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Some don’t even want to make Japanese friends — they’re happy being Bubble Dwellers. There’s little point in moving to another country unless you’re willing to acclimate at least a little bit, and hanging with the locals is the best way to do that.

It’s also kind of sad when foreigners see each other as rivals instead of potential friends with so much in common (a shared interest in Japan, for one! Our advice is to make friends with whomever you want to, but don’t intentionally seek to cut people out of your life. You never know when you might miss out on meeting someone awesome.

It’s always embarrassing to encounter a Western person in Japan who would much rather be Japanese.

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A typical example of the Gaijin Smash that’s often cited is when a person pushes through the ticket gate at the station without buying the right ticket, knowing that the station staff might be reluctant to chase after and engage with a big, scary foreigner with whom they may not be able to properly communicate.

Sometimes Gaijin Smashing doesn’t really hurt anyone, like when the NHK man knocks on your door and asks you if you have a TV and you pretend to be extra-foreign until he goes away (the standard Gaijin Smash response is “terebi wa tabemasen lol” (lit.

Before going to Japan for travel, study or work, many people from overseas take the opportunity to read up on several of the country’s more common dos and don’ts in order to avoid committing any cultural faux pas.

In Japan, a country with a lot of its own unique social rules and conventions, it’s all too easy for visitors from abroad to blithely inconvenience their hosts and embarrass themselves.

But aren’t those same rules a part of what make Japan the wonderfully safe, unique country that we love?

Resist the smash, be a good person, and improve your Japan life.

Moving to Japan means you’re always going to be between cultures, but it’s important to remember that no one’s making you choose—you can identify with your home country and also enjoy Japan, too! It’s totally okay to vent to others in the same boat as you about some of the frustrations you’ll naturally feel while living here, you just need to make sure you don’t develop a victim mentality and start retroactively blaming Japan for your puppy Sparky being squished by that ice cream truck back when you were seven.

Another big mistake some foreigners make is to treat Japan like some sort of divine force which has the power to bring either misery or joy to their lives. The key to a happy, balanced attitude is in avoiding drawing comparisons between Japan and your home country.

Pretty much every foreigner who has spent time in Japan will have tales of all the myriad ways they unwittingly did or said the wrong thing before fully acclimatising.

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