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My friend went to a konkatsu party and she told me all about it, so let me share the details… ok ok, I must confess, it’s not just my friend who went to the konkatsu party, I went with her. As you can guess, we were a little hesitant and a little embarassed to attend the konkatsu party, but what the heck. Life is all about experience!

Romance meter: 65%
Conclusion: Although speed dating with 35 men can be very dizzy, it’s surprising how 2min quick chat is enough to see if there is any potential between you two, and it seems this instinct is often mutual between the couples… well, at least in our cases it was. Konkatsu party turns out to be much more efficient, cheaper(at least for us girls), and safer way to meet people than going to a gokon.

Genre: Speed dating (with no alcohol)
Show time: 7:30pm
Running time: 120 min
MPAA rating: G

Guys team: 35 men in the 20’s with college degree or in civil service with 3,500,000 JPY ($35,000) annual salary
Girls team: 35 women in the 20’s


We arrived at a building in ginza which had a sign “Mariage company” on the 5th floor of the building at 7:20pm, 10min before the party starts. In the elevator up to 5th floor were us and 2 more girls dressed in pastel color spring dresses doing last min make up with pink lip gross. They were, like us, a little hesitant but a little excited to “see what’s out there,” well, aren’t we all like that when we go out to a night out may be expecting something special to happen. So… may be konkatsu party isn’t all that weird… was what I was thinking just when the elevator door opened and there were 20 men  lining up to pay the 6,500 JPY ($70) entrance fee to the konkatsu party… ok… this is no “normal party” for sure… but then again, don’t men always pay higher entrance for night clubs and bars, when women often get free drinks and discounted entrance? so it is normal that men pay higher fee to meet women.

At the reception, women were asked to show their ID to confirm their identity and received the profile card to fill in. We were also given an assigned number and a number plate to put on our clothes. From here on, everything that happened during the party was as described on the company website, as translated in What is Konkatsu party.

Here is what happened for us, me and my friend. First we were given 70min to have 2 min conversation with 35 men. This was an experience. I think this is the most people I have ever talked with in 70min without being hydrated. (they should really give us a bottle of water, or better yet, a bottle of beer!) But as surprising as it sounds, 2 min is enough to figure out if there is any possibility with the guy we are talking to. Sometimes, 2 min is too long even! When the guy is too short, or has overly jelled hair, or wearing a black shirt with skull and crossbones, or … well whatever that is not so appealing, you know there is not going to be anything between you and him. And this is not surprising, we use this kind of judgmental instinct everywhere in the dating scene. Whether in a bar, night club, dinner part, restaurant, or among your friends, we use this instinct to see if he could be your potential object of affection!

Among the 35 men, there were a pair of lawyers (#4 and #5) who were also coming to the konkatsu party together for the first time (I believe… well at least that’s what they told us) and the 2 of them were co-workers/friends. Although the speed dating is designed to be an individual game, since we were both sitting next to our friends so the 4 of us started to converse together for the total of 4 min. As you can imagine, the ease of involving our friends took away the nervousness and we hit it of fairly well. The fact they worked very close to our office, and often go for lunch in the same neighborhood, and go for after 6 drink in the same area helped our conversation flourish.We scored them “mb” (for may be) in our checklist. Most of the others were given “nw” which in our code stood for NO WAY.

During the approach time (this is the time we are supposed to approach the people we found interesting during the speed dating process), my friend and I decided not to approach anyone (since no one was THAT interesting anyway, why make the effort) and let the guys approach us. We also receive message card from secret admires. My friend received messages from 2 secret admires, and she showed me the card. One of the messages was from a NO WAY guy which had his mobile phone mail address and a message saying “let’s have coffee together sometime. I am REALLY interested in you” to which she shaked her head sadly. The next message was from one of the lawyers (#4) we talked with! With a smile she showed me the card which read “wanna go for drinks after this is over?”  #4 and #5  then approached us to our table and we continued our conversation from where we left it off, the bike trip #4 did from Spain to France.

