It should be noted that there is a great difference in language usage and patterns in English and Japanese. What we might expect to hear we often don't....things just don't translate so well sometimes ; )
After spending time here though you can develop a certain skill at making sense of it all....but when we meet I usually just ask my girlfriend what he said ^^ and you know his on mat time is huge.
A lot of what is communicated here in Japan is in the way of feeling or feelings. What is natural for one is not for another...until they begin to become similar and then it's easier to understand. And the general feeling is that a tree doesn't grow in a day...and in Japan it's better to be a flower than a weed...so most are quite strong
It's interesting, and you have to keep a light hearted view on things a bit. I always find it amusing when I ask people about a new place they went too and what it was like..and they always talk about the food...nothing else. Hence each place is famous for having some food speciality...lol....we just don't communicate the same at all ^^