Is it Easy to Make Friends in Japan? My Experience

I have lived in Japan since January of 2015, and I have found it both extremely fun, and at times difficult to work my head around the process of making friends in Japan. There are many factors to consider including Japanese culture specific culture such as honne and tatemae, as well as a cultural difference in timing. In this post, I ‘ll go over my experience making friends in Japan over the last 7 years. Is it easy to make Japanese friends in Japan? It’s different…the way of making friends is certainly more formulaic in comparison to the west. I feel that this is one of the great barriers to forming relationships in Japan for westerners. Spontaneity is not a concept that has a strong hold in Japanese culture. Relationships are typically segmented into varying levels within the Japanese social structure, with strong consideration to where people stand within a kind of ‘social-progress-bar.’ In order to become friends with somebody, first you need to become acquaintances. Then after ‘X’ amount of times meeting you may become friends. Then you may graduate to the titular ‘good friend’, and then ‘closer friend.’ In essence, you level up through various milestones .While the … Continue reading Is it Easy to Make Friends in Japan? My Experience