Welcome to Tokyo Meet Market

Gokon: group blind date

Posted on: February 19, 2009

Gokon is essentially a group blind date where two friends of the opposite gender decide on a date and a place, as well as the number of people in each team. Then they both invite a few friends of their gender, balancing the numbers in each team.

On the selected date, everyone meets at the selected restaurant and the date begins! Everyone introduces themselves shyly, and then they drink, eat, drink some more, then it gets more casual and friendly, somehow making friends in the process. After that, if all went well, the party continues at a bar or karaoke. Everyone drinks even more, and phone numbers are exchanged and may be… a few of them have met the potential future partner.

The main objective of the event is to meet “the one.” Other objectives may include just meeting new people, making networks of gokon, making new friends, to just look around when you feel your current partner may not be good enough.  People attend gokon for various reasons. Generally, both women and men attend gokon in search for eligilble bachelor/bacholorette, but some gokon are organized for lighter objetive to find partner for casual sex.

A successful gokon can also be defined in various ways.

100% Success: The ideal gokon is where everyone find their ideal partners and they all go home happy with the weekend date planned. But this is very unlikely to happen.
80% Success: It is usually considered “successful” if 1-2 pair of the participants exchange their contact information and go on a date in near future.
60% Success: Although there is no spark of romance in the participating memebesrs, a network of gokon develops and various gokon are set up with different participants. Then you get to meet all the friends of a friend of a friend of the participating members that you didn’t find so attractive.
40% Success: Although no relationship develops, and nobody exchange their contact information, the participants have fun night of drinking and eating.
20% Success: The male team and the female team have no chemistry what-so-ever, but the boys and girls enjoy their company separately with descent food and drink

Recently, gokon culture has evolved further and the group may engage in activity more than just a dinner. They may go to a ski, camping, onsen (hot spring) trip, sometimes even for a weekend trip. There are also gokon organized by commercial match making agencies where you pay some amount of fee to the agency.

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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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