Greetings again, and thank you for following my journey, living in Japan!
It’s been 2 weeks since arriving to Tokyo Japan, and I’ve finally gotten used to my surroundings (I only get lost once a day, instead of 5 times a day), I can finally ask for what I want in a shop, without playing a game of charades each time, and I’ve started my teaching day job!
This is all good and well, however one thing that I wondered, was how does a non-speaking foreigner like myself make actual friends here? To be honest I wasn’t concerned with this initially, as I had hoped to buy a kitten. However, my landlord forbids it. As such I am left with no choice but to forge bonds with actual humans (Bah).
In many ways, making fellow Gaijin friends in Japan is easier than in our own western countries, as we don’t have the luxury of having both family and friends around us.
Regarding making friends: Are there spots to go? Bars? Clubs? Online groups? These things went through my mind during my flight. I joined a few groups on Facebook, which to be perfectly honest was a waste of time. In my opinion, they’re basically guises where females produce the most cringe and raunchy, low quality pics of themselves for guys to say how sexy they are. Thankfully I made a nice handful of fellow teachers through my work (Yaaaay!). They too are foreigners that have journeyed thousands of miles across the ocean to be here, which is kind of nice to know that others are in similar positions.
In many ways, making fellow Gaijin friends in Japan is easier than in our own western countries, as we don’t have the luxury of having both family and friends around us. In Japan it’s just you, which forces you to not be complacent. In London, if there was a show or expo around, which could potentially bring forth new friends and acquaintances, I would more than likely not go – as I already had a circle of friends and family. Naturally I don’t have that here, which in many ways is a good thing, as this forces me to make more of an effort.
In a nutshell, there is no one way to make friends abroad, just like there is no one way to make friends at home. All you need is to put yourself out there, more than you used to.
Btw, if you’re thinking of making native Japanese friends however, and you don’t speak Japanese yourself… forget it (which shouldn’t be too surprising to hear). Without knowing how to have a conversation in Japanese, you’ll only make Gaijin friends. This is fine of course – however if you hope to make at least one Japanese pal, you’d better crack open that text book and learn some Japanese!
Thank you for reading and see you next time!