It can be lonely moving to a new country like Japan by yourself and not knowing anyone. I’m hoping that this post will give you some ideas on how to make some Japanese friends while you stay in Japan. Boost up your Japanese, boost your friends and social life. It’s a triple win!
When you make friends in Japan, you will really get a lot more out of your stay and also make some life long friends.
Online Sites or Mobile Apps
There are plenty of apps and online websites which can help you meet new people and make long-life friends.
- Language Exchange Sites like https://www.conversationexchange.com or https://www.mylanguageexchange.com/Country/Japan.asp are great options to start talking with someone online before meeting with them.
- Meetups are really popular too, and you can find information about meetups in your local area for your hobby at https://www.meetup.com/.
- Mobile apps which help you find people like Langmate or Apanese Friend Search
In Japan, there are groups like https://tokyogaijins.com/index.php who regularly have meet ups for parties like Yukata cruises, climbing Mount Fuji or just drinks. Check the site for information about cover charges.
I recommend you go with some other people if you can, as it makes it a less intimidating experience.
Join a Gym or Club
Other popular options are hip hop dance clubs where you can practice and learning dancing together or movie/anime/manga clubs. Meet up with people with the same interests and make some friends.
If your Japanese is good enough, you can also look at signing up for study courses or classes where you can meet people.
Foreigner bars like HUB (British Pub chain in Japan) are usually filled with both foreigners and Japanese people ready to talk. They typically also have special events during World Cups or English Premier League football matches.
Check out their site: https://www.pub-hub.com/index.php/en
These are cafes designed for Japanese people and foreigners to come together to learn about each other’s language and culture. Typically they have an admission fee and that includes some sort of drink options.
Quite a few are in Tokyo and you can check out https://taiken.co/ to find out more about some English Cafes in Tokyo.
Stay in a Gaijin House
A gaijin house is basically a shared house in Japan. You share the house with other housemates usually from overseas and Japan.
These are a great place to instantly meet people, as you will be sharing a living space with them. Typically you have your own room but share kitchen, living room and bathroom spaces.
A popular one is: https://www.sakura-house.com/
Another way to make Japanese friends is sign up for a Japanese homestay. There are plenty of sites which you can check out and they will set you up to stay at a Japanese home with a Japanese family for a period of time.
This is meant to give you a chance to live just like a Japanese family does and ensures you get immersed in the culture.