Life in Japan

All You Ever Wanted To Know About Dating Japanese Men

After publishing the article “The Truth About Dating In Japan As A Foreigner” a lot of female readers asked me what it’s like to date a Japanese guy.

Many seemed to be interested in cultural differences and resulting problems in the relationship between a foreign woman and a Japanese man.

Although I’ve been in Japan for 6 years now, I totally lack that kind of experience. smilie

Instead I asked friends and fellow bloggers, who have had Japanese boyfriends or are even married to a Japanese man, to share their personal experience with us.

It was an interesting journey and I want to thank all of the participants for taking the time to tell us about their own unique story. smilie

 

Name: Zia
Nationality: Puerto Rican
Age: 24

First, let’s hear what Zia has to say. She’ been in Japan for many years and had to go through a lot during her time here already:

I moved to Japan when I was 18 and have been dating Asian guys ever since. I’ve never dated Western guys, though. I often hear girls who long for Asian boyfriends say that Western guys are dogs, and I can confidently say that Asian men are no different. Just like with any place you go, you have your good guys and your bad guys.”

Dating Japanese MenZia, I think we can all agree with that! smilie

“During my first couple of years here, I encountered a lot of guys whose interest in me came purely from the fact that I was foreign. They wanted to know all about Puerto Rico and always brought up the fact that one day, I’d return to my own country.”

I wonder if that’s generally one thing that might prevent Japanese men from dating a Western girl. They’re afraid that one day she might leave Japan again? Hm.

“Now that I’m older, I still come across a lot of men who seem interested in dating a foreigner for language reasons. These are the types of guys I feel we foreign girls encounter most. Amongst them, the good guys are hidden!”

I think that’s generally a big problem – not only when trying to find an “honest” relationship, but also true friends. I’ve heard from many people that they were just “used” as an opportunity to get free English lessons (or whatever their native language was). I bet it’s difficult to filter the ones who are truly interested.

Not only that, but also stereotypes seem to be an issue:

“There are a lot of stereotypes and some girls use them for their own personal gain. Those that stand true to who they are seem to be the ones who find solid relationships. In my case, for instance, men are quick to bring up the topic of bikinis and love hotels the minute I mention I’m Latina. They expect me to put out whenever we’d go out. For a long while, after the loss of someone I planned on spending my entire life with, I gave in to that stereotype and was unable to get involved in a serious relationship.”

Zia is pointing out a few problems in her current relationship due to cultural differences:

“Now, I’m in a happy relationship with an older man who doesn’t speak a lick of English or Spanish, which is my main language. We come across a lot of problems. For one, I’m very passionate in my way of moving and speaking, and I sometimes forget to respect personal space. I’m not at all intimidated by physical contact. He’s the opposite. What we consider common sense is very different.”

 

 

Name: Jen
Nationality: British
Age: 27

Jen has dated a couple of Japanese guys and is now married to one. She has experienced issues in her relationship because of cultural differences:

“When I first started dating my husband he was embarrassed to hold hands with me in public. This applied more in Japan than when we were in England, although now he seems completely okay with it. In general, Japanese men are likely to be embarrassed about showing affection in public – even things like putting an arm around someone’s shoulders, or hugging, never mind kissing. Very touchy feely Japanese couples are definitely NOT the norm.”

As another big problem Jen states:

Long working hours and overtime are common here in Japan. My first Japanese boyfriend would go for weeks without contacting me because he was working late every day. Also, a general lack of e-mailing, phone calls etc. seems to be normal. Although I don’t think that this just applies to Japanese men!”

In the previous article we were already discussing the language issue that cross-cultural couples might have. Jen says:

“If you can both speak the other person’s language, there are probably going to be disagreements about what language to speak. My husband and I have a system where we swap languages every day – so today is an English day, and tomorrow is Japanese. At first, we went through periods where we would only speak English (which I didn’t like) or when we would only speak Japanese (which he didn’t like). Obviously we change it according to the circumstances (we are not going to speak in English to each other when out with a lot of Japanese friends!), but this system really works for us. I think this is an important thing to sort out!

Dating Japanese Men

Jen and her husband on vacation in Korea.

Jen’s advice for overcoming or dealing with cultural differences is:

“I think in general, it’s important to be very open about what you are expecting from the relationship. If you need a lot of hugs and affection, make sure that he knows and don’t just get annoyed that he’s not automatically doing it. As long as you’re both honest and open about things, and actually communicate properly with each other, it should be okay!”

If you are single like me, you probably wonder about how to approach a Japanese man. Jen suggests:

“Even if you are shy, if you like someone you should be proactive about it. There is a good chance that he will like you too, and just not have imagined that you could possibly be interested in him. A lot of Japanese men seem to have an inferiority complex (many of my Japanese male friends have told me this), so they might not imagine that any non-Japanese woman would ever be interested in them. So if you like someone, go for it!”

