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Nick88's avatar

Americans and other westerners visiting or living in Japan?

Asked by Nick88 (61points) 1 week ago

I’m quite familiar with some elements of Japanese culture and etiquette. If and whenever this covid crisis gets under control, I would very much love to visit Japan for at least a couple weeks.
For one thing, I’m a big retro video arcade game fan, so I’d love to go to some of their arcade game centers wherever they may have them. I’d like to make new friends both male and female. I’m willing to learn to speak a little Japanese with the aid of a book to carry with me. I really admire and respect the Japanese culture and people. I’m autistic and I’m very reserved. However, I’ve also heard stories of people visiting and living in Japan, and then leaving there going home disillusioned with the culture as they didn’t feel very welcomed. I realize I’ll always be seen as a foreigner while in Japan but like anywhere else I can earn their respect and friendliness. I want to enjoy the culture, not become disillusioned with it. If I were to ever live in Japan for a short period of time and then go back home to the States in the future, what can I do to make the most of my time there? Someone said foreigners living in Japan would do better working in international companies than in Japanese ones due to differences in work culture. In the case of visiting for a couple weeks, do you suggest staying at a hotel or ryokan? Thanks so much.

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3 Answers

Hawaii_Jake's avatar

I lived in Japan for 4 years, worked for a big Japanese company which continued after that residency, and speak the language. It’s a wonderful country. The people are very friendly. Making an effort to speak Japanese will greatly impress them. If you are a native English speaker and have a university degree in absolutely any subject, I strongly recommend you check out the Japan English Teacher program. You can live there for a few years and teach in the schools and really get to know the culture intimately.

I’m available for PM, too.

JLeslie's avatar

Japan is fabulous. Many of the people working in restaurants and other service industries like Taxi drivers speak some English and many road signs are bilingual, especially in large cities. You can always just have an address written down if you need help getting somewhere.

The Japanese people are very polite and very customer oriented.

Roppongi area in Tokyo has quite a lot of Americans and people from other western countries and some US and many international restaurants. I had really good Mexican food in the area.

Definitely learn some basic words and phrases in Japanese to show your effort. I really enjoyed learning some Japanese. We had a small Berlitz book with us all of the time, but of course now you can use an app or website on your smartphone. You can read up a little about etiquette and customs too. Most people in the service industries are familiar with international visitors.

I stayed with friends, but if I had not stayed with friends except for one night in Kyoto. I probably would have just stayed in a hotel the whole time if they hadn’t had room for us.

KNOWITALL's avatar

My ex-Marine uncle has lived in Okinawa for 30 years, happy to hook you two up if you head that way.

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