Expat Resources

Gogatsubyou (五月病): Understanding Post-Golden Week “May Disease”

Feeling down, stressed, or demotivated after Golden Week? You are not alone. Also known as “May disease” or the “May Blues,” gogatsubyou (五月病) describes a common phenomenon in Japan where feelings of fatigue, demotivation, and anxiety increase following the Golden Week period in May. Although gogatsubyou is not an official medical term, it describes a […]

Getting a Mental Disability Certificate (Seishin Shogaisha Techo) in Japan

While many may have heard of a disability certification/registration system here in Japan, actually getting one – especially when in a foreign country – can be tricky and  bureaucratic procedures can seem daunting. Nonetheless, it is encouraged to acquire the certificate if eligible, because it offers a wide range of benefits that can lower the […]

Dealing with Culture Shock in Japan

Whether it is adapting to food that is completely different from home to navigating subtle social cues, adjusting to life in a country you’ve moved to can be very challenging. An expected and normal part of that process is culture shock, in which you may find yourself feeling lost, isolated, and irritated while trying to […]

The Best Parks in Tokyo for Your Mental Health

During COVID-19, parks in cities like Tokyo are more important than ever, providing people with a safe environment to exercise, socialize, and take breaks from small living spaces. Research has linked access to urban parks with a reduction in stress, depression, and mental/emotional fatigue among all ages of people. Though not as famous as Ueno […]

Navigating the Transition Process

For many people, particularly here in Japan, Spring is a time of major change. People start new jobs, move to new locations, and start spending more time outdoors. Students start the new school year which, for some, means joining a new class; for others, means attending a new school, and for still others, may mean […]