Culture Shock - What worked for me
I think that what helped me best in getting over the big difference was a kind of a balance between friends. I tried to hang out a bit with some Japanese so I could learn the language a bit but at the same time I asked around and found some common gaijin bars so I could make some Canadian and Australian friends.
I think it kind of balanced it out. Plus I learned a lot about good places to shop on the cheap. And I guess it just helped me feel at home because I could talk about sports and things that I liked. Maybe just a feeling of camaraderie?