Welcome to Tokyo Meet Market

Gokon report #1: Ski gokon

Posted on: February 1, 2009

Romance meter: 63%
Conclusion: As they say in Japan, ski-gokon seem to be more successful in developing bond among the participants. Ski trip seem to encompass all the things needed for people to develop sense of togetherness, but still, nothing helps for women and men to develop and express affection than alcohol. Watch out for the after-ski-party. After a long day in the cold, with some exhaustion and the warmth from hot springs, the alcohol goes quicker than usual!

Genre: Ski gokon
Show time: January 30th 5am
Running time: 40 hrs
MPAA rating: PG-13
Guys team: 4 guys including, Mr.Judo, Mr.Smokey, Mr.Nice, and “the 4th guy” who know eachother from university
Girls team: 4 girls including myself

The ski trip was organized by Mr.Nice and a friend of mine who knew eachother from highschool. All the participants, except for “the 4th guy” had to suffer the pain of 1) going home on Friday night without a drink to 2) get up at 4 am in the morning to 3) meet unknown group of opposite sex to 4) get in a small van all together for 5 hours to go skiing. In the van, the 7 of us were a little awkward at first due to the pain we went through.
The ski trip was fully organized and prepared by Mr.Nice, who was still working hard to make sure everything goes smoothly as planned during the trip. From driving, checking in at the hotel, renting skis and snowboards, finding restaurant for lunch, you name it! it’s all so prepared that the girls didn’t have to do anything but smile, entertain, put our feet in the ski/snowboard and have good time! (ok, may be more during the after-ski-party)
The boys and the gals remained unacquainted and distant, except for few occasions. 1) Mr.Judo coaching my female friends snowboarding 2) Mr.Nice advising the girls on snowboard rentals 3) Mr.Smokey and me smoking during the bathroom stops03020x

After-ski-entertainment was dinner, followed by hot spring and after-ski-party.
“2 bottles of wine, 24 cans of beer, a bottle of shochu (Japanese vodka), we gotta drink them ALLLLLL!”
After the first drink, the boys had transformed from shy polite schoolboy to naughty redfaced salarymen!
But for the most part, they were interested in getting drunk then getting the girls drunk. After they were sufficiently drunk, we played some “love game” where the loser has to do various sorts of penalty game which involves some confessions on personal stories and light physical touches. Finally with the help of alcohol, the boys and girls were truly mingling, getting acquainted with one another… may be a little bit more acquainted than they do in the normal gokon in restaurants.

However, we were back to the female team vs the male team in the snow mountain the next morning. The 4 Boys snowboarded together, and the girls practiced together, and I skied alone with Jonas Brothers (from ipod lol) But the car ride back to Tokyo showed more interaction among boys and girls, and they finally seemed relaxed together even without alcohol, but not confident enough to ask for phone number… or may be attracted enough…?

We parted in Shinjuku station with big warm group hug and kisses on the cheeks…. NOOOOOOOOOT!
We finished our trip with “ipponjime” which is a tradition of group synchronized hand clap conducted to share happiness with eachother. Mr.Nice said “we are going to do ipponjime together, Yo—” Mr.nice said and we clapped our hands in same time in same beat.

The guys were generally shy and without the girl’s effort, they would mingle and talk among themselves. And when asked a question, they can answer, but they wouldn’t bother to ask us any question back. The physical activity of snowboarding and the exhaustion we share, the beautiful scenary, clean air, the long car trip, and the long 40 hours we spent together certainly do help the group to develop bond, but even then, alcohol plays the key for the guys to feel the confidence in approaching the girls.

1 couple, me and Mr.Nice, exchanged phone number+ alpha during the after-ski-party LoL

Oh, and I learned how to do ipponjime

"Please prepare your hands for ipponjime. Yo-----"

"Please prepare your hands for ipponjime. Yo-----"


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What is Tokyo Meet Market?

From the Western perspective, what goes on in the Japanese dating scene is really different and interesting! In this shy nation of Japan, meeting new people is almost institutionalized, dating and romance is littered with conventions that protect people from social awkwardness. What are dating conventions and rules in Japan? How do the shy Japanese people meet new people, develop affection, and express their passion? As I research and answer these question, I will write a real time report of what's going on in the Tokyo dating scene, or the "Tokyo Meet Market" here in this blog. I hope you enjoy my blog and a trip around Tokyo Meet Market with me!

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