Life in Japan

Sayonara Nippon! Why I’ve left Japan?!?

Huh? Wait! Jasmine has left Japan? When? Why? What? …
… is what you’re probably thinking right now.

I’m sorry if this comes as a shock to you. emoticon
Or maybe it doesn’t?

I’ve been living in Japan for seven years although I intended to only stay for one.
As you might know I’ve recently had a hard time deciding whether I should leave or stay.

It’s probably unnecessary to tell you how much I love Japan. It’s obvious if you look at my blog and all the travelling I’ve done. Furthermore, I wouldn’t have stayed for 7 years otherwise.

Why I've left Japan


Then why did I decide to leave Japan?

Hm. There are many reasons. And I’m not sure if I can explain them well enough.

I always wanted to decide on my own when it’s time to leave and not be forced to. I almost didn’t get my work visa and thought I had to leave Japan after just one year and that was quite horrible. It was important to me that I would decide when I go and not some unfortunate circumstances.

I was worried that if I’d stay “too long” I end up hating Japan and leave with those kind of feelings. Luckily that didn’t happen.
I still love Japan. I still consider living in Japan in the future once more.

But I am over 30 now.., have no family in Japan, felt kind of stuck and simply couldn’t decide whether I wanted to spend my future in Japan or in my home country Germany – or maybe somewhere completely else. I thought leaving Japan might help me getting out of my ‘comfort zone’ (= Japan) and that I’d be able to see things from a different perspective.

I had the feeling that if I continued my life in Japan with lots of enjoyable travelling, I’d wake up one morning and be 40.
40, single, without a family in a ‘foreign’ country where – although I consider it my home – I’ll be treated as the “eternal outsider“.
Or maybe I’d just turn into a crazy cat woman? Or a castle woman? I guess being single and over 30 in Japan already qualifies as being a “dried fish woman“. emoticons

I’m only half-serious. Please take this with a gra.. bucket of salt!


Eh? If you’re not in Japan anymore, what will happen to your blog?

Don’t worry. Nothing will change on my blog or social media.
I sometimes have the feeling that people actually don’t realize what it means when I say that I’ve travelled to all 47 prefectures and have been to many far more than once. emoticons
I have trillions of photos, travel advice, weird festivals and whatnot yet to share. It’s enough for years and years to come!
So much, actually, that I sometimes wonder if I’ll ever be able to get it all online in this life. emoticon

And just because I’m not in Japan anymore, it doesn’t mean that I’ll lose all of my knowledge.
On the contrary, I finally might be able to get to know things from the “tourist point of view“. For example, thus far I couldn’t purchase the “Japan Railp Pass” because residents of Japan cannot obtain it.

I’ll also write about my “reversed culture shock” and maybe a guide for all of you who also need to move back home. Jeez, that was a LOT of work, I tell you!

So, nothing will change. The only thing that’s different is that I’m currently not in Japan.

Why I've left Japan


Will you ever come back to Japan?

That’s easy to answer: YES!!
I don’t know if I’ll live in Japan again or if I’ll just come back for even more travelling, but I cannot live without Japan, so the answer is: ABSOLUTELY YES!!
After almost a decade Japan has become my second home … maybe even my “first home”. There’s no way that I just close the “Japan chapter” forever.
I think anybody who has lived in Japan for a long period can understand what I’m trying to say. (^__^’)


Are you still in Japan? When did you leave? Woah!

No, I’m not in Japan anymore. I’ve already left.
I know, I know.
I’m sorry that I didn’t tell you guys right away. emoticon
But I hope you understand that I was insanely busy. Moving internationally is really no fun!

And I was hit by a super hyper giga “reversed culture shock“.
I didn’t want to whine about all the things while I still was in this “shock state”.
I’ll definitely share my feelings and encounters and tell you in detail about this creepy culture shock, so stay tuned.

I just needed some time for myself to say: Sayonara Nippon. emoticon emoticon

But I’m all good now and intend to just continue to share my previous Japan adventures with you.
I hope you understand and keep supporting “Zooming Japan”.

