Expat Networking In Japan: 4 Great Options + Vocabulary

Four people in a meeting - Expat networking in Japan Ling app

Have you ever wondered about expat networking in Japan? Japan is a fascinating country, no doubt! I wouldn’t blame you if you’re interested enough that it makes you just want to pack up and take your career out east. There are a ton of opportunities to explore in Japan if you decide to go the expat route while in the workforce. And if you’re interested in Japan and Japanese culture, you should consider learning Japanese. Being able to communicate in Japanese will make everything a thousand times easier.

So, if you’re considering making the leap to working abroad in Japan and want to get acquainted with like-minded people, then keep reading as this post will dive into networking in major cities in Japan!

Best Options For Expat Networking In Japan

Going to a new country on your own can seem like you’ve stepped foot into an entirely different world, and sometimes, it can really feel exactly like that! As expats living in a city starting fresh, there are plenty of ways to bypass the initial newcomer scary phase and jump into a community full of new friends and the opportunity to carve a real life for yourself.

For foreigners living in Japan, this country is a great place to take your career internationally. You just need to be prepared to jump out of your comfort zone and do some digging! Expat networking in Japan can be a tricky business, especially for a new resident who doesn’t speak the local language. Trust me when I tell you that there are communities in Japan that exist to get you out there and mingling.

From fun lifestyle groups that support the fit and sporty to groups for female expat mothers and groups with members who work as English teachers, Japan can be a haven for seeking out new people with whom to create lasting bonds. Now, let’s break down some networking groups that might be of interest to you.

1. Language Exchange Partners

While a huge cultural difference might seem like an obstacle, use this as a gateway to find yourself a few language exchange partners! This is a great way to immerse yourself in Japan’s culture and language. Knowing Japanese is crucial, so finding a partner to practice with, whether through social media channels or just by chatting up with a stranger, is an awesome way to flex your language skills. After all, expat networking in Japan is way easier when you both speak the same language.

Four people around a table working

2. Tokyo Expat Network

The TEN has over 30 thousand members dedicated to sharing a bunch of advice for expats and expat communities! They are one of the largest groups of foreign residents in Japan that can be found on Facebook. Super helpful with anything having to do with daily life in Japan, TEN even posts about foreigner-friendly businesses for you to know where to grab a bite, drink, or shop ’til you drop!

3. Yokohama Expat Network

Expat networking in Japan might seem tough, but expats can be found everywhere! Much like TEN in Tokyo, Yokohama Expat Network, or YEN, also offers a huge community in Yokohama that serves its members with plentiful knowledge on what it’s like to be a foreigner living in Japan.

4. Tokyo Mothers Group

This English-speaking group is tailored to expat mothers raising their families in Tokyo. Offering tons of support and advice along the way, Tokyo Mothers Group (TMG) is a great social network for mothers looking to take advantage of a bunch of parenting resources, like attending meetings and events and gaining insight from other mothers living in Japan.

How Do You Say Expat In Japanese?

If you’re expat networking in Japan, you might want to learn to introduce yourself as a kaigai kyojū-sha (海外居住者). Japanese people are very forgiving of foreigner’s language blunders and appreciate anyone making the effort to learn a language that isn’t their own. That being said, check out some more sentences in Japanese that will help you communicate that you are an expat!

  • I am an expat. – Watashi wa gaikoku hitodesu. 私は外国人です。
  • Where is an expat community?Gaikoku hito komyuniti wa doko ni arimasu ka? 外国人コミュニティはどこにありますか?
  • Do you know any more expats?Hoka ni gaikoku hito o shitte imasu ka? 他に外国人を知っていますか?

Essential Expat Networking Vocabulary

Expat networking in Japanese can be a breeze if you keep a few essential words in mind. Communication is important in networking, especially speaking in Japanese with the locals at events or online with members of internet groups, so you could also consider learning Japanese.

For now, check out the table below, which contains the vocabulary that you might use the most when networking in Japan.

EnglishJapaneseRomanization
Meetups交流会Kōryū-kai
Expat海外居住者Kaigai kyojū-sha
NetworkingネットワーキングNettowākingu
Expat communities外国人コミュニティGaikoku hito komyuniti
ClubsクラブKurabu
SportsスポーツSupōtsu

Frequently Asked Questions On Expat Networking In Japan

From wondering if there are any community groups to where to find members or networking events, there’s so much information on expats in Japan! Here are some of the most frequently asked questions that might shed a little more light on the subject for you.

Person playing volleyball - Expat networking in Japan Sports clubs Ling app

1. How To Meet Other Expats In Japan?

It can be scary to be in a new country and even scarier trying to make friends, but don’t worry! Japan has tons of socializing groups that are meant to make this less of a daunting challenge and more of an exciting opportunity to meet new people.

Try looking online on popular forums such as Reddit’s own r/japanlife for information on the latest under-the-radar gatherings around Japan. Or maybe you’re into sports and are looking into joining a club! Japan has loads of people interested in getting fit and active. For example, check out the Blissminton Tokyo Badminton Club or Tokyo Fun Joggers for opportunities to meet new people while staying in shape.

2. Is Japan Expat Friendly?

Japan is super friendly to expats! Japanese society is welcoming to foreigners and invites them to join with high-quality apartments and share houses, an excellent transit system, and, of course, wonderful local cuisine!

3. What Is The Largest Expat Community In Japan?

There are many Koreans living in Japan as expats. Similar to people from nearby Asian countries like China and Taiwan, people from these regions tend to choose Japan as an emigration option.

Ready To Get To Know The Expat Community In Japan?

You’ve reached the end of this post and hopefully have learned so much about the working side of the world that welcomes expats and invites you to explore living in Japan. If you’re thinking about making the commitment, kudos to you! It’s certainly a huge leap to make in your career but also a fun, international adventure to embark on!

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