Best ways to meet Japanese people in Japan
Written by Jeff

6 ways to meet Japanese people in Japan

Meeting locals in Japan is part of the traveling experience, so here is some advice to help you connect with Japanese people! .

One phrase you’ll often hear when talking to Japanese men and Japanese women about them being single, is “出会いがない” which translates into “I can’t meet anybody”.

From my experience, a lot of Japanese people have a very solid schedule in regards to their lifestyles, working, and then using the weekend to either have a meal with friends, or just watch dramas and sleep off the fatigue from work from the comfort of their home.

Whilst the same may not be as relevant for foreigners in Japan, it would still be a good idea to go out of your way to find new friends or even potential lovers. Here is a list to help you!

1 - International Events

Well duh…
But there is a deeper reason for choosing international meetups or international exchanges. Even in today’s day and age, there are still a lot of Japanese that find it difficult or are not very comfortable with talking in English or Foreigners.

Going to an event where only Japanese people that are interested in talking with foreigners show up, can save you a lot of time and awkward introductions that lead nowhere.

As mentioned before, meetup is a great platform to find such events, but there is a huge disparity in the quality of such events, with some ranging from fantastic and new, to just getting a bunch of strangers in a bar hoping they will talk with each other.
(Of course, we also host our own events in Tokyo, so please be sure to check them out)

2 - Live in a Sharehouse

There are a couple of reasons for this.

As a foreigner, it is already hard enough to find accommodation here in Japan with so many background checks and gaijin-fearing landlords. Sharehouses are relatively lax compared to finding a place to live alone.

But in the context of this topic, sharehouses are usually for people that are actively seeking people to communicate with, and are very gaijin-welcoming. Of course there are a few exceptions, and you need to make sure you find a sharehouse with a big kitchen or lounge, otherwise they may end up being sharehouses that are only there as a cheaper alternative to living alone.

Most sharehouses with foreigners living in them also have a lot of parties in which they call their other friends, and is always a fun way of meeting new Japanese people and other foreigners.

3 - Sports

Whilst it may be hard to for a Japanese to work up the courage to talk to a foreigner that is a total stranger, having a common sport team that you like really helps break the ice and maybe even just go grab drinks afterwards. Remember the 2018 World cup in Russia?

Senegal and Japan had a nail-biting match, and afterwards, a video of Fans from both countries singing the theme song to the anime ‘One Piece’ briefly went viral on the internet. Sports has a way of bringing people together, and i would highly recommend going there to find new friends, or at least just have a good time.

The most popular sports in Japan are arguably Soccer and Baseball. Whilst whether or not the Japanese are any good at the sports is another matter, the people’s passion for these sports is top-notch.

4 - Concerts

Similar to sports, going to concerts in Japan are a great way of knowing people. However, this does sometimes depend on the genre of music, and personally I have found that heavy metal concerts and rock concerts tend to have the friendliest fans around. Even better than a concert, is going to the various music festivals in Japan.

Summer Sonic and Ultra Japan are two examples of major music festivals that are popular in Japan, but seeing as they are only held once a year, it may not be the most reliable method of meeting people time-wise.

A word of caution however, that tickets can be very hard to come by in Japan. Since fan culture is so common and even hardcore in Japan, you can consider it extremely unlikely that you would manage to get a ticket without first joining the fan club for whatever artist it you support.

5 - Pubs and clubs

Even though izakaya (Japanese restaurants that serve alcohol) are definitely a thing to try, it’s not the best place to meet new people as everyone is seated separately, and people don’t really try to mix with other parties.

In order to make new encounters, I’d recommend bars and pubs, where people are more willing to make new friends. Pubs especially are festive places, with one famous chain of pubs in Japan being ‘Hub’, which is known for its good atmosphere during weekends evenings.

Clubs are also a smart pick to meet Japanese, and you will be with people having same musical tastes as you, which is always a good conversation starter!

So keep a smile on your face, do not fear eye-contacts and with a bit of luck Japanese will come to you, asking where you’re from; and if they don’t, don’t be shy and make the first move: people in clubs and pubs in Japan are usually happy to meet foreigners!

6 - enicee

It might seem extremely obvious, but this the exact reason why we even made the enicee app. Given that Japanese people want to meet foreigners for different reasons, we decided to make it easier for the users to identify each other on if they are looking for a relationship or a language exchange partner, friend etc. We’ve also included a field in the profile where you can display the nationalities you are interested in to help streamline the process.

Aside from having an app that helps you meet people online, we also host offline events almost every week, so that you can meet a wide range of people in real life!

Download it now and come join our events if you’re in the area!

Hopefully, this article will help you meet nice Japanese people!

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