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Question
Our 15 year old is visiting his cousin at Waseda University.  They're having a great time.  But when I asked him about if he's been able to use his Japanese - he says that people do not seem very open to small talk with strangers. e.g. cashiers don't like to chit chat. I wondered if you might have a thought on a place they might be able to go where there would be an opportunity for them to give their fledgling language skills a go.  

Any thoughts appreciated!  

Best,

Michael

Answer
Hi,
Japanese can be aloof or taciturn to new people, especially in serious situations like a workplace. There are a lot of opportunities for him to meet people though. I would suggest he meet people through friend finding site like on
http://www.japan-guide.com/local/?aCAT=2
It's free, active, and he can meet a lot of people.

He can exchange e-mail with someone according to his criteria, like Japanese in Tokyo between a certain age, and usually after exchanging a few e-mails if things go well he can meet up with some Japanese.
Some Japanese want to meet to practice their English of course, so there must be some give and take, but there should be no shortage of people he can become friends with.

Best regards and Happy New Year,

Robert

Japan

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Robert

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General questions about tourism/travel and life in Japan, including shopping, visa issues, culture-shock, finding accommodations and employment, proper cultural etiquette, and common problems ex-pats in Japan experience. Bachelors Degree in Japanese Culture and Masters Degree in Marketing.

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