Even before I started my YouTube channel, I was always talking with strangers on the street in Tokyo.
When I lived in Canada, I found that small talk was completely normal for the people in daily life, so I was talking with anyone anywhere, at least 50 persons per day.
I felt so lucky about that, because it’s completely free. Without going to any English school, you can practice speaking English. That’s really awesome for me who seriously wanted to improve English speaking skill to get a beautiful girl in Canada.
But, aside from that, I was really enjoying having a conversation with the Canadian people. Even when I got a bad day, talking with them made me smile and happy.
When I got back to Japan, I felt a little bit sad that we don’t have the same culture as Canada. Nobody talks anywhere.. We’re just strangers. Many people are just looking at smartphone and addicted to playing the games.
But, who cares?
I started talking to random people in Tokyo on my way to home after my job finishes, just like when I was doing in Canada.
Surprisingly, not everyone ignored me. Even though I would say 95% of people reject me or just walk away, some people happen to be completely OK to talk with me. Sometimes, I even have a long conversation with a extremely hot girl.
Doing this every day, one day, I thought “Why not film this and upload to YouTube? I can show people how native Japanese people actually think about Japan!”
Although my main purpose is for YouTube, I’m doing street interview/chatting as a habit almost every time I go to Tokyo, even if I don’t have a camera. Because I found that I can learn many things by doing this. In the end, I can improve myself a lot.
Here are some of the things I learned from street interview in Tokyo.
I cannot count how many rejections I got. It’s literally countless. I usually get rejected more than 100 times per one night. Actually, it’s very rare that I run into a stranger who is totally OK to talk with me in Tokyo. I always feel so weird and surprised if anyone stops to talk with me on the street. Unlike Canada, that’s super unexpected in Japan.
Since rejection is completely normal for me, and I’m never afraid of taking actions.
It’s not about talking to random people. Speaking in public, making YouTube, blogging in English, or even creating a paid online course for Japanese learners. This mentality applies to any aspect of my life.
When you do something new, the fear of failure is often too strong and stops you. My best solution is that you should lower your expectation. So that, you don’t care about the outcome and just focus on your action.
Honestly, I feel even glad when I got rejected. Because that means I didn’t waste my time to spend with someone who is not compatible with me. Nowadays, I’m really really busy, so I don’t wanna waste my time even a minute.
I used to have a bad habit, which is memorizing a certain line in advance and just put out that as it is. Because I was not good at talking to girls and so scared of having an awkward silence.
But, every situation, every person is totally different. The exact same pickup line doesn’t work to every girl in every situation.
You definitely need to be flexible not just about what you say, but also the tone and the type of delivery depending on the person.
In reality, memorizing lines beforehand made me get very nervous and be silence right after I finish saying my all lines. The next thing I know, I just got panic and my mind completely went blank. The conversation faded out soon, and both parties always left with feeling shitty..
This happened to me literally a million times.
But, who said being silent is a bad thing?
When you have a relationship with someone, it happens all the time. Actually, it’s impossible for any couple to keep talking all the time and fill the blank.
I realized that, and completely stopped thinking about running out of things to say from my mind. It is NOT failure or bad thing in the first place. As long as you think it’s NO big deal, nobody cares in reality.
If you feel being silent is awkward, that’s going to reflect to your body language, and the other person can easily pick up the nervousness. And the worst part is that it’s very contagious. The other person gets nervous too.
Remember, being silent is 100% OK. Sometimes, it might be even good thing.
Because think about it. There are so many things you can do while being silent, right?
In street interview, I run into a wide variety of people, Japanese, Chinese, Korean, Brazilian, Romanian, etc. Sometimes, they are not necessarily Japanese even though they look like a Japanese, or they’re not foreigners even though they look like that. I mistook their nationalities so many times and apologize them a lot. I realize that my assumption is wrong in most of the times.
I think that constantly talking with different type of people makes you become flexible and open minded to something new.
You can learn about American people from TV, media or the internet, but you don’t know how they are actually until you actually go to US and talk with the real people.
As a native Japanese, I grew up in a very monoculture homogeneous environment. I didn’t know outside of the box.
But luckily, there are so many different cultures in Tokyo nowadays, and talking with them allowed me to be more flexible and appreciative of different things, hopefully.
For me, this is the biggest benefit. I feel I can see the world from different vantage points now.
At this point, you may be wondering, “So, what are you trying to tell me? Why you even wrote this article? You’re recommending me to talk to random people in Japan?“
NO, that’s not my point.
I found that communication is a skill just like a sport. You can definitely improve by practicing no matter where your level is right now. I used to be very very shy and introvert person in school and couldn’t talk to anybody but my family. But now, I can talk literally with anyone.
The more you talk, the more you can develop your communication skill. There are so many things you can learn only through actual conversation with a real person, not from a textbook.
So, I want you to talk to as many people as you can in Japan. Don’t assume Japanese people don’t want to talk with you.
It might be opposite in reality. Many of us actually want to talk with someone who is from a different culture.
They might be quite shy and don’t look like conversation-mode as much as you. But trust me, we actually like talking with people. I’m not saying you should talk to strangers. But, how about such as, Friends, coworkers, classmates, etc? Doesn’t matter. Talk to people around you in Japan as much as you can! Don’t hesitate that.
Doing this, the chance you can find your love in Japan is gonna to significantly increase.
Maybe you’re thinking right now, “But, Nobita! I can’t speak Japanese well..”
Then, why not take my online course. Trust me, you can develop your speaking skill much faster!!
Thank you so much for taking your time to read this post. If you like it, make sure to share to your social media!