Life in Japan

The Shocking Truth About Dating in Japan as a Foreigner

Ever wondered what dating is like in Japan?
Well, then here you go!

However, be warned: If you want to read about bragging stories of all those Western guys who get laid a hundred times per day, then you came to the wrong place.
There are tons of blog posts like that out there. You certainly won’t find that here – and not from a foreign girl like me! smilie

Before we start talking about “Dating in Japan” one thing should be crystal clear:

 

1. Dating is not the same for foreign women and men!

If you’ve ever been to Japan you might have noticed that there’s a tremendous number of (often not so handsome) foreign guys walking hand-in-hand with Japanese women. And at the same time there’s only a very tiny number of foreign (read: non-Asian) women with Japanese men next to them.

You might ask yourself why is that?
Maybe that’s a secret we’ll never quite get, but there are many theories!

A lot of Japanese women want a guy that tells them several times a day how much he loves them. For some reason (maybe through the consumption of too many Hollywood movies) Japanese women think that foreign men are like that! They’re not afraid of showing their feelings in public or telling their girls flat out how they feel about them.

Of course, having a foreign boyfriend is also “cool” and “exotic“. Some just use those poor guys as cute little “accessories“.
The extreme version of this is known as “gaijin hunter” and some will do everything for the sake of having one of those adorable “half”-kids (half Western, half Japanese) just to toss their foreign guy later on.

For foreign women it’s a completely different story.
Japanese men seem to expect certain things from a woman. Things that they fear a foreign woman would not agree to do (e.g. stay home, take care of the kids, always pour new alcohol into his empty glass etc.).
Maybe they also think that a foreign woman might expect from their man that he’s telling his feelings straight out several times a day, something a shy Japanese man just won’t do.

Another problem is that many of the Japanese men seem to be afraid of their English ability and thus fail to approach a foreign woman.
Most foreign men on the other hand, have no issues approaching a Japanese woman in English – or even in broken Japanese.

These are just a few theories by friends, co-workers and myself. I’m sure you have your own and there’s much more behind all this, but that’s it for starters, I guess.

 

2. Dating in Japan as a foreign man:

As a result, dating in Japan is usually quite easy for men.
At least getting one woman after another into your bed, is really easy, even if you’re quite ugly!
For some reason Japanese women seem to find even ugly foreign guys attractive …..

It might be a bit more difficult if you’re looking for a serious relationship as there are those women I mentioned earlier who either want you as “exotic accessory” or just want your DNA to create a cute “half-child”.

All in all, it is comparably easy for a Western foreign man to find a Japanese woman or to have a nice relationship here in Japan.
For some guys it really gets to their heads and they start bragging about it like crazy as part of the superstar syndrome.

 

3. Dating in Japan as a foreign woman:

The complete opposite is the case for (Western) foreign women in Japan.
Japanese guys are often too shy, scared or whatever and the majority of Western men is only interested in Japanese / Asian women.
As a result it is extremely tough to find a date as a foreign woman here in Japan.

It is by far not impossible and I know quite a few girls who don’t only have a Japanese boyfriend, but are also married to a Japanese man, but it is still the BIG exception!

Some of us will go through a hard time here in Japan.
You’ll start to feel completely unattractive and ignored at times.
Of course, you get a lot of attention and there’s all this staring, but it’s not because anybody is flirting with you … or at least you don’t know the difference anymore.

It might be a different story in bigger cities such as Tokyo and Osaka with a more international community, but in smaller cities and in the countryside with more traditional ideals it can be very difficult for foreign women.

 

4. Differences in relationships:

I personally know a few couples where either the man or the woman is foreign and I noticed quite a lot of differences in the kind of relationship they have.

Please note that the following is based on my personal experience and that not everybody out there is like that.

 

Foreign man, Japanese woman:

In relationships where the man is foreign I noticed that they mostly speak his native language. Although they live in Japan and sometimes even have children together who also speak Japanese, the foreign guys don’t / can’t speak Japanese.

I also experienced that they’re unable to do anything on their own. When I ask them about how they got their cellphone or credit card they just answer they don’t know because their wife did it for them. smilie
Consequently they don’t see the need to study Japanese, because their wives will take care of it all.

One big problem seems to be the fact that in Japan the man earns the money, but the woman takes care of it! The man only gets a small allowance every week or month and needs to ask his wife for permission if he wants to spend any more of his own hard-earned money! Foreign guys often seem to struggle with this system.

Because of all that I’ve seen couples who got divorced, even when there were kids involved. I noticed that those kind of relationships seem to work out better if they live in his home country and not in Japan.

 

Foreign woman, Japanese man:

For the opposite constellation you’ll see that in most(!) cases the woman speaks Japanese. She has studied Japanese properly or puts in a lot of effort to improve her Japanese ability even if the Japanese man can speak her native tongue.

They know how to survive in Japan even without the help of their husband / boyfriend who is at work most of the time anyways.

The man seems to accept that she wants to keep working even after marriage. Most of the time those kind of Japanese men who get into a relationship with a foreign woman are more open-minded and have some experience with foreign culture because either they’ve lived or studied abroad for a while. And even those who haven’t seem to accept that there are cultural differences and they don’t expect the same they would from a Japanese woman.

All the couples I know of have a relatively harmonic relationship. Of course, there are enough reasons for disputes, but all in all they seem to manage better than couples where the man is foreign.

 

5. Conclusion: Dating in Japan

There’s so much more that could be said about this topic and I’d love to discuss it with you some more.
I’m sure everyone has their own opinion and experience with this!

All I want you to keep in mind is that as a guy you should not let it get to your head because suddenly you get all this attention from beautiful women.
And as a foreign girl you should keep in mind that your time in Japan – at least in terms of romantic relationships – could be quite lonely at times.

Read on:

 

If you still want to read more, here are some great books on “Dating in Japan”:

 

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370 Comments

  • As a foreign (non-Asian) female married and living in Japan to a Japanese man, many times people assume he is just my tour guide or we are dating, many people never think we are married even though my husband and I have wedding rings on our fingers.

    One time my sister was visiting me in Japan and my husband, my sister and I were all staying at a hotel in Osaka, we went to the morning buffet in the breakfast room and a rich elderly couple goes up to my husband while my sister and I are getting food and he just plain out says “so you are these foreigner`s tour guide?” my husband got mad and said that no its his wife and her sister. The man looked appalled and just said thank you and just walked off. Could he be any ruder to just come up to my husband and ask a question like that and walk off -_-

    And many times clerks at stores assumed we were just dating and ask about me as a girlfriend not his wife. I guess for Japanese since its so rare to see a foreign lady with a Japanese guy married they do not expect their to be an actual married couple.
    It can be frustrating because people will not see us as a married couple but as him being my tour guide/friend or just dating. If I were married to a white man they would not second guess and would probably assume I was married to them.

