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BambooTelegraph
June 9th, 2015, 12:21
If you've got any general advice for newbies or regulars (especially if you've been here in Japan for the JET Program or other work). Post it!

BambooTelegraph
June 9th, 2015, 12:22
Food Allergies and Alternatives

Don't give up hope! There are plenty of ways to continue enjoying Japan if you have allergies or food intolerances.

Lactose Intolerant/Allergy:
- Knowing this kanji: 牛乳 (milk) when I first arrived, would have saved me from a lot of unnecessary pain and suffering.
Note: If you drink soy milk, you'll find 乳化剤 on it. Not to worry, as it's just the kanji for emulsfying agent.

Gluten Intolerant/Allergy:
- Knowing this kanji: 小麦(wheat) will be helpful in determining what's a safe food and what isn't.
- If you're gluten intolerant, yet still want to enjoy the succulent taste of soy sauce, fret not. It's very easy (provided you live in a large city) to find gluten free soy sauce. Just look for this kanji: 小麦なし (no wheat) when you're hunting through the sauce section.
Note:Recently, within the past year or so, a lot of コンビニ's have been changing their recipes their sushi rolls to include gluten. Why? I have no clue. So if you do find something you can eat at a コンビニ it might not hurt to just check the recipe (every so often).

Family Planning / Birth Control

Birth Control:
If you're coming to Japan (or you've been here for a while) you will find out (or already know) that Birth Control is a little outdated here. While there are a few options, you won't find as large of a selection as if you were coming from the United States/Canada or other Commonwealth Countries. I've had a few close friends who have ordered BC in Japan and the general opinion is that what's available is at least ten or so years behind the current trends.

Note: You'll find that a lot of BC in Japan often contains side effects that might not be present in your home country's BC.

Condoms:
Condoms are easy enough to find, but they're usually made for Japanese consumption. If this is something you prefer, that's great. But if you like to have your own brand it might not be a bad idea to bring a box or two from your home country. You can also order them via Amazon International for a little under $1 a piece. Just stick with 1 box at a time.

Note: Ordering condoms via Amazon can be a complete hassle. If you order more than 1 box (of 24), customs can/will hold it for destruction. As far as I'm aware, each individual condom is considered a single piece. When shipping items into Japan, they have a limit on the number of cosmetics that sent (It's 30).

Plan B / Morning After Pill:
While it is true that condoms and birth control are slowly becoming more and more ubiquitous in Japan, Plan B and the morning after pill are not. While Plan B is available, it will cost you about 400 to 500 dollars, out of pocket, and that's if you can find it. If you're placed in the country or the inaka, it will become very hard to find it. In the city, less so. That said, if it's possible for you to buy a few packages of Plan B (over the counter) in your home country, do so.

Note: At least in the US, it's about $40-50.

Food / Drinks

Umeshuu:





note: If anything I post is wrong, or needs updating, just let me know!

Saga
June 10th, 2015, 01:09
Thanks for the heads-up about wheat in konbini foods! Definitely good to know.