Making Friends in Japan
Initial orientation and training is often very significant when it comes to making friends in Japan. Many people you meet then will become close friends in Japan, and many will go on to be your friends for life. Even if the people you meet are not placed near to you, you will often continue the connection through phone and social media. Many Interac ALTs use holidays as a chance to travel and visit each other. What make the friendships so strong between them are the shared experiences they have. Generally, you are going through a similar experience and face many of the same daily challenges.
Many people do not feel comfortable when they first arrive in Japan if they do not know anyone in their communities. This feeling is quite normal but is something you eventually can control. To begin, you may have to start doing many activities alone, such as going sightseeing, visiting restaurants, and seeing a movie. By doing so, you will eventually start to meet new people, make friends, and generally have a great experience.
Although the Japanese have a strong sense of community, there is a great respect for privacy and individual time. If you prefer your own company and don’t want a large network of friends or an extensive social calendar, that is fine as well. However, having a network and community is important, so we do strongly recommend maintaining at least a small number of connections and friendships.
Places to Socialize
It is not common in Japan to socialize or have guests over to your home or apartment. The main reason for this is that houses and apartments are generally small, and out of respect to close neighbors, need to be quiet spaces. If you are invited into a Japanese home, this is a great honor reserved only for the most special of guests. Most social interaction happens outside of the home. It is not difficult to find cafés, restaurants, or bars to meet people.