I do not claim that my Japanese is amazing, because it simply is not. But I do try everyday to speak to at least one person in Japanese, even if it is simply asking how much something is. I am trying though.
Depending on where in Japan you go people will react differently to you when you speak Japanese to them. Some will have a look of relief on their face (I’m guessing cause they think their English isn’t good or non-existent) and some will speak English with you even if you speak Japanese (mainly touristy areas).
My favourite coffee shop is on the way to work and I will stop there a few times a week. The first time I went in there, the employee greeted me and you could see on her face that she was thinking something along the lines of “Oh my god, my English is really terrible what do I say if he cannot understand!?”. Once I ordered, completely in Japanese, you could see the relief on her face.
Another time was in a Shibuya, which is a very touristy area. Being a typical Canadian, I wanted some McDonald’s. So, I went to one close to Shibuya Crossing (they are everywhere much like Starbucks). The lovely girl behind the counter greeted me and I started to order in Japanese. I thought nothing of it. Then when I was done ordering the girl has this look on her face like “Holy crap, seriously you can speak Japanese, that’s awesome!”.
I find it interesting being foreigner and talking to Japanese people from different parts of the country and/or city. The reactions you get will be vastly different. Which I think it pretty awesome in itself.
If you’re enjoying my ramblings then make sure to subscribe.