I am going to Japan.
How much money should I bring?
Actually lots of it!
Japan is among one of the costliest countries and Tokyo/Osaka
consistently rank as among the costliest cities.
All the way from a cab ride to a cup of coffee can be way too
expensive (unless of course you are used to buying your coffee at
Starbucks!). Exactly how much to bring would depend on the number of days
you will be there, whether you would stay in a hotel or have a place to
stay, how often you would need to eat out, how often would you travel,
If you are going to
travel in Japan,
contact the local Japan travel office to see if you can buy discount
travel on the trains. As
a tourist in
Japan, consider eating in fast-food restaurants since the
prices are fairly comparable to other countries.
Avoid cabs and use public transport as much as possible – Japan
has one of the best public transport systems in the world.
Do your research before you leave. Find out ahead of time the fees you might have to pay to
visit museums or historical sites.
Japanese businesses do not typically
accept credit cards and even less so the ones not issued inside Japan.
It is a fairly safe country so bringing cash is OK.
You can change into Japanese currency at the airport or you can
checks, which can be exchanged into Japanese currency
at most banks.
My wife wants Japanese green onions and
cucumbers, where can I buy these? Can
I grow them in the US if I bring seeds back?
Depending on what part of the US you live in,
you might be able to find some Japanese grocery items in a local Japanese
store. A trip to China Town
is also helpful. We do not
recommend growing Japanese vegetables in your garden unless you can
reproduce the Japanese environment and are willing to put extra hours in
My wife will no eat sushi made by a
non-Japanese. Is she the only
Sushi-chefs in Japan are considered to be
artists. They go to school
for years and then they practice for years under a master.
They are highly respected professionals.
That is why sushi meals in Japan are very
In recent years, however,
sushi has become
popular outside Japan and many untrained chefs have taken to preparing
sushi. For the casual sushi
customer, the difference is not apparent.
However, for a Japanese, the difference is obvious.
Thus, many of them will simply not eat sushi not made by a properly
My wife is having trouble buying size 0
clothes. Where can she shop?
This problem has been somewhat addressed
with the emergence of online stores in Japan that will ship to most
countries. Since your wife
probably reads Japanese, ask her to buy online.
For those who prefer to buy in the
mall, it is best to shop in the
section for teenagers. While
it might be embarrassing, but that is the only section where they can find
clothes that actually fit them.
Where can I find a bathroom scale or
thermometers or other devices that display metric numbers?
In the US, this is a big problem. However, if you can order online at websites located in
Canada, you should be able to find almost anything in metric system.
Normally, shipping costs are minimal.
Where can I get original Japanese TV
programs, movies, books, magazines, etc.?
With satellite television easily available
and either cheaper or comparable to cable TV, it is best to switch to
satellite TV to receive Japanese channels directly.
Recording TV programs and selling them is generally illegal unless
done by the TV channel itself. You
may be violating the law if you buy such programs from an individual or a
What type of visa should I get in order to
get married to a Japanese?
It is best to consult an
lawyer for this purpose since each case is different. Generally, she can come right away on a finace visa that
can be eventually be converted to a green card.
How much money do I need to make to
sponsor my fiancée?
This provision exists in the law to make
sure that a US citizen is able to support his wife.
The requirements are actually very simple.
If your income is somewhat more than the federal poverty guidelines
for your area, you are probably OK. So
unless you live in poverty, there is no need to worry.
If you do, it is best to discuss the issue with an
You will be expected to document your income and produce tax
(Related article: How
to hire an attorney?)
What should I expect at her/our interview
To avoid fraudulent marriages, BCIS meets
with the candidate for green card and the couple.
The goal is to make sure that you are a genuine couple.
If you are a genuine couple, there is no reason to worry at all and
no preparation is actually needed for the interview since the officers are
only trying to find out if there are any inconsistencies in the
information provided and if you are truly committed to get married.
(Related article: Adjustment
of status passport stamping)
How can I teach my wife to drive?
Driving in the US can be intimidating for
a lot of Japanese women not only because we supposedly drive on the wrong
side of the road (at least that is what the Japanese think about us) but
also because of the aggressive and impolite drivers.
Speed limits in Japanese highways are slightly less than that in
the US and strictly enforced.
While you might take on the responsibility of making her
comfortable with the new driving arrangement by driving around in an open
area or your neighborhood, it is best to also send her to attend a
refresher course offered by AAA or a local agency.
As you would with a young driver, it is best to accompany her on
initial trips to crowded areas, highways, etc.
Teach her how to deal with aggressive drivers and police (the
Japanese policemen are unusually polite and not intimidating as some of
our cops are).
Recommended links: Culture
shock in Japan Relationship
problems with a Japanese woman
Date married Japanese women
to find relationship with an Asian woman?