Then, we were told to cast a final vote for potential partners. We were tempted to not vote at all so to avoid being “matched up”, so we can just go for a drink ourselves to laugh about the whole experience… but  then she showed me the message from #4 and shrugged her shoulder. “oh well… what the heck, why not put #4 and #5 and see what happens”…

During the matching process conducted in the backroom, we were shown a brain washing DVD about a happy partners who met in the konkatsu party and are now happily married. The happy wives all wore pink apron and welcomed their salary-men husbands home, thanking the agency for “matching them” and helping them find happiness. We were also given a thick booklet with a 150 page list of all the konkatsu parties, konkatsu golf, konkatsu bbq, konkatsu hanabi, konkatsu breakfast, konkatsu dance,… I mean the list goes on and on for all the “social event” the agency hosts with match making as main objective. This made me feel really sad and gave me goose bumps… how people must be so lonely in this metropolis Tokyo…

“Congratulations!!! Tonight we have 13 matched couple” the match maker shouted with happiness and excitement! “I will announce the paired numbers and the guys will leave the building and please wait for your partner downstairs. And here we go, the first pair is…”

(to be condinued in Tokyo date report #3: double date after konkatsu party)


If I must chose between spending 4000JPY ($40) to spend 3 hrs in a cheap restaurant drinking beer, stuck with group of not-so-interesting not-so-impressive guys pretending to have fun, and spending 120min talking with 35 men with no drink not even water, but having dinner and drink bought by a pair of fairly interesting people somehow “matching” our taste, I’d prefer the latter option.

But then again, this is not my real review of this konkatsu party. I’m truly shocked to have seen people who are really involved in konkatsu activity that I have been jokingly about. Some of the people at the party, I could tell, were serious konkatsu activist… and well… I don’t know what to say… let me digest this experience a bit more.


Romance meter: 21%
Conclusion: We are too old for this LoL Guys, you might be able to entertain college girls with “low quality frat party” stuff, but not us… Or did we just go to a wrong party? hmm… May be so. The real learning was “don’t expect too much from a party organized by 40 single guys living in a single male dorm. Whether they are teenagers or in their late 20’s they all want the same things”

Genre: Saturday night dinner + drink party
Show time: March 14th
Running time: 180 min
MPAA rating: PG-13 (because of the comments made on the earlobes)

Guys team: 40 guys who all work for the same company and live in the same place in a dorm
Girls team: Four 20-something working women (me and my friends) and 40 college senior girls LoL


My friend got invited to this Saturday night White Day party by a guy she met in a gokon. She extended the invitation to her friends, and we all got excited because it is a large party organized by bunch of men who all work for famous Japanese company and live in single male dormitory, no better place to meet potential bachelors!

It was 4 hrs before the party started when we were all told about the dress code for the party. “Girls, please wear a dress,” which raised suspicion in all of us attending the party. Who are they to tell us what to wear? We were gonna wear a dress anyway, but being told to wear a dress is another thing all together…. but we all put on our dress, wondering how good the party must be with the dress code and all.

After few drinks in a pub nearby, the four ladies arrive at the party with bit of excitement. We paid the $40 entrance fee which includes the drinks and the food, and the entrance to a party full of potential bachelors. Let the party begin! We were first introduced to the young newbies in the company and yes, they were very young. They shyly introduced themselves to us with their senior members teasing them. But then, we looked around and we realized most of the women are even more young looking than these boys were. In fact, most of the female participants were college students.

That is when the party officially began with the announcement by two guys to gather around and pay attention. The men made a small speach and we gave a toast to “this fabulous evening lots of new opportunities to meet new people” and then the guys started their short comedy sketch. It lasted about 10 min with the private jokes and some nuditiy, well, to be specific, the two guys stripped off their shirts to show some painting on thier nipples. I forgot what the storyline was but I remember I wasn’t laughing.

30 min into the party, we were told to split into the assigned groups of 5-6 people a table. But the assignment was poorly done in terms of the balance in the number of female and male in each team. My table only had 1 male and 5 females. Then the game of “earlobe touching competition” started.

