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Penpals not so friendly


1 Aug 2003
For the past few months I have been trying to get a Japanese penpal, but so far I have not had any luck. I have sent dozens of emails, but have not received even one reply back.

Has anybody ever gotten a reply back? If so, can you give me any suggestions of what I should put in my email, so penpals would want to email me back?

Any suggestions are greatly appreciated. Thanks.
I have a few pen pals from Japan. All I had to do was be myself. There could be many reason no one is sending a reply. Maybe I can help you with a tip or two.

1. Don't give them your whole life story when you e-mail him/her the first time.

2. Be polite when you ask questions about him/her.

3. Make your e-mails a bit enteresting.

4. Ask him/her a little about where they are from.

5. Offer to help with his/her english.

6. Send a picture or two (not yourself unless they ask)

7. Tell them why you are interested in Japan.

8. Most important BE YOURSELF!!

I hope you have better luck now. Remember the next e-mail you send could be the one that gets a reply.

Take care.
The best pen-pal site to get to know Japanese penpals is japan-guide.com.
It's really a good site with thousands of people having ads there and good search engines and whatever.
I had my penpal "ad" on the web last spring, and I got 5 replies. Now I'm actually corresponding with 3 of these, and 1 of them is sort of very close to me, it feels like we're great friends even though we have never met before...all though I wish we will meet someday ;)
I think Justin had some good advice, and the best of them is simply to be yourself. I'd also like to add to that, that don't be too "selfish" when writing the first letters; be interested in the other person too, don't just write things about yourself. It is of course important to tell your true character (for example I think I wrote my thoughts, the things I like etc.) so that the other person can resolve who is he/she really writing to.
Good luck with penpal hunting! :)
:cautious: I met a Japanese friend from icq, but it only last about a month. You can find someone with similar interest from icq.
Have you considered trying to learn Japanese and write your penpals in Nihongo? That may go over a little better, and you may actually get a reply....remember, most J-folks are rather intimidated with their Engrish, and it helps that you are making an effort to learn their language as well.....just a thought.....

as a rule, many J-folks tend to not reply to penpal letters unless they are one of the rare extroverted types that are really wanting to have penpals or improve their English......but then don't forget the exceptions, too.... :D
I agree, japan-guide is maybe the best penpal engine, and not only for Japan. I only posted one ad, and I had around 12 answeres, and not from only japanese people. But in fact, I prefer to "choose" my penpal. I have three penpals I can consider as friend, and that I have for long time, and in each case, I answered their ad. When someone write an ad, it is because he/she look for something in particular. One of my penpals wanted to speak of everything, one other wanted to chat through msn and the other one wanted to talk about France, and to tell what she learnt about. When you write first mail, try to first give them what they want, like talking about everything, etc. Then, just offer them something more, like exchanging pictures, or showing you want to know a lot about Japan, etc. Also tell something like you are open-minded, or anything else. Here is the kind of reciept I use, and I am glad I used it, cause I have really good Japanese friends. But, if you become good friend with a penpal, keep in mind that it can end as fast as it come, and that if you want to meet him/her, things can be different from what you imagined.

For now I am learning Nihongo, and I tell my penpal that I am not good at it at all, but I often try to make small sentences, or to put few idioms I have found, and it always make a great effect. Efforts are always appreciated!!

Good luck ;)
I dont like pen pals....they always expect me to tell them about how cool London is...and i hate London !!!! >_<

Either that or they are really boring / dumb / weird.

I prefer talking on Yahoo, most of my friends there i've known for a few years.
Originally posted by Riven
ahah!! Yes, I have seen some wierd and boring one too! !

Heh,, but there are also ones that'll send your print-club photos that say "Josh is #1 Skatebordur" (Skateboarder) , free Palm Pilots, Laptop Computers and Candy, so it evens out in a sense.


I had a couple of really nice ones when I was in High School. Sadly we have lost contact - I think it was my fault😊
hmm, just in the last week I've started to try and get a pen pal from Japan.

At first I started looking on ICQ, which I should tell you now, is a bad idea. Because much like anyone from America or anywhere else thats on ICQ, they're regular people with their own interests, and those interests probably don't include some English speaking foreigner bothering them. If you try on ICQ, you will virtually get no reply.

After I learnt that lesson(one which took two days -o-;;) I found a Japanese pen pal site. Nobody from that site responded to my email at all, so I gave up there. But then I found another pen pal site, and I sent two emails to two different people in Japan. I got a response right away and they both seem eager to have a native English speaker as their pen pal. So I guess it depends on your luck and where you find your pen pal information.

Hopefully if I can find that pen pal site link again, I'll send you the link!
Hey Den4, this has nuttin' ta do with cute little Japanese penpals, but did ya know that trees & other plants are not only aware of the people around them, bu they can actually read your mind? Yeah they can. Also remember that when you walk across a lawn of grass, you're walking on a living carpet. You're walking across living people, blades of grass. Take off your shoes & walk gently & repectfully. No stomping. Plants really have feelings & they communicate telepathically. This sounds like a episode of the Outer Limits, doesn't it?
I had one penpal, Really scarry, she wanted to marry me. :eek:

Still looking for Penpals my self that won't want to marry me. Man that was so weird.
i have gotten around 30 replys >< but I only constantly correspond with 7 of them (by letters and email) and one of my pen pals came to canada to study english in a 2 month summer camp and i met her~ it was so cool!

There's a site called "Penpal Depot". It doesn't look very slick or professional but it's very effective. I can guarantee you'll get a lot of replies if you write a nice profile about yourself. However, you'll find that most of the Japanese who use it are female.

Alternatively, you can look at the profiles of Japanese looking for a foreign penpal and reply to any that you like.

The address is:


:) Hi, I have been a penpal with 2 Japanese pals. One is male and one is female. They are great friends and have really taught me a lot about their culture. If I lost touch with one of them, it would be a great loss to me. I hope they enjoy my emails to them as much as I enjoy theirs to me. ceejay
"I had one penpal, Really scarry, she wanted to marry me."
got a picture? bahahahaha
Originally posted by budd
"I had one penpal, Really scarry, she wanted to marry me."
got a picture? bahahahaha

Don't get me wrong but she is beautiful. And I still respect her personal life believe it or not. If I was allowed to show her picture I would.

I would get married with her if I was ready and got to know her in person. But I am not. Plus I was trying to be more of a friend to her than a "lover" (as they say in Japan).

That is why I think that women in Japan are...... I don't know the word, but it窶冱 more towards Depression. It's sad for me to say this about her but I think she put a bad judgment call towards Japanese women. I want to become a friend yet I get the boot like I was really her Boyfriend. . 👏

Note: This is only one pen pal that I have had a not so good experience with. I have others that are very good to me. And by one being different does not weigh my opinion or judgment about others.

I have learnt a great deal from them, and I continue to do so. Japanese pen pals are in my top 5 list of being the best.
well that's cool too. i'm impressed
i was joking earlier, but i would like to ask her age range (if known) for reals
just curiousity and another factor to plug in to the date-o-vac, thanks
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