In a world striving for globalization, Japan is still a national state, with foreigners making up only 1.5% of the country’s population. The biggest foreign communities are concentrated in big cities such as Tokyo and Osaka, and little to none are to be found in smaller towns and rural regions. With so little international contact, most Japanese people tend to regard foreigners as some kind of exotic creatures who happen to be out shopping at their local konbini. They stare a lot. They only speak English even if you ask them something in Japanese. And then they stare again. Needless to say, being a Westerner in Japan is no ordinary experience. As a young woman in particular, you will probably get lots of attention from strangers as well as from colleagues or even working superiors. Knowing how strict Japanese society is when it comes to social ranking and interpersonal relationships, how do you deal with all that unwanted attention without offending anyone? Here are some frequently occurring situations and tips on handling them politely.