 

 

Name: River
Nationality: American (USA)
Age: late 20s

River is a young American who has dated a few Japanese guys before marrying one of them. About her first Japanese boyfriend she says:

“He was just a gaijin-hunter, so that didn’t go to well. He wouldn’t learn any English and it was really frustrating to communicate only in Japanese. At first I was happy about this, because I wanted to speak Japanese. However, the deeper things went, the more difficult it was to understand each other. Even when we broke up it was long and drawn out and he wanted to ‘stay friends’ which I’ve heard is what most Japanese guys like to do. Even after we’d been broken up for a few months he’d still write to me and ask what I was doing and how I was …”

After dating a few Japanese guys she finally met her husband. They seem to have issues caused by cultural differences, but they were able to overcome some of them:

When I started dating my husband, I didn’t really feel that we had any cultural barriers. I guess because by then I’d been in Japan long enough that I knew my way around and I had lived with two Japanese host families, so I have a good sense of Japanese manners and customs. We only spoke in Japanese with each other for a short time before he started to learn English, so he could communicate with me better. We eventually stopped speaking Japanese and now I’m actually unable to speak Japanese in front of him (shy, embarrassed … I’m not sure). I actually forget that he’s Japanese and that he can speak Japanese.”

Although they’ve found a solution for some of the problems, River says:

After we got married we had some trouble with things like housework and money, but I’m not sure if that’s just him, a Japanese trait, or normal married life. He doesn’t expect me to cook Japanese food and he doesn’t measure me by my miso soup making skills (I’ve gotten told by MANY people that my husband will basically judge me on my miso soup). We do have a lot of trouble communicating when we fight and again I’m not sure if it’s a language issue, culture, or just us …”

I found the following statement interesting, because I heard a lot of Western girls with Japanese boyfriends or husbands saying the exact same thing:

My husband isn’t a typical Japanese guy.

River adds:

“I actually have a big problem with people prefacing their relationships with their significant other’s ethnicity. I never call my husband my ‘Japanese husband’. And I hate it when people act like I won a prize or ‘got’ something special because he’s Japanese. He’s just … him.”

 

 

Name: Alyse
Nationality: American (USA)
Age: 25

Alyse, a young American woman married to a Japanese man, notices the following cultural differences that sometimes cause problems in her relationship:

“Every guy I’ve ever been in a relationship with has been different from the last, but I suppose dating a Japanese guy has the added spice of major cultural differences, as opposed to just differences in hobbies or upbringing. And from these differences, the biggest one would be language. No matter how fluent each of us becomes in our second language, something is always lost in translation, and that can quickly escalate into a huge argument until we don’t even remember what we started arguing about in the first place. But there’s nothing we can really do other than keep studying and keep trying. So for that part, a significant amount of patience might be necessary.”

Dating Japanese Men

The language barrier seems to be a real issue even when you try hard to understand each other. However, Alyse mentions other problems as well:

“Another difference I noticed has to do with taking care of the household. It took a bit of adjusting (especially on my husband’s side). We knew that we would both be working, but when we first got married, Shota was under the impression that I would be making him lunch every morning, doing his laundry, and just taking care of the house as well as going to work full-time. It’s taken all 3 years of being married and countless long-winded explanations/rants in English and Japanese on my part, but most of the chores are split down the middle now.”

Just like River, Alyse also notices cultural differences when it comes to responsibilities in the household. Her advice is:

“I think when it comes to international relationships, especially with women from countries where men and women are viewed as mostly equals, it takes a lot of time and effort by both for it to work, and if both aren’t ready to concede or make compromises, the relationship won’t last for long.”

Alyse also mentioned another potential issue that nobody else brought up thus far:

“Something I’ve heard is that their mothers can be quite a problem, and this isn’t just for non-Japanese women, but just for the wives of Japanese men in general. The relationship between the mother-in-law and wife can be tenuous at best, and disastrous at its worse. And if you’re dating/marrying the eldest son of the family, you might be expected to move in with his family to take care of his parents as they age. This trend has started to drop off a bit in this generation, but it’s just one of the many things you should think about in a serious relationship!”

I also asked Alyse if she has any advice for us single girls when it comes to dating Japanese men:

Landing a Japanese guy is EASY. Landing a guy who is serious about dating you, and understanding when he is serious, might be a bit harder to do. I didn’t start officially dating Shota until I confessed to him. If they reply positively, then you’re basically a couple, and if not, then it’s probably not going to work. But no matter how many dates you go on, you’re probably not a couple until you confess to him. At least, that’s how I’ve come to understand it. Every person/couple is different, so I suppose the biggest thing is to be open to whatever comes and not to make judgments or assumptions beforehand.”

 

 

Name: Claudia
Nationality: German
Age: 23

Claudia is a fellow German woman, but unlike me she met a Japanese guy in her younger days and got married already:

“My husband and I met when I was 19 and living in Tokyo on a Working Holiday Visa. I had not dated terribly much before. There had been two relationships that lasted for a while – with a Japanese guy and with a Korean guy.
We met through friends of friends. At the first meeting we exchanged mail addresses, met up a few times after that and at some point it just happened. Then, I had to leave the country (simple reason: my visa expired), we were in a long-distance-relationship for almost two years and got married as soon as he graduated university.”

Claudia says that her husband actually never wanted to marry a Japanese woman and here’s why:

“According to him, Japanese women are annoying, because they rather keep their emotions inside. Thus, little annoyances turn into huge problems. He also says that, as soon as Japanese women have babies, they turn into mothers, with not hint of the awesome wife you had before, destroying romance and attraction. I’m not entirely sure where he got these ideas from, but they’re his reasons.”