Thank you! ^___^


  • What a brave decision Jasmine. But i think you are totally right in leaving while it is still your own choice. I will of course read all of your new blog posts. :-) I can’t wait to read about how you experienced the reverse culture shock particularly. I’ve been to Japan for just a couple of weeks and to my surprise i already experienced some form of reverse culture shock. I suppose it must be a lot worse for you. Anyway welcome back to Europe. ;-)

    • Thank you, Patrick.
      I’m really overwhelmed by the great encouragement and support from all of you! :D

      Gawd, I have so much to rant about. I’m over the worst part of it now, but it was really hell at first, so be prepared for a long, whiny article. *g*

  • Bei mir ist es gerade anders rum. Bin auch ü30 und stelle mir die Frage, in Deutschland bleiben oder Job aufgeben und nochmal weg? Wohin? Verstehe also den inneren Kampf sehr gut. Wünsche dir auf jeden Fall alles Gute und dass du nichts bereust, wenn du dich erstmal wieder eingelebt hast! Danke für die vielen tollen Infos, die du mit uns geteilt hast und für die vielen Sachen die du noch mit uns teilen wirst :)

    • Ja, ich kann dich sogar SEHR gut verstehen.
      Die Entscheidung damals nach Japan zu gehen, ist mir sehr leicht gefallen. Ich war gerade mit dem Studium fertig und hatte ja nichts zu verlieren.
      Ich wusste, dass ich das wohl nicht mehr machen werde, wenn ich erstmal in Deutschland eine Festanstellung und gar meine eigene Familie habe.
      Daher bereue ich diesen Schritt nicht und werde es auch nie tun.

      Bin gespannt, was mich hier in Deutschland erwartet. Bereuen werde ich es nicht, weil es einfach nötig war.
      Mal sehen, wo es mich als nächstes hinverschlägt.

      Ich wünsche dir auf jeden Fall viel Glück und Mut! ^_____^

  • Hahah i’m sure it’s going to be a great article! :ehehe: And it just goes to show that you have a nice share of followers on your blog.

  • I’ve never been to Japan myself, but I feel like your decision was understandable. Hopefully you’ll get more used to life outside of Japan, but I’m still very glad to hear that you’ll be coming back. I am a firm believer in the fact that no matter what happens, it is good and for the best. Whatever happens is unavoidable, so don’t ever think “what if” about your choices.
    I love your blog and all the time you’ve devoted to it. Keep living happily with our support at your back.
    Also, I would like to know where you learned Japanese. I am studying it but only the know the most basic of phrases and words. THANK YOU :peace:
    Wish you good days and clear skies! :shiawase:

    • OMG! This comment is so lovely, I don’t even know what to say!
      Thank you so much! emoticon

      That’s actually a very healthy mindset. It’s easier said than done, though. And I’m especially good at asking myself repeatedly “what if”. ^^;

      I’ve studied Japanese mainly on my own. I did take a basic course in university, but was so busy with my major that I can’t really say it did much for me.
      I studied a bit on the side whenever I had time. I already knew quite a bit of vocabulary, basic grammar and maybe about 150 kanji by the time I moved to Japan.
      Then, because I wanted to understand the world around me without having to rely on others, I crammed like crazy every single day before and after work … ON MY OWN! T__T ..
      I focused on kanji at first and once I had learned 2000+, I focused on reading. My listening skills were already quite good and my speaking became better as I got to practice it every day.

      It didn’t happen over night. It was a lot of work, but it’s definitely possible to do it on your own – of course it’s easier if you’re in Japan already as you’re immersed in Japanese all the time – unless you hang out with people who don’t speak Japanese. *g*

      Err, ok, that got long. emoticons

  • Please take care and God Bless, I remembered the years I spent in Japan and it was like being there again though your posts..


    • I wonder if I’ll see my posts like that in a few years as well.
      As for now I just keep posting all the photos I’ve taken and share all the great spots I’ve found.
      And I know for sure that before I run out of material, I’ll be back in Japan one way or another. There are still places I want to see! ^__^

      Thank you, John. ^__^

  • Welcome back in Europe, Jasmine! Thanks for sharing with us your feelings, i never lived outside of Italy but i have many expact friends over 30, and i can understand what are you talking about. And i really really love Japan, even if only like a tourist.
    I wish you good luck, i hope that you can find your way (and maybe a special one :kyah: ). Looking forward for new posts!

    • Thank you so much! ^____^
      I think it’s great that nowadays we can actually choose where we want to visit or where we want to live. It’s a great freedom we all should be thankful for especially as there are still so many people who don’t have that freedom. :(

  • Congratulations on starting a new chapter of your life! On the one hand, it sucks that Japan wasn’t able to give you everything you need/want out of life, but on the other hand now you have an opportunity to have exciting adventures outside of Japan, too. I wish you the best of luck!

