Foreigners playing Pokemon Go in Japan

So Pokemon Go happened.

I am pretty sure there is no one out there that doesn’t at least know what I mean when I say that. And trust me, Japan is no exception. With Pokemon Go finally released in Japan, more people are out and about than before.
What I didn’t expect to see what the number of foreigners wandering around, also playing. My first reaction would be “oh tourists” but looking carefully, unless a tourist has a pocket wifi (you can pick them up at the airport after all) these people probably live in Japan.

Being a foreigner in Japan, playing Pokemon go has made me notice a few things.

  1. There are a lot more foreigners living in Japan than people first think.
    This really shouldn’t be a surprise. After all, I work in a company with a lot of foreigners. And most of us are playing Pokemon Go. The real surprising thing, was actually seeing foreigners gather in places that weren’t bars. The interesting thing that I saw though, was more Japanese people being surprised at seeing foreigners. You would think that with the number of tourists increasing in Japan, this reaction would slowly decrease… well apparently not.
  2. Boys will be boys.
    Let’s put aside the fact that we are all playing Pokemon Go in a park. The number of times I have been called out to in (terrible) English has seriously increased when I am in popular locations for Pokemon Go. Wandering around as two foreign girls had people both try say hello to us or awkwardly say English words/English sentences to each other in hopes we will overhear and look at them. I shake my head at the latter.
  3. Pokemon Go at night is normal. 
    A key thing to remember is that Pokemon Go encourages people to go outside more, and walk around. And it even encourages you to go out at night. There are certain Pokemon that you are more likely to catch at night and if I was still in England/Germany/South Africa, this would be a BIG NO for me. There is just no way that I am going to wander around at night, even if I am with friends. It’s just too risky.

However, the culture of Japan and the general safety here actually means that you are naturally out later at night. Now I don’t say its 100% safe, but it is definitely safer than other countries I’ve been in. If you are going to wander out at night in Japan, make sure you take a friend with, just in case.

Those are the main things I’ve noticed, does anyone else live in Japan who is also playing Pokemon Go? Have you spotted anything unique?

Till next time x


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