Dating Japanese Men

Claudia mentions issues, but also continuous efforts in her relationship that are necessary because of cultural differences:

“When we met he only spoke Japanese, but right now he is making an effort to learn English (we gave up on German, he promised he’ll start learning as soon as we have children). As most Japanese people, he is hugely interested in food and works too much. 120 hours of overtime should not be normal for anyone.”

According to Claudia the biggest difference between dating a Western man and dating a Japanese one is:

Showing physical affection outside of the house: When we started dating, he wouldn’t even hold my hand when we were outside. Fortunately he has gotten used to it, but he will not hold my hand in front of his parents unless I initiate it. Kissing is still extremely embarrassing for him, and so the physical part of the relationship happens at home. At first, this sudden change in affection as soon as the door closed behind us was weird, but now I actually like it. It’s like there’s a side of my husband only I know.

Another difference she has found between Japanese and German (Western) men is the following:

“He is willing to spend a lot more money on food and travel than I’d expect a German to. To him it’s normal that good things cost money and he’d rather have a stellar experience (paid for with his overtime pay) than a cheap, but unsatisfying one. He also doesn’t complain about my spending, as long as I can afford it.”

Claudia doesn’t mention any problems with her mother-in-law. On the contrary, she had less problems with her husband’s family than she thought she would have:

His parents luckily were excited about the prospect of gaining a German daughter-in-law. I’m not sure most Japanese parents would be that happy, but my father-in-law used to go abroad for work several times a year, and a relative has been living in Canada for basically forever, so they’re open towards foreign cultures. Oh, and Germany has a ridiculously good reputation in Japan. I had a chance to meet a big part of the family and the only one who had any ‘problems’ was my husband’s grandmother, who even after meeting me several times still doesn’t believe that I actually speak Japanese. I’m not going to complain though, she’s in her 80s.”

Claudia doesn’t seem to have to fight with her husband about doing the chores:

“Different from some other Japanese men, my husband doesn’t complain about my housewife skills. At least not a lot. He does not expect me to keep the house extremely clean or to cook every day. Not only does my husband not make a fuss, he actually helps with the household when he has the time.”

When asked for advice on how to go about finding a Japanese boyfriend, Claudia’s response was:

Know people who have access to tons of Japanese people. Ask to meet their friends. Be yourself, but keep in mind that Japanese culture is different from your own culture. Respect that, as far as you can without being untrue to yourself. Speaking Japanese also helps a big deal, especially as you will probably deal with the family of your boyfriend or spouse at some point.”

 

 

Name: Vivian
Nationality: Canadian
Age: 30

Last, but not least Vivian, a Canadian in her 30s, has a very positive opinion about cultural differences in a relationship:

“There’s always interesting cultural differences that pop up in the course of the relationship – some are exciting, while others can be more difficult to deal with, but I think it’s the same as any relationship, regardless of the culture. There’s always things you learn about the other person. Being in Japan, I think that dating a Japanese man can open up a whole new world, seeing Japan from a Japanese perspective, and you can learn a lot about the country and culture.”

As for finding a Japanese boyfriend, she suggests:

“I think men are men – everywhere in the world. Of course there are some specific cultural traits that differ, but overall, I’d say finding a Japanese boyfriend is the same as finding any boyfriend. Japanese men might seem shy at first, but ultimately they want the same thing.
If you can’t speak much Japanese, it’s probably best to go for a Japanese man who has lived abroad and can speak fluent English. If you can speak Japanese, you have better chances to meet them as it’s easier to have a conversation and flirt when you share a language. My advice is to take things slow, but if you like a Japanese guy don’t be shy to ask him out as he might be too intimidated to do so.”

Vivian has an interesting advice for anybody who wants to date a Japanese man that nobody else mentioned so far:

“This may not please everyone, but I suggest to take good care of your physical appearance. For example, most Japanese women are meticulous about their appearance, and while you don’t need to look like a walking doll, basic things like nice clothes, healthy body, skin and hair really make a difference. I believe you should never change your personality to please a man! I’m sure some Japanese men think most foreign girls are too loud and extroverted, but if that’s how you are then you should find someone who will embrace it.”

 

 

Dating Japanese Men – Conclusion

I think we all gained very interesting insights thanks to these young women who were willing to share their unique stories and experiences with us.

While there’s no doubt that each relationship is different, a few things were mentioned again and again. I guess it’s safe to say that you should keep those in mind if you are thinking about dating Japanese men:

  • Japanese men are often very shy, so you should be proactive
  • There might be no physical contact in front of others ( in Japan)
  • There might be fights over household responsibilities
  • Even if you speak each other’s mother tongue there might be communication issues
  • Overtime and long working hours could become a problem in a relationship
  • Be open-minded and ready to compromise

I know there are a lot of young women out there who are either interested in dating Japanese men or who are already in a relationship. This post could only display the experience of a handful of people. If you have your own unique story, questions or comments, don’t be shy and speak up! Of course, guys are welcome to share their opinion and experience as well! smilie

I’m looking forward to hearing from you! smilie

288 Comments

  • It’s a shame I missed your posts about this subject this summer, because I would have loved to contribute! My relationship with my Japanese husband seems to defy all of the “shoulds” “woulds” and “nevers”. I met my husband while I was still in the US, and we were both in our early 30s. He’s a hard worker, and very shy, so even though he dated a lot, he just never found the right woman to settle down with, foreign or otherwise. We met through a language exchange website, because I was very serious in my Japanese language studies, and needed someone to be able to speak to and practice on. He was in it for the English, and after months of communicating this way, I decided to come and visit him here in Japan.

