Spring is the start of both the school year and the business years in Japan. That means that right about now thousands of newcomers are pouring into Tokyo, as they move to the capital to start college or their professional careers.

But the hustle and bustle of Tokyo is on a scale unlike any other town in the nation. Even people who’ve grown up in Japan sometimes stick out like a sore thumb when they first move to the capital, as illustrated in this six-point guide to spotting someone who just moved to Tokyo.

Twitter user Niichi shared the drawing, which shows a flustered young woman who’s seemingly just stepped off the bullet train from the Japanese countryside.

So what does Niichi say separates her from long-term Tokyoites?

1. She can’t tell how to get out of the station.

More than just transportation hubs, Tokyo’s major stations are often sprawling complexes with restaurants, travel agencies, shopping centers, and hotels all sharing space in the same structure as the ticket gates and platforms. Some stations, such as Shinjuku and Ikebukuro, are so large that you can easily spend 10 minutes or more walking without ever making your way out of the building.

2. There are too many signs, and all they’re doing is making her panic.

Having so many different entities and organizations inside the station, and so many exits that all spit you out in a different part of the neighborhood, obviously necessitates a lot of signage. But while veteran Tokyoites may be accustomed to keeping the East, Central East, Southeast, South, and New South exits all straight in their heads, and thus appreciate all the individual arrows pointing them towards each, newcomers are often just overwhelmed.

3. The guidebook that she was counting on isn’t helping her at all.

Japan, being made up of people with a penchant for travel, publishes tons of guidebooks every year, many of them focused on Tokyo. Unfortunately for this new arrival, they tend to be more focused on leisure travel, and having a fold-out map with the 20 tastiest ramen restaurants marked on it won’t necessarily help her find her way to her new school or office.

4. All of a sudden, she’s worried about her clothes being totally uncool.

Tokyo isn’t just the center of Japan’s educational and economic worlds, it’s also the nation’s fashion mecca. Almost all clothing trends emanate from Tokyo, and as image-conscious as young Japanese may be, that diffusion takes time. Some newcomers find they’ve gone from stylish to not in just the few hours that passed during their train ride to Tokyo.

5. There are too many people, so she can’t use her wheeled suitcase.

In order to keep shipping costs down, most people moving to Tokyo tend to arrive with a large suitcase of clothing and other essentials to tide them over until they receive the boxes they’ve mailed from home. And when you’ve got a heavy suitcase crammed with stuff, of course you’ll want to roll it, right? Unfortunately, during Tokyo’s rush hour station walkways can get so packed with people that pulling a suitcase behind you becomes impossible.

6. She’s bundled up because it was cold in her hometown, but now she’s actually uncomfortably hot.

Tokyo’s weather isn’t really notably warmer than most of the country’s other major cities. However, the urban landscape does tend to mean spending far less time outdoors in the elements. Plus, if you’ve just come from a rural, mountainous community, you might find you don’t need quite as warm a coat, especially if you’re sweating bullets from all the anxiety you’re feeling after arriving in the capital.

Put all these together, and we can kind of see why this girl is already thinking, “Geez, I wanna go home…”

Of course, there are always a couple of bumps along the road that takes you away from your hometown, regardless of where exactly it leads. Tokyo might seem intimidating at first, but it’s truly one of the greatest cities in the world, and odds are this girl will be acclimated and thriving in no time.

And besides, even if the big city starts getting her down, she can always take heart in knowing that people back home are rooting for her.

Source: Twitter
Top image: Pakutaso