Welcome to Tokyo Meet Market

Archive for the ‘Tokyo date’ Category

Do you remember that I once went to match making party?

Actually my relationship with “my perfect match” didn’t end that night so let me write about this. We never met again, but he tried and tried and tried to pursue me and pretty much did everything in his power (using cellphone) to convince me to marry him, or at least have a drink with him.

I must admit it was flattering at first, to be told how surprised he was to have met his perfect match in a match making party(what a coincidence, he kept saying) and that he had never expected such fortune. I would have even gone for a full dinner + drink date with him at that point, if it wasn’t for the wrap up of my busy analysis project. I really would have, he was nice, decent guy at least from what I remember that night, and his sms wooing were harmless, if not flattering.

After 3 weeks of meetings, report makings and excel databases, his emails turned into something more than what it originally was. It seemed as if his passion for the idea of getting married (note: not the passion for me) has gotten out of control in my absense, and his sms started get more and more in tense, in terms of volume and content. He was so getting anxious to get married, he couldn’t wait till he seems me again.

“What kind of a family do you like to have?” “What kind of a man do you like to marry? I will try to be that man, I will get stronger for you” … isn’t it getting bit intense to hear these from a guy you just met once? But I realized this has to end when he googled me and found me on the company website and my university website and commented on sms “You work so hard, I saw your success in the company and in the university,  you must be so smart with great genes”

After a month or 2, it was all about the sms chase. I became the Queen of avoidance, and ignored his passionate sms (about the idea of marriage, not me) and slowly he became quieter with sms. And it was his very last sms that really impressed me, after all the sms that had tired me, freaked me, and pushed me away from him.

In his very last sms, he asked that we meet again, so I could give him a feed back on what he did well, what he did wrong, and how he could do better next time he goes to the match making party. Well, he doesn’t learn the lesson that may be this whole match making thing isn’t for someone like him, but he is surely ready to learn te lesson from his failure and grow to be the konkatsu-professional.

What did I learn from this experience? … To be desired for sex, is one thing. It happens, right? Lust at first sight. He doesn’t know you, but he knows he wants you. He wants to kiss you and take you in his arms, even though he doesn’t know you. I welcome that, eventhough I find it annoying if the guy is not my type. But to be desired for marriage, without the guy knowing me… this is freaky. This is completely different story. And although this match making party, my konkatsu activity was a success for having him desire me for marriage so much (hell yeah, I could have been married by the time I’m writing this now) I really learned the sadness of idea of marriage without love… and lust.

Romance meter: 65%
Conclusion: This turned out to be the most decent date in my Tokyo Meet Market experience, probably because it was a double date of “successfully matched couples” and because we shared experience of surviving Monday night omiai party. As in the case with gokon, Japanese people seem to perform better when in group than as individuals. Perhaps that’s why gokon is preferred to Western style one-to-one blind date, and group dating is preferred to one-to-one date.

Genre: dinner double date following konkatsu party
Show time: Monday 9:30pm-
Running time: 90 min
MPAA rating: PG
Cast: my friend and I, #4 and #5 from konkatsu party


(continued from Konkatsu party frenziness)

“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…”  it was my friend and #4, and me and #5…

We left the Mariage company office and the two guys were standing in front of the door waiting for us. They smiled shyly and one of them said “haha… so we were successfully matched, this is nice, we were quite surprised, didn’t think this kind of things work. Anyways, it was so dry in the room and we are so thirsty, do you want to go for drink with us?”

So we went along to an izakaya near by and toasted to our fateful encounter. And I must say, it was a nice comfortable dinner full of interesting conversation. It was unusual date… in a way it was similar to gokon in a way we were dining with complete strangers trying to get to know eachother, but it was also similar to a normal double date, at the same time there was mutual mixed feeling of awkward embarassment (from how we met eachother in a matchmaking party), excitement (how we were successfuly matched), and hope (that this might turn out to be something in the future). And our conversation flourished around them.

After the toast, we, again, exchanged our profile card just as a reminder of who it was that we were matched to. We picked up the conversation from the profile card once again, but this time, more casual and relaxed. We asked eachother more personal questions than during the speed dating to get to know eachother. We shared our experience and review on the speed dating, since it was first time experience for 3 of us. We again expressed how surprised we were to have been matched and how surprisingly natural to have double dinner with the matched partners. The conversation was mostly between the matched couples, but at times, when one couple runs out of things to say, then the four of us would converse together. There seems to be mutual support among the four of us to take things forward from quite embarassing encounter in a matchmaking party.

At the end of the dinner, there was exchange of  contact information between the matched couples and we parted our ways with casual promise to get together in the future. Within 1 hour after good byes, both #4 and #5 texted to their matched partner thanking us for a wonderful night, and hoping to see us soon for double date to enjoy summer fun together. “hmmm… this is how serious these guys are when they actually pay $60 to meet women….” my friend and I nodded convinced of the dedication and seriousness of the konkatsu activist guys.


