This tendency is often infuriating for newcomers to Japan but with time, you’ll work it out.

Two other friends started dating guys they met at English lessons. And in fact, this vagueness, or “aimai” in Japanese, is a well-studied trait in Japanese communication which is designed to be somewhat ambiguous to preserve the “wa” or harmony.

Japanese are especially uncomfortable with really assertive styles of communication and easily feel bullied, so will often seem to be saying “yes” even when they mean no.

Japanese culture is at times pretty much the exact reverse of western culture.

How can you tell if a girl/guy likes you in a country where ‘yes’ can mean ‘no’?

Japan is famous for its temples and shrines - you could spend weeks in cities such as Kyoto or Nara feasting your eyes on architectural marvels and historic monuments.

If culture is more to your taste, you can’t get much better than Japan’s colourful and rich heritage including wonderful kabuki (Japanese performing arts) and traditional geisha.

The vast majority (upwards of 90%, I’d say) hardly have the opportunity to interact with non-Japanese unless they travel overseas.

At the same time, like folks in most other developed countries, Japanese people have been inundated with media from America and are avid travelers.

Many of the organizers also run other kinds of seasonal events as well.