Making & Maintaining Friendships in Japan

Friends are important, especially when you’re trying to adjust to a life in a foreign country.  One issue I often hear from other foreigners who spend any amount of time living here is that it’s hard to make close relationships or friendships, especially with Japanese people.

To some extent this is a valid concern.  Making acquaintances in Japan is really easy because Japanese people are usually friendly, polite, and curious about getting to know foreigners.  Then for some reason it seems pretty common that foreigners will eventually hit a wall and never move the friendship beyond that “acquaintance” stage.  Japanese and Western culture differ in many ways, so it shouldn’t surprise you that the Japanese approach to making new relationships is also slightly different.  Once you learn to recognize and consider a more “Japanese” approach to meeting people, it’s a lot easier to make and get closer to new friends here.

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