Being a foreign software engineer in Tokyo has its ups and downs. If you work in a company of foreigners you’re mostly shielded from the experience, but if you work in an actual Japanese company there’s going to be some things that will shock you, some things that will amuse you, and doubtless many things that will frustrate you. This is a run-down of my own personal experiences. As with anything, this is all anecdotal. I’m certain there are better and worse situations than what I will describe here. That being said, I hope this serves as a data point for those considering an engineering job at a Japanese company in Tokyo, or a wake-up call for those whose cognitive dissonance is strong enough to blind them to the less ideal parts of life abroad.