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There are two kinds of people, one loves Japan after visit, another hates Japan after their visit. I guess that one of the reasons should be "Making Japanese friends". And second reason may be "Understanding Japanese language".
Please refer to the page written about the reason to encourage of leaning Japanese language.
I have some examples. When I worked in Canada, there were two Canadian colleagues who can speak Japanese very well in our office. Their skills in speaking and writing Japanese language were so fluent that they can translate some difficult materials, and their wife and boy friend were Japanese. Of course, they love Japan well. I guess the reasons that they love Japan are "They made a Japanese lover and some Japanese friends", and "They can understand Japanese language very well"
On the other hands, I knew some Japanese who have only Japanese friends and talk with them in only Japanese. That was why they couldn't make Canadian friends in Canada. So, they lost a lot of opportunities to have a lot of funs with Canadian even if they stayed in Canada. In other example, a lot of Chinese live in Richmond city where is south of Vancouver city in Canada. Some of them can't speak English, and their life-style is same as Chinese who live in China.
I can understand it's pleasant that you enjoy your visit in Japan with somebody who has a same background as yours. But I'd like to encourage having a lot of native friends in other country to have a lot of fun and a lot of culture experiences.
Generally, every local friend has a lot of knowledge about the area such information as restaurants, good price shops, kind hospital and doctors. For example, when you will be in poor health, some of your local friends would give some advices about medicine for you. So, making your local friends is the key words to enjoy your Japanese life.
So, I encourage having Japanese friends, but it's a little difficult to make some friendship with Japanese. I list some ideas to make...
I recommend to select 1). In my case, I went to culture center to make some new friends and practice new my hobby. The way is very useful, it's very easy to make new friend and sometimes you can drink beer with your new Japanese friends after your class.
In addition, you can study some Japanese culture.
If you have any your hobby in you country, you can continue it in Japan also. If you don't have any hobbies, I guess it's fun to try new Japanese culture in any class.
In any case, why don't you try any free lessons? It should be the easiest way.
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