Given the fact that 50K Americans and 500K Chinese live in Japan (Kashiwa has some 6,000 registered foreigners), it shouldn't be too difficult to live in Japan. People in Japan are in general very forgiving and friendly to non-Japanese.
IPMU offers free Japanese Language classes for two hours a day and a total of 40 hours for newly arrived scientists. They are meant for daily conversations for "survival" in Japan and Kashiwa in particular.
After finishing this course, you are welcome to sign up for more advanced Japanese classes offered on the campus free of charge (you must buy your own text).
To get around in the Greater Tokyo area, trains have reasonable English signs and you wouldn't run into much trouble. Most restaurants show plastic display of food they serve, and you can point at them to order them.
For more difficult tasks, such as applying for an Alien Registration Card at the City Hall, opening a bank account, and signing a lease of a property, we will do our best to find a translator to go along with you paid by IPMU.
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