Jun 22, 2018
Homesickness is a problem everybody who lives in a foreign country has, at least once. It doesn't matter if you just moved to Japan or you are back from a long vacation in your hometown, homesickness is a typical and normal reaction. Everything can be so different in a new country and a new life can be very tough. Here are some tips on how to deal with homesickness if your family and friends are far away:
1. Stay always in contact via messenger, Skype or letters
Even you are living in a foreign country it is very important to stay in contact with your family and friends in your hometown. Using the Internet and tools like Skype or a messenger services like Line, WhatsApp, and Facebook Messenger are a good way to always be up to date with your family/friends. I try to call my family at least once a week via Skype.
I also have some friends who rarely use the Internet or it is just very difficult to get in contact with them because of the time difference or having a lot of work. With those friends I use the old fashioned way and exchange long letters. It is a very nice way to tell somebody all about what has happened in recent months and also it always makes me happy to get a long, handwritten letter from a friend.
I'm used to going to many events and traveling around a lot. To tell everybody about all these things all the time can get very tiring, that's why I have my own blog, just for family/friends, where they can always read what I'm doing in Japan. It is very helpful, especially for showing photos.
3. Getting in touch with the community
A good way not to get homesick is to become a part of your local community. Join a tea ceremony class, a karate course or help with the local festival activities. Usually any kind of help is welcome, even if you can't speak fluent Japanese. Just check out your local community center to get more information.
4. Go out with your friends
Don't sit alone at home and think all the time about your home country. Go out and meet some friends or just join a festival, visit a museum even. If you are new to Japan there are many ways to meet new people like at meet up events, Japanese language classes, festivals or even in bars. Don't be shy. Move your butt!
5. Create a home atmosphere
Always, when friends visit my home, they feel like being in Europe. Of course, I love Japan, but I also love my hometown. Creating my own little European world at home gives me a very good, warm feeling. Of course, I also have a lot of Japanese decorative stuff, but mostly my furniture comes from Europe (especially Japanese furniture which tends to be too low for me).
6. Enjoy hometown food
If you are missing your hometown, a good alternative is to have some food from your region. Italian pizza, some delicious sausages or falafel from your hometown can be very helpful if you are feeling down. Luckly, there are many international restaurants nowadays throughout in Japan.
These are the points which always help me not to get homesick that much. How about you? Do you have some recommendations?
I´m a german girl living in the center of Tokyo, but my true love belongs to the countryside of Japan (especially Chiba and Hokkaido). I love traveling Japan and explore hidden areas.
I want to help people with my articles to get in touch with the Japanese culture and all the beautiful places you can explore.
Besides traveling around, I love trains, handcraft and my little rabbits.