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Is it hard to find friends in Japan?

Is it hard to find friends in Japan?


Japan is a country that is known for its rich culture, delicious food, and stunning landscapes. However, many people who travel or move to Japan often find it difficult to make friends. This article will explore the reasons why it may be challenging to make friends in Japan and offer some tips on how to overcome these obstacles.

The Culture of Japan

One of the reasons why it can be difficult to make friends in Japan is because of the country’s culture. Japanese culture places a significant emphasis on social hierarchy and conformity. This can make it challenging for foreigners to integrate into social circles as they may not be familiar with the unwritten rules of Japanese society.

Japanese Snack Box

Language Barrier

Another significant obstacle foreigners face when trying to make friends in Japan is the language barrier. While many Japanese people speak English, fluency levels vary widely. As a result, communication can be challenging, and it can be hard to build deep connections with people who do not speak your language fluently.

Working Culture

Japan has a strong work ethic, and many people prioritize their careers over their social lives. This can make it challenging to meet people who have time for leisure activities or are interested in making new friends outside of work.

Group Mentality

Japanese society places a significant emphasis on group mentality, and many social activities are centered around groups rather than individuals. This means that people often hang out with their existing friend groups rather than seeking out new connections.


Japanese people are often perceived as being shy, which can make it harder for foreigners to break the ice and initiate conversations. Additionally, many Japanese people may feel uncomfortable speaking English or practicing their language skills in front of others.

Socializing in Japan

Despite the challenges, there are many ways to socialize and make friends in Japan. Joining clubs and organizations related to your interests is a great way to meet like-minded people. Additionally, language exchange programs allow you to practice your language skills while meeting new people.

Online Communities

There are many online communities and forums dedicated to helping foreigners make friends in Japan. These groups often organize events and activities, making it easier for people to meet and connect with others.

Being Open-minded

To make friends in Japan, it’s essential to be open-minded and willing to try new things. Japanese society has its quirks, but embracing them and showing a genuine interest in Japanese culture can go a long way in building connections with locals.


Building deep connections takes time, so it’s essential to have patience when trying to make friends in Japan. It may take some time to find the right group of people, but it’s worth the effort.


Making friends in Japan can be challenging, but it’s not impossible. Understanding the cultural nuances of Japanese society, practicing language skills, joining clubs or organizations, and being open-minded are all great ways to build strong connections with locals. With time and patience, you can create lasting friendships that will enrich your experience living in Japan.

Is it difficult to make friends in Japan?

It is not hard to make friends with Japanese people; in fact, they may even treat you better than they treat their fellow Japanese and better than your Western friends. It is important to note that Japanese people are highly educated and value harmony and peace in their social interactions.

How do you socialize in Japan?

Building relationships with your Japanese colleagues is crucial, and spending time with them in informal settings such as dining, drinking, golfing, karaoke, or sightseeing is highly valued. Japanese prioritize getting to know their business partners on a personal level.

Is it easy to live in Japan as a foreigner?

If you are properly prepared, moving to Japan is a straightforward process for expats. Typically, most household items can be brought into the country without difficulty, but it’s recommended to have a detailed list in English and Japanese for easy communication.

What is the hardest country to make friends in?

Denmark, Sweden, Norway, and Finland are not friendly places for expats to make friends, especially Denmark which is ranked the worst in this category. Over half of expats in Denmark (58%) find it challenging to make friends, and 30% say that they have never had a harder time.

Is Japan great for introverts?

Japanese culture has many appealing aspects for introverts, making it a top choice for introverts to live. One of these aspects is the emphasis on not bothering others. It is rare for strangers to approach you and even with coworkers, it is unlikely to get stuck in prolonged conversations. November 16, 2022.

What are friendships like in Japan?

The concept of friendship in Japan is distinct from that in Western cultures, as it is not founded on necessity. Japanese individuals prioritize their longstanding friendships and may opt to spend time with them rather than connect with new acquaintances.

Meeting People in Japan

Meeting people in Japan can be a great way to build your social circle. There are many places where you can go to meet new people, including bars, cafes, and social events. However, it’s important to keep in mind that Japanese people may not always be as outgoing as you might expect, so it’s important to be friendly and approachable.

Networking Events

Networking events are a great way to meet new people in Japan, especially if you’re looking to expand your professional network. There are many business networking events held throughout the year, and attending these events can help you meet other professionals in your industry.

Language Schools

If you’re interested in learning Japanese, attending a language school can be a great way to meet new people. Most language schools offer social events and activities for their students, which can be a great way to make friends with other language learners.

The Importance of Building Relationships

In Japan, relationships are highly valued, and building strong connections with others is essential for success both personally and professionally. Taking the time to build strong relationships with the people you meet can help you navigate the challenges of living in Japan and make your experience more enjoyable.

Final Thoughts

While making friends in Japan can be challenging, it’s not impossible. By understanding the cultural nuances of Japanese society, practicing language skills, joining clubs or organizations, being open-minded, and taking the time to build strong relationships with others, you can create lasting friendships that will enrich your experience living in Japan. Remember to be patient and persistent, and don’t give up if you don’t find the right group of people right away. With time and effort, you will find your place in Japan and build strong connections with the locals.

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