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Japan (Welcoming or anti-foreigner)
Posted 8/10/14
Most of it lies with the older population from what I've heard.
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24 / M / Osaka
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Posted 8/10/14

tsun wrote:
If it isn't made obvious already, I was born and raised in Kyōto.

If I may innocuously ask, how many generations has your family lived there?
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25 / M / Inside Lorreen's...
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Posted 8/10/14
Same as we are to foreigners, and other foreigners I have met are to us.

May say shit about you behind your back or in another language, but to your face will be nice and courteous. Why? Because they realize you are pretty much a walking piggy bank for them.

Tourism is a big amount of money in almost every country. most people realize this so especially around tourist spots, you'll find people generally being nicer towards you, at least to your face.

Now that is not saying everyone you run into will be nice to you, it is also not saying that not everyone is faking being nice. Just don't go to other countries and think they have to cater your every wish and demand. I have met people like that. When I went to Europe someone in the tour group felt like he was superior to all other nationalities because he was from "Good Ol' Murica" so while we were in London and Germany he was definitely pushing their buttons, and i'm surprised when in London we were not kicked out of our hotel because of him.

As someone else said, it is primarily the older generations that tend to have a problem with any foreigners specifically Americans. When you think of Europe and Japan... well we did pretty much invade them during the wars... it's not surprising in the least that we left some scars behind. Many people hold onto grudges as well so... yeah.


Generally though. You shouldn't run into a problem so long as you act like a responsible human being, and not like the world revolves around you. This goes for wherever you go as well (at least from my experience).
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Posted 8/10/14 , edited 8/10/14
I've never been to Japan, but my uncle has, and he has only good things to say about it, I assume all was well.
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39 / M / Florida
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Posted 8/10/14 , edited 8/10/14
While I was there for two weeks last February, visiting a friend in the Navy; nobody was overly welcoming, nor were they against me being there. The younger ones were more open and friendly, more curious, seemed to feign loss of interest when the older folk were around.
Oddest story was we took a local train (because it was cheaper) through an area in the Izu peninsula where they wouldn't see many Caucasians.
A high school kid, who seemed a bit touched, was thinking the gaijin was there to take him away.
He spoke to me in English, some of the other locals were a bit noticeably embarrassed by his actions, and a school friend tried to stop him, and I appreciate the humiliation he may have faced by the one guys actions. Awkward, but the worst that happened.
After that, while not fat, I have a larger frame so I opted to make some concessions to provide them with room while on the train or in cramped quarters, nobody really seemed to want to sit near me, but if it was open they would.
Didn't get down to Kyoto like I hoped, but I did find out about a nephew of a family friend who lived down that way who teaches English.
If I had the opportunity, I'd go back within this month again to go climb Fuji with the aforementioned friend.

Travel is expensive, be sure to have plenty of money. We probably blew $1000 just on the trains, but we did do a bit of longer distance.
Try the vending machines, some of the best drinks ever! (CC Lemon) They also have some fine alcoholic beverages.
Don't act like a mega-nerd, but enjoy everything you go to see with respect.
Ignore the Americanized food places: KFC, McDonald's, Outback, etc.
Don't be afraid to try street vendor food, and try whatever looks good. I didn't have a bad meal in Japan.
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17 / F / CT
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Posted 8/10/14 , edited 8/10/14
I went to japan last year and I couldnt find my hotel. So we were walking around shinjuku my family and I asking for help. I dont think most of the locals knew where the hotel was (it was sort of excluded) so I guess they couldnt help us much. However there was this man who spoke english and was japanese that randomly came up to us and asked if were lost. He walked us to the hotel and it was pretty far walk.I guess they are pretty friendly.
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Posted 8/10/14

Renegatz wrote:


tsun wrote:
If it isn't made obvious already, I was born and raised in Kyōto.

If I may innocuously ask, how many generations has your family lived there?

After World War II, my family moved from Kantō to the Kansai region. From what I was told, my great grandfather moved for work, and Kyōto-shi, Kyōto-fu has been where the first-sons have resided since then (and this is out of familial tradition). I think my grandmother (from Osaka) told me that she was told by my late grandfather that our family was originally from not Shinjuku, but Nakagyō, so maybe my ancestors have been from the Kansai region since the beginning, but I'm not entirely sure.

However, I can surely say that we have been in Kyōto for at least four generations.
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24 / F / Johnstown, PA, USA
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Posted 8/10/14 , edited 8/10/14
I assume that it's welcoming enough, considering that my Uncle John met my Aunt Luz and her daughter there, and lives there and in the US back-and-forth during their marriage. Right now, they're living in the US. It's somewhat hard to keep track, because they also visit often with extended stays. I don't know the details, but Aunt Luz met Uncle John while he was stationed at either the Atsugi or Yokosuka base in the early 2000's.
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24 / M / Scotland
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Posted 8/10/14
I know a couple of people who lived in japan (a villiage called "Kunohe" I believe) for a short period of time and they were very much welcomed.
Posted 8/10/14 , edited 8/10/14
I don't expect any culture to welcome a foreigner with open arms... that's just unrealistic thinking.

