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What is wrong? 2011/5/4 23:49
Hello there,

I arrived recently in Tokyo and I am starting to feel bad. Indeed, here I feel like a stranger, everybody look at me thinking I do not notice them , that is so embarassing. When a woman looks at me and I notice her, she turns her face in another direction, As far as guys are concerned, they do not care , they keep looking at me. When I go to the restaurant, shopping,metro I dont feel confortable.
I have been told that I have a nice physical appearance and I have got many offers for modelling . Still, I have been to many countries in the world and they do not behave in that way, I feel like Jim Carrey in the truman show .
Today, I avoid going out and stay at home, it is becoming paranoïa.
by chocapic1000  

... 2011/5/5 09:07
Nothing is wrong! That's just how it is being a member of an ethnic minority in an otherwise pretty homogeneous society. A good experience for anybody not familiar with the concept. Take it as continued education in sociology.

If you are interested in more, try India or Africa next time. Traveling as a minority member there will draw much more extreme attention than a few innocent looks.
by Uji rate this post as useful

. 2011/5/5 09:11
just curious about: are you a man or woman? age? nationality? ethnicity? how many time have you been in Japan? how many time are you planning to stay? in what city are you staying/living/working? have you been outside Tokyo?
by Tan (guest) rate this post as useful

. 2011/5/5 09:27
They look at you because you are hot! Seriouly, I got the same kind of looks when I first arrived in this little town in the US and I tried to tell myself it was because I looked cute. Mind you, I have far from a nice physical appearance, not to mention never had any offers for modeling!
by Ikuyo Kuruyo (guest) rate this post as useful

shy city 2011/5/5 12:38
I agree with Ikuyo Kuruyo. People can't help looking at hot people, and then when the hot person notices that, they turn the other way because they're embarrassed to admit that they were looking at you with all their fantasies in mind. It often happens in big cities with shy citizens. For example, it happens more in Tokyo and less in Osaka, because in Osaka they promptly become a come on :)

You can try smiling back and see how it works. Today's a chilly cloudy day anyway. Why not take a rest and go out on the weekend.
by Uco (guest) rate this post as useful

no reaction 2011/5/5 14:10
Lucky you! I have been to Japan many times and no one was looking at me! (I am a Caucasian)..Even in my home town people don't look at me as they did 20 and 30 .years ago...

After 50-55 no one pays attention to you anymore...

On the other hand young men and women don't mind talking to an older person as they don't think that older people could possibly look at them with the lust of a 20-30 years old...

In fact most older people don't feel as old in their heart as they actually look ......when they catch their reflection in a mirror, for a split second they think that they are looking at their old dad (or mom)?"

We old timers enjoy talking to a younger person, being --for the most part--very careful not too show any romantic interest....
The irony is that it is much easier at 70 to talk to a young person of the same, or opposite, sex than it was at 20,..but it all for nothing...except for a relaxed and pleasant conversation..

by Monkey see (guest) rate this post as useful

Thanks for your answers 2011/5/5 15:48
''they turn the other way because they're embarrassed to admit that they were looking at you with all their fantasies in mind''

That is exactly that!!! It is so absurd!! I remember a young woman was looking at me and when I noticed that , she turned her face and pretended to look at a wall, come on how come a wall is so interesting ! Guys are the worst , especially when it is a group of friends, they talk each other while they are looking at me , sometimes, one of them points his finger at me , that is intimadating and rude. I have the right to be mad.

I am 24,european, but i am not blond or ginger. brown hair .However, I will not deny that many girls find me attractive but I am not like Brad Pitt... I live and work near Tokyo station . I will stay here 6 months.
by chocapic1000 rate this post as useful

... 2011/5/5 17:04
It is healthy to realize that Japanese people are experiencing similar "problems" when they visit Europe: looks, finger pointing, greetings in Chinese and in less pleasant cases eye slanting and racist rants.

