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Doga-TV > Lifestyle > How easy is it to make Japanese friends? (Ask Stu #1)

How easy is it to make Japanese friends? (Ask Stu #1)

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Published on 06.07.2016 ‘How easy is it to make Japanese friends?’ asked Jorge Pacheno. Well, some foreigners find it difficult to make Japanese friends. They often complain that it’s hard to know what Japanese people are actually thinking.
It seems like Japanese are indecisive and their attitude is ambivalent. This is because culturally they tend to avoid saying ‘no’ and would rather stay unclear.
‘Honne’ and ‘Tatemae’ is often used to explain their ambivalence. ‘Honne’ are actual feelings and ‘Tatemae’ is the façade shown to the public. This double standard is a common unwritten rule in Japan. That is another reason why foreigners find it hard to understand their real intentions.
The Japanese tend to be perfectionists, in my opinion. They are scared of making mistakes. Studying English is compulsory in Japan in schools and most will have a certain level of knowledge in English, however, most of them won’t speak a word. This is because they don’t want to make any grammatical mistakes.
There is one situation where the Japanese forget about ‘Tatemae’ and being a perfectionist; when they get drunk. As Stu mentioned, most of the Japanese become super friendly after a couple of drinks. Japanese people love drinking and you can easily find vibrant bars in any town. If you ask ‘how easy is it to make Japanese friends?’, my answer is ‘it’s easy in bars’.

If you are a tourist and want to meet Japanese people and become friends, you can ask for a free tour guide at several volunteer organisations. The volunteers generally love to meet and speak to foreigners and are eager to welcome you.

‘TOKYO FREE GUIDE’ offers overseas visitors a free guided tour in and around Tokyo. They will take you to look around in locations at your request, free of charge. Although some volunteer guides may not speak English perfectly, they are full of energy with heart-warming hospitality and native cultural insight.
http://www.tokyofreeguide.org/

‘JTG Otasuke-tai’ is a part of the volunteer organisation ‘Japan Tour Guide’ that provides free guides around Japan. Otasuke-tai literally means ‘helpers’ troop’ and they will answer any questions on the spot. Unlike other volunteer organisations, the members of JTG Otasuke-tai are young people who want to meet foreign people and to learn about their cultures. They often end up going to restaurants or cafés together with the people they guide and continue their friendly chats.
You can find some of them at the Shibuya pedestrian crossing holding a yellow board saying ‘Ask anything, we can help you!’.
English article regarding Otasuke-tai: http://shibuyajournal.tokyo/japantourguide.html/

Source: Stu in Tokyo (Youtube)

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