Where to meet Japanese people in the United States?
This morning, I met Japanese people for the time since I began studying the language. While I was enjoying my breakfast at Starbucks, two Japanese people were doing, what I assume, was a job interview. I've learned enough Japanese to be able to tell the difference between Japanese and other Asian languages. While they were getting up to leave, I asked them if I could practice introducing myself with them, and they kindly obliged! As I like to say, there is nothing as conducive to learning and progress as real, experiential, human interaction. I am absolutely delighted at this morning.
With all of that being said, where could I meet more Japanese people to talk to? Are there common names for Japanese restaurants or other places where I can expect to meet Japanese speakers? Nothing gets you tasting language like live conversation with real people.
One. I haven't had great luck finding someone in stores. I say, good morning, I am learning japanese, and add either: are you japanese, do you speak japanese, what country are you from. I usually get 'blank stares' or sneered faces, and they say No, I am Korean, Chinese, etc... Disheartening. Two. When I was learning Spanish and I wanted 'live practice', I contacted the Spanish embassy, and they referred me to Casa de Maryland. A much better experience. I ended up volunteering to teach English and the students helped me with my Spanish. A definite win/win. The Japanese Embassy, gets my vote as a place to find Japanese people to practice with...