    Here’s a stereotype breaker: We’re BOTH on the chubby side! Maybe he’s something of a chubby chaser or something, but he enjoys my figure, especially on top! While I’m not anywhere near fat by American standards, I’m certainly plump by Japanese standards, and it doesn’t make a bit of difference in our relationship! We both love to cook – (OOH, another stereotype, shattered!), and I think he’s cute with a bit of pudge on him! I think he looks relaxed and happy. I guess we’re just not fixated on looks that way. We just enjoy each other’s company, are very compatible (had a similar upbringing – cultural differences are not so different when you take basic human needs and challenges into consideration), and as a couple, are very laid back! We live in a large city and are out together on long walks, as well as on hiking trips all over our region, and have never gotten comments, ugly stares or harassment of any kind related to being together. I actively study Japanese, but his mostly self-taught English was better than my Japanese from the start, and he likes speaking English, so unfortunately we tend to fall into that default in a pinch. I do practice on him whenever I can, but he’s a rather unwilling participant in that. ;) He’ d much rather communicate in English, actually! I know he gets a kick out of doing it in public, and I like seeing him get noticed for it! I don’t feel insecure that he might be using me as an accessory for it, because we’ve been married now for over 5 years, and I know him better than that. He does love me, and even if he’s not all that touchy-feely – he shows it in ways that go far beyond physical attraction. He’s a good provider, and even though we’re not rich and don’t have a huge savings piling up, he has made plans for my future here – just in case – so that I’ll never be in need. That’s NOT to say we don’t hold hands in public from time to time, whenever we’ve hit upon a romantic moment, out and about! ;)

    I’m not the kind of foreign woman who felt the need to “whip my man into shape” by putting my foot down against the traditional role of women in Japan. I am a housewife (though I work from time to time), but I enjoy making him comfortable by making sure he has good miso soup every night, as much rice as he wants, cooking Japanese food in general – which is a mad hobby for me anyway, and at one time I was even sending him off with a fresh bento every morning. I don’t use my culture as an excuse to be difficult or lazy. I feel that I live in Japan now, and the onus is on me to learn to adopt the culture.

    Another point contrary to the usual foreign woman with a Japanese man is that we’re NOT interested in kids. Lots of Western women come to Japan and become instantly breederific, shooting out 3 or 4 kids, and spending their days getting drunk and bitching about their husbands on their blogs. Thankfully, that will never be me. We’re happy living out our lives in peace and freedom! My husband’s always been kind of an offbeat guy who’s gone against the grain, so while he did feel a bit of pressure to breed, like all of his co-workers have, we both realized it just wouldn’t suit our lifestyle or our personalities to have kids. Our kitties are our children, and we’re both quite happy with them! :)

    tl;dr – you don’t have to be stick thin to snag a Japanese guy! Just bring some actual substance to the table, along with a friendly smile, an open mind, some basic kindness and patience, a sense of humor and a good attitude. Meet one based on a mutual interest, rather than at a meat market like a bar, where shallowness is all that matters. However tempting it may be to pick up on a cute guy – those looks are eventually going to fade, and you’re going to have to rely on the strength of your relationship after that!

    • Hi Isonokami!

      It’s really to bad that you were too late, but I’m sure a lot of people will read your comment. Thanks so much for sharing your personal story! It was so cute and interesting to read and I’m sure it’s encouraging for a lot of girls! :D

      As long as you don’t feel pressured by “adapting to the Japanese culture” and turn into a housewife, then it’s ok. If it is something you enjoy anyways – like cooking Japanese food, that’s great.
      I don’t like it when people put themselves under a lot of pressure just for their partner for whatever reason. I think it’s not right. However, if the change is something you also can agree with or even like, then it’s all good! :D

  • @ ZJ and other poster,

    Thanks for your responses / sharing your personal experiences.

    It turns out that the guy I have been seeing doesn’t feel the same way about me as I do him. It would appear that (contrary to what he has said and done) he hasn’t been into me for some time. Too bad he didn’t think to tell me until I asked him outright if there was a problem.

    This is the second time I have experienced an issue of closedness with a Japanese guy so can’t help but wonder whether it is typical of Japanese men not to talk open and honestly about their feelings in the same way that many other cultures do.

    I was considering a move to Japan but after this, I am not so sure. I am quite happy being single, but, like many people, am happier when coupled. However, whilst I can compromise on many things, open and honest communication is not one of them.

    C’est la vie right

    • I’m really sorry to hear that! :(

      I think that’s typical Japanese. I’ve been in similar situations. Japanese people rarely will tell you what is on their mind. You are supposed to just READ their minds – which is impossible. Quite annoying, but that’s how it is.