    Sorry I keep ranting on your website just felt I had no one to rant to since currently I do not have any foreign friends in Japan (all my friends are Japanese girls so if I were to complain in front of them they would be appalled and would not understand what I am going through), and since your also a female foreigner (as its hard to find many female jvloggers/jbloggers who live in Japan for more than one year, most go home after a year, and most foreign jvloggers/jbloggers are male).

    • Hello smu!
      Very interesting, thanks so much for sharing your experience with us.
      I can see how frustrating it can be and I’m sorry to hear about it. :(

      Actually I’m currently working on a blog post where I collect the experience of foreign women dating Japanese men. The majority of them is married.
      Let me know if you would be interested in contributing as well! ^_^

      Don’t be sorry!
      I understand how you feel! I also live in a rural area of Japan (always have) and sometimes you just need to talk about it with other female foreigners. *g*
      Go ahead and rant all the way you want! :D

      • Sure, I would consider contributing^-^what sort of experience? Writing a general story of being married to a Japanese man? or?

      • My husband is Japanese and I am a blond-haired, blue-eyed Canadian. We have been married for 3 years and are in our mid 20s. We have lived in both Tokyo and in Canada together for extended periods of time. We are now living in Canada.

        My husband is very affectionate :hearts: but only in Canada, and behind closed doors in Japan. He won’t even hold my hand in Japan, but won’t think twice about giving me a kiss in a restaurant in Canada. In Canada, people won’t even look twice at us walking down the street, which is nice. In Tokyo we faced discrimination. :hum: I think many foreigners are not aware of what the Japanese public thinks of them. While I was in Tokyo 2 years ago… 1) I was asked several times if I was a prostitute 2) my husband’s ‘friends’ asked him right in front of me if he ‘really loved me’ or if he was looking for a holiday 3) I was asked if we were together because I was ‘pregnant’ (I am 5’3″ and 110lbs, no children) 4) was ridiculed by a group of American soldiers in a shopping mall 5) we were verbally harassed by a group of Japanese men at night, and we were followed by them while taking a train back from Shinjuku (very scary!!) :huh:

        I was constantly worried about what people were thinking about me, and my husband felt so much pressure (especially because he’s young) to be a responsible and respectful member of society. If we hadn’t moved to Canada, I really don’t know if we would have the relationship we have today. Maybe our experience was extreme, but it can happen, even in Tokyo. It’s not all cupcakes and rilakkumas in Japan– many Japanese are still very conservative and angry about the fact that their “bloodline” and land is being “lost” to foreigners. :notamused:

        One good thing about living in Japan was living with my in-laws; they are the most loving and amazing people I have ever met. :luvit: I had such a conflicted couple of years in Japan… I really don’t know if I would be able to handle it if we went back.
        I’d be happen to give you more info about my married life if you email me :shiawase:

        • Hi, CHANada!

          Thank you so much for sharing your experience with us!
          I’ve heard a few times already that Japanese men will show their feelings more openly when not in Japan.
          It think it’s all about the expectations of the Japanese society, which is also why you were facing discrimination there. I’m really sorry you did! :(

          I’m working on another blog post and I’ve already gathered a lot of stories of fellow bloggers and Western females who are together with a Japanese man.
          I think your experience would be extremely interesting and helpful for my readers. Would you mind if I include what you’ve written in this comment in my next blog post?

        • That is ridiculous! People can’t get used to anything that they see as different from their own way of life. I feel for you, since I have never even had a girlfriend that my parents would have considered “to their tastes.” I was always the “good” child, and whoever I choose would be considered good enough, basically, but my mom’s husband would never be happy if I didn’t marry a white woman. I can’t imagine how this must be for you, so many people, especially the men at night. I like to carry a knife with me for protection, but in Japan, one can’t even do that because of how small the blade would have to be. Good luck with you and your husband.

          • Derric, you should pump some weights man. I think most Japanese men would be afraid of approaching me. I’m taller than most men there and I am muscular. If anyone gave me trouble for dating one of their precious pure Japanese bloodlines, rest assured I’d knock them out.

            In my experience, the younger generations are much more accepting of foreigners.

  • See this is a problem for me. I am a 22 year old man who fell in love with Japan years ago, have studied hard to learn a lot of Japanese. The sad truth was though I never much cared for Japanese women, or anime until about a year ago. I want to live in Japan, and in America I never lived that party life style. If I dated in Japan I would want someone who is serious, and respectful of her self. Guess I will just have to be careful, and play the virgin card till I find the right woman.

    • I doubt you’ll find what you’re looking for in one of the “gaijin bars”, but there are more than enough guys who are in a serious relationship or are even married with kids.
      Most of the ones I know got to know their wives when they were studying abroad e.g. in America.

      I wish you good luck and hope you can find what you’re looking for.

  • Hi there,

    I have more shocking news about this topic ^^
    First of all I´m married with a japanese women for 3 years now (I 28 she 27), so here some informations from first hand :)

    The first thing about that foreign guyes gets laid in japanese is a legend. -_- I was 1/2 year in japan as single student and never have the chance go get laid. I wouldn´t call me a nerd, fat or ugly. The most women was clearly interessed in testing there english skills. Which are by the way not the best XD.
    And interessting story. Japanese woman in this way are more interested in americans, because in this case there are native speakers. One big mistake as a german is to tell them, if they asking that you are from germany. Mostly the atmosphere is dropping rapiedly. In some case I had the feeling there affraid… -_-?

    Why are foreign men didn´t speek japanese?! –> In my example my wife forbid me to speak japanese. Because it´s cooler if she speaks german to me. Which is by the way a very hard language in japanese eyes. Most of the friends of my wife said it is fearful to hear here speaking with me.

    Why are foreign men and japanese womens reationships are not so harmonic?! In my case it is because even japanese women don´t talk about there feelings. For me as european this is a symbole of mistrust. It is hard to deal with this. -_-

    Result:
    – Going to japan to get laid is a waist of time. Japanese women with class don´t do this stuff. It is a legend which is going around for centuries now.
    – To have a relationship with a japanese women is also not the easies task, most likly by the way to talking about feelings and relationship issues.

    • Hi Physalis!

      Thank you so much for sharing your personal experience in this matter with us!

      As for finding Japanese women for “certain purposes” I guess there are special bars for that where chances are high you’ll find what you’re looking for.
      This certainly is not something for everyone!

