I spent nearly three years living and working in Japan and enjoyed it a great deal. Japan was very enjoyable and we had some time to travel around the country both for business and pleasure. Some of my photographs of Japan are online.
Here are a few links which might help make your life easier as an expat scientist or engineer working in Japan. Whilst living in Japan I was involved with the STAG group and was a contributor to the second edition of the book Gaijin Scientist.They provide information for foreign scientists and engineers living and working in Japan. It is affiliated to the British Chamber of Commerce in Japan. I understand that the original STAG server and pages have been wiped out by hackers. It seems that this page too has evaporated but the book is still maintained elsewhere.
Gaijin Scientist is the online version of the book written by scientists about living and working in Japan in academia, government institutions and industry. Space for this has been provided by Mike Fowler. It is also available in traditional paperback form published by the BCCJ. The first edition is also available in Japanese translation. The online version has been updated to reflect additional changes particularly with regard to internet and computer.
Another online guide to life in Japan for UK researchers is A
practical guide to working as a scientist in Japan by Bob Ridge
Second hand wedding kimonos which are sold off quite cheaply in the Tokyo department stores at New Year make an interesting wall hanging when you return to your home country.
There are plenty of other living guides for Japan but they are generally written from an American rather than European perspective. They are still very useful.
NTT Living Manual in
Stanford Japanese living guide
Ibaraki living guide
Tsukuba Links - Alien Times
I am still a sumo fan and there is now some very nice information available online
Grand Ozumo home page is organised by the Nihon Sumo Kyokai. They even webcast live video of the sumo tournaments as well as providing much information on your favourite sumotori.
Here are a massive number of other Japanese links available from
NTT's Japanese Information
Stanford Japanese Links
Shino's Japan Link
Ian's Japanese language page
Some of these links tend to move around a bit as expats return to their home countries or change jobs so please let me know if any of the links go defunct.