Living in Japan can be a wonderful experience. Here are the six excellent tips to get the most out of your experience with foreigners in Japan:
1. Learn the language
Prioritize learning Japanese. You never know how long you will stay. Even if you stay only a short time, learning a little Japanese will help you to recover. Some come to Japan and think that they will remain for a short time and never know the language. Some of them stay for many years. Start learning the language from day one. At the basic level, you will be able to order food at restaurants, ask for directions and do many other things that make your life easier. On a more complex level, you will be able to talk to people, make friends and do many things that enrich your life.
2. Eat your food
So you come from an area where people do not eat sushi or sashimi? Try it. So, you do not like it? Please try again. Work on developing tastes for both. Living in Japan and avoiding many Japanese foods can make life difficult. Many of these foods are acquired tastes. Work on gaining flavour.
3. See the country
Many people visit Japan only for sightseeing, travelling and seeing a lot. Other people come for many years, but are busy with work or other things in their lives and travel little. From the coral reefs of Okinawa to the ancient capitals of Kyoto and Nara to the Sapporo Snow and Ice Festival, Japan has a lot to see. Take advantage of everything while you’re here.
4. Join a group
Japan is a group-oriented society. Find a group that does something you are interested in whether it is cooking, surfing, hiking, mountaineering, skiing, skating, archery, calligraphy, origami, go or shogi. If you are not interested in any of these activities, sports or games, find something else. Joining a group is a great way to meet people, make friends and have the opportunity to use Japanese. Once you are in a group, you are welcome to do everything the group does. People in the group will also invite you to do other things outside the group. Joining a group is especially important for people who work in an English-speaking environment.
5. Find a coffee shop
Cafes can be a great place to meet people, make friends and practice your Japanese. If you live in an area where you are one of the few westerners, then a few visits to the café may be necessary for people there to get used to you. Places with tables are the best. If you are sitting at the front desk, you can talk to the people who work there and other regulars who sit at the front desk. You never know where some of these meetings might lead: new friends, new jobs, or new knowledge. Just go to the cafe, hang out and see what happens. The amount of Japanese you speak will probably also affect the speed at which things happen. If your Japanese is not so good yet, bring a Japanese book or two and study.
Remember that this will probably never be your country.
Japan is a beautiful place, but remember that this will probably never be your country, not unless your ancestors were Japanese. This could change in the future if immigration issues increase significantly. Now, however, most Japanese view people as Japanese and foreigners. Foreigner, for most Japanese, is a positive word, not a negative one. You will hear young people say that foreigners are cool; many young women say they want to marry foreigners. Yet Japan will never be your country. No matter how good your Japanese is or how long you have lived in Japan, people keep asking if you can use studs. Remember, in some ways, Japan will never be your country, even if you take Japanese citizenship.