      I’m sorry to hear that your wife doesn’t allow you to speak Japanese. That would be horrible for me – and I wouldn’t listen to a guy who tells me to do so anyways.

      And it’s true that a lot of Japanese women just want a foreign boyfriend to show him off as an exotic “accessory”. Speaking in the native tongue with their exotic boyfriend in front of their friends is just one thing they’ll “use you for”.

    • If you learn some basic pick up artist techniques and visit a “gaijin” bar, you’ll find what you’re looking for. I saw some neck beards getting some make out sessions with girls. I mean dude, this is the bottom of the crop and even they were getting action. In Japan, you can be whoever you want. Just make up a story and roll with it. One night you can be a professional MMA fighter. Another night you’re an eccentric grad student/post-doc physicist from Harvard (wear a Harvard T-shirt and the girls will come running).

      When I went to the gaijin bars, our lab was actually collaborating with the University of Tokyo. “Sooooo SUGOI DESU YO. University of Tokyo is number 1 daigaku in Japan!” They ate it up.

      Get some physical chemistry going on, and bam, drop the line “love hotel?” You’ll be set.

  • Thanks for the interesting insight! I’m a Japanese man living in US and found this article to be very interesting. Keep up the great work!

    I’ve heard from someone that dating for Japanese men are tougher in US and dating for Western women are tougher in Japan. I guess it’s either sympathetic comment or oversimplification of any relationship.

    They say to have a successful marriage, you need to have 3 things work together: Finance, Religion, and Kids (expectation of). Maybe I’ve been listening to Dave Ramsey talks too much, but it seems like religion plays a big role especially in the Bible Belt where I live.

    As a Japanese man, I find most Japanese tends to be religiously liberal. This seems to clash with a western religion which is mostly Christian based. I find compassion in all kinds of views, but find it difficult to believe one religion to be the absolute truth. I think these are pretty important issues that make or break not only marriages but relationships too.

    I’ll keep reading your blogs. You keep writing!

    • Hi Tman!

      Thank you very much for sharing your opinion!
      You’ve pointed out something nobody else has yet.

      To be honest I personally love the religious freedom here in Japan.
      I do think that religion doesn’t play such a big role in Western countries anymore compared to a few decades ago.

      I can totally see that religion is one thing that affects relationships! :(
      That’s part of the cultural differences you have to overcome when dating somebody who doesn’t share the same cultural background as you, I guess. *sigh*

  • Jasmine, I have to disagree with you there. It is true that religion does not play a big role for the younger generation in Germany (or at least many parts of Germany), but I don’t think that is true of all western countries. In parts of the US, for example, religion and what church you belong to are very, very important due to the differences in beliefs even within Christianity. The area dubbed the Bible Belt can be a very unique experience, since many communities have a disproportionate number of different churches. I studied in a town of 10,000, and we had close to 20 different churches.

    Tman has brought up a very good point and a very large obstacle for any foreigners looking to date in the US. I’ve never really thought about how religion can be a divider between people, but it definitely is possible. This discussion has taken a very different turn, and I am excited to see what you post about other women’s experiences!

    • Thank you, Jordan.
      I’ve never been to the US, so of course I don’t know, but I assume that there are regions where it’s stricter and regions where there’s more religious freedom.

      I’m working on it, so please stay tuned! :D

  • Hello there! I love reading your posts, they’re very informative and interesting.

    Well, I’m a Colombian male (I know, it’s too far away!) who lived in Germany for quite a while, and I’ve also dated Chinese and French girls, so I think there are some cultural differences I’d like to point out:

    First of all, French girls seem to be a lot like us Colombians, they share their feelings a lot and are very expressive. This is something I’m used to, having grown up and currently living in Colombia, but it’s not the way I am, I’m shy and way too bad with expressive social interaction. This brought and eventually led to a break-up with my French girlfriend because she felt I was too unexpressive and didn’t tell her “Je t’aime” frequently enough. This, of course, was absolutely opposite of the truth, since I was really in love with her, I just didn’t know how to express it properly, I thought that just holding hands and lying on the grass would be enough, but it seems like I had to do a lot more stuff to be good enough… :( Sigh…

    As for the Chinese girl I dated, I think it’s important to point out that she was from Hong Kong and had been living in Germany for like 6 years already when I met her, so she was probably very European by that time anyways, but dating her was great! She accepted my shyness and we actually had a great relationship up until my return to Colombia.

    But all this because I think maybe Japanese (and perhaps Asian guys in general) are just shy or their culture doesn’t really provide any guide on how to act while in a relationship, so guys probably are deeply in love with their girlfriends/women, but just can’t express themselves properly, and like me, have some problems with dating Western girls, since they seem to be really straightforward and sometimes that’s scary. At least that’s how I feel whenever I try to meet girls in Colombia.

    • Hi, Juan!

      Thank you very much for sharing your personal experiences so honestly with us! :D

      From all I heard I don’t think it’s necessarily because Japanese guys are shy, but because of the expectations of society!
      I heard some of them start feeling free and relaxed when living abroad, start holding hands or even kissing in public, but when back in Japan they would never do that.
      In Japan it’s still very important what others think of you and you absolutely can’t “lose face” in front of others.

    • @Juan

      Hola Juan!

      I can relate to your experience. I am also Latino, Mexican to be more precise. When I was single, I was almost never popular with Latina girls because I tend to be more reserved than the average Latino, but apart from that, my interests are more into the intellectual side rather than pop culture as well as I tend to be more industrious and practical in mentality, qualities not found on most Latino people.

      I am engaged to a Japanese lady, and our relationship is the best relationship I ever had because we have similar views on life, communication is good, and most importantly, respect at all times. However, I do not have problem expressing romantic or passionate talk with my fiancee, but unlike most Latino guys, I do it with her only and not with every single girl I see like most Latino men do. My fiancee does appreciate a lot I am romantic and passionate.

      I do not want to generalize, but you probably will agree with this, but I observed that many Latina women tend to like more the outgoing, party/night club type, and agressive type of men. Whilst these men may have charismatic personalities, however, I noticed most of them tend to be womanizers, liars, lazy, drunkards, or have all three qualities, but still, most Latina women like them like that whilst if you are a cultured, ambitious, and more reserved guy, most Latina girls see you as boring :S. You probably can relate to this.

      With Japanese girls, the few I have met to be honest (my fiancee included), most tend to be more practical and value more a man who is ambitious, industrious, honest and with good character rather than the party-type of guy as they know these guys are not to be trusted and will never be good husbands. Japanese and Asian girls tend to value more economic security and good character than superficiality. Of course, I am not saying they do not care about appearances because they do, but unlike most Latin girls, it is not top priority.

