Saturday, November 13, 2010

Strange experience in Japan.

Last year when I took my husband to Japan for the first time, the first thing he felt was people's indifference to Foreigners.

For many Japanese who don't speak foreign language and never dealt with people from overseas, being friendly to them may not be easy - because of the unfamiliarity and the barriers of language and culture.

I told him that friendliness of people really depends on where he goes to and who he talks to. And as days passed by, we met more friendly Japanese.

Strangely enough, there weren't many friendly (western) foreigners either.
For a western bloke who's visiting Japan for the first time, it's a relief to see westerners in Japan.

Yet when we were there, not one of them said 'hi' on the street or on a train.

In the third week we met a couple at an Indian restaurant in Yokohama. The man was American and the girlfriend was a Japanese of my age.
We said hi to them and to our relief, they were friendly. We started talking, somewhere along the line my husband mentioned about 'unfriendly' western people in Japan, and the man agreed pensively.

I'm sure they're different when they are in their native countries, and perhaps they are influenced by Japanese society where strangers don't talk to each other often.
It seems that making friends with other western people in Japan, could be difficult unless you are in a more relaxed environment - like pubs, small restaurants, etc.
If you are living in Japan, you maybe able to meet other foreigners through your Japanese friends, or at work.

Anyway, it was just one month stay and it wasn't long enough to know much about Japan, but, he enjoyed beautiful sceneries, Yakitori, Gyu-tan, On-sen and drinking with some friendly Japanese people.

I bet next time will be a lot more fun.

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