Wondering, wandering, and making sense of the world.


The difficulties of meeting people for lunch in Japan


With my western background, social nature, and curiosity, ever since coming to Japan I’ve been trying to connect with as many people as possible in order learn and expand my network. As a result, I’ve attended many many events and my transportation costs have been incredibly high from all the trips to Osaka.

Besides events, I’ve also been trying to meet people through lunch, and this has been proving incredibly difficult. Almost everyone is too busy to catch up for lunch, which you know is bullshit.

This pattern was new to me, so I asked a close friend why it kept happening.

“Japanese people generally ask out people for lunch to ask for something (e.g. favor) and because it’s so uncomfortable to say no, they instead avoid the lunch all together coming up with some excuse.”

There you have it. A cultural tidbit from one of the most unique cultures in the world.

This of course doesn’t apply to everyone in the country. I have met some people for lunch, so don’t think it’s impossible to meet people just for lunch. It’s just a lot harder.


2 Responses to “The difficulties of meeting people for lunch in Japan”

  1. July 24th, 2015 at 6:48 pm

    Martin Heidegger says:

    You meet for dinner to catch up, after tediously scheduling it 2 weeks ahead. And the osaka trips are cheaper if you use keihan or hankyu. Btw. thats the reason for the split communities in Kansai.

  2. July 25th, 2015 at 12:41 am

    Olga M. says:

    Sushi-san, have you ever asked them to go out for drinks at night or karaoke? Maybe that will trigger a different reaction? Also, in the US there is a great saying which I heard from my friend: People are never too busy. They’re just too busy for YOU. This just shows how different mentalities can be!

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