Jul 20, 2018

Thank you, City-Cost Community

My wife (@Genkidesu) and I were just chatting yesterday about how much we appreciate the City-Cost community. You know, it can be tough living out in the sticks without a strong support network in your immediate vicinity. For folks out here, everything is normal and routine, but for us, most things are anything but. Little chores like paying road tax seem daunting because we’ve never done it before and it’s not like there’s some easy-to-follow guide book. Sometimes, you just want to vent your frustrations about the way they do things around here (like I did about the group check ups, or the ridiculous price of wrapping paper). Sometimes you want to sing the praises of living here and share insight on fun things to do or delicious foods to eat. City-Cost provides that venue for doing so.

Of course, City-Cost is not the only place like this. There’s Gaijin Pot and other similar sites, so what makes City-Cost different? 

We thought about it, and it comes down to the community on the site. We’re all just regular folks trying to make the most of life in “real” Japan, not the insulated lifestyles that many expats have.

Thank you, City-Cost Community photo

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not disparaging anyone for having an insulated experience here, because I did for all of my years in Japan until I moved out to Niigata. Because I used to work for the U.S. government, I didn’t have to worry about going to the City Office, or using National Health Insurance, or living in a neighborhood where the members of my family were the only English speakers. Still, life’s joys and challenges are just different when you don’t have a company or government handling the government, medical, or legal bureaucracy for you.

And of course, there’s also the wonderful folks who blog and interact on City-Cost. I look forward to reading what folks are writing about, and even though I’m not big on social media sites like Facebook, I enjoy the exchanges I have with everyone here (special shout outs to @Edthethe, @Candiajia1, @ReishiiTravels, @Saitama, @HelloAlissa, and @Tomuu!) It’s a highlight of my day, and I feel as if I have the support network I need, even if you all aren’t right around the corner in my neighborhood.

Thank you, City-Cost, and thank you to everyone else on here for making this a great community.



Hitting the books once again as a Ph.D. student in Niigata Prefecture. Although I've lived in Japan many years, life as a student in this country is a first.

Blessed Dad. Lucky Husband. Happy Gaijin (most of the time).


  • ReishiiTravels

    on Jul 20

    Aw! I loved this post!! And I totally agree with you! Having this community really helps!! :)

  • Jackson

    on Jul 20

    This is a really cool post!

  • edthethe

    on Jul 20

    I am really grateful as well! I love reading about everyone's lives and getting to know what everyone else is going through. Everyone here also has the best comments and are super helpful.

  • genkidesuka

    on Jul 20

    @edthethe, @ReishiiTravels, @Jackson, thank you, guys! You all are great!

  • Tomuu

    on Jul 26

    Thanks for the username drop! It's great to be a part of something like this.