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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


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!”


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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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