Of course you have the right to be mad about it these looks. But I recommend to be a little bit more understanding of these (mostly innocent) behaviors. You are as exotic to them as a beautiful Japanese lady is exotic to some redneck in your home country. You will enjoy your time in Japan more if you try to be understanding instead of mad. In any case, you won't be able to change Japanese society within your six month stay.
by Uji rate this post as useful

it's usual 2011/5/5 17:38
well, i think it is normal for peopleto look at someone who is consider good looking/hot/cute/pretty. i am in this group of people who likes to look at very nice looking people.

you should be proud because it is not always easy to find someone good looking all the time.

if i happen to see someone gorgeous, i will do the same, keep on looking at him/her. try get used to it and you wont feel like an alien there! good luck!
by kooks rate this post as useful

. 2011/5/5 18:36
I see what you mean , It kinda makes me feel better.Thank you
by chocapic1000 rate this post as useful

no big deal here 2011/5/5 22:04
It's only a problem if you let it bother you. When I was travelling and studying in Spain and Italy people stared at me too (I'm caucasian but obviously not Spanish or Italian because of my colouring), and they don't even look away if you make eye contact with them like people do here!

Also as someone mentioned above, try a visit to China or India to experience real staring- there people will gather in groups just to look at foreigners, and they don't do it discreetly. After that the very low-key "staring" you sometimes get in Japan is nothing, seriously.
by Sira (guest) rate this post as useful

. 2011/5/5 22:06
Guys look at you in that way because they are really jealous. No need to get mad, though. Try humming "I Am Too Sexy" by Right Said Fred:)
by Ikuyo Kuruyo (guest) rate this post as useful

... 2011/5/5 22:53
Maybe you had spinach in your teeth. Or a booger hanging from your nose.
by . (guest) rate this post as useful

noticed the same thing 2011/5/6 02:36
OP, I know exactly what you mean! Although I wouldn't say I am good looking like a model, I am definately not bad looking. I got a lot of looks from people in Tokyo everywhere I went. I think it is a combination of attraction and being a minority. It didn't really bother me you know. I thought it was interesting because it made me realise how minorities in my own country must feel. Also I kinda enjoyed the attention because back home I am just another blond dutch guy. Just bear in mind, people's staring at you is purely out of curiosity. They don't have any fears or negative feelings when they look at you. Just: "Oh look! A caucasian guy". Just enjoy it while it lasts :P
by Dutchman1 (guest) rate this post as useful

oh yeah 2011/5/6 02:39
I almost forgot, if you really wanna get some looks, just take the train out to rural Japan. I remember once taking a wrong train to Nikko and ending up in some very very small town in the hills. There was a guy fixing his car in front of his house there and he was just checking me out non stop all the time when I was waiting for another train an the station. Now that made me feel uncomfortable!
by Dutchman1 (guest) rate this post as useful

. 2011/5/6 03:35
Go to an Onsen or Sento and THEN see where they start looking. The men I mean.
by Hmm (guest) rate this post as useful

... 2011/5/6 06:40
The only people who have ever looked at me in an indiscreet way in an onsen (and I have been to 500+ of them), were a group of Korean tourists at Oedo Onsen on one single occasion. Maybe I am not attractive or freakish enough...
by Uji rate this post as useful

quite common 2011/5/6 07:42
Ah the old stare-off, very common and not to be worried about- sometimes it's quite funny :P Two that i remember in particular were when i was looking at train times at the station and a girl a few feet away who was walking past very quickly saw me, slowed down to almost a quarter speed, stared at me with eyes and mouth wide open for 10 seconds then bumped into a wall :P The other was an old man on a train (granted out in the countryside where foreigners are less seen) who sat opposite me and literally did not take his eyes of me for the whole 40 minute journey. Both of these, although a little worrying made me laugh when thinking back. As others have said in most cases it's a mix of curiosity, surprise and maybe admiration- not anything negative. It happens to most foreigners (depending on their looks), so don't worry about it and have fun! :-)
by J (guest) rate this post as useful

. 2011/5/6 18:31
I started my job today and I could talk with Japanese people. The first thing they said was about my appearance. Guys told me that I will be very popular here. I know for sure why they look at me.
by chocapic1000 rate this post as useful

Stay humble, dude... 2011/5/9 01:37
Oh, god! Don't be so egocentric and narcisstic. You behave like you're the center of attention. Probably most of the people are looking right through you or they don't even notice you and you feel like the ultimate stallion. Geez...
by Yourope (guest) rate this post as useful

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