The Nihongo Chat system is designed to facilite communication between native Japanese speakers and English speakers. To that end it has been sub-divided into three areas that can be switched between at will:
This area is intended to take place in the Japanese language using Japanese kana and kanji. To fully participate here you need to have the capability of viewing Japanese characters on your web browser and be able to type Japanese on your computer. The conversation here takes place in Japanese with only a very small amount of Romaji or English.
Those who are not able to view Japanese or who cannot understand written Japanese will find this area to their liking. Conversation here takes place in English, with only a very small amount of Japanese or Romaji.
Nihongo Chat converts all Japanese into EUC encoded text. This means that even if your browser or computer generates one of the other forms of Japanese encoded characters it will be changed into EUC. If your browser is capable of showing Japanese, but has trouble viewing the Japanese here, try setting your Document Encoding option directly to Japanese (EUC).
This system is slightly different from many other chat systems in that it remembers what people type. This means that you don't have to be on at the exact same time as someone else - in fact, experience suggests that you usually won't be. If you think about it, you will realize that Japan and North America or Europe are in such different time zones that it is is hard to get everyone here at the same 'time' - noon in the US is in the middle of the night in Japan, and vice versa.
The best approach is a relaxed 'read what's here, post if you feel like it, check back later to see if someone has responded'.