The earlobe touching competition

  1. The women feel the earlobe of each man in the same group
  2. The women vote on the man with “the best earlobe” from each group
  3. One woman who can identify the earlobe of the chosen man is selected
  4. The couple, the man with the “best earlobe” and the woman who can identify it, enters the competition
  5. The men from all the teams line up in random order
  6. The women from all the teams are blindfolded (with red silk)
  7. The blindfolded women touch the earlobes and identify the earlobe which belongs to her team mate
  8. After the feeling session, the women are told to comment on each earlobe and makes the guess
  9. The woman who guessed right is the winner
  10. And it is repeated for the second round …

Fortunately, since my team consisted of only 1 male, I could even escape from the first task to touch the earlobe. Pfew, thank God! So I became a quiet observer, with lots of free drinks and pretty good food. People were busy with the earlobes so there were plenty of food and drinks for me, with some decent mature men to talk to 🙂

The game went on and on and on for almost 2 hrs and when the game was finally finished, it was time to vacate the restaurant. And since it was a White day (reversed valentine day on which boys give girls present), the girls were given cookies and chocolates from the boys and also received discount entrance fee to the after party.  The college girls gladly follow the boys, and us ladies went the different way, got on a taxi and went to a bar where there are real men who don’t force us to touch their ear lobes.


1) about the college girls

I knew that college girls, when they start thinking about job hunting, start to wonder if they should work or get married. (yes, I’m serious) “are you going to look for a job or are you going to accept the offer from your bf?” they ask eachother. In fact, I have even heard a very romantic proposal phrase “would you accept a job offer to work for me?” apparently, some rich college kid asked his college girlfriend during the time of job-hunting. Anyway, my point is, even before they graduate college, some girls already start looking for potential bachelors who will hire them (as wife) so they can spend their free time without worrying about work or money after college. Unfortunately, this was such a party, a marriage hunting party for the college girls. And they are more than willing to touch the men’s earlobes and make some pink comments on them to give them bit of pleasure, in exchange for stable peaceful life with hard working husband. and for the men? well of course, don’t men always love the younger helpless innocent girls?

2) about the party game

Whether it’s Gokon games or party games, they are all about getting to know eachother, encouraging mingling and some physical touch… but this one was all-so-ovbiously-sexual, especially the red silk eye mask and the comments gilrs make on the earlobes… that it was a turn off for the normal people who grew out of college spirits, even the college girls. And the fact it went on and on for such a long time, almost like we payed $40 so we can touch the ears


exhaustion. I was already becoming tired of TMM but this party really exhausted me. And I smoked so much during this party that I actually decided to go on cold turkey, which is good. Aha! There are always goods that come out of bads.


Romance meter: 23%
Conclusion: What was different from a gokon is that the number of male and female participants were not balanced, and one of the male participant was engaged. But I much prefer nomikai to gokon, it’s much more relaxed and I felt comfortable (may be from too many cocktails)

Genre: drink in a dark posh bar in a basement of Nishi-azabu
Show time: March 4th
Running time: 80 min
MPAA rating: R (just because the bar was playing DVD of Sex and The City with Japanese subtitle which made Sex and The City look like a porn. Japanese language is not very attractive when it comes to talking about sex)

Guys team: 2 guys including, Mr.CEO, and Mr.Player
Girls team: 3 girls including myself


My friend and I joined this little nomikai in a cute little bar. After we order our drink of choice, my friend introduced me to her friends: Mr.CEO soon to be married in the summer, his ex-girl friend, and Mr.Player, whose first words to me, ofcourse, was “Have we met somehwhere? I can swear we met somewhere before!” haha. We exchanged business cards, and Mr.CEO actually gave me 4 business cards, he either REALLY wants me to contact him, or he REALLY wants to show off his status in the society, or both. After about an hour, I was ready to go home, I was tipsy from the cocktails and sick from the conversation.

We talked about music, movies, and tokyo life, but the main topic of the conversation is konkatsu (marriage hunting) and I absolutely have to write down some of the dialogues from this conversation.

