Edited by Saki
Without a doubt, the best way to experience a country we are traveling to and truly get to know and understand it’s culture is by meeting local people. And trust me in japan it’s way easier than you would think.
I’ll start off with the fact that Japanese people are extremely friendly and always have smiles on their faces. Speaking from my own experience, I have never met a nation to be this polite and respectful of others. If you were to start a conversation with people from here, they would never turn you down and would absolutely love to make a connection and become friends with you, so don’t get shy and go for it!
Unfortunately, a lot of locals don’t speak English fluently but don’t let that discourage you. They will try their best to understand and communicate with you. What you can do to keep the conversation going is to speak with a very simple English, speak slowly and make your accent as neutral as possible. This will definitely make the chat easier for both sides.
If you would like to make an impression, try to show off some Japanese, the locals really appreciate that. When you’re in a restaurant and would like to praise the delicious food say “oishi(delicious)”, and when you leave the place say “arigato”, which means “thank you”. Another example is when you are in a bar or a club and you’re having some drinks, instead of our English “cheers” say the Japanese version “kampai” and give a gentle smile. If you get an answer and a smile in return, you can safely go up to them and start a simple conversation. You could ask them to teach you more about the language, exotic food, and culture of this mesmerizing country. Ask about some recommendations on where to go and what to see. A huge advantage of having local friends is that they know places, tourists haven’t set foot it, whether it’s a small traditional bar or an old styled restaurant, hidden in unfamiliar areas. Maybe if you’re lucky enough, you will just find yourself a new friend, who can show you all these amazing spots.
Experiencing a country with a local by your side is definitely going to make your journey unforgettable and you will go home not only with good memories and souvenirs but also with friends for a lifetime. The most important thing in all this is to be bolder and not afraid to take the first step to build a beautiful friendship with Japanese people. Although a drink or two might always make it easier. So why not try to meet someone in our Osaka nightlife?