  • Thank you so much for this article. It helps me a lot. I want to share my story and asked for your advice. I am from Indonesia and I work in Japanese company in my country. Once I had a chance to come to Japan for Business Trip for a week. In Japan, I met a Japanese guy who works for Head Office Company (my company is an affiliated with his company). We talked a lot and I felt interested in him. We contacted through message on Twitter but once I add him on Facebook, he has not approved up to now. Then, he went to my company without telling me. I was informed by my friend but he asked my friend to “say to me” like please greeting her for me. I could not understand this situation. What should I do? Is he interested in me also? I like him but I am quite shy about it. Thank you for your advice. I am looking forward to any response from all of you :)

    • Hi Bian!
      Thanks for sharing your story with us.
      As I’m not an expert, I doubt that I can give you any good advice.
      In the end, nobody knows if he’s interested in you or not. Only he would know, so if you REALLY like him, you need to be proactive and ask him. :D

  • Actually I’m so glad to have found this post (as well as many other posts in this site) because it is really hard to find things about non-asian woman with a japanese guy regarding relationships, and now that I have started my own relationship I was curious to see if there were others like me whom I can learn from. :satisfied:
    I was especially surprised to read Zia’s story because I am also from Puerto Rico and so far I have met many other men and women who are interested in Japan (even a Jamaican friend) but none who are from the same place, so I became super curious as to what she had to say!. :happy: I have already taught him a little spanish and portuguese, but i know he still learning english so I don’t pressure him.
    But I do have to say that sometimes it really comes down to personalities, because he is actually the one that confessed to me. Contrary to my cultural background, I am very shy about confessing my feelings. Also he actually like to talk a lot (which I don’t mind at all). So good luck to all others who are out there. :D
    I will definitely be reading more of this site. :shiawase:

    • Hi Kame! :D

      Thanks so much for the nice compliment. Hope to see you around more often here! ^___^

      Zia’s also the first Puerto Rican in Japan I got to know. Definitely check out the link to her personal journal, so you can read more about her life here in Japan.

      You are so lucky that he confessed to you. I guess I need a guy like that – because I’m just too shy as well! ;P

      • Yeeei :D
        So let’s make many friends so we can met their friends, expand our network of people and (possible) future boyfriends/girlfriends.

  • Hello! I really enjoyed the post.

    I am a man living in Osaka, Japan. I want to meet a foreign woman who likes Japanese man, but I don’t know how. I know that Japanese women are popular among foreign men, and I have two foreign men work together and they go out with Japanese women.

    Does any one give me an advice how to meet a foreign woman who likes Japanese man?

    • Wao! I’m so happy to hear that.

      Being yourself is always important, but don’t be shy to let a woman know your feelings. *^^* I think some foreign women may work a little faster on certain aspects, so it’s important to show her you like her. When you think about it, if she is in Japan and is already interested in Japanese men, she may have already asked friends or read posts like these to better understand Japanese men. *^^*

      This is my opinion but you don’t need to worry. ^^ Just treat the “foreign” woman as just a woman. :)

    • Thank you for advice!

      But my problem is that I don’t know how to meet a foreign woman in Osaka.
      One of my colleagues is a man from the States, but he loves Japanese women. He doesn’t understand my feeling and doesn’t help me.

      I went to a high school in Canada. There, Japanese(Asian) boys weren’t popular at all among Canadian girls. So, I thought most western women don’t like Japanese men. When I read this post, I was really encouraged. Then, go back to the same problem. How can I meet a foreign woman in Osaka?

      • Have you tried finding a language exchange meet-up club or something? Most cities seem to have one. I met a lot of friends when I went to one in Japan, so it could be a good way to find a girlfriend too!

    • Hi there!

      I guess for all of us who are out of school and university, it’s generally hard to find a partner.
      Osaka is a big city with a lot of foreigners living there.

      I think what Haikugirl suggested is a good idea. Try to find a “language-exchange” partner.
      Another option is to find “English speaking” and “English related” topics on Mixi! Nowadays there are a lot of female foreigners using mixi. I used it for many years as well.

      Good luck! :D

    • Thank you very much for advice!

      I will look for “language exchange”.
      I didn’t know many female foreigner use mixi.
      I have put an ad on Kansai Scene, but it didn’t work well. I have sent / received some emails, but some women even told me that they don’t look for a boyfriend.
      Now I know that there are women who want Japanese boyfriend, so I will try till I meet a nice woman.

        • Thank you for ganbatte!
          I made an account on mixi. I saw many community, but it seems like there are a lot of Japanese men, Japanese women and foreign men, and I didn’t see any foreign woman at all. I guess online is not easy and I should try to attend language exchange meeting or something.

      • Hi rgm 8, I saw your comment and want to have a chat with you.
        But I’m not sure if my replied can reach you now because your comment already long time ago.

        Thanks Zoomingjapan for your article. It’s interesting! :thumbup:

    • You might also want to check out iNet; they are a “国際交流ネットワーク” and they hold mixers usually once a month. Most of the events they hold are in Osaka or Kyoto.

    • Hi rgm

      I’m interested in how your search for a foreign woman is going?

      I came across your message today and saw it was only a month old. I’m an English woman interested in meeting Japanese men for friendship initially (and help with my Japanese language skills, I’m still a beginner) and would like to help if I can.

