Like many other young graduates, 22-year-old Lindsay Ann Hawker travelled to Japan to experience ex-pat life and earn money while teaching English.
The "popular" former Leeds University student left her home in Brandon, near Coventry, in October last year and headed for a job with teaching company Nova, at Koiwa school in Tokyo.
But, just five months after her arrival, her body has been found in a bath full of sand on the fourth-floor balcony of an apartment in Ichikawa, Chiba prefecture, east of the capital.
She had been reported missing on Monday by her employers after she failed to answer her mobile phone when her flatmate called.
Miss Hawker's father, Bill, and boyfriend, Ryan Garside, have travelled to Tokyo to officially identify her body.
Since hearing of her death, those in her home county of Warwickshire who knew Miss Hawker have been delivering flowers and paying tribute.
A neighbour near the family home described her as "a lovely girl" and told how Miss Hawker once helped her find her pet cat.
George Fisher, head teacher of King Henry VIII's School, in Coventry, which Miss Hawker attended until four years ago, said she was fondly remembered.
"I knew Lindsay well," he said. "She was a very popular student and the school and staff are devastated.
"I have been giving the news to staff who taught her."
There were no plans to close the school, he added, but staff and pupils would be remembering Miss Hawker.
After leaving school, she went to Leeds University, graduating in 2006, and then travelled to Japan.
A spokeswoman from the Nova language school in London said Miss Hawker started
teaching in Tokyo at the end of October last year.
"Lindsay took her job very seriously and put every effort into it," the spokeswoman said.
"She was trying very hard to get used to Japan. We are very sorry that this incident has taken place."
Messages posted on the Facebook internet site, used by Miss Hawker to communicate with friends and family, had several messages from her to her boyfriend, Mr Garside, from Durham.
The last was on 20 March and described how she had been followed home.
The final line reads: "Love u lots dont worry abt the gut (guy) who chased me home, its jus crazy Japan. miss u xxx."