We’re Leaving Japan

On leaving Japan…


If you don’t already know, after 9 years and some change, I am leaving Japan.

This was by no means an easy decision, but one my family and I thought best for all of us.

In less than 2 weeks from now the 4 of us will be boarding a plane for Beijing, China to start a new chapter in our lives.

There are a few reasons why we have decided to move on. I personally love Japan and the city of Kobe. My kids love Kobe because it is their hometown and the only place they have ever lived. Of course my wife loves Japan since she is Japanese and from the Kansai area.


Our neighborhood summer festivals are some of my best memories.

Our reasons for leaving basically were stronger than that love. At the end of the day, simply enjoying the place you live cannot always pay the bills.

After graduating from teacher’s college in Canada 9 years ago I have built up a very impressive resume. I have a great deal of education experience, loads of solid professional development work as a lot of experience in nature/conservation education and social media use.

I have this experience, but simply wasn’t getting the compensation I should have been. After lots of investigative work and looking at schools outside Japan I realized I could simply make a great deal more money with my experience.

Kobe Fireworks 2016

When you are raising a family with 2 young children, having financial comfort is very important. Also, I’m not getting any younger. I have to think about my wife and I and our golden years as well.

We also want our children to have an amazing education that is more globally focused. We want them to have international experiences. We want them to go to school with kids with different ethnicities and nationalities.

I reached out to some different schools and a few reached back. I didn’t originally plan for China, but a school in Beijing made us an offer we simply couldn’t refuse.

The visa process has been very bumpy and incredibly frustrating, but now that things are settled it’s time to focus on the finally phase of the move.

In a few weeks we’ll be landing in Beijing, wide-eyed and confused. Everything will be new, different and exciting.

We will be there for 2 years with a couple of visits to Japan each year (Canada as well).

Maybe someday we will call Japan our home again. Who knows!



The writer:

Kevin O’Shea is the host of the Just Japan Podcast and the Just Japan News Podcast. He is also the guy behind JustJapanStuff. Kevin is a Canadian educator who lives in Kobe, Japan with his family.


Follow him on Twitter: @madformaple

Facebook: Facebook.com/justjapanstuff

Email: justjapanpodcast@gmail.com



  1. I’ve enjoyed your podcasts and as a fellow Canadian share some of your background. I’ll be following your progress; best wishes.


  2. You are a brave and adventurous soul and a good father and husband. Your children will benefit for the rest of their lives from the international experience you are giving them. They will not be confined by the cultural constraints that seem to be so prevalent in Japan. I look forward to continuing to follow you as you begin your new life in Japan.


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