      Thank you for your time.
      Chloe

      • Hello, Chloe!

        I’m sorry I didn’t notice that you sent me a message. I just noticed it today. It’s been a couple months past since your message.

        Actually, my searching is not working well. I had a few chances to exchange emails with foreign women, but it didn’t last long.

        If you are still interested in me, I’d love to exchange emails first.

        To Zoomingjapan:
        Will Chloe know I replayed her message?
        Can I write my email address here?

        • Hi, rgm.

          You replied directly to her, so she should get a notification mail about your comment.
          I advise you not to post your personal information here. :)
          You never know who else is reading this.

          • Thank you for the reply and telling me the information.
            I guess I missed a chance to meet a new person.
            Well, I’ll try new things.
            Thanks anyway.

  • I found reading this post extremely interesting! I hope it’s OK if I share my experiences with dating Japanese men…

    I went on a year’s exchange in an Osaka University. I’m a pretty outgoing person and I didn’t find it difficult to talk to Japanese people in general, I just put on my best Japanese (which wasn’t all good, but it went a long way) and some humor, and while I wasn’t swimming in dating partners, I made a lot of good friends.

    My experiences with men mostly happened in the clubs of Osaka, and I found that young Japanese men can get quite excited about foreign girls when they’ve drunk away their shyness. In my country it’s pretty normal to go out for a drink and dance in order to find a partner. I’m blonde with some chub, which in turn means I’m rather busty, and I think that may have made me a target for what I’m sure are gaijin-hunters and a lot of guys only interested in one night stands. But some seemed more interested in language exchange.. I wasn’t looking for anything in particular except for experiences and some fun. But I think that there are three guys that I can mention as relevant to dating as a foreign girl in Japan, from a club-goer’s perspective.

    The first was a suit wearing business man, who I would run into frequently as I didn’t go to many different places when I went out. He was extremely persistent in pursuing me, but our chats would always end up in him trying to get me to go with him to a love hotel that night. I told him many times over that I would consider it if he would exchange phone addresses and take me on a proper date, but he would never go that far. He was very assertive, and didn’t save up on compliments, but since he was unwilling to follow my cues I wasn’t interested in pursuing it any further. I would class him as only looking for sex with a foreign girl.

    The second was a rather shy type, and quite a bit taller than me (I’m 5″6), which is never a bad thing. ;) We met one night on the dancefloor and chatted a bit, and made plans to run into one another again the night after. We were both with friends so it wasn’t awkward, and on the second night we exchanged emails. We emailed back and forth for a while, and he asked me out on a date. He took me to a lot of places and paid for everything, but he also made mention of a love hotel, but I wasn’t ready for that (not on the first date xD ), so he took me back to the train station after we had had a nice evening, but then looked extremely awkward as I was going through the gate and BOWED to me, which I found adorable. We went on a second date and a bit further, but I wasn’t all that interested in him so after some time of emailing back and forth our contact dwindled and that was that.

    Then one night I was approached by some rather attitude driven guy in a hat, and we exchanged emails. We went on a date, and he (without being whiny) told me about what he didn’t like about Japanese women and dating them. I would generally consider this a red flag, but the things he talked about (they tend to act a little bit demanding and money oriented) are things that don’t apply to me, so I wasn’t too worried. We dated quite a few times and spent some time together in his house. This went on for about 3 months, with emails, skype and meeting every weekend, since we lived a little ways apart. We had a mutual confession (I to him), and in the end he asked me to move in. I was reluctant as I knew I was going back home in another 3 months and quite liked living alone, but in the end I complied (the rent was 1/3 if what I was paying! And I’d be able to meet him more often). He was used to living alone, so cleaning and cooking were things he would do himself on a general basis, but since I have always been a cooking enthusiast I enjoyed making dinners (he made his own bentou because he had to get up super early). So housework was 50/50. I got along splendidly with his family, although he didn’t really want them to know we met at a club. They were even starting to talk about our future together, which was interesting to me, almost as if I had passed some kind of test that I wasn’t aware of. In the end I left, we planned a long-distance relationship, so I just asked him if we shouldn’t get hitched when I got back to japan. So I now have a Japanese fiance. ^^

    There were some cultural differences, certainly. But by being patient, understanding and communicative I feel that most obstacles can be evened out. In all my interactions with Japanese men I spoke Japanese only, so I often had troubles with miscommunication, which doesn’t help. The one thing I noticed is that all three men mentioned not liking Japanese girls, so I guess one may expect that some percentage of the men that go for foreign girls don’t like or want to date Japanese girls for whatever reason. In general I found that men would approach me first and not vice versa, and since I spoke some Japanese it was easy to get on with chit-chat to break the ice.

    I would also like to mention, that while Japan is extremely safe by international standards, I was never going out by myself. I was always with 1-2 friends, and kept a safety contract with them (i.e. if I say I want to leave, we LEAVE). But I guess my main message is to just go with the flow and have fun :D

    • Hi DMG!

