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Takanami said, brushing tears from her eyes as she left the church sanctuary in a rustling white train and a silver rhinestone crown and veil. And France is a very beautiful country. The dominant wedding travel brokers are Japanese, and they are preparing for the future softening of the market with the aging of the Japanese population. Watabe, for instance, is prospecting for Chinese clients in Taiwan and Hong Kong. Some wedding agencies in France have formed their own trade group, Association Oui, with a Web site in English and Japanese that lists quality standards, pledging to provide only genuine ministers, not actors.

But the wedding agencies and the association are cautious about discussing business. Perhaps that is because in London the Church of England was criticized a year ago for performing blessing ceremonies. Critics complained that wedding tourism transformed churches into theme parks for tourists. Bernard Cassard, a pastor who handles all of the ceremonies, said church members had decided that the ceremonies were a form of evangelism.

He acknowledged, though, that the Seventh-day Adventist religion was stricter for its own members, refusing to perform weddings of Adventists to nonmembers.

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He looked up at another resplendent Japanese bride and groom striding out the doors of his church. A photographer motioned to him. Wordlessly, Mr. Cassard moved out of sight of the camera lens. Tell us what you think.

Are Japanese Men Really Passive in Romance? (Interview)

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You agree to receive occasional updates and special offers for The New York Times's products and services. Thank you for subscribing. So I definitely can take a step back and see how it was. I quite vividly remember my first years here, and how it was to not be able to communicate. And I often travel to countries where I don't speak the language. The language barrier is a huge barrier to making friends, but as I mentioned a post or two back, I believe this is independent of the points brought up in the article.

Basically the points brought up in the article are mostly relevant to people who are able to communicate in the language, or are dealing with people who speak their language. Most foreigners in foreign countries don't go out of their way to make close friendships with locals. They like to congregate and hang among people like themselves. Hence you have 'foreign' enclaves throughout Japan. Same as it is in plenty of other countries where foreigners and expats hang among their 'own' kind.

Hardly unique to Japan. The article here on Japan Today is mostly the same, it's just been re-written to be relevant to foreigners, rather than from the perspective of Japanese people reading about foreigners. This one has also has some additional information added in the header and summary. Next, how about trying to be a little more direct with what you are thinking. If you're the type of person who isn't good at being direct, then it may be good to tell the person that. Anyways, it's all about the language [or maybe 'your words']. I think it's about putting your heart into communication with someone who speaks a different mother tongue to you.

All of my close Japanese friends speak good English and we communicate in Japanese and English. In my experience I've found that those with an interest in in other cultures and languages tend to be those who are able to hold more 'normal' conversations with foreigners and be more accepting, particularly on first meetings.

Perhaps I've been here too long and frankly don't have the energy to get past the difficulties of so-called barriers despite the fact I speak good Japanese. These days I prefer to have natural, normal conversations with people who don't have cultural differences at the front of their minds. Not too much to ask, is it? I think no.

German Men and Romance: Everything You Need to Know

Numbers 3 to 5 are just a lack of acceptance of a different culture. Excellent post, Leikireiki, and describes how I so often feel when conversing with Japanese people. In fact I often get the feeling that I'm having exactly the same, safe conversation with only tiny variations. The range of topics that you can discuss openly are very, very narrow and circumscribed. And then there are the myriad conversational minefields, that you have to step over very delicately, if you don't want people to hate you.

You know what I mean, right? Sometimes Japanese are so swift to take offence, it's as if they have a huge complex or something, which is really not fitting for a supposedly modern and progressive society. I don't get the need to have the other person say something profound when talking to them. Very few non-Japanese I know manage to do this. I also am surprised to read these comments about Japanese people taking offense quickly to the things you are saying - what are you saying to which they are taking offense?

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I don't have a need for this, but it's nice to know that I'm going to be pleasantly surprised from time to time. I don't think I've ever heard anything from a Japanese person that wasn't following the official party line state or media sanctioned. On the other hand, to my great personal astonishment, I've been told many times that my utterances are profound and even life-changing.

Let me give you a small example: one day, in conversation, I casually mentioned to a group of Japanese friends that "there are many paths to happiness, you know? They'd never thought of Life that way before, ever! This is admittedly one of the few things I find bothering about Japanese. I miss the "instant call and let's just meet on a Friday evening" atmosphere.

I tend to plan things off the cuff; sometimes at the very last minute or at the spur of the moment. Sounds like me! I figured out that constant planning just destroys the fun of surprise and will lead to disappointment. Japanese really need a few slices of this! I hear crap like that from Japanese people all the time.

5 reasons foreigners find it hard to become friends with Japanese people

It's one of the differences I find that makes it hard for me to be friends with them I don't feel a need to talk about stuff like this - same reason that I don't like all those inspirational quotes people feel the need to post on Facebook. Guess what, Tessa, every country is the same. People don't like hearing any criticism about their own country from a "foreigner.

Japanese are the same. Well, here's how I learned the hard way: I confided to a group of Japanese female "friends" that I was being badly sexually harassed at work. They dropped me like a ton a bricks. My sin? Pointing out that one of their compatriots was behaving in a less than gentlemanly fashion.

Learn Japanese. Fall in love. Make lifelong friends.

Can you imagine something like that happening in your own land? And yes, Japanese people quite freely and happily criticise British food, even the ones who've never even eaten it before! In my experience I've found that those with an interest in in other cultures and languages tend to be those who are able to hold more 'normal' conversations with foreigners and be more accepting, particularly on first meetings".

This is extremely true. My son plays on a sports team and when I go to watch most of the other parents are Mums. I have no problem speaking Japanese I am a simultaneous interpreter , but most of the women avoid extended conversation and have nothing really to say to me. There was just one older lady who I found I could just have a regular conversation with. She seems to enjoy chatting, and never looks awkward if it happens that it is just the two of us. We were speaking in Japanese, but it turned out she had lived in the US and spoke fluent English.

I don't think this is a coincidence. It's not the language barrier that makes conversation difficult. A very interesting post. Makes my wonder why I still choose to live here. Oh, that's right I have a great job.