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How do Japanese act to first timers 2011/5/28 15:01
With me almost ready to visit and travel to Japan next year, here is my next question: How do Japanese people act to first time visiting foreigners? I'm just a little worried and nervous about this.
by JonathanTokyo  

... 2011/5/28 18:28
Usually they can't distinguish between a first time visitor, repeating visitor and resident. It depends more on your looks, behavior and Japanese language skills. It also depends on where in Japan you go.
by Uji rate this post as useful

? 2011/5/29 09:58
How would the people you see know you you're a visitor and it's your first time in any case? Thousands of people visit Japan every week and hundreds of thousands of foreigners live in Japan.

How people react to you will depend a lot on your own behavior- if you are polite and respectful most people will be polite and helpful towards you, just like in most countries.
by summer rain (guest) rate this post as useful

I have now been four times 2011/5/30 06:56
Since 2006. On every visit, people have been very, very kind to me. As Summer rain says if you are polite & courteuos it helps. If you can say a few phrases you will find they go a long way.
by Stan Norrell rate this post as useful

. 2011/5/30 10:24
oh, i remember my first time in japan.

as a first time visitor i was treated like a rockstar! men were in awe of me and the women were all over me.

i was charisma man!

but seriously, on face value, there is no way to differentiate between a first timer or frequent visitor.

well, unless you walk into a hostess bar in roppongi or accept a proposition from some nigerian dude on the street...

you should be fine grasshopper.
by gef (guest) rate this post as useful

humans are generous to beginners 2011/5/30 12:10
I'm a local Japanese resident, but whatever country I'm in including Japan, and whatever I'm trying to do, it usually works better when I say, "By the way, this is my first time."

Hope it helps.
by Uco (guest) rate this post as useful

great for visitors 2011/5/30 17:58
I think all foreigners are treated like first time visitors to Japan! It is great for visitors, nobody expects you to know or understand anything so people are extremely helpful.
So much so that for long term residents it is very hard to graduate beyond status of a "visitor" in the minds of Japanese. I have lived here 6 years and it still amuses me when people aware that I am a long time resident say things like..."wow you can use chopsticks"...or "Do you plan to go back home this year?"
Being a foreign visitor is great you will love it.
by giledesign (guest) rate this post as useful

brilliant! 2011/5/30 20:57
the first day I was in japan I was in Shiba Park in the rain buying an umbrella for my wife and I, a middle aged businessman was watching me and bought another 2 umbrellas and gave them to my kids. Since then each time I've gone I have received random acts of generosity, gifts from taxi drivers, help when I've struggled with trains or in restaurants with no english. It is always very hard to come back home, being fussed over so much.
by Piousm (guest) rate this post as useful

Phrases 2011/5/31 03:39
The Japanese are very friendly. Also, it would be good to know some basic phrases as they'll come a long way although you'll definitely run into times where you'll have to say "wakarimasen" (I don't understand). I've had a couple of cases from my first trip a couple of weeks ago where just trying to converse with the restaurant workers at a Yatai in Fukuoka and a taxi driver in Tokyo has led me to discounts in the bill. One of the topics in our conversations is "where I'm from?". Although it won't happen all the time and I wouldn't expect discounts at all, they all say "service" in English as why they're giving you a discount. They are very friendly and they say thats "cool" in Japanese. I hope this helps.
by rsxguy04 rate this post as useful

just smile! 2011/5/31 06:02
My first trip to Japan ended a week ago, and it was amazing. The Japanese generally seem to treat all foreigners the same... very politely. I speak about 4 words of Japanese, but found that a smile, flicking through a phrase book, lots of "arigato" and I was fine. As long as you go with an open mind, be willing to try the language you'll face no problems. The Japanese (more than any other nation I've encountered, other than maybe the Icelanders) appeared to relish and enjoy helping visitors to their country.

Try to use chopsticks, they'll love you for it.

When passing groups of school children say "hello", reply and again, you'll be a star.
by zomboolio (guest) rate this post as useful

I have to agree 2011/5/31 09:09
When we first went to Japan, we thought we were doing really well until the first time we tried to use the Kyoto subway. The ticket machines were only in Japanese (to be expected really!) and really complicated so we were totally stumped.
But within about 5 minutes this old guy came up to us and showed us how it all worked, and then asked us to look a the English dictionary he'd been writing! It was totally random but it's hard not to love someone so friendly.
Similarly pull out a map in Tokyo and pretty soon someone will come up to you and ask you what you're trying to find, it's very welcoming in a country where the language barrier can make you feel a bit isolated.

And yeah like other's have said learn how to say and "thankyou", and maybe "one please" so you can point at a menu item and order something.
by GMatt rate this post as useful

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