How do you look for friends in Japan? Probably you can get to know people from schools if you are enrolled, or you may attend a sports club such as a football team or gym, or you can join the hobby classes like Japanese calligraphy and so on. There are different ways of meeting people and make friends with.
Today, I would like to bring up the volunteer opportunity which could be a possible occasion meeting up new people and begin a friendship. In addition, your skills could be useful for a good cause towards the community as well. Volunteer work will help you to understand the social situation in Japan and possibly this experience might help you get a job in Japan later on. I assume that, by communicating more to the Japanese people, you can also brush up your Japanese language.
Most of the cities in Japan have the centres called “volunteer center” and/or “international exchange center” which offer the cultural events, Japanese language courses, and law related services towards the foreigners who live in Japan. They usually look for some volunteers to introduce their own culture and country in the schools or in the public event they organized for promoting international exchanges. They closely work with NPOs (Not-for Profit Organizations) and NGOs (Non-Governmental Organizations) that they can dispatch you to these organizations for a speaker of their event, for instance. There might be a registration system according to the centres.
As I mentioned the name above, there are growing numbers of NPOs and NGOs in Japan. If their project is mainly in abroad, I am sure that the staffs can speak English as well. Of course, there are also branches of the international organizations such as Red Cross and amnesty international in Japan as well. They usually need a language proof reader and translator for their activities not only English but also other languages such as Chinese, Spanish and French. You can assist them probably as a event organizer and so on.
This volunteering would be regular basis if you can spare your time, but it could be also once-off. For example, the international cooperation festivals called Global Festa in Tokyo area and One World Festival in Osaka are held every year just for two days or so, and they need a day volunteers. Global Festa usually have more than 250 organizations related to international cooperation participated in and put up their own booth.
I participated in volunteer activity at Red Cross when I studied in the U.K., which gave me the enormous prospect to know the actual situation of refugees and acquire the knowledge about the legal procedure when they arrive at U.K. Furthermore, I met several people who have fascinating background through this volunteer experience. If you can have some time to spare toward local community, why don’t you try joining some activities? You may meet some people who are completely different from you which give you a new insight of your life.