      I tend to like more the Asian girls´ view on how a man should be than the Latin women´s view of how a man should be. It fits more my character the former.

      Saludos!

  • The reason why you would find more japanese women + non-asian men , rather than vice-versa, is mainly because japanese/asian races are feminine in nature.. Feminine girls naturally come across as desirable ( across all races)..
    but for males/guys( japanese/asian) , feminine features make them undesirable to non-asian races

    • A very interesting theory, but I see more and more Western girls who are into J-guys.
      Of course, I have no idea about the statistics, but I would expect there’s more interest than most would think.

  • I can only give you very limited data, since I only lived in Japan for a year, and on top of that in a fairly rural area with very few foreigners around apart from the exchange students, but anyway:

    Funnily enough, I was hit on by a Japanese guy not even a week after arriving in the country. I was totally shocked about that, mostly due to the fact that I get never, ever hit on in Germany. Seriously, I’m eternally single. It was not a bar setting though; I was at the bank setting up my own account, he was there as a tutor for some other English speaking students, I helped them out with some linguistical problems, and he consequently asked me out to dinner “as a thank you for the help”. It might have worked to my advantage that I’m tiny by European standards (148 cm), so I might have been more approachable because I was a size he was used to? We ended up on a handfull of dates and eventually landed in bed, but unfortunately my Japanese wasn’t really up to more than small talk level conversation, we never moved the emotional distance from dating into actual relationship territory, and I ended the whole thing. Another reason was that I was never entirely sure if he was interested in me for more than just me being an exotic foreign chick, though that may have just been my own insecurities. *shrugs*

    For the western guy/Japanese girl perspective: We had a couple French guys in our group who constantly tried to pick up chicks at bars, but as far as I know they never really succeeded. In comparison, we also had another German guy who was looking for serious relationships, and he seemed to manage just fine. Considering that we all spoke the same intermediate, four semesters of uni courses level of Japanese, it must have been their different attitudes. The French guys just seemed to go at it far too aggressively, even though one of them was actually really handsome (they both later ended up working part time at a host bar…. >__> )

    • Very interesting and funny stories, especially the one about your male co-workers ending up in a host bar. *g*

      I think you were extremely lucky to get to know an obviously not so shy Japanese guy.
      Most of the time it might just be that they’re too shy to say anything as opposed to not being interested.

      Who would want to date a French guy anyways? (Just kidding!) ;P

      Interesting insights indeed. Thanks for sharing!

    • Well, I’ve never been to Japan, yet have much experience with talking to Japanese people. I think girls in Japan often don’t want to be approached in a bar. Japanese girls tend to want to be safe and secure, and maybe not approached by a foreign stranger ^^ Even if they look hotter than Japanese guys to them. Guys that are looking to pick up a girl in a bar aren’t looking for friendship, right – so it might be hard.

      If the guy seems friendly and someone they could be with – AND, the girl is daring enough to say yes – then I guess it can work out. It’s like if a foreign person approached you and spoke a difficult language you know little of, or at least are afraid to speak… it can seem scary. They are complete strangers most likely, so even scarier for them maybe. So, being friends somehow is a nice approach I think.

      I think many Japanese girls are attracted to foreign guys, and think western girls are more beautiful than not just themselves, but most Japanese girls (actually, i’ve talked to a few girls online – they can share their views more online right? So I know many do have a similar opinion). I think because of this, and the exotic aspect, they feel glad when a foreign guy says they are attractive, or want them. Then again, Japanese girls can be insecure, so I’m sure foreign guys have to work hard to maintain a strong relationship if they are foreign more so than native Japanese – due to possible lack of communication, society, or just other factors.

      Generally, they tend to think British are gentlemen, Americans are cool, Germans and other Europeans have cool languages but often prefer English speakers as they are kinda forced to learn some English lol. As for other races and country folk, depends on what movie, game, or other media your stereotype has featured in/on hahahaha….
      Then again, from the not so ill-informed people, i.e. the ones who have studied their country of favour, tend to know more about the people, maybe making them a little more desensitized to foreign guys lol
      The more and earlier people are involved with foreign countries, the more desensitized to exoticness they become. For example, foreigners may have less appeal, because there is more exposure from living amongst them at an early age.
      I’m just talking from experience. It seems like the girls who have lived in a western country at least when they was young for a good amount of years, tend to be less innocent as other Japanese hahaha – and not as foreign-centric I guess. I could be wrong, as these kinds of girls tend to be more difficult to talk to lol, so harder to find things out.

      Communication and love are key.

      Sorry for the essay of a comment… you should enforce a character limit. I could say a lot to be honest… but I’ll keep it less than a day long message for now lol

      • Very interesting. Thanks for sharing.
        Most Japanese women who lived abroad for years are now back in Japan. Some have married a Japanese man or are looking for a Japanese boyfriend.
        Only a handful of them got to know their foreign husband while being abroad and moved back with him, now living here in Japan as a family.

        One thing that you also mention and that everybody can probably agree to is that there will always be cultural differences and thus issues in a cross-cultural relationship.
        It depends on the individual on how well they can adapt and accept their partner’s culture.

        I tend to think that Japanese people who have experience living abroad are often much more open-minded, so a relationship with them might go “smoother”.

      • So you’ve never been to Japan or a Japanese bar and somehow know what girls want? Sounds legit. Pro-tip: Even most girls don’t know what they want. Convince them they want you. Sell yourself. That’s what it’s like to be in any bar trying to pick up a girl. Be the most charming guy you can be. Be happy-go-lucky, confident, and relaxed. Don’t forget to smile.

        First step: Roppongi.

        Second step: Find a foreign wing-man that speaks your language. I found a korean guy from America. “Hey, can you tell we’re related?” (I’m white).

        Third step: Collect phone numbers.

        Fourth step: Profit.

        Also, don’t beat yourself up over one girl. Is one giving you the cold shoulder? Good news! There’s hundreds of other girls to choose from! Cya later, on to the next one.

  • I very much disagree with the article. It is giving an uninformed assessment of the experiences of many foreign men in Japan and is more aligned with anti-foreigner right-wing media propaganda. False stories that are to give the impression that foreign men are having “drunken rape parties” in Japan and change women like their socks. This propaganda was designed to scare Japanese women and be used in xenophobic politics for scaring voters and make it seem like foreigners were responsible for all the crime, corrupting the morals of Japan, and are just wild animals.

