7 Tips for young artists moving to Japan

A woman is getting ready for moving to Japan.

Moving to Japan as a young artist is a journey filled with boundless opportunities and cultural enrichment! The Land of the Rising Sun boasts a vibrant artistic scene deeply rooted in centuries of tradition while embracing cutting-edge contemporary expressions. However, before you start a new life in Japan, you might want to continue reading this text! Here, you’ll discover 7 tips that will serve as a compass, guiding you through the intricacies of Japanese culture, helping you find your creative footing, and fostering connections that will shape your artistic growth during your time in Japan.

1 – For starters, you should learn something about Japanese art and culture

Well, before your relocation to Japan, it is essential to meet this place! So, take your time to learn about the rich tapestry of Japan’s artistic heritage. Thanks to that, you’ll familiarize yourself with traditional practices like tea ceremonies, ikebana (flower arranging), calligraphy, the intricate art of woodblock printing, ukiyo-e, etc. Also, you should study the works of renowned Japanese artists such as Hokusai and Hiroshige. Make sure to explore the philosophies of Zen Buddhism, which have deeply influenced Japanese aesthetics. Additionally, acquaint yourself with contemporary Japanese art movements, and so on. That homework will help you meet Japan and learn more about its art and culture. After that, you can focus on finding a new home and moving into a good neighborhood. Then, you can prepare yourself to get to know the area, etc.

A man is thinking about moving to Japan.
Japan has lots of things to offer artists!

2 – Young artists need to learn how to find a studio space when moving to Japan

Securing such a location in Japan can be both an exciting and challenging task! That is important to know because major cities like Tokyo, Kyoto, and Osaka offer a dynamic art scene, but competition for affordable and spacious studios can be fierce. So, if you want to try your luck in one of those places, you have to think about various options. For instance, you can check out shared studio spaces and artist collectives or take advantage of artist-in-residence programs. However, whatever you opt for, you should be prepared to adapt to the available space and embrace the Japanese approach to efficient use of resources. This is important to keep in mind since studio sizes may differ from what you’re accustomed to.

Apart from getting a perfect place to settle down, you need to consider lots of things when looking for a space to perform a show for visitors in Japan as well. In that case, to properly prepare your art pieces for exhibition, you need to ensure their smooth transport to Japan. And if you’re not sure how to do it, you can let experts handle the transfer for you. Reliable professionals will provide you with high-quality assistance, so you can rest knowing your items will arrive in Japan via cargo moving services in perfect shape.

3 – Language proficiency

When coming to Japan, it is highly recommended to learn at least a few phrases in Japanese. With limited Japanese language skills, you’ll greatly enhance your experience in this country. However, if you don’t speak the language, consider taking classes or using language-learning apps to improve your skills.

Anyhow, while working on that, you should also explore long-distance relocation services, learn how to pack for a move like a pro, etc. Thanks to those things, you’ll familiarize yourself with the language, and you’ll be able to complete this relocating project in no time!

A woman looking at some paintings at a gallery.
Thanks to these tips, young artists can complete the process of moving to Japan in no time!

4 – Networking

When you’re about to move, try your best to connect with local artists. Building a network of fellow artists in Japan is crucial for your artistic development. So, once you find one of the best places to live in Tokyo, Kyoto, or some other city, plan to attend art exhibitions. Also, feel free to check out workshops and set up meetups to connect with other creatives and potential collaborators.

5 – Be aware of cultural respect and etiquette when moving to Japan

Young artists must know that Japanese society places great importance on politeness, courtesy, and adherence to social norms. So, when you’re about to move here, you should embrace practices such as bowing as a sign of respect, removing your shoes before entering homes or certain establishments, and using honorific language (Keigo) when appropriate. Punctuality is highly valued, so always be on time for meetings and appointments. Apart from that, you should be mindful of personal space and avoid loud or disruptive behavior in public spaces. Anyhow, along with those, there are plenty of other things you have to respect when coming to Japan.

A woman with a Japanese umbrella on a sunny day.
Take your time to properly get to know Japan before moving there!

6 – When moving to Japan, young artists should embrace cross-cultural influences

Japan has been influenced by many different cultures throughout its history, which has made its art very diverse. Therefore, in Japan, you can find art that looks like traditional Chinese ink paintings and art that has been influenced by Western modern art. When you mix that with your creative ideas, you can make exciting and unique art that people in Japan and around the world will appreciate.

Anyhow, when you start living in Japan, you can easily network with other artists. Thanks to that, you can make friendships and collect plenty of useful information that can help you create art. Also, these people will let you know why work-life balance is important when considering a move to Japan, how to settle down in this country, etc.

7 – If coming to Japan, you have to prepare your budget for a move

The process of moving to Japan requires you to be financially ready as well! That is important to do because Japan can be an expensive place to live. However, if you have a financial plan in place, you won’t have anything to worry about! So, when making that plan, consider budgeting for rent, groceries, transportation, and art supplies. Additionally, research available grants, scholarships, or artist residency programs that can help support your artistic endeavors.

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