Diaglogue 1: Lecture on konkatsu

Since Mr.CEO has just got engaged, the main topic was of course, konkatsu (marriage hunting). Who is the perfect person for marriage? I think he also wanted to discuss his opinion on this topic, since his ex-girlfriend has just started dating with a really nice, handsome, honest guy, who happen to live in a country side and works for his father’s local restaurant. Being such a nice guy that he is, Mr.CEO wanted to lecture his ex-girlfriend that she has to marry someone with status, financial stability, and wealth,… well, just like him… to be happily ever after (in Japan)

“Marriage, is not continuation from love, marriage and love are totally different things. My fiance and I got engaged based on this rational decision making” Mr. CEO said and everyone, except for me, nodded.

“Love is just lust, but marriage is reality and you gotta live with your choice for the rest of your life. And the reality is, you need money, wealth, and status,” Mr.CEO says, sipping his whiskey and lighting a cigarette.

“From what I see, no man is good enough for marriage unless he earns at least $150k a year. I mean, think about it, you need at least $150k a year to have a decent life… oh, by the way, I’m making about that much now… may be a little more.”

No need to comment on his salary, but I couldn’t help to say “well, I still think marriage should be defined around love and commitment to be really happy! I mean, what’s a life without love?” to which Mr.CEO reples, “Ok, let’s put it this way. Would you want to live with a loving husband who tells you “I love you” everyday, in a tiny apartment with $50k salary, or would you want to live with a husband who calls you “pig” but in a large apartment with $150k salary? The answer is so simple, isn’t it?” he sips his whisky and the others nod to his question. “Yeah, it’s simple, of course I prefer the loving husband who loves me, what kind of life is it to have all the materialistic things you have, but to be called ‘pig’ by your husband!!”

“awww, you are still young. When you are about my age you will see. Men like us, we can make women happy in a different ways even without love. You would know what men like us are worth, when you are given a nice big apartment, security, and stability.” …. “How old are you?” was the only thing I wanted to ask him, I was not a bit interested in his konkatsu lecture anymore. Oh, he was 28 years old.


free drinks and hangover next morning.

The 2 men paid for the bill saying “Women shouldn’t be paying for her drink” and they offered to even pay for my cab home, but I declined the offer, and chose to walk home with my ipod, singing…

All the women who are independent
Throw your hands up at me
All the honeys who makin’ money
Throw your hands up at me
All the mommas who profit dollas
Throw your hands up at me
All the ladies who truly feel me
Throw your hands up at me

– Independent woman, Destiny’s Child


Romance meter: 47%
Conclusion: Golf-kon is a gokon where the participants play golf. Compared to normal gokon in a restaurant, participants tend to have more fun and develop stronger bonds through sports.

Genre: Golf simulator bar and 2 plates of pasta
Show time: February 25th 8pm
Running time: 150 min
MPAA rating: PG

Guys team: 3 guys including, Mr.Golfer, Mr.Obama, Mr.”I’m 24 but I look 37″ who all work for a trading company
Girls team: 3 girls including myself


Golf-kon, essentially is a gokon in a golf course or a gokon in a golf simulation bar. This time, it was in a golf simulation bar, very expensive, so expensive that we only ordered 2 plates of pasta… and a lot of drinks.

3 girls arrived fashionably late, and 2 guys were already waiting for us, though the third person did not arrive 20min before the end of the night. We talked a little, drunk a little, and played the golf simulation game for an hour. That was fun, we paired up and played against the team. But personally, what I thought was more funny than the golf simulation game itself was how this guy named Mr.Omaha was so proud of him name because it’s so close to Barack Obama. So proud he called himself “Mr.Obama” and so proud that his player name was input as “Mr.Obama!” He also wanted us to call him Barack. ahaha!

After the game, we went back to the table and the 2 guys chatted up the girls…. this was new! In most cases that I have seen, guys are often quiet and girls have to make the effort to make them talk. Apparently, this kind of behavior shows that the guys are used to going to gokon, and they are used to chatting up women in gokon, for better or for worse. Then the third person then arrived who seems more used to going to cabaret club than gokon, hear this out. This third person, I really thought he was 37 years old or even older. But he proudly told me, “I am only 24 but I look 37, but the cabaret hostesses tell me I can pass for 30 because they are so nice!” good for you!

