Making friends in Tokyo

social networking
Updated 2022-12-21 14:42

How do you socialize in Tokyo? How to make friends, and join groups in the Japanese capital? Should you keep doing what you used to do in your country or discover other new activities? Here is an overview of the different ways to make friends in Tokyo and in the rest of Japan.

Ask yourself the right questions

How do you get started? Do you have to ask questions to look for friends? Actually, not really! These questions are for you. Having friends seems to be the most natural thing in the world, but it can also be an ordeal. Thanks to social networks, we've never been so close, and at the same time, we've never felt so alone. How to make friends in the real world?

Assess your profile:

  • Did you have many friends in your country? Have you kept in touch with them?
  • Do you like to go out a lot? If so, where?
  • Do you seek to build real friendships, or are you just content with acquaintances?
  • Are you more of an introvert or extrovert? Are you shy or expansive?
  • Are you more of a homely person?
  • In what kind of places do you like to hang out?

Joining a student club in Tokyo

If you are in Tokyo (or elsewhere in Japan, of course), and studying in a Japanese university, why not join a student club/circle? These saakuru (circles) and kurabu (clubs) are created and managed by students. They offer many interesting activities like drawing, photography, history, chess, cooking, tourism, sports, and so on. In fact, there are clubs for almost everything, and you can even create your own. 

Student associations are certainly the best way to create, develop, and maintain your network in Tokyo. Just like you, Japanese people like to get involved in clubs to have fun and meet new people.

Practicing an art or sports in Tokyo

Whether it is in sports or cultural clubs or even in neighborhood associations, it is easier to make friends by gathering around a common interest or by sharing a passion with others.

Moreover, joining these clubs will allow you to experience everyday life in Japan. By blending in with Japanese people, you increase your chances of making new acquaintances and even establishing real friendships. Visit your local city hall to find out about the list of clubs and associations in your area.

Social media in Tokyo

Meetup, Instagram, or Twitter, amongst others. There is a multitude of groups forming on the social media. Some are specific to Japan, like HimaTomoChatto.

Clubs and international bars in Tokyo 

If you are more of a night owl, go and discover Tokyo's nightlife. Visit nightclubs, clubs, and international bars. Bonjour Tokyo international bar is the perfect example. It organizes many events like multilingual meetings, karaoke nights, video games, and more. If you're more of a dancing type, try WARP Shinjuku or WOMB.

Extra tips for making friends in Tokyo 

Not surprisingly, speaking Japanese will allow you to interact better with the locals. So don't skip the language and take it seriously. 

Remember that Japanese people are just like you. Fear, apprehension, and curiosity don't only come from your end. Be open-minded and gradually step out of your comfort zone. Let yourself be picked up and guides. Go out and discover new activities in Tokyo.

Don't just stick with other expats. You will find many immigrant groups or expatriate groups in Japan, especially in Tokyo. But moving to Japan to speak every language except Japanese won't make any sense. 

Be patient. Making new friends takes time. You will sometimes have disappointments as a friend (the person doesn't contact you again, without giving a reason, for example). In any case, don't be insistent and if you get ghosted, forget about it. Keep going and move on.  

Focus on hobbies. This is probably the easiest and most effective way to make friends in Tokyo. With a common ground, it is easier to start conversing. Enjoy the moment without putting pressure on yourself. Relationships will develop over time.

We do our best to provide accurate and up to date information. However, if you have noticed any inaccuracies in this article, please let us know in the comments section below.