      Of course, it’s ok if you share your experience with us! I really appreciate that you take the time to do so. :D

      You know, I think it’s a LOT easier to make friends – or even find a partner – when you’re in school or university; not only in Japan, but everywhere in the world.
      It’s also easier if you can go to clubs, but that requires you to live in a big city. In the countryside it’s more difficult – also for Japanese women.
      So, it’s quite interesting to hear from somebody like you who went to university and also clubbing. It is completely different from my current lifestyle in the Japanese inaka with a full-time job and co-workers who are all not my age.

      Interesting that you found most guys were approaching you and not vice versa. I guess that gives hope to us who are extremely shy!
      Thanks so much for being so honest and sharing your experience with all of us. ^__^

  • Hi. I’ve been dating a Japanese guy for a few weeks now. It’s an interesting story, so I thought I’d share. We first met on a website called japanesefriendfinder.com. Although it’s name is world friend finder in any country other than America. hehe ^^; At first I think he was just looking for a booty call girl, honestly. He was 33 and still single, and didn’t really seem interested in dating at all. At first he just wanted to make English speaking friends so he could practice his English, and I wanted Japanese friends to practice my Japanese.
    That was in April. By the end of June he messaged me saying his work would be sending him to America for a business trip, and he wanted to know if I could meet up with him. I was hesitant at first, but I went for it after talking out some details. So September came around and he paid for the plane ticket and everything, and was still very thankful that I was willing to spend time with him. Japanese people prize time, since they are always busy. If they are willing to spend time with you, that is pretty much a sure way to know that you are important to them in some way. And if they apologize because they have to do something else, you can be sure you are even higher on their list of people they like being around. I spent a week with him, and afterwards it was him who was being very proactive about wanting me to be with him on a more permanent basis, but he was being very respectful of my desire for independence, because I told him I value not being kept in one place and being able to work.
    It was really kinda funny, actually. He said at one point that at first he only wanted sex, but that after actually meeting me and living with me for a week he became very frustrated, because he became addicted to my personality. He said he wanted to know me forever. That I make him feel like a teenager and he knows that he could search the world over and never find a girl like me. I thought that I would pass out at first, hearing a shy Japanese person say all that. LOL But once you get past the initial shyness of when you first meet, they really open up and you find out just how fun they really are as a people. It definitely depends on their character, but overall I think the biggest barrier for getting a Japanese boyfriend is getting past that initial barrier of shyness. Also, looking on dating websites like the one I was on (it isn’t JUST a dating website, it is a website used to look for all sorts of relationships, from a pen pal to a marriage partner) is a good way to start, because it gets your foot in the door to meet Japanese people. And if they are outgoing enough to be willing to be on a site like that, you can pretty much guarantee that they will be interested in your culture, as well as be willing to be flexible with their cultural beliefs when they get into a relationship with someone from a different cultural background. Looking for Japanese guys who are or who have been near your home town will be beneficial, as well. Then they will be at least aware of what kinds of things you are used to, as far as culture and customs go.
    For anyone looking for a Japanese boyfriend, good luck! I wish the best for everyone hoping to become an integrated part of the Japanese society. :)

    • Hey Jeanie! :D
      Thanks so much for stopping by and sharing your experience with us.
      It’s such a cute story with a happy end. I really enjoyed reading about it! ^__^
      I also like the fact that he was so honest to you, even admitting that he only wanted sex at first, but then fell in love after getting to know you better! :D

    • Hi Jeanie,

      I totally agree on the shyness part at first. Your guy sounds similar to mine in this aspect. *^^* Isn’t it nice to hear a guy tell you they are addicted to you?! *sigh* It just makes you melt!

  • I liked your article a lot. I especially liked the fact that you talked to different girls with varying nationalities. It would have been even better if you had included South East and East Asians girls but that would be too much to ask.

    Although I’m a Japanese guy and the common traits in your conclusion don’t really apply to me, I they are generally true. (I’ve never dated a Japanese guy though; I’m straight.)

    Anyway, It’s always refreshing to read articles about ‘non-weird’ Japanese guys.

    • Hello Yuta!
      Thank you very much.
      I think Japanese men dating Asian women is another topic, but it surely would be interesting as well. Thanks for pointing it out.

  • I like this post, because I finally get to hear a woman’s honest perspective on dating in Japan.

    I, being a dude, always get to hear about what dating, relationships, and marriages are like with Japanese women. Or, if I’m lucky enough, I get to have the experiences myself.

    As far as the dating game goes, there are times when it seems alright and other times when I can’t make heads or tails of it. The communication thing is always going to be an issue. I know a lot of people want to be fluent in Japanese, but a buddy once told me a very interesting theory. He was saying “If you’re in a relationship with a Japanese women, the more Japanese you know, the more trouble you get yourself into.” His thinking was if you understand too much, it means more responsibilities, more arguments, etc. It was pretty funny to me.

    I have several married friends who have said things that are eerily similar to what the ladies posted above. The common complaints that I hear from married buddies are 1) the language barrier, 2) the wife that totally changes once the marriage is official (or once the kids are born), and 3) the monster in-laws (oddly enough guys complain more about the mother-in-laws, too)

    I can’t claim that I have the best love life in the world, as it’s not really my focus these days, but I’ll have keep these things in mind when the right lady comes along.

    • Hey Donald,
      Thanks for dropping by and commenting! :D

      It’s really sad to hear that so many couples seem to have the same issues.
      Apart from the language barrier, I guess they’re all common problems in many relationships, not just cross-cultural ones.