After some drinks,  guys started to talk about their break up stories and ex girlfriends that they still miss. And to make it even worse, they thought it would be a good idea to go around the table and share our break up stories… “We’ve given you enough respect and pampering for your career, and now you want sympathy for your lost love? ” is NOT exactly what came out of my mouth, but I did stand up and said “I should go home now, it’s getting late” I was ready to leave. And so were the guys. The guys left us in front of the bar and went for another drink, apparently not acceptable from girls’ point of view.

But I gladly said good bye and went to a really good yakitori-bar because I was soooooo hungry! And it was in the next bar where 2 cute French guys smiled at me and my friend, “bonsoire” and I happily smiled them back with a cold beer and a nice juicy chicken skew in my hands.


An employee in a Japanese general trading companies (“Shosha-man”) is apparently a very desirable eligible bachelor for Japanese women. Apparently, they have very clean sophisticated image, they have fairly stable job where most people work for the entire life and get handsome retirement package, and with some luck, he might be transferred to a foreign based branch someday and you, the wife, and the family may live in a big house in a foreign country, paid by the company. They’ve got everything a Japanese girl could dream of! so much so that the bachelors working for trading companies are called “Shosh-man” just like batman, superman, or spiderman! Personally, I would die for Spiderman‘s kiss but not sure about Shosha-man’s kiss…

Therefore, the 3 guys are “desirable” and they know they are very “desirable” for Japanese women, despite their physical shortcomings (short, scrawny, and “I’m 24 but I look 37”). And they have rich experiences being pampered by women in gokon and even cabaret clubs. It’s a little hard to hold conversation as equals with guys like that. It seemed to me, that they are used to being pampered but they want more, they want the girls to worship them, flatter them, respect them, …. because they work for a trading company….? While most of the conversation was centered around thier career, as usual, there was some other topics of conversation.

It is often said that Japanese avoid verbal conflict and that tooron ‘debate’ is not compatible with their traditional communication patterns. People usually avoid conversation which may lead to exchange of different opinions, including politics, religion, philosophy in life, international relations. They would much prefer nodding and agreeing, so most people talk about things that are not directly related to their own life and views. TV shows, comedy, movies, anime, trendy places to go… Which is still ok, I can stand that, though I cannot participate much except for the Western movie conversation. It was a real turn off, for the guys to start bragging abour their exes and comparing the misery of their breakup stories. And for them to ask the girls to share our break up stories? C’mon!

I thought gokon was a place to meet people, and hopefuly, a place to look attractive and a place to impress the opposite sex. Or has gokon suddenly become a cheaper version of “cabaret clubs” where women are expected to comfort and sympathize men rather than have men impress and attract women?


The organizers exchanged the contact information of the fellow members from guys and girls team and the participants recieve the contact information of the opponent team members. Apparently, this way of contact information exchange shows lack of private affection… less promising than personal exchange of contact information.


Romance meter: 12%
Conclusion: Don’t go to gokon when you have a bad premonition about it. If the male organizer of the gokon is not coming because he lost his wallet or if none of the male members are showing up after 20 min, LEAVE! Trust your instincts and ditch the guys. It will save your precious time and money to be wasted away.

Genre: Dinner and bottles of wine
Show time: February 20th 9pm
Running time: 180 min
MPAA rating: G

Guys team: 3 guys including, Mr.Divorcée, Mr.ChubbuHubby, Mr.Chef who all work for the same company
Girls team: 4 girls including myself


The night began with a bad omen. A text message from the male organizer that they are all going to be late. The reason of the tardiness was that he had lost his wallet, and his fellow colleagues ,the other participants of the gokon, are helping him look for the wallet. This was not the first time for my friend, the female organizer of the gokon, to have a guy tell her that he would be late because the wallet is lost. In the past 6 months, she had 3 guys tell the same “lost wallet story” to her and all of the event involving them turned out badly. This was a bad omen!

