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Japanese people genuinly friendly?


22 Apr 2003
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The thing that really made me fall in love with this country (aside from futuristic cities and fascinating history) were the people.
Everyone was incredibly friendly. Anytime I looked little confused, people stopped and asked if I needed help.
When I talked to a Japanese person, they were warm and very polite. Maybe this is because i'm quite reserved, polite and well mannered, unlike admittedly a fair few westerners, and maybe the Japanese I encountered appreciated this.
The crucial points I suppose were whether you addressed these people on the street in Japanese or English and if you attempted their language did they consistently respond in English, become impatient with your halting speech how much did you resent that....etc etc. That to me is the pivotal distinction between courteous politeness and genuine warmth or friendliness or interest in outside cultures. Plus the intense looking at foreigners even in Tokyo and pitying stares in some of the further out hinterlands I won't say is unsettling anymore but I really wish it were less overt. :)
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