November 2023 (VOL.193)
- Home country / state / city：France, Picardie
- Duration of living in Japan：4 years and a half
- Why do you live in Japan?：To get fresh air, discover and explore
- Instagram : @seeegard
What do you do in Japan?Can you talk about your job in Japan?
Right now, I have two jobs. I model as a main job, and I started a freelance tour guide activity. It’s more of a hobby than a job, but I’m trying to switch this to a proper job right now.
About modeling, I would say that it’s a lot of fun, and it was unexpected for me. I don’t have the « model type », especially in Europe. I started this activity after I got scouted in the street 4 years ago. Since then, I have taken every opportunity I have.
There are a lot of benefits to this job. Meeting lots of people, traveling, wearing cool clothes, and having nice photos and souvenirs!
Where do you live? Why did you choose to live there? How do you feel about living there?
I live in Setagaya-ku, in the Komazawa-Daigaku area. It’s a calm and residential area close to the Shimokitazawa/Sangenjaya area. I decided to live here because it’s the part of Tokyo that I like the most. It’s close to the city center, it’s quiet but full of museums, parks, cafes and restaurants.
I wouldn’t live anywhere else in Tokyo so I got to say that I feel really good living here!
What is the distinctive lifestyle difference between France and Japan?
The main thing is the peacefulness and the quality of life. You can live close to the city center area in a spacious apartment, having access to culture and good food for way cheaper than in Paris.
Living here is also way slower paced than in Paris.
What do you miss about your maternal country living in Japan?
As a French person, I would say cheese! It’s so expensive in Japan.
Outside of that, my family and friends and the late sunset during summer!
What do you find different about living in Japan over the term compared to when you first arrived or came as a tourist?
Being here all the time makes this place a bit less extraordinary and special than it used to be, but every time I go back to France for a few weeks and come back to Tokyo, the magic happens again!
What do you appreciate most about Japanese culture?
Japanese craftsmanship and knowledge. Their sense of detail and aesthetic research particularly.
The Japanese fashion also.
Which places in Japan do you recommend that foreigners see?
Outside of Tokyo, I would recommend going to Tohoku. It is a region often forgotten but has a lot to offer! I loved Aomori and the Towada lake area! I would also recommend Kyushu, especially Yufuin and Beppu.
The best places for Onsen lovers!
What parts of Japanese culture do you recommend that foreign people try to experience?
If I had one I would say Sumo, especially in Tokyo. I’ve been to the Ryogoku Kokugikan once and it was one of the most amazing experiences ever!
The underground car culture is cool too!
What are your favorite Japanese foods?
It changes often but right now I would say tonkatsu!
I have one of the best spots in Tokyo a few meters away from my place!
Were you hesitant to relocate to Japan?
Not really. It was not really planned at first. I was supposed to stay 6 months and leave so that question never really came to my mind.
Have you had any funny experiences since moving to Japan?
A lot! Mostly due to the language barrier or miscommunication.
Would you like to continue to live in Japan for the rest of your life, or do you think you will return to your home country? If so, why?
It’s really hard to tell right now. I don’t want to go back for now or in the coming years, but I do think I will go back to France at some point. It will also depend on the desires of my future wife (if I meet someone haha)
Writer: Minobu Kondo
Photojournalist in Tokyo, writing for Japanese and American magazines. Publishing an essay “101 of green stories” with the other Japanese artists such as Kosetsu Minami. Languages: Japanese, English and French.