8 Things to Expect When Moving to Canada from Japan

There are many reasons you should seriously consider moving to Canada. It is a popular travel location and has many beautiful sites with polite people. Depending on where you’re coming from, it can be a little bit of a shock to move somewhere different from where you’ve grown up. Even though they may be good changes, you want to know what to expect when moving from to Canada. Whether you are moving to Canada from Japan, China or Europe, there are 8 things you want to keep in mind when moving to Canada.

  1. Culture

Canada is multicultural because there is a high rate of immigration. Because of this, you’ll likely find your culture already there, along with many other cultures. More than 20% of Canadians were born elsewhere and the rate is expected to increase. It’s good to know there are also two official languages: English and French. The French speakers mostly live in the eastern province of Quebec, so if you’re not there, your town and neighbors will most likely speak English.

     2. Natural Surroundings

Canada is very well known for its beautiful, natural landscapes. Canada is so huge and the cities don’t take up much space. For reference, 90% of Canadians live within 100 miles of the American border, so there is a lot of lands untouched by people. There are mountains, lakes, and beaches to explore. There are also rivers, like the Coppermine River, to try different watersport activities.

     3. Job Search

Unfortunately, the job market is currently difficult to enter in Canada. If you’re planning on moving there without a secured job, be prepared to apply and wait for a job. Even if you have experience and extensive qualifications, it may take a while to get fully accredited in the Canadian marketplace. You may have to work a service position job while you wait and have extra savings on hand just in case. Don’t be discouraged though, as it is common to wait months until you find work in your practice. You might have to be more proactive in your job hunt than you are used to, or try to network before moving.

    4. Wildlife

Canadians are very fond of their local wildlife, and they even have the moose and beaver on their currency. However, you do have to keep in mind that animals can be dangerous. Moose are native to Canada and they can cause serious accidents if you run into them while they’re crossing the roads. Beavers can also be pests, they’ll cause road flooding and attack dogs. Bears are also common in Canada. There are black bears, grizzly bears, and polar bears in the far north. They mostly leave people alone, but caution should be taken if you’re visiting the countryside.

    5. Healthcare

Healthcare is a publicly funded system, meaning the taxpayers cover the costs of eligible user’s healthcare. Canadian residents get to see doctors for no cost. However, this doesn’t mean that everything is free. It could take at least 3 months after you move there to be eligible for the publicly funded benefits. Dental, eye care, and medication are also not covered by universal healthcare.

    6. Politeness

It’s true that Canadians are known for their politeness. Canadians like to use “sorry,” “excuse me,” “please,” and “thank you,” as general courtesies. It doesn’t necessarily mean they are trying to be friendly, it’s more of a social standard. But Canadians are still proud people who aren’t afraid of confrontation, so don’t say anything bad about their religion, hockey, or fake a Canadian accent.  

     7. Learn to Tip

While tipping in countries like Japan may not be customary, it is considered normal in Canada. Many servers earn less than minimum wage, and they expect a tip to make up the difference. It’s normal to add a 15-30% tip in restaurants, taxis, and salons. Tips may even be added to your bill automatically. 

    8. Weather

It’s true, the winters are very harsh in Canada. Temperatures regularly drop far below zero, and they remain that way well throughout winter. Depending on the region you’re in, interior provinces get down to -15°C and -40°C and then can get as high as 40°C in the Summer. If you don’t have cold weather clothing, your best bet is to purchase your winter coats and boots after you get there. 

So many people are looking to move to Canada, and it’s easy to see why. It’s a beautiful, mostly natural landscape, with lots of cultures. Be sure to do all your research before moving so you know what you are getting into. With this information, you’ll be able to quickly and easily settle into your new life in Canada.