The Bizarre and Awkward reality of Dating in Japan

I have lived in Japan for a little over a year now and most of my friends from Jamaica keep asking me the same question over and over again, “What’s the dating scene like in Japan?” If you want to know as well, then pull up a chair and let me give you the low down. First of all, there is no dating scene, at least not for most foreign women who live outside of Tokyo. But even the Tokyo girls have their fair share of complaints about the dating situation here.

You might think, “Well Japan is just another country, so why would dating there be any different?” Trust me, it is very different and to fully explain why, I must first talk about the culture of Japan. Japan is a wonderful country with so much to see, so much to do and one of the lowest crime rates in the world. Japan even has a great party scene, enviably fun and laid  drinking culture and a way of life that makes many foreigners want to  move here and call it their permanent residence, so Japan overall is a great place to live and work. However the media, anime and Hollywood have given the world a false impression of what sex and dating here is really like. This article seeks to shed some light on the dire dating situation here, in the Land of the raising sun.

When some people think of Japan they think of vending machines filled with used panties, 100 person orgies, sexually explicit game shows and kinkiness, the likes of which the rest of the world just cannot match up to. But when you arrive in Tokyo it doesn’t take long to see that almost none of that exits here in everyday life and thank God for that! But the irony is that the situation here, in many ways, is the complete opposite of what you might be expecting. Japan’s birth rate is at its lowest in 120 years, schools are closing down all over the country because of a lack of children to fill them and senior citizens make up almost 30 percent of the population. Why is this happening? There are several reasons but the most important is that the people here are being worked to death. They are being forced to work for 60 hours a week (which includes several hours of unpaid overtime). Why, all over Tokyo you can see the strange sight of well dress office workers fast asleep on public staircases, trains, park benches, sidewalks, random alleys, you name it! And it is all because they have no time to go home and sleep. So subsequently many people here just do not have the time to go on dates, get married and have children, especially in the Japanese hub of business and Commerce, Tokyo.  A little bit of the blame could also go to the fact that ‘virtual companions’ have been gaining popularity with bother Japanese men and women here. These are interactive, customizable, animated ‘companions’ that you can send, messages to and for money virtual gifts to. The point of this is to build a romantic relationship with these virtual ‘companions’ conveniently using your smartphones and other devices, without actually having to go on real dates and interact with real people. I see this as a desperate cry for love, affection and attention that stems from the fact that everyday life in Japan for many is completely devoid of romance.

There is another barrier to romance that I have noticed here.  This issue perhaps affects foreign women more than her Japanese counterpart. This barrier is the shyness of many Japanese men. I think most foreign women here will agree that a lot of Japanese men here become quite overwhelmed when you try to flirt with them. You can usually tell that they are overwhelmed because they tend to stutter, drop things and have this terrified look on their faces.  It’s the kind of look that makes you think that perhaps you should have gone a little slower with him. I have been told that the best thing to do is to wait until they are drunk in a pub and talk to them but even that doesn’t always break down their walls of shyness. Why, I even recall a friend of mine named Martha telling me a story about her gym crush. Martha asked a Japanese friend of hers how to ask a guy out in Japanese and the Japanese friend told her how to say, “let’s have sex”, as a prank on Martha. After Martha said to her Japanese crush, “let’s have sex”, Martha never saw her crush in the Gym again.

I’ll be the first to tell you what a shame the shyness issue is here, because so many of the Japanese guys here are just too good looking! They are great dressers, their hair always looks perfect and they always smell nice. In small towns like mine, the real lookers are only in the gym, but in Tokyo? Oh Blessed Tokyo! You can’t walk for five minutes without seeing a muscular, six foot tall, broad shouldered, sharply dressed Japanese guy with a face so perfectly chiselled that he looks like he should model for Vogue! So why oh why are they so shy?

Some foreign women I know complain of being dateless for a year or more while living in Japan despite the fact that they were highly sought after by men back home. In fact one such person admitted to me that she is half way ready to get ‘creative’ with a Daikon radish to help her through her dry spell! Many of these women gather online to talk about how difficult it is to find a date here. They say most of the foreign men here are only interested in dating Japanese women and that when they try to date Japanese men, they find that aside from the shyness issue, there is the matter of the Language barrier. You can’t date someone that you cannot talk to and most people in Japan cannot speak much English. But on the positive side, since most men here are either very shy or only interested in dating Japanese women, you wont have to deal with the constant cat calling, sexual harassment, random requests for nudes or unsolicited D*ck pics  that you might be used to from back home. So if you are tired of all of that then Japan is the place for you my sister! Come on down!

So how do you avoid the Japan dry spell? Your best bet is to try and live in a large city like Tokyo, learn to speak fluent Japanese and try your best to integrate as best as you can into Japanese society (though you can never fully integrate). If all else fails then you can always just look for your friendly neighborhood ‘Gaijin Collector’ or better yet, they will probably find you at some point. These ‘Gaijin Collectors’ are what we call Japanese people who only want to date Foreigners because we are foreigners. They don’t care about your personality, likes, dislikes, hobbies or even your looks. To them you will just be the Black, White, Indian or some other race girl that they need to complete their set of how many races they have dated. Japan is after all a very homogeneous country. If this is not okay with you then avoid them, but for some whose ‘dry spell’ has become more of an all-out drought, even the collectors may not seem so bad. As far as I am concerned, I will just wait until I go back home. Thank you for reading. 

Tiffany Bent June 3, 2017


10 thoughts on “The Bizarre and Awkward reality of Dating in Japan

  1. Girl I live your post. It’s all 100% true in my case here in Sapporo. A very long way from Tokyo my dear. 😀😀 It’s really hard​ as a foreign woman. Thanks for sharing


  2. I have been curious and even interested in visiting Japan.

    I would like to try some unique but interesting food.

    I have read that Japanese women are no different from American or Westernized women. But, Japanese women may have better qualities as well.

    For virtual companions, they are good for those who are single, alone, and want to talk to those who they have something in common.

    But, a virtual companion cannot give you a physical connection. You cannot touch, kiss, hug, etc. him or her.

    Foreign women in China, Ukraine, Colombia, Philippines, etc. are not only real but also easy to talk, connect, and get along.


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