Phoenix doesn’t have a very large Japanese population compared with other metropolitan areas such as LA. In fact, it sometimes feels like there are no Japanese people in the Phoenix area.
Being Japanese, it’s always nice to find fellow Japanese people in a foreign country.
It seemed difficult when I first arrived, but after a while I discovered several places to meet Japanese people in the Phoenix area.
If you are interested in Japanese people and the culture, here is the list of places you can find and interact with them:
You have probably realized this one already, but there are Japanese students at ASU and other colleges in all over Arizona. (ASU has the largest population of Japanese students in the state.)
If you want to meet Japanese students who go to ASU, I recommend joining their Japanese organizations, listed below:
JSA (Japanese Student Association)
JSA has the following mission statement:
Japanese Student Association is a group of students who are interested in:
『Experiencing Japanese Culture』
『Supporting Other Students』
Focusing on these three points, we create new ideas for cultural activities and make them attractive to our members
This organization has both Japanese and American students from ASU, but there are more Japanese students than American people. The organization holds many events that are open to the public, so it’s worth checking out!
You can visit their Facebook page here.
Bridge Club of Japan-America
This group is also run by ASU students. Their mission statement is:
We are the Japanese Bridge Club at Arizona State University. Our mission is to bridge the gap between Japan and America by providing an opportunity of knowing each other through our club events.
Bridge is more casual–anyone is welcome to attend weekly meetings whether or not you are a current student. I personally met many Japanese students through this group and highly recommend joining the club if you are interested in making Japanese friends.
You can find more details about the club on their Facebook Page.
Meetup.com is becoming increasingly popular in Phoenix, and it can even be a great way to meet Japanese people living in the city. Meetup is a website/mobile app that lets you create a group based on common interests or find existing groups to join.
The most active Japanese meetup group in town is the Phoenix Japanese Language and Culture Group.
They hold many events, and I’ve had the opportunity to attend a few of them. I found that the group has a wide range of people from different backgrounds. Some of the Japanese members have been living in Arizona for a long time. I also met some young Japanese families who just moved to the Phoenix area. There are quite a few Japanese students in the group as well.
Anyone is welcome to join the meetup group and attend the events. As an added bonus, they usually have the best homemade Japanese food at each gathering!
Fujiya Market may seem like a strange place to meet people, but this supermarket is a popular spot where Japanese people hang out. Depending on the time and day of the week, you are likely to see a variety of Japanese people in the store. In addition to enjoying the Fujiya’s large selection of Japanese goods, there are several reasons why Japanese people visit the market:
Fujiya Market keeps a message board where patrons can add and review postings. You can find many different topics on the board from selling a car, to job postings from Japanese companies, and so on. Whenever I go to Fujiya Market, I make sure to check the board for interesting topics.
Friendly Japanese staff
The friendly Japanese staff working at the market makes the shopping experience more authentic and attracts Japanese people. I used to go there just to talk with the employees. Plus they are very knowledgeable about Japanese products.
There is an amazing Japanese pastry shop right next to Fujiya Market. Many Japanese people go there to buy cakes and other pastries. I recommend their earl grey cake!
Now you can go find them!
I hope this list gave you some ideas for finding Japanese people in Phoenix.
If you are interested in Japanese people and their culture, go ahead and find them!
Let us know if you find more places or more ways to meet Japanese people in town!