The gokon finally began without the poor man who lost his wallet, 40min passed the initial time appointed for meeting. The male team consisted of three accountants in the 30’s, who seemed a little uneasy in the posh steakhouse in the trendy night scene of tokyo, and seemed to know little about food or wine. So the girls got to decide what to eat and what wine to drink. I even had the priviledges to choose all 3 bottles of the wine, and to have a sip of each, before serving the whole table. So basically, the 20-something girls team had the control over what goes on over the dinner table: the food, wine, conversation topics, desert, and all.

And though we were impressed by the atmosphere of the steak house and great wine collectionthey had, when it comes to the main dish of the gokon, meeting the eligible bachelors, our premonition proved to be true. The three tired accountants in the 30’s on a Friday night were not enough to handle the four ladies in their youthful 20’s. As Mr.Divorcée had put it, “We are all granpas in our 30’s, we no longer have the energy”….


I have now attended 4 gokon since I entered the Tokyo Meet Market, and at this point, I have 50% rate of success… success meaning I have actually met someone to go on another date with. And these 2 successful gokon began with the guys waiting for the girls’ arrival. The other 2 gokon that were less successful, with no participants exchangin contact information, began with the unfashionably tardy arrival of the male participants.

I have developed a hypothesis that tardiness of the participants to gokon has a large impact on how the gokon itself goes. The problem is, when you arrive  late you’re really telling other participants subconsciously that you don’t really care about his or her time… or that you don:t really care about them! The tardiness signify everything from lack of excitement for the gokon, lack of enthusiasm to meet people, lack of motivation to find a partner, lack of respect for other’s time. It’s bad bad bad! Tardiness is gokons bad omen!datea

Romance meter: 65%
Conclusion: I think this was the most typical “gokon-party” out of the 3 gokons that I have been so far. This gokon went exactly by the book and took all the steps mentioned in the gokon books. And I realized, for the first time that gokon does give opportunities for the participants to talk to new people, see which participants feel the connection, then leaving some more time to find out if the couple has enough chemistry to see eachother again.

Genre: dinner with all-you-can-drink
Show time: February 6th 8pm
Running time: 140 min
MPAA rating: PG

Guys team: 4 guys including, Mr.Base, Mr.Drum, Mr.Singer, and Mr.Potato who all work for the same company and has a band together
Girls team: 4 girls including myself


Except for the fact one girl turned up very late because of her work , this gokon happened by the book, following every rule of the gokon.

As every gokon is supposed to begin, the guys arrived a little early, and the girls arrived fashionably 3 min late. With the 3 girls sitting on one side of the table and 4 guys sitting on the other side, we all toasted to Friday night with beer mug. As we started drinking and eating appetizers, everyone started to give a brief self-introduction (“jiko shoukai”), introducing their names and how they know eachother, then talking about their job, hobbies, and anything else of vague social interest. Once the formalities of self-introduction and polite conversation are completed, everyone started to relax, chat, joke, and drink more. The guys also moved around and changed the seat to get a chance to talk to every girl, not just the ones they happen to sit right infront of.

Towards the end of the gokon, the 4th girl showed up finally, but barely in time to have 1 drink before our all-you-can-drink course ended. So the guys politely offered to pay for her share of the bill since she did not get to eat/drink the course menu. But the guys were not polite enough to show equal amount of interest in her as they did for the other girls.


As for me, this gokon turned out to be bit interesting with Mr.Singer. Since our workplaces are just one station away, and our birthdays are just one day away, our conversation flourished as we absorbed more alcohol. The topic of conversation was mainly about his band and the songs he likes to sing in the future.

Mr.Singer used a gokon technique to ask for my contact information. Although he clearly had his cell phone with him (because he called the organizer for direction to the restaurant on his way), he pretended to have forgotten his cell phone. This is also a strategy mentioned in many gokon rules.

A topic of cell phone often leads to exchange of contact information. Girls, if you want to exchange the contact information, casually talk about your cell phone. Taking the phone out of the bag and talking about its functionality, it will make it easier for the men to propose the idea of exchanging phone numbers.

In this gokon, Mr.Singer pretended to have forgotten his cell-phone which lead to talk of traditional way of exchanging phone numbers by writing on a peice of peper napkin, and so we did. We parted with casual promise to have a lunch in the future.

It was also interesting to validate one of the gokon golden rule for women.

