Looking for romance in Japan? Learn from our experience! Here a few things we’ve learned from foreigners who’ve dated in Japan.
Sometimes, the physics of physical affection in anime and manga just don’t make sense.
Japan is pretty fond of Western-style wedding traditions. Far more people choose to have their ceremony in a chapel than a Shinto shrine, with the bride and groom dressed in a wedding dress and tuxedo instead. Other popular foreign introductions are taking a honeymoon and wearing wedding rings.
Of course, it’s also customary for a guy to present his sweetheart with an engagement ring when he proposes. But one Japanese company says there’s room for even more jewelry in the transition from boyfriend and girlfriend, and has introduced the concept of a marriage ring, which is not to be confused with a wedding ring.
Even as the world of otaku becomes an increasingly co-ed one, many of Japan’s obsessive fans of anime, video games, and other forms of pop culture struggle in finding a romantic partner. That’s where Aeullura, a matchmaking company specializing in konkatsu (marriage-minded dating) events for otaku, comes in.
But conventional speed-dating can be intimidating for even ordinarily outgoing individuals, let alone otaku who might very well spend more of their free time watching fictional characters than interacting with other people. Add in the pressure of a ticking clock, and some might not feel confident in their ability to walk up to an attractive stranger, make a good impression, and then find out more about them.
That’s why Aeullura is flipping that sequence of events for its upcoming otaku matchmaking party by giving the speed daters access to a wealth of information about one another, and even letting them communicate online, before putting them all in the same room together.
It’s widely known in Japan that idol singers are often contractually prohibited from engaging in romantic relationships. The reasoning goes that if word gets out that an idol singer has a boyfriend, her fans will feel betrayed that she isn’t solely devoted to her role as a musician and entertainer, and thus stop buying her CDs (there’s also the unspoken implication that openly dating someone will destroy the fantasies of individual fans that would like to date the singer themselves).
A signed contract isn’t always enough to keep young love and hormones in check, though. And when you consider that idols are almost always attractive, outgoing young women, it seems like it should be only a matter of time until they find a guy they fancy out of their swarms of would-be suitors. That’s why in addition to legal pledges not to date, the Japanese entertainment industry has a number of sneaky tactics up its sleeve to prevent its idols from falling in love or going on a single date.
It’s no secret that in Japan selling the fantasy of an anime or video game sweetheart is big business. But is everyone with a 2-D crush simply a lonely soul using the fictional character as a substitute for a lack of real-world interaction with the opposite sex, or do some people just prefer having a virtual romantic prospect? One Japanese technology company is aiming to find out, using the power of science.
It looks like 2015 is proving to be a defining year for LGBT couples and rights around the world. In Japan we’ve already seen same-sex marriage certificates extended to Shibuya Ward despite interference, not to mention public support from the government of Osaka Ward. Now it appears the acceptance movement is spreading to other East Asian countries as well.
Recently one woman in China decided to publicly pop the question to her female partner in public, and a video of the proposal soon went viral. Get ready to break out the tissues.
We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again, dating is hard. This is very true in Japan as well, where a survey in 2013 showed that many Japanese aren’t really dating. Also, being a foreigner and trying to date in a country that is 98.5% ethnically Japanese makes it an even more daunting task for some.
But fear not! Though statistics may not be in your favor, there are certainly those that not only want to date, but date people who aren’t Japanese. Earlier this year we focused on what women thought about mixed-race relationships, but now it’s time for Japanese men to share their ideas about what they would like, as well as what challenges they would expect with a person who’s not Japanese.
Eating out by yourself can feel a little awkward and embarrassing, but a restaurant in Korea billing itself as being just for single diners caught the attention of plenty of passersby. And that’s “single” diners in both senses of the word: unaccompanied and also without a boyfriend or girlfriend.
But while all of the diners walked in lacking a romantic partner, some of them significantly improved their dating prospects while they filled their stomachs, thanks to a special surprise that was waiting for them.
Dating is hard. No, let’s back that up. Meeting people is hard. We can even go a little further and say talking to someone for the first time is hard. Some of us lack the courage and confidence to approach someone who we like and start talking to them.
It’s a problem that has plagued humanity for centuries, and even though human civilization has shown, through constant population growth, that people are getting things done, it’s always nice to have a little bit of help. While there are plenty of websites and books that offer you tips on how to present yourself, this handy video is much more suited for our busy modern lives, since in just four minutes it tells you how to pick up all the guys.
