Moving to a new place, like Japan, can be daunting, especially when we don’t know anyone yet. Having Japanese friends before moving to Japan is definitely better, however, if you happen to have no local friends yet, here are some tips to consider when socializing and making friends in Japan.
You don’t have to be lonely, make friends in Japan now!
1.Get involved in the local community.
In Japan cities, Tokyo neighborhood for example, you will seldom get to talk to your neighbor next door, but worry not. Reach out to your local community, get to know some of the key people, heads of associations, local officials and young leaders, and find time to volunteer in some of the regular community events like lifestyle bazaars, fun runs, among others, where you will most likely stumble upon both local and foreign folks.
2.Tap online communities.
Lurk into your online and social media circles and meet people of the same interests through these helpful websites like Meetup, and Friends in Japan, to name a few. You can also search for different Facebook groups of gaijins (meaning foreigners) from different areas in Japan, join in Twitter conversations among foreigners living in Japan, and even follow YouTube channels of those who have been living in Japan for a while now. Of course! don’t forget to check our very own Guidable SNS pages. You can check and follow our Guidable facebook page to stay updated about recent happenings in Japan. These online communities will surely connect you to more people, whom you can relate to and who are most likely looking for friends, too, just like you.
3. Visit night clubs or bars.
Cafe n’ Bar, Sports Bar, Robot Bar, and what not, are a lot in Tokyo, especially in Roppongi, Shinjuku or Ikebukuro, which are places popular for night out events. Visiting bars isn’t only about drinking but it’s also meeting new people from all over the world, where you can have fun together with.
4.Don’t miss the festivals.
In Japan, festivals of different kinds are here and there. Aside from the Spring festivals, another one you just can’t miss is the Summer Festival, which is famous for its spectacular fireworks display or so-called Hanabi Festival. There are other international, cultural and music festivals, as well, like U.S Friendship Day Festival, Thai fest, and Reggae fest, among others, where you can surely mingle with friends from different countries.
5. Join free Japanese classes.
If you want to make friends, especially from the local areas, you’ve got to learn at least the basic Nihonggo expressions. There is a free Japanese class organized by the city office in Japan. It’s a good opportunity to learn the language and at the same time make friends with Japanese who will help you learn speak and write the language faster.
6. Just Be yourself.
Yes, you read that right – Be Yourself. Be it in Japan or wherever you are, don’t be afraid to be yourself and always keep an open mind about people’s differences. But always be mindful and don’t break any laws or regulations. Never settle for stereotypes about the people you meet, because at the end of the day, you can never truly judge anyone that easily. Getting to know someone and keeping the friendship takes time, effort and mutual understanding.
A good Japanese friend of mine said it best, that we can’t judge people from their nationalities, and that if you make some friends pretending to be someone else, you can never find the real ones. It doesn’t matter where you are, just be yourself, and you’re surely attract the right people you can get along best!