How and Where to Find a Japanese Partner
By Andrew Smith on 27 Feb 2017
Getting senpai to notice you can be difficult, especially if you are new to Japan. Having a Japanese partner in Japan is great for a number of reasons. They are helpful, caring, and are great conversation partners for practicing Japanese. To find a Japanese boyfriend or girlfriend, it’s important to first understand what kind of behavior and attitude is attractive to Japanese people. Keep in mind that none of these tips will work one hundred percent of the time. Everyone is different and is attracted to different qualities in a partner. However these suggestions may get you pointed in the right direction. If you haven’t had much luck yet finding a partner in Japan, here are a few tips on how and where to find your significant other.
Every girl crazy ‘bout a sharp dressed man.
As you know, first impressions are always important, so how you present yourself is key. Your favorite classic rock band’s t-shirt and loose faded jeans aren’t going to cut it anymore. Japanese people are very conscious about fashion. Though it is not quite as important to men as is it is for women, choosing the right outfit can make all the difference when trying to attract the attention of a potential partner. It’s also a good idea to shave that hipster beard. While Japanese women often date foreign men because of how different they are from most other Japanese men, their curiosity only reaches so far. Your scraggly beard may get you a lot of attention at parties, but when women start get serious about finding their significant other, they tend to prefer a man with a clean shave. When it’s time to go in for that first kiss or snuggle in bed, many women feel that beards are scratchy and distracting, so a smooth face is usually more attractive.
It’s time to get lovey-dovey.
There is a fine line between endearing and creepy when it comes to expressing your affection for your new partner, but even a little goes a long way. Japanese women often complain that Japanese men are too shy and don’t show their emotions or affection very often. Don’t be afraid to come up with some cute pet names or remind your partner how much you love them via text or by embracing in public. Showing your feelings towards your Japanese partner will win you some affection too. Women these days love what they call “yudetamago danshi”, which basically translates to “boiled egg men”. Don’t worry. Achieving the sex appeal of a boiled egg is easier than you think. All you have to do is act strong and level-headed on the outside while being soft and kind on the inside — just how a boiled egg has a hard shell with a soft center. However, you should try your best not to smell like a boiled egg.
Showing an Interest
Sushi is your new favorite food.
An interest in Japanese culture is a great way to get close to your partner in Japan. Take a break from flaunting that foreign charm every once in awhile to show your commitment to fitting in with Japanese culture. Showing interest in your partner’s background and culture, also shows that you are interested in them. Go out to Japanese restaurants, visit famous cultural landmarks and try your best to speak the language. Don’t be afraid to make mistakes while speaking Japanese with your partner. Even if you mess up a little, it is apparently one of the most adorable things you could do. It’s not great for your ego, but it is for your game. Here are some good phrases in Japanese to remember when expressing affection to your significant other: 大好きです (daisuki desu)/I really like you、ずっと一緒にいたいよ (zutto isshou ni itai yo)/I want to be with you forever、きれいだよ (kirei da yo)/you are beautiful. The literal phrase “I love you” (愛してる) is not used to often and may get you a weird reaction, so it is best to stick with 好き or 大好き as mentioned above.
Konnichiwa. Gaijin desu.
Communication is an important part of any relationship, but the language barrier between foreigners and Japanese people can be a difficult obstacle to overcome. However, participating in a language exchange is an exciting way to show that you are willing to meet halfway. Though language exchange events are not technically intended for singles looking for a Japanese partner, it’s not a bad place to start. When I signed up for a language exchange event for the first time through the Meetup app, I was surprised to find that the experience was similar to speed dating. I had the chance to have many one-on-one conversations with Japanese girls and exchange contact info. There is a great mix of people at these casual events, and the Japanese people there are genuinely interested in other cultures and nationalities. Foreigners have an advantage here that they may not have at a typical Japanese bar or club. Many language exchange events are held at very international drinking pubs like Hub in Shibuya and Roppongi, so after the party even more young Japanese people who love talking with foreigners flood the venue ready to share a drink with from around the world.
Blind leading the blind.
A typical busy japanese lifestyle allows little time for meeting new people and potential partners. One casual way for young single Japanese students and professionals to find friends or a significant other is through a group blind date called gokon (合コン). Usually at a gokon a group of three to five men and women each sit across the table from each other and enjoy eating and drinking while getting to know one another. Since each member has a least one friend at the party, there is less pressure and awkwardness. Having a great wingman come along with you is a great opportunity to show off your best side when looking for a Japanese partner. Most of these friendly, casual drinking parties happen in izakayas, so the lively atmosphere keeps up the energy. They can also be very affordable. Some izakayas even have discounts for women to encourage groups to arrange a gokon there. Some izakayas are very classy, and others have a variety of fun themes like The Lock-Up to constantly stimulate conversation and provide good laughs.
Bars and Clubs
Put on your dancing shoes.
Going out to bars and clubs to find a partner in Japan is not the most successful way to meet your significant other. Japanese people generally don’t talk to strangers and stay close to their own group of friends when they go out. Of course, later on in the night after a few too many drinks, anything could happen. However those are not the best circumstances under which to start a beautiful new relationship. That being said, there are a lot of great clubs in Shibuya where young people can have a good time. WOMB is one of the most popular clubs in Tokyo for young Japanese people and foreigners. The club has four different levels for music lovers to dance and party including a VIP level for an extra 2000 yen. If you happen to find someone who you share a good rhythm with, there are also many leisure hotels conveniently located in the area for when the club scene starts to wind down.
Andrew is an American writer living in Tokyo, Japan. He often finds himself wandering home from a livehouse after missing the last train. As an outdoors enthusiast, musician, traveler and editor, he stays pretty busy, but he is still always looking for new things to try. The only thing more unorganised than his schedule is his room.