You can pull up a chart of virtually any JPY cross but lets look specifically at USD/JPY on a 1 hour time frame.
Looking back from June 20 to present ( so lets say 5 or 6 full trading days ) you can clearly see that price has ranged “sideways” within a very small range of around 100 pips. If you’d have been lucky enough to “short” at the exact top of the range….or gone “long” at the exact bottom – you may have been able to squeeze off a decent trade depending on your TP ( take profits) and who know’s maybe you grabbed 25 – 50 pips somewhere in there. Great.
What most likely happened ( as with any most trade systems ) is that you got confirmation to enter about 25 pips late on either side, and ended up entering either long or short dead smack in the middle – and have now spent a full week wondering daily – “Is this thing going up or down?”.
For the new comer there really is no easy answer here. The smaller time frames will grind both your emotions and your account to dust. The absolute best suggestion I can make is again -TRADE SMALL.
Now pull up a daily of USD/JPY – Is “that” trading sideways?
Here you’ve got alot more information to go on – a downward sloping trend line, horizontal lines of support and resistance, you’ve got lots of historical price action to look at, as well all the longer term moving averages and indicators you may also have on your screen.
Trade small over time and look to the larger time frames for direction – and ideally you WILL survive the dreaded “sideways”.