My coworker Shiho is probably my best Japanese friend. She is fun, smart, cool, and kind-hearted. She also teaches Japanese at another school, so she has been a great help for language learning. Additionally, I often bring my cultural questions to her, and she has offered me some wonderful insight. Conversely, whenever she has questions about English or American culture, I'm happy to share my knowledge.
Well, the other day, several of us coworkers were riding the subway home from work and chatting (as normal). We all live at different stops, and when the Australian coworker I was sitting next to exited, I leaned over and gave her a quick hug and air kiss on the cheek as we said our nightly goodbyes. Shiho and I live the furthest from work, so when I got off, we were the last two coworkers left, and I gave her the same hug and air kiss. While walking home, I got a text from Shiho saying that she really appreciates how I include her in our foreign culture and that in Japan they don't hug or kiss like foreigners do, but that she likes that aspect of our culture. She said that she wanted to be able to share her culture with me more and said that her mom knows how to dress people in kimonos; she thought perhaps that might be a fun experience for me to get dressed up in one before I leave Japan. I was very excited about the idea, and we ended up planning a kimono day for us three foreign women at work. It was great fun!! We finished the night off with an amazing sushi and tempura dinner at Shiho's parents' place.