When you use the て-form to link sentences, you are implying that there is some relationship (other than just one thing happened after the other) between the clauses. -て must imply some sort of casual relationship.
The relationship can be weak (it is a weaker relationship than using から = "because", for example). But in your example there is some causal relationship between "went to japan" and "studied" so it would be strange to read that sentence as studied somewhere other than japan.
If you want to just say one thing happened after another thing (no relationship other than temporal), you can use -てから.
If you want to just list things that happened (in no order), you can use -たり, -たり, or -し, -し constructions.
As an example consider the following dialog:
A: What have you been up to this week?
B: Well, I worked, I played tennis on tuesday, drank beers with my friends, went to the movies,...
It would be incorrect to link the clauses in B's response with the -て form since they are just listing activities that they did this week with no temporal or causal relationship.