[I Live in Japan] Interview Series of Foreigners Who Live in Japan – Ms. Kelly Elizabeth
from Michigan, USA
Occupation: YouTuber/ Influencer/ Content creator/ English teacher
Duration of living in Japan: 6 years
Why do you live in Japan? Japan is the most different from my culture. Every day is beautiful and exciting here!
What is the distinctive difference between American and Japanese lifestyle?In Japan, everything is very small. People live as minimalists and work very hard. The people are more polite, the country is much cleaner than my own, and most of the time I feel a lot safer. Japan also has a lot of mountains, nature, and preserved history. Japan has a lot of respect for their culture and the atmosphere is much more peaceful.
America is very beautiful with a lot of history as well but my country is very big, people do not live as minimalists and a lot of places are much dirtier and not kept clean. Americans speak their mind which is a good thing but I understand that to others around the world, this can come off as rude. In America, I have to drive my car everywhere whereas in Japan, they have a unique train system. I love it!
My country is amazing but I feel that my heart is in Japan because I have so much more to learn!
What parts of Japanese culture do you recommend that foreign people try to experience?It may be uncomfortable for some, but I highly recommend trying the onsen hot springs. Japan is all about health and well being. On a more fun note, karaoke is a must in Japan.
Are there any aspects of the Japanese culture or its people that you find bizarre or unique?I think a mix of both is what I find unique! For example, there are cartoon versions and mascots for everything! I think the Japanese work culture is very tough, so seeing cute cartoon characters on billboards, signs, and shops can kind of ease your mind a little, if that makes any sense. It always makes me smile and laugh when I see cartoon characters everywhere. Japan is very creative!
The people are very kind but very robotic, everything is said and done a proper and specific way which is not a bad thing! Everyone here is so helpful, welcoming, and kind. It made living here so much easier to do.
What do you do in Japan?I am a content creator on my YouTube channel, Lovelyzkelly. I do a lot of promotional work for brands, hotels, travel locations, and services. I love showcasing what Japan has to offer. There is so much to discover in this country so I try to capture as much of its beauty as I can.
On the side, I am an English teacher for children. I teach over one hundred students a week and have had a love for teaching since I was a little girl. It was my dream to teach in another country and learn another language.
What are the main contents of your YouTube channel?Lovelyzkelly is a Japan-based travel and lifestyle brand promoting life abroad, travel tips, and advice on daily life across social media platforms. My followers seek information about the latest trends in Japan, where to go during their travels, and facts about living or traveling in another country. I want my channel to influence others to break free from their comfort zones to live, work, or travel in Japan and around the world. I believe travel and educating yourself about other cultures is the best way to live a successful and happy life.
I hope to travel beyond Japan and reach larger audiences with my channel. My vision is to inspire others to open their minds to new adventures and experiences in order to do what I worked hard to accomplish myself.
Why did you start making videos on YouTube?I started YouTube as a way to use my creative and anxious mind. I am always thinking of ways to express myself and I thought video producing would be a great way to do this. I wanted my friends and family back home to see how my life is here in Japan and I feel I am accomplishing that.
*This article was originally published on JapanUP! in August, 2019.
About JapanUP! Magazine
Established in 2007. Informational magazine distributed in Los Angeles and Chicago with over 50,000 copies published every month. Information and advertisements on Japanese cuisine, culture, tourism, and more in English for anyone interested in Japan.