If you adopt their language and ethics, you'll probably fit in better. Like in western cultures, it's important to say please and thank you, in Japanese culture, saying something simple like "itadakimasu" after receiving a meal is probably the equivalent of that or saying those "tadaimas" phrases. And taking your shoes off before entering someone's house...

bowing as a way of thanking someone for business.

(btw, I learned most of these from anime...) it's not really rocket science...


I find that with people in general, whether they be Japanese or any other race, words and customs are very important if you want to be seen as a polite friendly person.


[If you go to Japan or any other country really, and act like a foreigner, then you will be treated like a foreigner]
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22 / M / NJ, USA
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Posted 8/10/14
There are many factors. The younger generation are definitely more welcoming to foreigners that the older generation. Location also plays a big part, but I'd say the Japanese are as friendly as we are to foreigners.
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22 / M
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Posted 8/10/14
It's not really either. Somewhere in between. Just be polite and nice, and you'll be accepted pretty much anywhere.
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24 / M / Osaka
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Posted 8/10/14 , edited 8/10/14

tsun wrote:


Renegatz wrote:


tsun wrote:
If it isn't made obvious already, I was born and raised in Kyōto.

If I may innocuously ask, how many generations has your family lived there?

After World War II, my family moved from Kantō to the Kansai region. From what I was told, my great grandfather moved for work, and Kyōto-shi, Kyōto-fu has been where the first-sons have resided since then (and this is out of familial tradition). I think my grandmother (from Osaka) told me that she was told by my late grandfather that our family was originally from not Shinjuku, but Nakagyō, so maybe my ancestors have been from the Kansai region since the beginning, but I'm not entirely sure.

However, I can surely say that we have been in Kyōto for at least four generations.

That's an interesting story. I've heard that Kyoto comes across as quite exclusive from the perspective of other Japanese people, with the requirement to become true 'Kyoto-jin' being ten generations, as opposed to one for Osaka. And then I heard that there are more unwritten codes and social procedures between Kyotoites than among other Japanese, also about stuff like referring to the Onin War as 'last war' and such.

Does any of this ring true to you? I went to Kyoto once a couple of weeks ago, definitely intend to go for a second time in the near future.
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36 / M / Denver
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Posted 8/10/14
From what I understand from several documentaries and ex-pat accounts, you will never - EVER - be "included". Even if you're Japanese but were born elsewhere. They'll be nice, they'll be friendly, you'll have a good time, but there will always be this wall that comes up. Even if you speak the language like a native and have lived there for years. It has something to do with the way they socially compartmentalize everyone, or something.

That's just what I keep hearing, anyway. Obviously, experiences vary, and I have none of my own to contribute.
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22 / M
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Posted 8/10/14 , edited 8/10/14

Renegatz wrote:


tsun wrote:


Renegatz wrote:


tsun wrote:
If it isn't made obvious already, I was born and raised in Kyōto.

If I may innocuously ask, how many generations has your family lived there?

After World War II, my family moved from Kantō to the Kansai region. From what I was told, my great grandfather moved for work, and Kyōto-shi, Kyōto-fu has been where the first-sons have resided since then (and this is out of familial tradition). I think my grandmother (from Osaka) told me that she was told by my late grandfather that our family was originally from not Shinjuku, but Nakagyō, so maybe my ancestors have been from the Kansai region since the beginning, but I'm not entirely sure.

However, I can surely say that we have been in Kyōto for at least four generations.

That's an interesting story. I've heard that Kyoto comes across as quite exclusive from the perspective of other Japanese people, with the requirement to become true 'Kyoto-jin' being ten generations, as opposed to one for Osaka. And then I heard that there are more unwritten codes and social procedures between Kyotoites than among other Japanese, also about stuff like referring to the Onin War as 'last war' and such.

Does any of this ring true to you? I went to Kyoto once a couple of weeks ago, definitely intend to go for a second time in the near future.

Of course there are "unwritten codes" that pertain to our culture, but I don't believe that (or at least I don't want to believe) they're used to define a Kyōto native. Much of what I know about Kyōto's history comes less from word of mouth and more by textbook (not too much in a literal sense, but you get the idea). And use your mind for why the civil war would be referred to as the "last war." I can't help but feel that what you've heard has made your post--though innocuous--somewhat presumptuous.
I recommend you visit again.
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