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Tashaa asked in TravelAsia PacificJapan · 1 decade ago

How were you treated while in Japan??

About Japan. I am very scared. I lean toward banba style now more than manba. and i am foreigner. I want to hangout in Shibuya this summer when i go and i was wondering how it would be. how was others personal experince there?? i do not know why i am scared about the staring since i get stared at here all the time because of the style. but how did you make it through??

14 Answers

  • 1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    I spent 3 weeks in Japan this past October and was never treated with anything other than the greatest courtesy and respect the whole time I was there. Yes, you will be stared at a bit, especially if you go to small towns where they aren't as accustomed to Western tourists (I visited one onsen town in northern Honshu where I was the ONLY westerner in town). Having said that, there are major differences between how you are treated in Japan than you will elsewhere.

    First of all, people will probably not approach you directly all that often. Japanese people, as a whole, are pretty reserved and it's considered rude to just come up to a perfect stranger uninvited. And as I said before, you probably will be stared at to some degree. But I had little school kids and old men come up to me to try out their English, and when I needed help, I never had a problem finding those willing to do so.

    If you make the attempt to speak some Japanese, even if it's just a few pleasantries and being able to ask simple questions, it will go a long way. And try to read up a little on Japanese etiquette. This way, you won't accidentally offend people and won't be offended by behavior that might be misconstrued as being rude.

    If you are really concerned about being stared at, just tone down the clothing a little. But Japanese young people can dress rather outlandishly so the best thing to do is just go with it and enjoy the attention. The only negative stares you might get are from some of the older folk, but they don't appreciate the style of a lot of the younger people in Japan anyway.

    In Tokyo, there are so many foreign tourists that I highly doubt that you will have any problems.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    The Japanese are very polite people. They always bow and are courteous and will do a lot to help a tourist in need. I have a white teacher who has lived in Japan before, and he was never referred to as 'gaijin'. Some people might say they dislike foreigners, but in fact many of them are very interested in other cultures. They (maybe) may think their culture is better, but they will not shove it in your face and display their haughtiness. I have been traveling to Japan at least once every year and I have not been discriminated against. The worst was when I was refused entry to a restaurant, and the reason was because they were closed.

    Basically, there are xenophobes in every country, and you can't generalize. Japanese are great people and I am sure you will have a great time.

    Source(s): Experience
  • 1 decade ago

    I doubt you will have any problems, In Tokyo, foreigners are not a big deal since Tokyo has the most per capita. Even if a few strange ones stare at you, you are in one of the safest countries in the world and won't be in any danger.

    My time in Japan was a great time, I had a ton of fun, met some really great people, and if anyone was going to get stared at, It would be me. I was 2 feet taller than a few Japanese people I met (little old ladies). Most Japanese are quite shy about using their limited English to talk with you.

    One of my little traveler stories: To save money, I rented an apartment thru Sakura house for a month, 30,000 deposit, 91,000 yen a month rent, get 20,000 yen back from deposit when I leave, Difficulty is that the apartments are placed in real Japanese neighborhoods, so armed with a very basic map, an Japanese address, and fading light (I visited a friend in Shinjuku for most of the day) I am wandering around Machiya neighborhood of Arakawa-Ku, its a residential ward, highlights are a very small amusement park, and an old fashioned train where the drive rings a bell. thats it. guidebooks pretty much deny the existance of the ward.

    So I am walking, at night trying to find this apartment got my luggage with me the map is beyond basic, it has pictures of certain buildings and says stuff like turn here, and here, and here showing pictures of the buildings, but the pictures are grainy so not much good. I'm lost, very lost, 2 Japanese Ladies see the confused 6'3" guy staring at a map, they are out jogging, between them, they know about 6 words of English. I show them the map, point out the address written in Japanese, and they are off, they split up several times to find the right block, then once they find the right block, it goes down to finding the right building, then the right part of the building, all told it took about a half hour to find the apartment with their help, I thanked them profusely in bad Japanese, and marked the place in my gps so I could find my way back. This place was such a hard one to find as well, even with the help of my gps, it took me about 2 weeks of coming and going before I didn't have to look at the gps at every turn, and the last week, I could walk to and from the station without using the gps at all.

    The whole time, if I'm out of the house at 4 am to go to the conbini, or walking thru dark alleys at night, I never felt even slightly unsafe.


    The most outgoing people were down in Osaka, just walking around, teenagers would comment on my height, saying 'big' in Japanese, I also got invited to go for coffee a few times, and some girls at a Yakitori restaurant in Osaka were screaming "I LOVE YOU" after I ate at their business.

    Source(s): a very fun 28 day trip to Japan between Nov-Dec '06
  • Amelie
    Lv 6
    1 decade ago

    My experience is that Japanese people don't stare at all. They consider it impolite. There's nothing to be scared of. There are lots of foreigners in Shibuya, and so many people that nobody has the time to stare at anybody!

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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    Japanese people in Tokyo or anywhere else are very nice. Japanese people are really polite and most are far from rude. Although some foreigners in Tokyo might act a little rude, the majority of Japanese people do not. I do not think people in Toyko will stare at you beacuse Tokyo people are used to seeing many different styles of dress because, well its tokyo and there are some crazy looking trends going on there. If you were to dress very strange in say Kyoto or Kobe, things would be different.

    Source(s): I am an American and I am currently in Japan for the Winter.
  • Yuka
    Lv 4
    1 decade ago

    Tokyo is famous for its Harajuku fashion, which is often very eccentric and strange to many people, so Japanese there are used to seeing such styles.

    People may stare because you are a foreigner, but this happens much more frequently in smaller cities/towns. In Tokyo, foreigners are much more common because of business, tourism, etc.

    Japanese people are sometimes shy approaching foreigners, so don't be discouraged if you notice this. Most foreigners don't speak Japanese, so Japanese people worry that they will have to use English and they are not confident in their abilities. If you are patient with them, they will be patient with you!

    Have fun!

  • 1 decade ago

    Bleh, don't be scared. I lived for five years in Japan and never had any problems with anything...except for language barriers, but that's the way it is. Shibuya is fun, but Harajuku is probably more fashionable.

  • 1 decade ago

    people in shibuya dress quite wildly so there's no need to worry about the way you dress.

    i go to shibuya at least once a month (by myself) to buy this thing i need, but nothing special really happens. sometimes people talk to you or ask questions but i just ignore them.

    there's lots of fun places in shibuya, so if your going have fun!

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    Trust me, you will be staring more than they at you.

    I don't know how wild your fashion is, but there will be some crazy fashion in Tokyo.

    And even if they do stare, they're in awe of you.

    Strut your stuff and smile for the camera!

  • 1 decade ago

    I've been treated politely and rudely in Japan. You can't care about being stared at there.

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