But how to build and expand your network in Japan?
Even though social media is convenient, it is not easy to expand your network well without actually meeting people.
Not only in Japan, but everywhere else: if you overlook the importance of physical contact, your number of connections will not increase very fast, or not increase at all. But Japan has some specificities concerning the places you should go to meet professionals.
The word nomikai means ‘gathering to drink’ and is a big part of the Japanese (business) culture. It is an opportunity to meet your teammates in a more relaxed atmosphere, usually after work. People enjoy a moment with their boss and colleagues – except if they felt forced to participate, which is unfortunately common.
However, it is a good way for you to network. You can build relationships with other professionals, and once you have people’s trust, they will be or their acquaintances.
It is both a short and long-term method to develop your network. To learn more about nomikai, read our article about the pros and cons when setting up a branch in Japan.
Nowadays, you cannot start a business without having a couple of social media channels. Check out our article about the most popular social media in Japan and work on your communication.
In addition to that, you can create a Wantedly account. This is the Japanese equivalent of LinkedIn. While many don’t like it, the rating system creates competition among users.
However, since physical contact is important, phone calls are preferred over emails or messages. It is also more polite in Japan.