    That some ugly geek will turn into a super playboy in Japan is utter nonsense and ridiculous. And if you think about it deeply, it makes no logical sense whatsoever. “Charisma man” was partially created by the Japanese media, with xenophobic political purposes in mind, and then picked up by the foreign press as overly sensationalized stories. Other elements of wild sex myths, date back to the 1970s and 1980s, and there was a much more open attitude about sex in America and many other countries too. This is 2013. A lot has changed in Japan. The bar and club scene from 30 years ago is irrelevant to what is going on today.

    Sadly, various foreign women in Japan have bought into these myths and propaganda. Partially, because they are jealous and competing with Japanese women, so take it out on foreign men and foreign men and Japanese couples. Partially, because the “grass appears greener on the other side of the fence”, however it is not. Foreign men have just as difficult a time with Japanese women, as foreign women have with Japanese men.

    Read Physalis comments. It is very indicative of the experiences of foreign men in Japan. Many Japanese women are scared to talk to foreign men, timid, shy, and are overly to extremely worried about what their friends will think if they are seen with a foreigner. Only a small percentage of Japanese women date or will date foreigners.

    Of those Japanese women that do date foreigners, there are ruthless gold-diggers and outrageous playgirls in the mix. It is way easier for Japanese playgirls to run through a lot of foreign men, like different flavors of ice cream, not the other way around. A woman can nearly guarantee she will get sex, when she is in the mood, when going out clubbing. Men, however, can NOT.

    And various Japanese women are targeting certain foreigners with a lot of money, not average Joe geek. We are talking about foreign bankers, high paid IT workers, business owners, executives, etc… NOT English teachers, college students, or tourists. A banker or highly paid businessman will be a catch and get women, to include Japanese women, irregardless of if he is in Japan or not.

    Brad Pitt or Denzel Washington will get women, irregardless if they were in Japan or not. There is a kind of international standard for looks and many Japanese women are very familiar with Hollywood and Western images of what is supposed to look good. Keep in mind that what Japanese might think looks good, may be different from Western tastes. A foreign woman might think she is super hot, but Japanese guys may disagree. That same foreign woman might arrogantly feel that X guy is a ugly geek, when Japanese women think differently.

    When it comes to language, foreign men and foreign women are about equal. Some people are just better at picking up a language than others. Situations where a foreign guy might not be learning the language, is if he is a high paid business executive. Then he will have Japanese girlfriends or even Japanese office staff catering to him, but that is about getting his money or business. If a foreign guy is not learning Japanese, it is often a reflection of his job, where it doesn’t require Japanese.

    I’ve known foreign guys in Japan that have gone months with NO girlfriend and found it extremely difficult to talk to Japanese women. The same types of problems that foreign women have, but from a male perspective.

    You also have to keep in mind, due to the Japanese media and scare stories, that many Japanese women are extremely worried about being seen talking to or known to be dating a foreigner, and can even be anti-foreigner OR her friends and family are anti-foreigner. Japan is still very backwards, xenophobic, and lacking in diversity. It isn’t like New York or Paris will you will see interracial and international couples everywhere.

    • Hello Soju!

      Rape parties and the likes … – I totally disagree as well. I haven’t even written anything like that in my article.
      All I’ve written is based on my own personal experience including things I’ve either seen with my own eyes, heard from friends or read about in other people’s blogs.
      It might be surprising to you, but most of those blogs were written by Western men bragging about how easy it is to find a Japanese girlfriend and to get laid in Japan.
      It’s nothing that I made up.

      But maybe all those foreign men just made up these stories to sound like they’re the coolest guy on earth, but why would they have to do this?
      I’m well aware of the fact that not every foreign guy will have it easy, but I think it’s safe to say that in comparison Western men have it easier than Western women.
      If you look at the sheer number of mixed couples, it’s easy to tell who’s more successful.
      If the “couples” seen on the street are in a serious relationship, married, sex mates or in another kind of relationship, nobody can tell.
      But the number for Western guys seen with Japanese women is certainly much higher than the other combination.

      Interesting. I guess all the not so handsome Western guys I’ve seen with beautiful Japanese girls must have been either super rich, a movie star or the Japanese women were callgirls or something like that?
      On the other hand, I already know that what most Western women consider as handsome is not what Japanese women consider as handsome. I can clearly see that when talking to my Japanese co-workers. Maybe that could explain it.

      Like I said it was only MY experience that most Western guys couldn’t speak Japanese at all and were also not very eager to learn it despite living in Japan with long-term intentions.
      I think I mentioned that I don’t know if that’s just my experience or if this tendency displays reality.

      My feeling and experience tells me that with the current generation of young Japanese people it has changed a bit, though.
      There are xenophobic people, but I have the feeling that it concerns the older generation more than the younger one.
      A lot of young people seem to be interested in foreign people and culture. It is “cool” and “exotic” if you have a foreign friend and can talk to that friend in their native tongue.
      And it’s also not so much of a problem anymore if you’re seen with a foreign partner compared to a few decades ago.
      Maybe older people and parents, grandparents won’t be too happy about it, but people of the same age might think it’s “cool” instead.

      Thank you a lot for sharing your opinion so openly and honestly with us! :)

    • Am I the only guy here who had the time of his life in Japan? Repeat after me:

      Roppongi -> Gaijin bar -> Profit

      Roppongi -> Gaijin bar -> Profit

      I’m sorry to say that if you have a hard time with women in your own country, you will probably do only marginally better in a foreign country where your skin color is rare. If you look like quasimodo, you probably won’t get very far anywhere. Japan isn’t a magical land where if you’re a fat slob in America, you will somehow be attractive there.

      With that said, approaching a girl on the street when you don’t speak Japanese? Probably not a good idea. Going to a bar that’s notorious for internationals, like Roppongi? Awwww yeah. Jumanji is a great place to go, except that it tends to be very loud. Just be a cool guy. Don’t be awkward because that invites awkwardness. Be a bad ass looking for a good time and you’ll find it. Does a girl want to play you? Pump and dump it. Gold digger? You guessed it, pump and dump.

      In my experience talking to Japanese girls (at least in Roppongi) they LOVED America. Oh you’re from America? SO SUGOI. Oh, University of Tokyo? SO SUGOI. “Hey…there seems to be a problem with my phone, it doesn’t have your number in it. *GIGGLES* TEE HEE, here’s my number. “Thanks, babe.”

      Does she have friends trying to cock block you? It happens in any country! Solution? “Hey, let’s grab something to eat! Just you and me.” Grab her hand and walk. Wham, bam, thank you ma’am.