Even though a lot of couples in Japan officially start their relationship with a dramatic and explicit expression of love, that level of passion can be hard to maintain indefinitely. Especially among married couples in Japan, it’s not common to say “I love you” every day, and after a few years as husband and wife, some spouses stop seeing each other as a man and a woman.
But marriage is a long string of small shared experiences, and sometimes couples find a spark that rekindles the flames of their emotions for one another, like in this list of the top 10 times Japanese men fell in love with their wives all over again.
Watch any Japanese drama or anime with a romantic plot thread, and a love confession or “kokuhaku” scene will inevitably crop up. I wanted to know whether this was just an on-screen phenomenon, or if it happened in real life, too, so I set out into Tokyo’s Shinjuku neighborhood to meet some couples and ask them about how they got together.
When you’re feeling down, there’s nothing like a kiss on the lips to lift your spirits, but not everyone has a consenting lip-lock partner nearby. According to one manga, though, you don’t even need another person, because there’s a trick that’ll let you make out with your own forearm.
But is this one-person romantic gesture a viable substitute for actual companionship, or more pervy manga snake oil? We decided to investigate.
There are a handful of accepted stages people go through when dealing with heartbreak. First, there is denial. Then, bargaining. Then, relapse. Anger. Acceptance. Then, finally, hope, as the subject of the breakup looks to the future and finally finds something worth looking forward to.
Or, if you’re this Chinese woman traveling in Hong Kong, you just lie down on the ground and shout at anyone and everyone who will listen until the police carry you away.
As in most countries, magazines aimed at young adults in Japan spend a lot of time talking about the opposite sex. Just as publications aimed at men often wax poetic about their image of the ideal woman, so too do women’s magazines write up collections of traits of desirable guys.
But one recent list has Japanese Internet users scratching their heads over its oddly specific list that includes such minutiae as foot size and social media preference.
Remember that time you spotted that cute guy/girl at the cafe? Remember how badly you wanted to go over to them, make a witty comment, sit down and have them laugh and gaze into your eyes? And remember how they left before you actually did anything?
Well no longer! Aiseki Cafe in Ginza has the answer. When you come in you’re shown to a table with only two seats: one for a man and one for a woman. You chat, flirt, sip coffee and eat cakes, and then after 30 minutes you get rotated to the next person to repeat the process until you’ve found someone to make the sacred connection with: sharing your cell number.
Oh, and if you’re a woman, great news! You get unlimited coffee and cake for only 500 yen, one-fifth of the price for men. Cha-ching!
A day doesn’t go by that the morality police aren’t up in arms about something the rest of the world finds innocuous. Whether it’s the “music these days” or “those kids and their crazy hair,” we generally can’t help responding with sighs and exaggerated eye-rolls. But this time, we’re wondering if maybe they’re not entirely wrong.
It turns out Japanese junior high school and high school student couples across the country have raised eyebrows by posting videos of themselves kissing online. Which wouldn’t be a big deal if it weren’t for the fact that these videos are open to the public for anyone to see.
So, why are they publicizing their relationships and why is it such a hot topic? Read on to find out!
What do you think of when you imagine a “cute girl?” The term seems like it should be straightforward enough, whether you’re using the English word “cute” or the Japanese equivalent, kawaii. But one Japanese Twitter user claims that guys and girls use the word to mean vastly different things, and has even shared an illustration diagraming what she feels is the difference between what men and women mean when they talk about a “cute” girl.
Taking the train is by far the most common way to get around urban and suburban Japan. By its very nature, though, using public transportation means being out in public, which in Japan means following social norms about proper manners and not bothering your fellow passengers.
The average Tokyo commuter spends an hour each way on the train, though. It can be hard to follow all of the implicit rules of train etiquette during such a lengthy ride, and here are 10 minor breaches of etiquette that some Japanese men are willing to turn a blind eye to.
Live overseas for long enough, and you’ll start to experience reverse culture shock on your visits home. On my last trip back to L.A., I was surprised to see how popular beards have gotten in the States, and judging from the foreign travelers I see here in Japan, they’re just as trendy throughout western Europe.
As someone whose Arabic ancestry means every day is a battle against a phalanx of facial hair, I have to say I can see an upside to this new golden era for beards. But, as with any decision a man makes, it’s important to first ask yourself that critical question, “Will this make women think I look cool?” To help answer that question, today we’re looking at the results of a survey asking Japanese women whether or not they like a guy with a beard.