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Welcome to my blog!

If you are in for an adventure paired with lengthy, quirky, brutal honest thoughts then you are in the right place.

My name is Arisa and was a cosplayer for 12 years in Malaysia before settling down in Kyoto, Japan. Exploring Japan full time has been a long time dream of mine, so let's explore it together!
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10 Things I've learned after moving to Japan

Can't believe it's already my 2nd Japanniversary and 2nd Marriage anniversary as well! How time just flew by just like that and i wasn't exactly counting the days either because being a mom is busy enough that everything else becomes secondary. I particularly remember the month (May) i moved to Japan because it was like one of the biggest life changing and scariest decision i've made and coincidentally it concides with Aoi Matsuri; one of Kyoto's biggest & oldest festivals but unfortunately this year's procession has been cancelled due to COVID-19, so is Gion Matsuri by the way.

2 years of living away from home, does make me homesick on some days but according to my Malaysian mama friends in Japan, it gets better after the 3rd year (more like boh bian, immune liao lol). I told myself that i would make an effort to go back and visit my parents at least twice a year but that has been proven fianicially challenging (Japan to KL tickets are way more expensive than flying to Japan from KL, apa kebodohan ini?*) So going back at least once a year is our current arrangement and then this year we are slapped in the face with an outbreak so no one knows when we are able to fly again now.

*translation: what stupidity is this 

I know I've stopped updating my monthly life in Japan after the 1st year as i was tired and feeling burnt out and am thinking to pick up where i left off until i realised that it will be like reading a book with 12 chapters missing LOL. Such a sudden jump. If i bought a book with such missing pages i would definitely rage and demand a refund of my precious invest time following the series haha, macam Game of Thrones finale guys. So i "might" backtrack abit to connect the dots but no promises because my memory is seriously failing me quite badly (it's more than a severe case of mom brain). 
There are days i find it hard to even construct a single sentence (writing or speaking), and i do hope it's nothing serious except a brain having a ERROR404 moment. 

This year has been a tough start for everyone, we are struggling in our own ways (emotionally, physically, financially, etc) and most of us are stuck at home while our frontliners and essential workers are keeping things in check. So for those of you at home and bored out of your wits, here is something to keep you entertained lol. Over the past year since i've moved to Japan, I've been getting constant messages from eager Japan lovers, asking what is it like living here; the place of their dreams.

Sorry to be outright and to burst your unicorn dream bubbles, unfortunately i was once just like you all, an eager doe eyed and oblivious Japan lover myself before i moved here until i realised how much i had things better back at home (that's usually the case, ain't it lol). After trying so hard to understand their way of life and systems, while being a rational person at the same time; i've concluded Japan is not exactly for everyone.

Some might beg to differ and to each their own, It's not about being unable to see the glass half empty or half full because whichever way you look at it, nothing changes the fact that my experiences in Japan are as a local, not a tourist.

I'm not here to fight either because i'm just sharing based on my own personal experiences; if you had it good so far then let me clap for you or else bugger off, don't come raining on my parade ya :)
The internet is already filled with many entries of people singing high praises about Japan, so if you think this is just another one to feed your expectations about this country then you are sorely mistaken. Posting this entry alone carries a huge risk on my name but then again i pride myself on being an honest writer, what's the point if i only write sugar coated words just to please everyone. Might as well just start copy and pasting press releases to save myself the trouble from using so much brain

1. Mental Health Care is non existent 

For those of you who have been following me for years would know at some point i suffered from a  series of mental illnesses which i've openly shared about and till this day i'm actually still struggling with it. This was before post partum depression by the way and most mothers with history of major depression often develop PPD after giving birth, and i wasn't spared of it.
Those with any form of depression know it's not easy to function on a normal basis, we have high and low days, more often the latter and it isn't by choice either. Often we are just told to pop a pill and get on with life like normal, i've been on high dosages of medication from 2012-2016 and stopped when i was pregnant with my first baby. Fastforward today after a year of deliverying my 2nd child, these inner demons which i thought i have kept locked up in a chest started emerging again resulting me to seek professional help. And as expected, it has definitely something to do with their overall mentality here. I've often heard of how this is considered a taboo subject in Japan even till today while the rest of the world has became more accepting towards it but never did i expect someone certified to also brush the matter off like a fly on a wall.

