Seamlessly Transition to Living in Tokyo

Thrive Tokyo Testimonial

“Thrive Tokyo is a must-have resource for any newcomer to Japan. Katheryn's invaluable practicality and information makes the transition to this fascinating country and culture less challenging. I highly recommend Thrive Tokyo & Katheryn as you forge forward or even as a non-newcomer looking to explore a healthy lifestyle and become your best self.”

-Jess Valentin, Johnson & Johnson

Christopher Charles - Testimonial

At the time I reached out to Katheryn, things were crazy. I was managing a new leadership position, move to a new home, and a variety of other personal matters.

Katheryn is a superstar. I would recommend Katheryn to anyone who needs personalized service to help them with any and all aspects of their life. She is extremely knowledgable, detail oriented, articulate, prompt and fully capable of supporting families, expats, and executives who need another set of eyes to see and manage the things that matter most.

-Christopher Charles, Founder

Looking for a shortcut to feeling confident and self-reliant living in Tokyo (even though you don’t speak Japanese)? This will help you:

  • Never walk out of the store with the wrong product again (no more accidents like buying drinkable yogurt instead of milk, or ointment instead of toothpaste).

  • Do you errands in record time - because you know where to go, how to get there, and what to buy.

  • Gain back your valuable time (because you can quit spending it on research, research, research).

  • Feel comfortable with Japanese people - because you know how they think and operate, even if you can’t speak the language.

You will learn about practical, day-to-day living in Tokyo through interactive education and consulting

By the end of our sessions together, you will have the tools and knowledge you need to be self-sufficient in Japan and confident in your ability to thrive.

Each topic I present to you will cover why cultural values affect available products and systems, how to get your daily tasks accomplished with ease, and what variable resources exist that affect your individual needs.

Sample Orientation Agenda:

The following is a sample agenda to give you an idea of what an orientation program can look like. I am happy to deliver this knowledge as is, or customize based on your needs.

This particular agenda can be completed over an 8 hour day, or we can break up the sessions to fit with your schedule. I can meet you either at your home or a meeting space in Roppongi.
Note: If you have been living in Japan for 6 months or less, my recommendation is to start with this outlined program.

Introduction to the Expat Life-cycle
Identify the 3 most common pitfalls expats face and learn strategies for how to overcome them for a smooth transition

Understand Japanese currency, when to use cash vs credit cards, tipping culture, point card systems, how to make bank transfers, and how to make bill payments, for ease of mind with transactions

Gain knowledge about the JR and Tokyo Metro systems & maps, Suica/Pasmo overview, transportation apps, understanding addresses, public transport etiquette, and traveling outside of the city in order to increase self-reliance day-to-day

Post Office
Gain awareness of the different kinds of delivery systems in Japan, having items delivered to your home, what to do when you receive a missed-delivery notice, and how to send packages

Drug Store Overview
This workshop is designed to simplify the experience of shopping in a drug store by breaking down the products into categories and educating on how to make selections.

  1. Toiletries
    Identify the many kinds of shampoos, skincare, toothpastes, deodorants, lotions, razors, and feminine hygiene products to take advantage of using local products

  2. Cleaning Supplies
    Understand the differences between detergents, various benefits (i.e. anti-bacterial, bleach, items for sensitive skin), the amounts to use, and how to use spray bottles for confidence in accomplishing laundry and home-cleaning

  3. Medicine
    Education on the different kinds of drug store medications, the differences between medicine in Japan and abroad, and also the differences between Eastern herbal-style traditional medicines and Western modern medicine.

Food Information
This session provides expats with assurance on where to shop, how to use Japanese products, and how they can expand their food knowledge when reassessing their diets.

    1. Product Sourcing
      Learn what different kinds of products are found in grocery stores, farmer’s markets, department stores, convenience stores, and more

    2. Dining Culture
      Understand Japanese food culture including how and what they eat, seating styles, menu styles, teishoku, bento, and more

    3. Product Information
      Break down food labels, food pricing, and common Japanese household ingredients to make the best selections for health

Grocery Store & Drug Store Tour
Excursion to nearby supermarket and drug store to point out products discussed in the information session and help individuals make purchases to get them started. 

Food Information Session
Thrive Tokyo Orientation Testimonial
Katheryn Leading Discussion
Testimonial - Orientation Program

You will receive this 50-Page reference guidebook:

Orientation Program - Cover
Orientation Program - Food Products
Orientation Program - Post Office

Meet Your Consultant

Katheryn Gronauer

My name is Katheryn and I’m a transition consultant for foreigners new to Tokyo.

Here are 3 reasons why you can trust working with me:

1. I've helped thousands of foreign residents and visitors with cultural education and lifestyle through my background working at a credit card concierge.

I served elite cardholders (AMEX Centurion, Coutts Silk, Visa Infinite, Citibank Ultima, Diners Club Premium, etc.) with lifestyle assistance in Japan. The most complex request I received was a romantic weekend getaway where all transportation was via helicopter...but I've also handled simple requests like explaining Japanese dining culture. You need someone who has knowledge of a wide variety of lifestyles + an understanding of how systems work in Tokyo to help you customize your lifestyle to your needs.

2. I'm Half-Japanese (“Hafu")

My mother is from Tokyo and my father is American. I have a unique background where I understand Japanese culture from a native's perspective, but at the same time I still encountered all the challenges foreigners face when I officially moved to Tokyo in 2009. Not only can I understand the challenges you are facing, I can also explain the cultural differences better than Japanese people who aren’t aware of what makes their culture unique, and foreigners who have not been raised in Japan.

3. I’m a certified health and wellness coach

I’m dedicated to helping people thrive - the first step in you wellbeing is supporting you in becoming confident and self-sufficient living in a foreign country.

Getting Started

Please contact me via the form below so we can arrange a chat to discuss this new chapter in your life and how I can be of assistance.
I will respond by the end of the next business day. I look forward to connecting with you!

Name *


Do you have examples of customization?

Customizations are great if you have something specific you’d like to accomplish together. Here are examples of clients who have chosen Customized Sessions:

Example 1

A vegan learns about food culture and grocery stores and then benefits from customization to learn about vegan restaurants, festivals/events, social circles, and an excursion to a Japanese health food store.

Example 2

An expat worker is curious about Japanese technology and home appliances, and then expands his knowledge through a private session where we visit Bic Camera to look at various appliances he may want for his apartment.

Example 3

A mother with a toddler does not have time to dedicate to a full day orientation. I go directly to her home to educate her on the orientation content, discuss options related to families and children, and do excursions local to her neighborhood while she brings her toddler along.

Can I bring my child?

Yes, since these are private sessions I’m happy to visit your home as you care for your child. However if you’d like to meet at a meeting space outside your home, the venue I use does not permit children.