      All I hear from you are excuses. OH those Japanese hunnies aren’t interested in my white meat. Let me go on this forum and rattle off some self-defeatist crap about how the internet is WRONG about getting laid in Japan. The sooner you realize that it’s your sour grapes attitude that is preventing you and your friends from landing a girlfriend in a bar, or in Japan, the better off you will be in the long run. Get a few friends you’re comfortable with. Go to a bar and start approaching. Conquer that approach anxiety! Practice makes perfect. I mean, what’s the worst that can happen? She doesn’t show interest in you? Whoop dee doo, plenty more where that came from. Chooooo choooo all abroad the pick-up train. Next stop? The next girl at the bar.

  • @zoomingjapan

    It was good to see your reply to my comment. I think discussing this issue is another great way to learn about what is going on in Japan. I’ve have lived in Japan for over 7 years.

    I think men are more likely to exaggerate their success with women, and the Japanese media and right-wing groups are more than happy to help, in order to twist this for xenophobic and political purposes. Many of the guys claiming to be extraordinary playboys when they were overseas, were anything but in actuality, and are telling “war stories”. “When I was young, I was rich, 7ft tall, and had the body of a Greek god. All the women loved me.” OK, so why is it 3 years later you are now 5ft tall, fat, and a homeless wino?

    And when it comes to sleeping around, if a woman is in the mood and of the mind to do such, they will easily surpass men in numbers many times over. The actual players of the story, are often actually the women, who had many boyfriends. The guy telling the story, was just one of many guys that SHE picked up.

    As a general rule, guys that are good with women, tend to be irregardless of country or always had the potential. It just might take them some time to adapt to the culture and language. You are simply not taking an ugly fat sloppy woman and turning her into a Vogue supermodel overnight. And the same thing doesn’t happen with guys either. An ugly geek isn’t going to become a super playboy overnight by flying to Japan or any Asian country. And that an ugly geek through tremendous effort or incredible luck found 1 Asian woman to be with or marry, doesn’t mean he was a playboy.

    In regards to more foreign men with Japanese women in comparison to the opposite, I see more foreign men in Japan, in general. If the numbers of foreign men to foreign women visiting Japan are 4 to 1 (for example), then clearly more foreign guy/Japanese woman couples would occur.

    I believe looks are very subjective and personal. There is a wide variety of opinion about looks, even within a country. You would be hard pressed to get 100 Japanese, Americans, or Spanish to agree on who is ugly except in just a general sense. Extremely ugly or beautiful is easy, but there is a lot of disagreement about what’s in the middle.

    When it comes to dating, besides facial beauty, there are other factors at play. Over the years, things that I’ve seen have a strong affect on foreigners dating in Japan have been: weight, fashion, personality, and social status. And some of these factors would affect foreign women more than men.

    1. Being overweight or fat in Japan is going to make it way harder to find dates.

    Let me first make it clear, that I’m not saying a woman should be bone skinny or anorexic looking. I believe a woman should have feminine curves and be at a healthy way. However, there is healthy, then there is overweight and fat. And this is where women are more affected by this than men. Guys that are overweight or fat, can try to compensate with money or personality.

    Japanese guys tend to not approach or shy away from overweight or fat foreign women. And often, many Japanese guys are very skinny for men, which exacerbates the situation. Where an overweight/fat foreign woman may get approaches in her country, that would be greatly less so in Japan.

    2. Fashion is a factor, particularly in big Japanese cities.

    I will give you a great example. I met a very good looking German woman, blond hair and green eyes, in Tokyo. We dated for a little while, before she returned to Germany. But one odd thing about her is she didn’t like dressing up or femininely. She would wear cheap sandals, shorts, and a t-shirt. Would never do her nails and never think to put on a sexy dress or mini-skirt.

    In Tokyo, she looked odd. And it wasn’t just because she was a foreigner, it was how she dressed. She gave off the vibe and appearance of a backpacker. And that will simply turn off a lot of Japanese men, even if the woman is good looking by international or her country’s standards.

    In contrast I knew Russian and other European women that dressed very well, and had Japanese and foreign men alike, drooling all over them. Dressing poorly, can cause other people to downgrade your appearance or value. What percentage of Japanese businessmen want to walk around with a foreign girlfriend that looks like a backpacker?

    3. Personality, arrogance, being egotistical, attitude, being weird, etc…

    In my years in Japan, I’ve seen many foreign women give off an arrogant and egotistical vibe. I think some didn’t even realize that they were doing it. While guys from their country might look at this attitude as cute or a fun challenge, it can come off horribly bad in a foreign country and make them unapproachable.

    Many foreign guys are making themselves presentable and pleasant to be around and talk to. When foreign women do the same, things tend to go a lot smoother for them. Simple flirt 101 things like smiling, waving, winking, nodding your head, appearing approachable, etc…. work with Japanese guys too.

    In fact, a lot of times when foreign women think Japanese guys are not interested, it is they weren’t picking up on signals that Japanese guys were giving them. Instead of approaching directly, a lot of Japanese guys like to send signals from a distance, because direct rejection is much more embarrassing and hurts their pride. Many foreign guys can shrug of if a woman rejects their approach, where many Japanese guys are much more devastated by it.

    Foreign women that master Japanese body language and subtle hints, often do very will with Japanese guys. But this must go along with a pleasant and approachable attitude.

    Being arrogant, having a bad attitude, or making yourself unapproachable diminishes a woman’s beauty or value in the eyes of many guys. Guys are not in a hurry to approach that angry evil looking chick sitting by herself or with her evil twin in the corner.

    A lot of foreign guys have figured out long ago to bring more than just facial beauty to the table when interacting with the opposite sex, especially when they are not a model, that culture’s standard of beauty, or not getting paid because of how they look. Foreign men have the same levels of culture shock and difficulties in Japan as foreign women, they are simply adapting differently to make the situation work for them.

    • I absolutely agree that men in general tend to exaggerate with those kind of things.
      But maybe you can understand why it gave me the impression that Western men have more luck with finding a partner here in Japan?
      Hearing so many guys bragging about it in addition to seeing so many couples that just confirm what those guys were bragging about, did the trick.

      And as you can see when you read through the comments here, I’m not the only Western female who got this impression.

      What you’re saying about the sheer number of male foreigners vs. female foreigners, that’s something I’ve also thought about and I think I mentioned it in my article as well.
      My impression is that there are a lot of Western guys, but not so many Western girls. I just have no statistics that really confirm that.
      The only statistics I can find are the ones that include all foreigners in Japan and according to those there are more women.
      I think that’s because there are a lot of Asian women in Japan.

