View Full Version : Good areas inside Tokyo for meeting interesting individuals
I was wondering if anyone had some good suggestions of where in Tokyo I could go to meet interesting Japanese people for a deeper discussion than the typical? Especially the "doko kara" conversations that end up with all of us making blanket statements about Canada (My home country) and Japan.
I know Tokyo is well renowned for being a sexual haven, but I was wondering if there are interesting places to hang around and meet thoughtful/creative people?
My Japanese is so-so (Maybe chugakusei no seiseki ka mo...), and of course will improve through conversation and the use of my trusty PDA.
What are other people's experiences? Will I just have to wait until I strike gold while there? Is Tokyo not a good city for things like this? My Japanese teacher told me that Sendai is perhaps a better place to meet people because people are friendlier and life is a little slower and the gaijin are a little less prolific (Although I still don't know why they say a city like Tokyo abounds with Westerners when they are still like 1/1000 and Roppongi, the gaijin district still has about maybe 1/100 Westerners)
Also, is it hard to live in cities where foreigners are so few? I have heard that Japanese in rural communities have a tendency to stare at foreigners. dou shimasu ka?!?
I would so go hang out in some of the small coffree shops or off beat bars around some of the colleges. I went to Waseda (near takadanobaba or waseda station), and there were plenty of people around that are into "more in depth" conversations. Also, I think you could find some interesting people at the peace marches going on regularly in Tokyo.
Another good option is to join some sort of club.....sports, hobby, etc., and network out from there.
2003-02-16, 05:04 PM
"... is it hard to live in cities where foreigners are so few? I have heard that Japanese in rural communities have a tendency to stare at foreigners. dou shimasu ka?!?"
Personally, I find it rather insulting and preppy to see such a mix of English and Japanese written on an ENGLISH forum about Japan. I hope your "deeper discussion" rises above this level.
To answer your question, "hard" is obviously a relative term. What is easy for me might be hard for you, and vice versa. People living in areas with few foreigners will obviously have to learn how to communicate with the locals, endure isolation from other foreigners, and get used to the lack of city amenities. Is it hard? Depends on the individual.
If you are that concerned about someone staring at you, really THAT concerned, then you have answered your own question.
Glenski, Im sorry you found that little bit of romaji insulting. Im also sorry you felt it invalidated my statement. Maybe I did get carried away.
When I meant hard I was asking for other people's experiences. I assumed you would read between the lines and not take what I said literally, maybe I was assuming too much. I mean this without any "hard" feelings: What are your experiences of living in a rural area?
2003-02-17, 08:21 AM
Mixing Japanese and English - I caught some flak about it too! See this post describing a phenomenon called code-switching, just after the News Year. (Forum Quality Control - only post I have ever seen from this guy)
Re: Skilled jobs in Nippon?
Author: Tommy O'Haganz (217.33.16.---)
Date: 01-06-03 23:55
one for TH - mixing up English and Japanese in one sentence should not be discouraged even if it clashes with your sensibilities. The guy that annoys you by doing that should be applauded for trying to get his head around Japanese grammar / syntax whatever. It may annoy you Japanese experts (self-proclaimed ? ) I am sure. It is actually a linguistic phenomenon called code-switching that can be observed in many communities. A great deal of my Japanese colleagues and friends do it regularly.
Pity, TH, since the rest of your advice seems so level-headed.
2003-02-17, 09:42 AM
"...insulting and preppy". How can "deeper discussion" be achieved if your blinkers are on so tight people`s expression is inhibited? How about mixing English and other languages? Habeas Corpus, Ciao baby,...Aye Carumba!
Iin ja nai?
ma ii ya.
ma ii ka?
-as we all remember Black Flag opened their epic "Damaged" lp by saying -
WE GOTTA RISE ABOVE".
Still, it's just so appealing. Ahh... the forbidden fruit. It's not meant to be exclusionary, which is what I guess some people interpret it as. Thanks for providing some more information on it, TH.
2003-04-19, 11:36 PM
Glenski, stfu. Chill out man. Stop getting on everyone's case (especially Chotto Dake's) and trying to prove how cool you are.
2003-06-11, 11:19 PM
back to the discussion. i too am wondering about ways to meet like-minded people. of course i hope to meet all kinds of people in japan. But for instance when i holiday in a new city (english speaking) ii usually go to record stores and chat to the people behind the counter find out about good gigs that are on, listen to music, see what i like, and see who in the store has a similar taste.
much harder to do in my very poor japanese!!!
so if anyone knows some good gigs/record stores tell me!
as for not speaking any japanese in english conversation - it is very hard to learn and assimilate and retain a language without dropping phrases in. also it is instructive for people (like me) who are learning little bits here and there.