When everyone thinks of Asia and cool things, they automatically say Tokyo, with its useless useful inventions, funky fashion, and interesting culture. Just an FYI, Tokyo is not a representation for all of Japan. I hardly hear anyone in the west talking about Korea even though Korea has proven to be more technologically forward compared to Japan. I use my laptop in the classroom where I connect to a large HDMI screen and use media in the classroom. Unlike Japan, we don’t use chalkboards in Korea. We use chalk pens and write on a green board.
Obviously, I had the whole Japan experience and I don’t want to knock it for anyone else who might have aspirations to live there one day. In my opinion, Japan is one of the most beautiful and lovely places to travel. Living there is a different story.
Seriously, Korea is super underrated and it’s a must travel place in Asia. After moving, the quality of my life has increased significantly. Here’s some reasons why I prefer living in Korea over Japan.
Granted, I met Aaron before I came to Korea, but I have so many friends who are dating or married to Korean men. It’s so refreshing to be in a country where dating isn’t a nightmare for a lot of girls. In Japan, all I knew was you had a higher chance of seeing a unicorn over dating a Japanese guy. Which is true. I’m 99.9% sure I saw a werewolf on Tokashiki. Wait? What?
In addition, sometimes the interviews I see with ignorant Japanese men talking about dating foreigners makes me really wonder if they know a world outside stereotypes. They say things like, “She needs to speak my language” with no interest in learning his partner’s language or culture.
They also claim they love white skin, blonde hair, and blue eyes. If they want a girl like that, they may as well date a pretty Japanese girl who dyes her hair blonde and wears blue contacts. Not all foreigners fit that “bill” which ends up in a lot of broken hearts of foreign women truly looking for love. Myself included. Recently, I saw an informative interview by Yuta Aoki on his YouTube channel. Take the interview how you want, but I was reminded of one reason why I left. (P.S. I know it sounds like I’m always knocking on him, but I really respect his work, his research, and spreading the Japanese dating game. Kudos, brother.)
Let me reiterate not all women in Japan ended up like me! Check out Japan-aholic’s Just a Matter of Perspective, Maple Mochi’s A Kyushu Guy and Canadian Girl; Finding Strength From Culture and Felicity’s Love in Fukushima for girls who found their true love in Japan.
I honestly cannot stress this enough. If you don’t like the food of your host country, you WILL be miserable and fat. I hated Okinawan food with a passion. It was too oily, greasy, and had too much pork. I like pork in moderation, but Okinawa’s food was on an entirely different level. They took a lot of their recipes and cuisine from China so that explains the why. I love spicy food and vegetables. Loving it runs so thick through my half Mexican veins. If it tickles my palette, I’m a happy camper. Korean food does that for me and I always want it. Seriously. I was over Japanese food by week two when I first moved to Japan.
Related: What to Eat in Osaka
Japan very rarely had foreigner friendly services. Big corporations like airlines and remittance offered services for foreigners, but it was a nightmare doing anything else. I had to open my bank account with my Japanese supervisor because there were no bank documents translated into English. Even though we went to an “English speaking” branch of a phone company, it was still an ordeal even with a Japanese speaker.
In Korea, almost all services offer English and even make up shops can help me get what I need with minimal English on their end. I’ve never had to struggle at the grocery store because everything is in English as well. Seriously, god bless Korea. I honestly wished I had this when I first moved to Japan.
Related: Romantic Kdrama Locations in Seoul
Easy Public Transport
Okinawa’s public transport consisted of a monorail and buses that are always late. Mainland Japan has confusing trains because they’re owned by different companies. Did I mention it costs an arm and a leg to go across and back from Tokyo? I once paid $20 for that round trip. That was awful…
In Korea, transfers are in the same station and I have never paid more than $8 round trip. It’s easy to navigate the buses and there’s apps for checking bus and train times. Thank you, Korea!
Related: What to do in Seoul
Awesome Skin Care
My skin has improved dramatically since I’ve been in Korea. I get some breakouts, but it’s no longer a constant struggle to keep my face clean and dirt from my pores. In addition to the dryer climate change, the diet has worked wonders for me. Korea carries anything and everything beauty. You want it, they got it. They have anything from foot peels to patches that reshape your boobs. Yeah. Wild.
Low Cost of Living
I have enough money to send home for my student loans and have fun on the weekends. Eating at home is super cheap and I never have to look far for yummy and cheap Korean options if I don’t feel like cooking. I’ve also adopted 101 Ways to be Frugal in Korea to help with my expenses.