How to Make Friends While in Japan | Guidable - Your Guide to a Sustainable, Wellbeing-centred Life in Japan

How to Make Friends While in Japan

By Guidable Writers Aug 25, 2017


You will surely never run out of activities to keep yourself busy with while you are living in Japan. However, living abroad can be lonely sometimes, especially during the first few months of being away from home. Wherever you are in the world, one of the things that makes life less lonely is when you have friends to share everything with.


Guidable doesn’t want you to be lonely while you are in Japan, so aside from sharing with you some places and events where you can find acquaintances and friends when in Japan, here below are some friendly reminders on how to find your tribe and how to win new tomodachi while you are here!


1. Again, be yourself 

Don’t be afraid to be yourself! Keep doing what you love, as this will surely lead you to like-minded people who love the same things. If your hobbies include arts and crafts, you will surely find new pals at arts events. Be genuine and you will surely attract genuine friends.


2. Accept invitations

Getting a virtual friend invite on social media is surely fun and a good start for a lasting friendship, but don’t miss out on real invitations to hang out. You can choose what events to attend, but make sure not to miss invitations from acquaintances who share the same interests with you. Getting an invitation is a sign that the sender is comfortable going to an event with you. It’s also your chance to expand your network by meeting more of your friend’s circle of friends.


3. Ask questions politely

Every relationship, friendships included, develops from the getting-to-know-each-other phase. One of the best ways to get to know a person is to ask questions. Don’t be scared to ask about things that interest you, and just make sure to phrase it well and to use polite language.


4. Be a good listener

If you are the introvert type and are caught in a situation in which you are surrounded by mostly extroverts, don’t freak out. The best thing you can do is just to listen to what they have to share anyway. People will appreciate it when they see and feel that you value the things they tell you. This will also encourage them to share and be more open about themselves.


5. Use small talk to find something in common

Talk about something you both love to do, or traits you both share. If you are both sports enthusiasts, talk about sports or teams that you both like. Exchange ideas and just go with the flow. You can talk naturally with someone, even someone you have just met for the first time, if the topic is something you are both interested in.


6. Remember names

Make sure you get the names right. In situations where neither of you have calling cards to exchange each with each other, it doesn’t hurt to record their name and contact details somewhere. You can also add them directly to contacts in your phone, on LINE, etc. Another thing is to make sure you pronounce their name right.


7. Be genuinely interested in people

Forget your fear of being rejected or ignored. If you really want to make friends, you have to be genuinely interested in getting to know different kinds of people no matter the outcome. They can sense, just like you would, if you are being sincere with your intentions to get to know them better.


8. Don’t judge people

You have your own standards when it comes to the kind of friendship you want to have, and that’s okay. However, don’t let this cloud your judgments about the people you will meet, because in many cases, you become closest with the person you liked the least at first. Just remember to be open-minded.


9. Make the effort to stay in touch

Find time to connect with them online, or meet them again on some other occasion. Don’t be afraid to make plans, and feel free to be the first to open it up.


10. Smile

Your smile says a lot about you. It’s a gift you can share with others, and one of the best you can give to people you’re meeting for the first time. Show them your genuine smile.



Remember that this list won’t guarantee you an instant best friend for life, but the above points will surely help you find friendships you can nurture from here on out. The world becomes a less lonely place once you have buddies to share the laughter and tears with 🙂