Making Japanese Friends through Google Maps

Google Maps is becoming the ultimate tool for going anywhere. But even more importantly, it’s becoming the ultimate tool for “reviewing” anywhere. I’m one of those people that likes to obsess about reviews on restaurants and places before I go. So when I went to Japan in September of last year, I was very happy to see that Google Map reviews of places was in high gear. Not quite as intense as America, but doing a good job nonetheless.

But then I noticed it. Many of the reviews were in English, despite them being in Japan. This is great for all the foreign tourists who can’t speak Japanese and are just there to have a fun time.

So this got me thinking. What if we did the opposite? Review all the places we love to go to where we live: In Japanese.

This will accomplish a few things:

1. Making Japanese reviews are short and easy ways to practice your writing.

2. You are helping out all the Japanese tourists who visit where you live. I’m sure it’ll warm their hearts to see reviews in Japanese by foreigners.

3. You may make Japanese friends who are visiting where you live. Since your reviews are connected to your Google+ profile, they may very likely be curious what foreigner wrote this review, click on your profile, and add you to their circle.

So I gave it a shot, and here’s a random example of me reviewing a New York restaurant in Japanese. Nothing special. Just simple and too the point.

Bring Your Home Closer To Japan With Google Maps

What do you think? Want to try it out, and bring your home closer to Japan?

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Founder of Jalup. Spends most of his time absorbing and spreading thrilling information about learning Japanese.


Making Japanese Friends through Google Maps — 9 Comments

  1. Great idea. This is how it is for just about any international website that includes Japan. Everything is written by English-speakers. The Japanese still have a lot of technology they need to adapt to. I’ll remember next time I feel like writing something nice. I don’t review many things too often, though.

    • Yeah it’s weird though because Japanese use google maps a lot, and use the reviews, but just don’t write them. And it’s not really a “cultural difference” of writing online reviews, because there are plenty of Japanese only sites with tons of user based reviews.

  2. Brilliant!

    Interestingly, I’m learning Chinese and Google Maps is chock full of reviews for restaurants in Taipei. Have yet to see one in English, they’re all in Chinese.

    • Very interesting. I wonder what causes the discrepancy. Because Japanese people make up one of the largest portions of Internet users

      • All I know is that Google seems to put a lot of effort into – would only be speculation why that is. But Google products are very well localized to Taiwan and plenty of advertising put behind them.

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