be as honest as possible. I mentioned in the last post that this has again been a great year of growth for Surviving in Japan...
  • Surviving in Japan's Top Posts of 2012
    on Jan 2, 2013 in Daily Life
    Happy New Year! 明けましておめでとうございます! Surviving in Japan had another huge year of growth, including getting over 1 million pageviews since I started it a couple years ago (over half of those this year), which surprised me...
  • Japan Post to Ship Electronics with Lithium Ion Batteries Starting 2013
    on Dec 17, 2012 in electronics
    Shipping electronics with lithium ion batteries from Japan is a pain, to put it simply. You, as of now, essentially have two options, FedEx or DHL, which I explained in more detail in how to ship electronics with lithium ion batteries from Japan. Thi...
  • HOW TO: Find Natural Food in Japan
    on Dec 11, 2012 in health metropolis
    If you've been following Surviving in Japan for a while, you've probably seen me mention places to find certain health-related items, such as natural and organic food and such. iHerb is one of my personal favorites, but some things can't be imported...
  • 7 Useful Resources for Winter and the Holidays in Japan
    on Dec 8, 2012 in seasonal
    It's freeeeezing cold here in Shizuoka city today, and those winter winds I hate so much are back in full force as well. It's interesting to watch the clothes you hand outside blow sideways... And hope that you've tied everything down well enough so...
  • What You Should Know When Signing Up for Softbank
    on Dec 6, 2012 in Lifelines
    If you have, or have had, a contract with Softbank (one of the main mobile carriers in Japan), you may have experienced Softbank's seemingly differing policies. (This may be the case at the other carriers as well, although I've heard less about them...
  • Thanks to SiJ's Sponsor: The H&R Group
    on Nov 27, 2012 in sponsor
    As you may know, Surviving in Japan functions from my research, experiences and free time; your support, ideas, guest posts, and feedback; and, more recently, kind sponsors. Today I'd like to introduce The H&R Group, Surviving in Japan's current...
  • Buying a Used Car in Japan - What You Need to Know
    on Nov 22, 2012 in driving in Japan travel
    Today's post comes from David Ainley of Motovique. Motovique is a privately owned business helping private individuals looking to buy and sell their vehicles at a fair price, or simply assist sellers to transfer the title on their cars with ease. The...