Konkatsu activist guys are serious about finding partners. Don’t play with them, they are serious. As much as they treat us nicely though, I wonder…. if they are treating us nicely because they like us, I mean from the bottom of their heart they feel some attraction, anything, even lust … or do they just treat us well because we are women, their potential housewives in the future… funny I never asked myself this question, but I have asked myself similar one: is he nice to me because he likes me or does he just want to sleep with me? Well I guess with the konkatsu guys, it’s more of  “does he just want to marry me?” LoL that’s new!


Where to go on “dates” is very important for Japanese couples. It seems restaurants are the most casually chosen location for the first date. But as couples see each other more frequently, where to go, aside from restaurants become an important issue.

Because of crowding and high rents, youngsters in Japan tend to live with their parents until marriage. Though more single people in the 20’s are living alone these days, some 70 percent of single Japanese aged between 18 and 39 still live with their parents. They all have full-time jobs, (granted they aren’t making bank, but then again who is) but it’s just a more convenient/efficient way of of life for them.

But when it comes to dating, living with parents are not so convenient. Most of the Japanese people are not eager to introduce their partner to the parents until engagement, they cannot even bring their partners home.

Therefore, where to go on a date, ususally called “date spot” in Japanese, become big fun issue for Japanese couples.
So where do they go on dates? What are the “popular date spots” in Tokyo Meet Market?

  1. Movie theater
  2. Somewhere with a beautiful night view
  3. Aquarium
  4. Amusement park
  5. Driving (renting a car and drive around into the Tokyo suburb)
  6. Beach
  7. Cafe
  8. Park
  9. Planetarium
  10. Karaoke
  11. Manga cafe
  12. Zoo
  13. Botanical Garden


Romance meter: 34%
Conclusion: Japanese men don’t know how to impress women on a date. They can pull off a compliment or two but cannot behave in a smooth, confident way to melt a woman’s heart. Chivalry is DEAD in Japan, what they want is a mother and a wife, not a lover or a partner.

Genre: dinner date
Show time: February Saturday 7:30 pm
Running time: 120 min
MPAA rating: PG
Cast: me and investment banker boy


“Investment banker boy” was dancing alone in a dance floor when we first met. I noticed he kept starring at me but, as usual, seemed to have no guts to come talk to a woman, so I asked for the time and then soon after, he bought me drinks and asked me out on dinner. One month later, he called me to ask me out on dinner and we decided to go to an area in my neighborhood that he had not visited yet. He called me three times after that, to confirm the time and place of our meeting.

We met in the station, both bit nervous to meet each other after 1.5 months but I politely talked about the cold weather of Tokyo in February. And as we walked out the station, he started to tremble from the cold weather. We kept walking, with him complaining about the weather, and went to one of my favorite brasserie for oden (Japanese winter dish). We started the dinner with beer and after we decided on the appetizer, we gave a polite little toast with him looking at the chopsticks. (again! please look at Tokyo date report #1: Yurakucho boy)

As the food was getting served, our conversation flew from his work (which is usually the first thing Japanese men want to talk about), his tennis lesson, manga books and PS games. Luckily, I am quite knowledgeable regarding manga books and games Japanese men like, thanks to otaku friends I had back in the college in the US. So we talked a lot about which manga is interesting, what games are good, and we talked about Hollywood making movies based on Japanese manga, like Dragon balls and Death Notes.

It was around then I started to realize he has developed some rash on his neck, from the 1 glass of beer he had drunk. At the time, I had already finished my 2nd glass of beer and was wondering if it would be polite for me to order another one… So I decided to say, “You know, you have developed some rash on your neck, are you ok?” and he told me “yeah, I’m kind of not handling alchol so well today, I’ve had horrible hangover.” and since it was Saturday night, “Oh, you must had crazy Friday night!” and to my surprise, he say “oh no, I was staying home lastnight, I had the hangover 2 weeks ago, not yesterday! you silly!” …. and I lost my guts to order my 3rd beer or to tell him that I’ve had a crazy Friday night and had woken up with horrible hangover myself lol

But it was during the walk to the next cafe that I decided that I do indeed need a drink, and perhaps a smoke. For the whole entire 3 min walk, he kept saying how cold he is, jumping up and down, and running into stores here and there to escape the blowing wind. Let me remind you once again, this is in Tokyo and we have 35°F even in the February night. Even if it is cold, shouldn’t it be the other way around? Shouldn’t he be asking me if I’m cold? Shouldn’t he be putting his arm around my shoulder to keep me warm?