      I found what you wrote extremely interesting and I think I can agree pretty much.
      Of course, there will always be expections on both sides as everybody is different, but all in all I think you hit the bullseye!

      May I take myself as an example?
      I’m tall, slim, have darkbrown hair and eyes. Apart from being tall I don’t look so much different from a Japanese woman.
      From far away and from behind people can’t even tell. It happened a few times that people asked me something behind my back and were surprised to see that I’m not Japanese when I turned around.
      I often thought that a Japanese guy who’s really interested in dating a foreign woman might find someone like me not “exotic” enough.
      If they go for a foreign woman, they might want to have a woman who looks more feminine (with more curves) – different from a Japanese woman. And they might prefer a girl with blonde or red hair and with blue or green eyes. Or maybe an African-American girl.

      And that might not even be unique to Japan.
      When I was younger I often went to Italy. Italian guys were always head over heals when they saw my blonde and blue-eyed friends. They weren’t so much interested in a woman that looked pretty much like their Italian women there.

      This is just my theory, but I wonder if it’s true to some extend.

      I think you are right about the fashion factor.
      Personally I think Japanese people care a little bit too much about fashion to be honest.
      I can totally see your point, but I wouldn’t want to be together with somebody who wants a girl with the latest fashion who gets her nails done every single day.
      I’d prefer somebody who has the same interests, who likes being in the nature, traveling etc. – and I’m sure I’m not the only one.
      I know there are Japanese guys like that out there. I’ve even met a few of them while traveling!

      For me personally the biggest problem is surely my attitude that might be challenging even for foreign men.
      Even back home only those who tried really hard to break through that wall, were successful.
      However, it’s not something I do on purpose and it’s really difficult to change my attitude, but I’m aware of that being a huge problem.
      I’m glad you pointed that out as well!

      Really enjoyed your comment!
      So many insights.
      I hope others are reading your comment as well! :D

    • More sour grapes.

      What country are you originally from Soju? Rather, what planet? Pro-tip: all a girl has to do in any country is spread her legs and tons of thirsty men will be vying for her affections. Japan is the same, you say? Noooooooooo way. Mind = blown.

      The curse that we have as men is that we have to develop game to get sex. Some men have it easier than others. If you’re not a very handsome fellow it will be a bit harder for you but not impossible with some solid A+ game. Do you want to know why? Because out of all the men in the bar that just sit there and stare at women, you’re going up to them and starting a conversation. If you’re good (which comes with practice) you can make her laugh and appear completely in control, calm, and smooth. You just have to know what to say, how to say it, and have the experience and intuition to know where you stand (body language, gestures, etc). If she appears annoyed with you? Don’t waste your time. Back off and start another conversation with someone else. If you do this and you approach 20 different girls (let’s hope it doesn’t get to that number!) you will absolutely, without a doubt in my mind, find one girl that is willing to pursue things further. Always helps to have a reliable wing-man. You know, a guy that you can go up to women with and be like, “hey, this is my Buddy from America. He loves Bunraku.” And they will probably laugh at you, but that’s the ice breaker. Take it away from there, baby, you’ve got their attention. Entertain them.

      I’m not going to lie to you Soju, I’m pretty good with women. But I used to be a piece of shit with them. I used to be awkward, uncertain, indecisive, and worst of all, scrawny. That was maybe 7 years ago. I got my shit together, lifted at the gym and built a dynamite body with a 6-pack and a mouth-watering chest. Luckily I have a very masculine face (chiseled look), so the muscles just turned me into one bad ass looking dude. I also used to create excuses for myself in the past. You know, why weren’t women sleeping with me! I’m such a sweet guy! Nice guys finish last bro, and the reason Japanese girl are easier to game (in my experience) is because you are this delicious piece of exotic fruit. More than likely the girls have never experienced your swanky American game before.

      Be of the mentality of abundance and have the mentality that these girls are looking for a good time. Be the guy that can give them what they want. Or convince them they’re looking for a fun time. I mean shit, why else did they get dolled up and go to a shady part of Tokyo? To play some Mahjong with their girlfriends? No bro, they’re looking for you. Yeah, that’s right! But they told me they don’t like your sour puss attitude and that’s why they don’t want to talk to you. They say that you would rather blame how xenophobic they are (how insulting!) and how the hook-up scene is just an illusion; a magic trick conjured up by those popular media devils that just want you to come to Japan and waste your money. But those other guys having a good time? Oh, they must be lying or exaggerating.

      You’re right about one thing. You gotta work for it. A girl can’t tell how cool you are from across the room, now can she? Saddle up and chat her up.

  • WOW. What an interesting site! I enjoy your site and particularly intrigued with the topic with everyone throwing in their opinions
    I am from Singapore and had been working in Japan for 2 years.
    Could be due to I am an Asian, I get some Japanese men approaching me at work and in a social place. But when they discovered that I couldn’t speak a fluent Japanese language, the spell broke and they began to keep a distance from me.. LOL!

    Also because of my look could passed off as one of them, but with broken Japanese, some thought that I must be a Japanese who had been born and bred in a western country. I often received a strange look as if I am a traitor! Not all the Japanese I met are like that of course. Some would be curious and strike a conversation with me, interested to know where I came from and what I am doing in Japan. I worked hard to brush up my Japanese speaking skill. Things are different when I met a few Japanese men and women who used to work in foreign countries before.

    Like my current boyfriend is a one of them. So he teach me Japanese and I teach him Chinese in return.

    Martine:
    What you commented above says a lot about you. And please refrain from speaking about quality.
    You claimed that Singaporeans tends to generalize everyone, particularly to the Caucasians who are labeled as Red devils.
    Seriously you are no better. You are generalizing Singaporeans as a whole and stereotyping. Mind you, not all of Singaporeans are like that! And NOT all men dressed up like Ah Beng or Ah Seng. I can only say that you were Shit outta luck in getting to know the nice ones.

    • Hi KZ!

      Thanks so much for jumping in and sharing your experience with us! :D
      What you describe is something I’ve heard often and even experienced myself once!
      One of my previous co-workers was Japanese, but born in America. His parents were born in America as well. His grandparents left Japan a long time ago, so that’s how they all ended up in America.
      He couldn’t speak any Japanese and I was always surprised to see how confused people were when they saw a “Japanese” man who wasn’t able to speak Japanese next to a Western woman (me) who was almost fluent in Japanese. :(

      I’m glad to hear that you found someone! :D
      I suppose that it’s always either for us foreigners (no matter if we’re Causican, Asian or whatever) to have a relationship with somebody in Japan who has experience abroad.