I asked to be arrange for a session to meet with a shrink, but was denied every single time and just offered medication to numb my thoughts, this has been going on for a couple of months last year and i wasn't exactly happy with it. Why do these people (including the danna) think that depression can be easily cured with medication? I tried to educate the danna on this topic but he as a person who had an overall happy go lucky life, never once had to suffer couldn't understand why people are depressed and what's it like to be trap in your own mind. So he assumed it's like every other sickness, a cough or flu that could be treated with a course of antibiotics. I grew tired explaining that i decided to shut him out completely, he tried to be "helpful" but his ignorance was too much to bear because every word that came out of his mouth was pretty much inconsiderate & hurtful.

My psychiatrist only kept asking me the same thing every week, "how's the medication dosage?"
"And you should feel better because of the meds right?", "maybe can stop soon?"

To read more of this post, head over to KO-FI : 

Yours Truly,


  1. This is such a good read! Thank you for the detailed (and non-sugar coated lol) information on what you've experience so far living in Japan. I knew one or two things partially, but now it's made much clearer to me. Great job ♡ I hope you'll be able to settle down and feel more at home as the years go on :)

  2. This was so insightful! Thank you for this! I already knew some of these things (which made me reconsidered moving to Japan ahaha) but I didn't know there was more �� Honestly I feel like everyone who wants to move to Japan should read this and tbh I like how you said people shouldn't over-glorify Japan (bc ppl do that alot) and rmb that no country is perfect

  3. Wow. Thank you much for sharing. For as long as I can remember Japan is one of the places I wanted to visit and sometimes would think it will be nice to live in Japan. I know for a fact that living in a place is completely different over just visiting for couple of days and so. But ALL your experiences and thoughts makes sense if an individual would feel that Japan is the coolest country and find out that a person needs to deal with unnecessary things with their dailys. It totally changed my view on how things affects people and situations to places you think got everything going on “techy” and cool. Did not know that there are other things that matters than Japan being a trendy country. I appreciate you being REAL here. Thank YOU much! Blessings ♥️

  4. Your comments about Japan truly change my view, very insightful and makes me reconsider when I have dream before of staying in Japan one day.

    I thought of imagine myself of staying in Japan one day, but ever since I heard of the culture there it stops me from condidering making any action to continue that dream. Your thoughts and comments give gives impact and insight which makes it unique and could not find it in anywhere else, if I do not follow your IG account, it's greatful to see you care for the details and explains in hearts to make sure people understand it truly, I'm greatful there are people like you who serve true opinions for other people so that there would have lesser misunderstanding and clear peoples mind when making any related decisions

  5. omg!! This basically summarised my living experiences in japan! I strongly agreed on first one.... when i had major depression and constantly suffered major panic attack, I actually seek for help but all of them either just prescribed me pills or "it's all in your head, you're going to be alright I'll increase the dosage of medicine".... sigh, even tho I've moved back to malaysia.... some of the experiences does haunt me till these days... regardless, I still had awesome time in Japan!

  6. Thank you for your story sharing. Now, Japan is definitely not a great place to live, especially foreigners. I never been to Japan although itbis in my bucket list.

  7. Now I understand why Japanese govt could not control Covid-19 situation as they are somewhat still stuck in the 90s mentality. Reading your post made me realised Malaysia is not a bad place after all. Besides our u-turn govt and extremely hot and temperamental weather. I'm glad I stayed in Malaysia.

  8. Thank you for sharing. I've been living in Japan for 6 years(Kyoto for 2 years) and most of what you said is true. Although the part about Japanese being indirect, I think it's because you live in Kyoto you feel it even more(even Japanese from other prefectures are kind of scared about how Kyoto people sometimes say something but mean the opposite). A famous example is when you visit someone's house, it's getting late and they ask you "お茶いる?”, that means you've overstayed your visit and should get out straight away xD you can read more here -> https://matome.naver.jp/odai/2147434364894758501

    1. Although I'd like to add that everything gets better after a few years :) For me personally, it was like being in love/in a relationship - after falling in love, you begin to notice all the bad points but after a while, because of love(??), you start to accept the bad points along with the good points..
      Of course, not everyone would go through the same process but for some, it usually gets better

  9. A friend of your Japanese friend.6/2/20, 6:43 AM

    I totally get what you are saying. I am a Japanese living in the United States for 23 years now, and I felt the same way when I used to live there. I like going back to Japan for a couple of weeks every year, but that's about it. I really don't wish to live there ever again.


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