On the day of the gokon, get your work done fast. Showing up late to gokon because of work will autimatically make you out of interests of the participating male members.

A man who is late to gokon because of his work receives praises and sympathy from his fellow male members, but a woman who is late to gokon because of her work only intimidates the male members. It shows that she is more busy, more successful, and more needed by her company and the society than the men.


1 couple, me and Mr.Singer, exchanged phone number

To be continued in Tokyo date report #1: Yurakucho boy

Romance meter: 9%
Conclusion: They say NEET (Not in Education, Employment or Training) are not eligible bachelors for a reason. A Japanese guy without job are like an American with no dream, an Italian with no religion!?

Genre: Saturday night gokon
Show time: February 7th 8pm
Running time: 150 min
MPAA rating: G

Guys team: 4 guys including, Mr.Curl, Mr.SteetDance, Mr.Artsy, and “the 4th guy” who know eachother from junior highschool
Girls team: 4 girls including myself


The 4 girls met up near the appointed restaurant 5 minutes ago, chat about how we spent the day, and walked to the restaurant to find none of the guys sitting there. Since the plan was to have a course dinner course and 120 min-limit-all you can drink course, we decided to wait for the guys for the first drink. But after 15min, the choice was between ditching these rude boys, or start the drinks without them. The 4 girls decided on the latter option since they had the thirst and patience.

20 min after 8pm, the first guy, Mr.Curl showed up. He lit a cigarette and apologized for his lateness and his friends lateness. He did not apologize for smoking among non-smoking ladies. The second guy, Mr.Artsy showed up 10 min after Mr.Curl, and did the same. The 2 guys had the luxury of being surrounded by 2 girls on each side and 4 sets of ears to listen to their story, but they didn’t have so much to tell because both of them were NEET (Not in Education, Employment or Training) so they could only talk about how they spend their day hanging out. When the guys don’t talk, it’s the girls job to ask the guys questions but this was hard to do, it’s hard to ask questions about how people hang out.

The third guy, Mr.StreetDance was 1 hour late, he had just woken up! He came, smoked, drunk, and ate his breakfast, and yawned. “The fourth guy” (I always call the last person who arrives “the fourth guy” because his lateness makes him out of sight/memory for anyone’s interest) arrived shortly and ate the pasta as he would eat ramen noodles, making the slurping noises. The guys talked about how they will spend the rest of the night, going to a darts bar while girls planned how they can spend the misery of spending the rest of the night with them.


OK guys, being late is only “fashionable” when it comes to holiday and cocktail parties, and even then, several etiquette guides agree that “fashionably late” gives only a half-hour window. For this night, ALL of the 4 guys were all so late, coming to the restaurant at various time of the night, which was so rude! and it’s not even like they were busy with work, they were just busy hanging out!

Personally, I had never judged a person based on one’s job. I have paid equal attention, respect, and interest for men of different occupation from construction worker, bartender, assistant professor to investment banker. However, there is a reason why NEET are not considered as an eligible bachelor.

Unlike most Western European countries, Japan’s unemployment benefit terminates automatically after three to six months. Hence NEET in Japan are entirely financed by their parents. The problem is attributed entirely to the individual’s social withdrawal as well as the middle class parent’s willingness to support this. n Japan, NEETs are those who have rejected the accepted social model of adulthood in seeking full-time employment after graduation or further training. What can I say more? The guys I met in this gokon was nothing more than spoiled mid 20’s Peter Pan with wealthy parents waiting for them to fly!


Frustrated by the 150 min and $40 we had wasted, my friend and I ended up spending even more money trying to make up for the time we spent with the boys. After 4 drinks and 15min in a crowded dance floor, we finally gave up and went home with an empty wallet.200703170434000

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!

Cherie’s tweets

  • is so sad to go to farewell party of her bestfriend leaving to the US. Another beautiful funny successful girl leaving Tokyo!! 10 years ago
  • Ate a bowl of toshomen for lunch, super delicious! Check it out: http://r.gnavi.co.jp/g314410/ 10 years ago
  • getting warmer in Tokyo! The spring is just around the corner which means... love in the air! 10 years ago