Special Feature 「Japanese Culture that Amazes the World」Vol.2. Conversations

04/28/2016 (mm/dd/yyyy)



Even after living in Japan for a long time, there are still things that foreigners have questions about.
Please feel free to ask us for information about life in Japan.

I don’t have Japanese friends. I can’t make conversations with them.
I find it difficult to communicate with Japanese people. They don’t seem to understand me.


The hardest things about living abroad are language barrier and cultural differences.

Would you like to study Japanese again?  Your Japanese teacher is your closest ally.

Once you speak a little Japanese, let’s make friends.

Do you know anyone at your workplace or anyone with connections to your children or family?

First, opportunities such a greeting your neighbors when you run into each other, taking out the garbage, or participating in community events are good ways to meet people.  Try to smile.  This alone will put a Japanese person at ease.  There is hope if the person returns your smile or your greetings. The next time you run into each other, try to talk about the weather.




If you have a child attending kindergarten or elementary school, the things you need to ask your co-parents and the teachers will increase.  Initially, even if the conversations will revolve on your children, try to ask about different things. It is necessary to ask about things that you don’t understand for your child’s sake.  When you participate in sports or musical groups or any special interest groups, fully show them your ability aside from your language skills.



I have been chosen as a community leader/ school PTA board member.


Have you been selected for something that you don’t really like to do and is thinking of refusing the job? Because I am a foreigner, I will commit language mistakes, can’t pronounce words properly……I can’t read nor write well, I will most likely be overwhelmed by anxiety. But, you can definitely do it. As a foreigner, explicitly say that you don’t know a lot of things and would need help. There will be someone, who can certainly help you out. Try to give your best effort in doing the job. You will realize that you not only made friends but also improved your Japanese.

The keys to making friends!

  1. Be open-minded
  2. If you can, participate in activities that you like without any second thought.
  3. Smile

The extent of your openness to others, widens your human relationships.



2016.02.28 Takako Tomita