  • In my observations things aren’t as difficult for western women in Japan as many would have you believe.
    The potential problems are many and largely come down to it being the western woman’s “Fault” (not saying she is a problem and doesn’t deserve a man or anything here. Just if she changed her behaviour, easier said than done yes, things would improve a lot).

    1: A lot of American girls seem to expect ‘dating’ in the American sense. Guy spots you in a coffee shop and comes over and asks for your number then takes you somewhere nice, schmoozes you with his best side and thinking progress from there.
    These girls just sit back and expect the Japanese guys to come to them as guys back home would.
    In Japan the initial approaching is a mutual thing. If anything the power is far more on the woman’s side of the fence.
    A friend of mine had nothing going on for a year because she just didn’t try with men. A few nights where I made the effort to worm her into conversation with some guys though and gave her a kick up the butt to use some initative and she had a date down.
    She stands in stark contrast to some other female friends who know how things work here and go out there and make the moves themselves. The more attractive of these friends have far more success than any foreign guy in Japan could ever have, its just a question how how much they want. Even the less attractive girls do about as well as typical foreign guys, win some, lose some. The key though is to throw away the 1950s sit and wait for a man to ask you to the dance mindset.

    2: A lot of western girls,particularly in the inaka, only have eyes for the other foreign guys.
    Fair enough in some cases. I know several lovely foreigner-foreigner couples who only met in Japan. But generally…no. Why would a foreign guy waste his new found attractiveness and settle for the type of girl he could get back home?
    Some people do stick in a foreigner circle too much but personally I did not come all the way to Japan just to hang with Americans. Its a given that most guys won’t have much interest there (unless the girl is something really special)

    3: Westerners are fat.
    This one actually is a bit of a point against women. Usually. Western people, even average weight ones, tend to be fat by Japanese standards. For a straight guy to most girls this isn’t a huge deal. My girlfriend would prefer I had a six pack but that I have a bit of a gut really isn’t a cut off factor. For girls…well, slimness is more important to Japanese girls than Japanese girls.
    I say usually this is a problem because of course there are many guys out there into larger ladies. And what westerners lose in being large in the stomach department we gain by on average being larger elsewhere (men and women, albeit in different but generally attractive to the opposite gender places)

    As to ugly white guys being attractive in Japan- true. But the reverse holds true back home. Ugly east asian women on account of being something rare and exotic get their chances upped a lot. It should be noted that western women are also considered a lot more attractive here. My average looking sister came to visit a few months back and she was treat like an absolute superstar, I almost literally had to fight guys off- she’s very self conscious about how pale she is, a horrible curse back home, here it makes her amazing.

    As to western men not speaking Japanese I call BS. Often it is a problem that the kind of girl interested in foreigners will speak too good English and things will gravitate towards that but its nigh on impossible (not literally, but almost) outside of Tokyo/Osaka to get anywhere with women without a lick of Japanese.
    My first year in Japan I had absolutely no luck. Once my lessons started taking effect however and I was able to do as well as could be expected with a face like mine.

    • Hi Tyr,

      Thanks a lot for jumping in and sharing your thoughts on the topic.

      I agree that a lot of Western women (not limited to American girls) might expect that the guys will do the first step. We’ve actually been discussing that in another blog post. It just doesn’t go well with the shyness of Japanese men. I think the problem is that some of us girls (including me) are just extremely shy – all the more here in Japan. So, even though we know we should be proactive, it’s not always that easy.

      I don’t care about somebody’s nationality. People often ask me if I could imagine having a Japanese boyfriend. I really don’t care if they’re Japanese or foreign. It really depends on the person. And to be honest, I’m not interested in those foreign guys that specifically come here to get a Japanese woman. I’m sure I’m not the only one who thinks so. But there are exceptions like you said – they’re just a bit hard to find.

      Westeners are fat? All Westeners I’ve worked with or had to do with in Japan were quite slim, men and women! None of them was even close to being fat.
      Well, to be fair, most of them have lived in Japan for a long time and some admitted that they used to be fat before they came to Japan (mostly Americans btw.).
      Actually I can imagine that some Japanese men might want a Western female with proper “curves” – compared to a super slim Japanese woman.
      I’m very slim myself and I have the feeling that men prefer girls that have proper female proportions, thus are not super slim.

      As mentioned in the blog post those statements were based on my personal experience and I can only repeat what I’ve already said. I’ve met several foreign guys who have been in Japan for over 10 years and couldn’t produce a single proper Japanese sentence! I’ve also met a few guys who could speak some Japanese (though their pronunciation was really bad).
      I know that there are foreign guys who speak awesome Japanese, I’ve just not yet met them.
      On the other hand I’ve met a lot of female foreigners who speak almost perfect Japanese.

      Anyways, that’s just my experience. I see that yours is different from mine, so thanks for sharing it with us! :D

  • Very interesting site. But i need to know. Im 40 6ft7 tall good looking single guy with a great job moving to japan. I love japanese women and am interested only in a women who is classy and has a warm carring heart. What are my chances to meet a women like that.

    • I’m sorry, I really have no idea.
      I’ve never met or seen any gay people here in Japan – not even on TV shows. I wonder if that already says a lot about Japan’s gay scene.

      I hope somebody else can answer your question instead.

    • Being gay in Japan is not something that you announce because there is a lot of discrimination here against gays. I’m bi, and the Japanese woman I’m currently dating told me many of her co-workers would stop talk to her on account of their knowledge of her sexuality. Her mother does not know that she prefers women and will likely marry a woman only because she doesn’t want to disappoint her mum. This theme is common, even in some out gays I’ve met. A close friend of mine is out to her mum, but not her dad because he’s more conservative. She thinks he knows because her girlfriend is at every event, but she won’t confirm it. Also, many people are here teaching English. Most teachers I know are afraid of being recognised as gay, because the school will find a way to get rid of you. That aside…

      The gay scene in Japan isn’t nearly the size of NYC. There are several girl-only, guy-only and mixed bars in Shinjuku. People from all over are there, in fact it’s probably the most diverse area that I can think of in Tokyo, considering how homogenous this country is. The couples I see are sometimes mixed, but the language barrier can make dating a challenge. My lady is not fluent in English, neither am I in Japanese, but we find a way to understand each other. But it doesn’t seem like there is any extreme difficulties to date, especially since it’s likely you will find a fellow-westerner or Asian counterpart regardless of your sex. I will tell you, ageism is alive and well. It’s almost impossible for older lesbians I know of to find a partner. I hope this answers your question some.