    • You can’t have it all, right?
      I’m not sure if Japan wasn’t able to give me everything that I wanted, because I’m trying to find out what it really is I want, what really is important to me.
      And who knows, once I’ve figured that out, I might be back in Japan before you know it. *g*

      Thank you so much! emoticon

  • Oh no… And we didn’t have a chance to meet :( But at the same time I really understand you. My life is very different, stable job, Japanese wife, I am settled. I wouldn’t have any of that I would probably look for something else. I wish you well… and when you come by Tokyo, please, let me treat you for some sushi :)

  • Woahh Jasmine, you’re leaving? Long time didn’t visit your blog and now I got this revelation?

    But I fully understand your reasoning because I myself have been living in a foreign country all by myself for 8 years. Sweet and bitter memories are abundant, isn’t it!

    Anyways, good luck on the path that you chose, that’s all I can say :)


    • Haha, yeah! :ehehe:
      It wasn’t an easy decision and although it might sound like it was something sudden, it really wasn’t. ^^

      Thank you so much! ありがとう!♪ これからもよろしくね!emoticon

  • Wow, a bit shocking news.
    For me it was always Jasmine=Japan & Japan=Jasmine.
    I guess i need some time to get over this but as long YOU feel good with your decission i will become happy again.
    Alles alles Gute für dich und herzlich liebe Grüße aus Tokio!

    • I’m sorry. :whyohwhy:
      I know, right? I could only see the me in Japan and I thought the me in Germany wouldn’t exist anymore, but somehow everything is slowly falling into place.
      My connection with Japan will never be cut off, no matter what, so no worries.

      Vielen lieben Dank und viele Grüße zurück in die alte Heimat! :D

  • Huhu Jasmine, willkommen zurück in Schland. ;P Ich kann deine Entscheidung total gut verstehen. Als ich Anfang 30 war und dazu noch lange Zeit Single hatte ich auch ne leichte Panik geschoben. Dazu lagen mir meine Eltern noch in den Ohren, dass sie auf Enkelkinder warten, das hatte es net besser gemacht. Irgendwie hats dann später doch noch mit dem Freund geklappt ( witzigerweise ist es auch noch ein ehemaliger Schulkamerad :D ).

    Von daher kann ich nur sagen, alles wird gut und das Wichtigste ist, dass du für dich die beste Entscheidung getroffen hast und auch selbst diese Entscheidung nicht bereust.

    Und so wie ich das hier lese, ist Japan dich net los. Du kommst ja irgendwann zurück. ;P
    Ich bin jedenfalls sehr gespannt auf deinen Artikel zum Reverse Culture Shock, so was Ähnliches erlebt man ja manchmal nach einem längeren Urlaub. Bei dir wars dann sicher der extreme Culture Shock.

    Ansonsten werde ich weiterhin fleißig deine tollen und vor allem witzigen und informativen Artikel lesen, der nächste Japan-Urlaub kommt bestimmt. Und ganz wichtig: unser Japan-Urlaub letztes Jahr war einsame Spitze und das haben wir zu großen Teilen dir und deiner tollen Seite zu verdanken. ;P

    Mach bitte weiter so, ich bleibe Zoominjapan auf jeden Fall weiterhin treu. :luvit:

    PS: bin durch dein Twitter-Review auf Yowamushi Pedal aufmerksam geworden. Die Serie ist wirklich super und mega lustig. Ich hab die ganzen Folgen alle an einem WE durchgesuchtet. Jetzt nehme ich mir wohl demnächst nen anderen Sport-Anime vor. :D

    • Hallo Iris!

      Freut mich, dass es bei dir doch noch geklappt hat mit Partner und allem. ^__^

      Ja, der Kulturschock war wirklich extrem.
      Ich war ja vor meinem Leben in Japan auch schon mal 3 Wochen im Urlaub dort und zurück in Deutschland war ich ganz froh, wieder zuhause zu sein. Keine Spur von Kulturschock.
      Aber nach fast einem Jahrzehnt ist das halt doch was ganz anderes. ^^;

      Das freut mich wirklich sehr.
      Übrigens stehe ich gerne wieder mit Rat und Tat zur Seite, falls es wieder mal nach Japan geht!! ;)

      Danke. Ich bin echt überwältigt zu sehen, wie positiv hier alle reagieren.