  • Very interesting post and enjoyed reading everyone’s input. I am a South East Asian (Malaysian) married to a Japanese man and living in Tokyo for the past two years. In your reply to Yuta you mentioned that Japanese men dating Asian women is another topic but actually I find so many similarities here. I was proactive in the beginning when we first met as he is more shy than your average Japanese guy but he gave me lots of hints too that he was interested. He never ever held my hands in public when we were first dating but now it’s almost second nature to him and he even kisses me in public too here in Tokyo! I think for a foreigner (non Asian) you might think Asian women dating Japanese men are very different experiences but in my opinion, as long as you are a non-Japanese (Asian,European,American,etc) dating a Japanese, you will be able to identify with these stories. I really enjoyed your posts! Thanks!

    • Hi Jean!

      It’s great you found to my blog and are willing to share your own experience! I REALLY wanted to hear from an Asian woman. I’m surprised to hear that it’s not much of a difference. That’s very interesting. But actually I’m glad to hear that. ^______^
      Now, the only thing missing is hearing from a Japanese woman about dating Japanese guys. *g*

  • Very interesting and helpful article! There was a few things about Japanese guys I had wondered about in the past, and by reading this post I got some of it confirmed! I’m a Western girl from Scandinavia (more specifically Denmark), and have never been to Japan or dated a Japanese guy before, but I have read a lot about cultural differences, dating a Japanese guy, etc, and am very interested in it (dating) myself! I’m kind of “aiming” for a specific person, and kind of need advice (I’m planning on going to Japan maybe next year, and I know someone who knows him who can introduce me to him, so I’ll most likely start getting to know him) The guy I’m “aiming for” used to be in a band some years ago (not a super famous one, but it’s fairly well known in Japan and overseas I think) – and the thing is, that band is my favorite band and I’ve dreamed about meeting him for years and been in love with him for a long time too,- so the thing is, I don’t know how I should act towards him so he doesn’t think I’m just interested in him because of the band, because it’s really not like that. I also wonder how I should ask him out on a date and later confess? I’m pretty shy, and so is he, at least that my impression. I really don’t know what to do. Any advice is greatly appreciated.

    • Hello Maja.
      I’m glad the article was helpful.

      I think it’s difficult to give you any good advice in your situation as it’s quite special.
      It’s always much more difficult to approach stars, no matter if they’re Japanese or not.

      If you get a chance to meet him in person, then why don’t you ask him out on a date first?
      If things go well and he wants to meet you again, then you can think about confessing. I wouldn’t literally hit him with your confession right away. ;)

      Good luck to you! :D

  • Thank you for your reply. :) I was a bit unsure if I should ask him out on a date first, since I’m not very experienced with dating and always unsure about what to do, but your advice has helped a lot! I’ll most likely settle for a dinner date or just ask if he wants to watch movies at home… Maybe a bit boring, but that’s the only kind of dates I would be comfortable with, at least in the beginning. Thank you! :)

  • This has been an interesting read! Thanks for writing this.

    I’ve dated a couple of Japanese guys before who were lovely. I have a relatively new boyfriend, however, who is really testing me. I think I’m older than most people commenting (I’m 36 and he’s 39) so perhaps this is an old person thing (haha). The problem is the lack of communication. He’ll send me a couple of texts a day before and after work. He never calls and works 15 hour days. We usually see each other on his days off (once or twice a week). This level of communication in the west would be a red flag – it’s sort of a message that the guy is only after casual sex. But he claims he’s totally into me and is serious about the relationship. But my patience is gone…I’ve told him I’m uncomfortable with the lack of communication but he doesn’t seem to get it. Hmm… think it’s time to pull the plug unfortunately.

    I often hear from Japanese women that Japanese men just don’t have any get up and go – that they are lazy in relationships. I’m getting the feeling that I have one of those guys…:-(

    • Hi Gaijingal, 36 is still very young! :) About your boyfriend, if he works 15 hours a day and only has once a week off but yet he spends his days off with you then I am guessing you mean a lot to him. Hope it works out for you!

    • Gaijingal, you’re not as old as you think.
      And btw. I’m in my 30s as well. *g*

      It’s really hard to tell without knowing the whole situation.
      It could be that he’s just really involved at work and exhausted. But it could also be that he’s just not very communicative and doesn’t want to invest a lot of effort although he might be totally into you. Like you said he might be lazy.
      If you don’t want to deal with it and if you think he’s not worth it, then I would give up as well.

      I hope you can find out if it’s really work-related or if he just doesn’t want to try hard enough.

      Good luck with it either way! :D

  • ohhhhhh great article ! I wish I had friends in Tokyo who are in the same situation. I’ve been with my boyfriend for 5 years, and we live in Japan, but I don’t have many friends to talk to, except Korean or Chinese friends from my school in the morning. How do you guys meet nice friends in Japan ?

    • That’s a very good question, but probably difficult to answer.
      I know that others struggle as well. Especially when you’re an adult (out of school / university) it can be very challenging to meet new people (and become friends) outside of work.
      All the more in a foreign country!

      I met a lot of people that I first got to know online. Others I met through work, others through travelling all over the country. ;P