The date was going down the hill from here on. He had a tea, and I had a cocktail, and he talked about movies, manga, and games and I listened with a smile on… until he put his head on my shoulder and said “I get so sleepy when I drink, I wish I could just sleep here….” So… that’s why I concluded this night “Chivalry is DEAD in Tokyo”


Coming from a country side of Japan, and having 2 older sisters to babysit him, his attitude was rather meek and docile throughout the date. If anything, he made me feel like a man… He kept whining about the winter weather and how cold it is, he wanted to take a cab to go to a bar nearby, he gets all red after 1 beer, he doesn’t smoke, his legs are skinner than mine, he gets sleepy after 1 drink and he tells me that with his head on my shoulder… uggggh

Japanese men don’t even try to impress women on dates. Though there are so many rules out there for women to follow to comfortably welcome men into their lives, men don’t even try to woo a woman. At least, be a man, when you go on a date, then I should have some respect for them. Am I being too harsh?


Continued from Gokon report #2: gokon by the book

Romance meter: 12%
Conclusion: Though the overall date was not so bad, with mediocre food and mediocre polite conversation, I was mostly annoyed by how the boy could not talk with eye contact. His lack of confidence and attitude did not motivate me to see him again.

Genre: dinner date
Show time: February 17th 7:30 pm
Running time: 120 min
MPAA rating: PG
Cast: me and Yurakucho boy

“Yurakucho boy” was one of the participants of the Friday night gokon from 2 weeks ago. Since our workplaces are just one station away, and our birthdates are just one day away, our conversation flourished as we absorbed more alcohol. We parted with casual promise to have a lunch in the future ,and  after several exchange of text messages, the Yurakucho boy asked me out for dinner at a thai restaurant.

I arrived 5 min late and was surprised to see that he was a little shorter than me with my heels, but I politely talked about the cold weather of Tokyo in February. We started the dinner with beer and his back pain and  after we decided on the appetizer, we gave a polite little toast with him looking at the chopsticks. (ugh, I don’t like men who don’t give eye contact while giving toast)

I had decided not to smoke for the date, but as our conversation went on and on about his work, his guitar practice, his back pain, his work, his weekend snowboard trip that gave him more back pain, then his work again, then his family, then his back pain, then his favorite alcohol… it was a time for me to have my cigarette.
After he was done talking about all aspects of his life, and I had started to feel full, with thai food and his story, it was time to go because he could no longer sit because of his back pain. I followed the rule and offered to split the bill and he told me to pay a little less than half of the bill. We parted in the station politely, but I could not be polite enough to say “see you soon”

I had learned before the date, as I wrote in Dos and Don’ts of the first date, that I should ask questions and listen to him. I followed the rule with an expectation that he would eventually ask some questions too. But he did not, he just loved talking about himself so much that it seemed he does not even realized that I was listening, looking at him in the eyes. I think the date was over when he made the toast without eye contact. As the French and the Germans say “taost with eye contact, else it’s seven years of bad sex”… I think it will be seven years of no sex for this poor boy.

Another thing was that he kept complaining about his backache throughout the dinner. It seemed that the alcohol had worsen the back pain and worsen his redness of his face, and he only had 2 drinks! “It’s because of my age, I am 30 years old, already a granpa” was the killer line that really killed my interest in this poor little grandpa.

I just wanna wish that he finds a nice masseuse!koshi

Today is the memorable day of my first Tokyo date.

I got some tips from my trustee friends and Japanese dating guides
so I have summarized my learnings in the following Dos and Don’ts!

Let’s see what they say….

Dos and Don’ts for the first Tokyo date:

  • Don’t wear jeans, he’ll think you were not so motivated for the date, or that he’s not worth the effort
  • Do wear skirt of appropriate length, just above your knees
  • Don’t show your skin too much, better to look pure and clean than too sexy
  • Do ask him questions, let him talk, and when there’s common interests, then talk about your opinions and preferences.

3 key questions to ask:

  1. “How’s work, busy this week?” to give him chance to show his business which would give confidence that he is a successful business man
  2. “What do you do when you go home?” to give him chance to talk about his hobbies and interests. Make sure you ask more in details once he starts talking to show that you are interested in him
  3. “What did you do on the weekend?” to give him chance to talk about how he spent his money on entertainment and give him chance to show off his luxurious status
  • Do give him enough time to talk about his job, his daily tasks and career goals so he can listen to himself talk of his business and start to feel confident!
  • Do give him encouragement as you listen, smile, nod, give eye contact, agree, praise, get impressed
  • Don’t talk about yourself much, especially on how busy you are at work
  • Don’t tell him you have already been to the restaurant (that he picked for the date) even if you have
  • Don’t talk about your past relationships but if he does, listen with sympathy and kindness
  • Do show your willingness to split the bill by asking “how much is it” as you leave the table and look for your wallet in your bag
  • Do let him say with pride “don’t worry about it, let me take care of it”
  • Do smile and thank him if he buy you dinner
  • Do walk away from the cashier machine and let him take care of it. Wait for him outside of the restaurant

And what to expect from the date if it goes well?

“Nothing much, just expect him to entertain you”
“Free dinner! Yep, he should pay for it since he invited you!”
“Probably better not to expect anything romantic. He won’t give you good night kiss like they do in the US, that’s for sure!”


Blog Stats

  • 180,862 hits

Past articles

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