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Things you can't buy in Japan
You'll have to get used to it eventually, but you can put it off as long as possible.  

1.  Fluoride toothpaste

2.  Deodorant.  
    Okay, they do sell cans that say deodorant, but its really 
    just aerosol perfume.  Japanese people don't sweat, so don't be fooled by 
    these products.  You'll kick yourself if you run out of your own with several 
    weeks of sweat drenched summer ahead of you.  Bring the extra value size, 
    and have someone who can ship you more in the future.  

3.  Vitamins. (and mineral supplements)
    They are really expensive and come in really small bottles.  

4.  Drugs.
    They do sell the same aspirins here, but it may take a while to figure out which 
    box is for PMS and which is for constipation.  Just remember, drugs with codeine
    can't be brought in.  If your caught, anyway.  If you know you'll need something 
    for headaches or cramps, bring a full bottle or two with you.  

5.  Tampons.
    Once again, if you find them, they come in really small boxes and cost a lot.  
    Its a really embarrassing topic for store clerks, so don't think you can ask 
   for help in locating them.  Bring an economy size supply.

6.  Condoms
    I won't pretend to have any experience here, but from what I've heard 
    they do come in different sizes.  Its also not a popular practice, so if you 
    plan on partying upon your arrival, I would come prepared.  They aren't 
    however, impossible to find, so don't think you have to come prepared for 
    a whole year.  I also don't think they have birth control pills readily available 
    here, you'll have to check on how many months' supply your allowed to bring in.

7.  Makeup.
    Anything but foundation is abundant.  Foundations come in yellow skin tones.  
   Any other cosmetic or skin care product can be found, with a much better selection, too.

8.  English reading material.
    In six months you'll be elated to read a trash rag if it's in English.  Large cities 
    have expensive foreign book stores, your local JET chapter may have a library.  
    If you know you'll be stuck in the country, and you have room, bring some books. 
   Make room for at least one.

9.  Pictures of your home.
    Obviously, but you might be too busy to think of it.  Take some photos of your 
    house, inside and out, and your family and friends.  It will make your first day 
    of work a lot easier.  Any local sites, or fairs, will go over great.  Even cars 
    and pets.  Any magazines with photos of your country are also great.

10.  Souvenirs from your hometown.
    A lot of people will be busy preparing for your arrival, bring a couple small 
    gifts for your supervisor and boss.  You may be invited to someone's home as
    a guest, its customary to bring a gift.  Something small from home will go over 
    great, and save you the trouble of shopping when you first arrive.  Local tourist
    boards often have promotional gifts for schools or businesses, ask about it.

11.  Whole grain bread, Turkey sandwiches, and Dr. Pepper.
    You can't bring it with you, but you can stuff yourself so silly that when 
    you leave you don't even want to look at it for another year.

* Email me any questions or comments and I'll add to the list.



  Hey! What time is it in Japan?

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