      @PS: Haha, freut mich extrem, dass dir die Serie auch so gut gefallen hat! ^____^

  • Danköö. ^__^

    Hihi, ja, da ist was dran, 3 Wochen Urlaub und fast ein Jahrzehnt dort leben ist scho nen Unterschied. Ich vermute mal, man nimmt nach so langer Zeit wahrscheinlich auch so typisch japanische Verhaltensweisen an, was man selbst wohl gar net merkt. :D Ich musste mich zB nach dem Urlaub wieder dran gewöhnen, dass es in deutschen Zügen so laut ist während du in Japan im Zug mal gar nix hörst, alles so still da.

    Und vielen Dank, dass du für den nächsten Urlaub wieder helfen würdest. Ich würd ja gern nächstes Jahr wieder nach Nippon düsen, aber Freund will diesmal unbedingt ne USA-Rundreise machen. Mal schaun, was es am Ende wird. ;P

    Außerdem find ich es toll, dass du hier so viel positives Feedback bekommst. Das zeigt doch nur, wie gut deine Seite ist und dass sich auch alle freuen, dass du hier fleißig weitermachst.

    Ich wünsch dir weiterhin viel Erfolg und alles Glück der Welt. :3

    PS: hab jetzt mit Free Iwatobi Swim angefangen, schaut schomal juut aus. So viel hübsche Jungs, Fanservice pur :D

    • Ja, das mit den japanischen Verhaltensweisen stimmt tatsächlich.
      Am Anfang war sogar die Sprache noch ein Problem. Mir sind manche Wörter auf Deutsch einfach nicht mehr eingefallen. Das kommt davon, wenn man jahrelang fast nur Englisch und Japanisch spricht.

      Vielen lieben Dank! ^___^

  • I Love your blog, Jasmine, and have enjoyed it for quite a while now so I should have seen this coming, but still, it was a shock! Now I feel badly about not commenting on all your lovely photos and posts sooner than this because have given me so much great cultural information and tourist tips over the years! Sorry to hear you have left, but we all can understand that there is a time for everything, and that sometimes includes moving on from one chapter of life to another. Not fun, but necessary, right?
    I wish you all the best back in Germany and am totally looking forward to your posts to come, especially the one about reverse culture shock – that should be very interesting! I got that coming back from China, and only after a short time in the country! Crazy weird!

    Just wondering though, what will you be doing back home? Teaching English or Japanese? Can you find a way to get paid just travelling and taking pics of European castles, cats and flowers? :) That would be wonderful, right? ;P Again, best of luck to you!

    • Hey Geezo! :D

      I’m really happy that you finally decided to comment. I appreciate it very much. ^__^
      There’s still a lot to look forward to, so stay tuned.
      I think reversed culture shock is especially bad if the two countries are very different. And the Asian culture is quite different from the Western one, so no wonder. ;)

      Teaching English would be an option although it’s by far not as big as in Japan. Most people learn English at school properly, so the demand for English teachers is rather low.
      Japanese is not big in Germany and the few teachers here are usually native speakers. ;)
      Actually teaching German would be an option. Apparently while I was away we got millions of immigrants who need to study German to get a permit to stay in Germany.
      Of course, I’d prefer to do something where I can use my Japanese skills and my knowledge about Japan, so I won’t lose it over time. ^__^
      Travelling and taking photos and earning enough money? Sounds like paradise!! ;P

  • Thank you very much for your blog.

    I truly wish you the best of luck and happiness.

    I am planning to visit/live in Japan in the near future. My connection to Japan is through
    my Japanese wife (we married in 1963, she passed in 2014, we were married 52 years).
    I thoroughly enjoy your blog.

    Your comments have given me an up to date view of present day Japan. You are a very talented and rare young lady.

    I truly hope you can continue this blog.

    Arigatoo gozaimasu

    Horgan San

    • Aww, thank you!

      I’m sorry to hear about your wife, but wow, 52 years! That’s awesome. ^__^

      I will continue this blog, so I hope you’ll keep coming back. :D

  • From your posts about datings, I got the sense you were looking to move on from japanese life.

    I wish you all the best for your new life! I’m kinda curious to see how you will adapt back to Europe: here you really need to watch out for your belongings, find a job is not that easy, people is not that nice/helpful as it is in Japan. Hope you will not have any problems! ;)

    Anyway keep up this blog, it’s one of my favourite in the entire web!

    • Yes, definitely true. I’ll write about some of the things you’ve mentioned in the “reversed culture shock” article that’s yet to come. ^__^

      Really? Wow! Thank you so much!! (*__*)b

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