Dealing with loneliness in Japan


Expatriation can be a fun and exciting adventure, but it can also be a bit lonely at times. Please share with us some tips for dealing with loneliness.

What are some potential factors that lead to loneliness when moving to Japan?

How do you deal with feelings of loneliness?

Is it easy to expand or create a social network in Japan?

Are there any activities or events that encourage social meet ups and networking opportunities?

Thank you for sharing your experience,


Even after five years in Yokohama I have times when I feel very lonely.  I am retired, however my young Japanese wife still works.  Most every weekday I am on my own.  Back in 2014 I joined the Enjoy Walking Yokohama group of which there are now over 95,000 residence who go out and walk for exercise most every day.  We carry a pedometer issued by the city and log our steps at various spots throughout the city.  I walk by myself, but I compete with people who are much younger than I am.  I have attended several meet up groups, most are people who I have nothing in common with.  I also have several Japanese friends and unlike those in the states they are not much for getting together on a regular basis.  I fight the loneliness by being out going and greeting those I meet on my walks.  I have actually considered placing an ad in one of the local English language publications for a walking partner.  I am slowly learning the language, which of course in any country improves your chances of communication with less isolation.  Overall, I am very happy living here and hope to overcome times of loneliness by keeping a positive attitude and creating new goals and objectives for myself outside the home.

Hey Rey(?)

Can fully sympathize. Been here almost 5 years and haven't made any Japanese friends at all to be honest. I'm not sure they see friendship in the same way? I also keep the lonely hours at bay by walking and working. I too have a younger wife but  work mornings and evenings so have the day to myself. Do a fair amount of pounding the pavements myself. Helps eat up those hours eh?

We have been living in Kyoto for 7 years.  We hardly had any friends for the first few years but then we started going to the neighborhood Izakaya and things changed rapidly.  Met local people, and more people and some of them have become good friends and they've been very helpful.

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