What Do You Mean By Foreigner Friendly?


Main Man
Feb 1, 2013
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I want to know what people expect when you hear that an establishment is foreigner friendly.

From reading some threads, it seems to me that foreigner friendly means that you can easily get by without knowing a lick of Japanese , and others mean foreigner friendly by just allowing a non Asian guy in.

In my mind there are 4 levels of foreigner friendly.
1. Allow people who look foreign and cannot speak Japanese.
2. Allow people who can pass ass Japanese, but don't speak fluently.
3. Allow people who look foreign and speak Japanese.
4. Allow people who can pass as Japanese and can speak Japanese.

In the strictest sense, all 4 of the above places are foreigner friendly, albeit 4 is barely foreigner friendly.

As there are many different types of people who use this forum, do you think that there is a necessity to specify in reviews what foreigner friendly means?
I define 'foreigner friendly' as being #3 on your list, and arguably #2. There's never really been a time where a large segment of the P4P industry in Japan has allowed people that speak no Japanese whatsoever, so when someone says that they are foreigner friendly, it means that they accept non-Japanese at all. This can be confusing, since in most other foreign destinations, the vast majority of orgs are more than happy to take a foreigner's money, even if there's a language barrier involved.

I certainly try to prod reviewers to not just say that a place is 'foreigner friendly', but what their language level is and/or whether they will see people that have no Japanese skills or minimal Japanese skills.
My view is 3 and then 1. The first impression your physical appearance makes is a big factor both for the store and the girls.