Moving To Tokyo?

By Donnie | General Living in Japan

Tokyo Apartment View

The View From One of the Tokyo Apartments I'm considering.

Hey gang, I wanna say thank you guys for checking on me as of late. I appreciate the emails and comments asking how I’ve been, and everybody making sure that all is well. You guys are the best! I hope you guys are all good, too.

Truthfully, I’ve run into my snags here and there chasing after this dream of living life on my terms. I have been lucky enough to land some gigs to help me get by, but I have been scraping. I’m sure I probably mentioned it, but I have been teaching part-time at Google to help balance things out, but it’s still not enough. I have a had a small streak of modeling jobs which provides me with enough to last for a short while (too short, if you ask me). I enjoy going after what I want but something in me hates leaving my finances to chance. I have been considering suiting up again to go back in the classroom, but I’m really not sure. I know if I keep doing that, I’m going to keep teaching year in and year out (which isn’t a bad life, but I know it’s not what I want to do). It’s something I’ll be considering in the next couple of weeks.

I have enough to try to make one more move, before having to re-don my suit and tie, eat my humble pie, and go back into the classroom…somewhere. I have been thinking about it for several months now, but I think it’s time. I will be moving to Tokyo for sure.

Why Tokyo?

    1. Tokyo is where the opportunities are.

Whether it’s teaching private lessons, teaching for a company, modeling, acting, or even stripping (yes, I have friends that can attest to that), Tokyo is the place for it. Modeling gigs, there’s just no comparison. I’ve never done a job here in Tsukuba or even Ibaraki for the matter. If I want to do more stuff like that, I need to get closer to where it all happens and just go for it. If my funds run out in the mean time I won’t whine or complain, I’ll just quietly and humbly head back to work. There are even more chances for me to teach in Tokyo: private lessons, dispatch companies, eikaiwa, and more. Make moves or miss out, Donnie!

    2. I have no major ties in Tsukuba anymore.

Though I know some SUPER COOL people here in Tsukuba, the fact is I don’t have a whole lot tying me here anymore. I’m not tethered to my AEON job anymore and I’m not teaching public school in Moriya anymore either. I’m not married, I have no kids, and no family here. Sure Tsukuba has tremendous sentimental value for me, but sentimental and broke is not a good combination. If I’m going to make a move, now is the time. My lease will expire very shortly, so, this is just the spark I needed.

    3. I won’t feel as isolated.

One thing I have noticed here in Tsukuba since my teaching job has stopped, is that I feel a bit more isolated than usual. Of course I have the chance to bump into people on occasion, but I spent most of my time commuting to Tokyo (auditions), working on my computer, or training. Being a hermit was never really my intention. Being in Tokyo just gives me a chance to talk to/spend time with more people.

    4. It’s a good move for my The Japan Guy!

Moving to Tokyo means living in a new city, living in a new apartment, and ultimately, having new experiences. This means more opportunities to do what I enjoy, writing about the world around me.

My decision to leave Tsukuba is a bittersweet one because I have lived here in Tsukuba for nearly five years. That’s longer than I spent in undergrad! In so many ways Tsukuba is home to me. Seeing Mt. Tsukuba on the horizon, running into former AEON students, shopping at JUSCO, going to ACT (the little gym near the university), using the heavybags in the Tsukuba Budokan, sparring with Kyokushin teachers (i.e.-getting my butt kicked by Ajima Sensei), MOVIX, You World, Matsuri Tsukuba, they all just bring back so many memories. There are hundreds more things I could list.

Am I nervous about the move? YOU KNOW IT! Most people find a job then find housing, so I know I’m doing this a little bit backwards. But for me, backwards is okay, it’s how my mind functions sometimes. Hopefully, things work out

Here we go!

Donald Ash

About the Author

  • sweeny says:

    well that is a bit exciting 🙂

    I understand the isolation thing too- I have just recently moved to Tsukuba, and I don’t know anyone!! I think in a bigger place there are more opportunities to meet people. Plus once you have had a group of friends somewhere, it gets harder to get out and meet more. If that makes sense ^_^

    • thejapanguy says:

      You’re in Tsukuba, too! COOL! That totally makes sense. I guess I’m going to experience that part of it first hand, now that I’m about to move. Tsukuba is an awesome place to live though (kind of addictive, too…that’s why I was here for five years!). I’m sure you’ll really enjoy it sweeny 🙂

      • sweeny says:

        Thanks! I have a two year job here, so I am sure I will make friends in that time.

        And Tsukuba is the same distance from Tokyo, as Tokyo is from Tsukuba, so when you get lonely you can always nip back to see your friends.

        I think it is great that you are jumping head first into what you want to do though.

  • Bri says:

    Good for you but don’t be giving away your secret to success though 😉

  • Nanami says:

    Uwaa.. We shall have adventures when I get there next fall Donald-kun! Just wait ^_^

  • petaris says:

    Good luck Donald! Don’t forget to keep all your friends out here informed and up-to-date on whats happening! 🙂

  • Afroguy says:

    Good luck ,your blog was really informative ,at least i know a black guy can survive and enjoy tsukuba when and if i get there next year to tsukuba univercity it wouldbe nice to trace your food steps especially the foody ones.

    • Donald Ash says:

      Yep, you can make it and YES, you can survive. Oh man, there’s some good food in Tsukuba. There’s good all over Japan. Enjoy it!

  • RM says:

    I admire you for chasing your dream! I just found your blog, I love it. Thank you.

  • Ajd2 says:

    Good luck with all the new moves man. Just found your blog and saving in my bookmarks now!

  • tlo says:

    Hey Donald – My family and I just moved to Tokyo from Shikoku 2 months ago. Have you made the move yet? It’s been fairly smooth so far, but the cost of living here is higher for sure! We were lucky to find a pretty great apartment through Bridge Life and we both got jobs right away. If you need anything, let me know!

    • Donald Ash says:

      Thank you so much tlo. I did eventually move, not exactly to the place I wanted to, but I found a relatively comfortable spot to live. I’m kind of in a “Now what?” situation, but I know things will work out. I guess we’re Team Tokyo Newbie for now. I truly appreciate the post!

  • mcv says:

    Ha! I was thinking about moving to Tokyo, too (but from a totally different country). :þ From the view I assume this is eastern side of Tokyo, and that’s Arakawa there? I must visit that part of Tokyo next time.

  • 베카 says:

    Goodluck with the move, I haven’t commented in a long time but it’s good to see your still doing what you want to do in your own way! GOODLUCKGOODLUCK!!

  • Ariana Domett says:

    I wat to move from Shikoku to Tokyo, please write about your experience moving from the inaka to the big city! (Prices, companies you used, etc)

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