All About Japan

How to Find Love in Japan

| Deeper Japan , Love in Japan
How to Find Love in Japan

Japan is dealing with a low marriage rate and higher-than-average marriage age. Many are marrying in their early thirties now, which may increase to the late thirties in a few years. Does that mean it's hard to look for love in Japan? Absolutely not! There are quite a few ways to find love in Japan, so cross your fingers and try some of these out!

Omiai

Omiai

Literally meaning "looking at each other," an omiai (お見合い) is when two people are matched together by acquaintances. Traditionally, families will introduce their single son or daughter to their friend's offspring and go from there. Nowadays, however, a mutual friend called a sewanin (世話人, in this context meaning "mediator") will introduce a guy to a girl, both of whom are single and intent on finding a partner to settle down. Omiai has seen a dramatic decline in Japan as socialization between genders increases and online dating becomes more prevalent.

Gokon

Gokon

A mixture of nomikai (飲み会, drinking party) and omiai, gokon are similar to "Table of Six" meeting parties in some Western countries. Usually a guy and a girl plan a nomikai, each bringing an equal number of their friends of the same gender. It's a kind of group blind date where each person gets a chance to talk to everyone from the other side, asking questions and trying to find something in common. After the first event, there might be a second round, usually karaoke. Successful pairings will stay in touch and potentially develop into a relationship. Gokon are very common nowadays among the twenty-somethings and gay and lesbian gokon are growing in popularity as well.

Matchmaking Agents

Matchmaking Agents

Matchmaking agencies are still quite a big thing in Japan. Even though matchmaking as a profession still exists, more and more agencies now operate via the internet. Some of the bigger ones include Youbride and Match.com. Usually they charge a fee for membership.

Dating Apps

Dating Apps

We're going to assume you all know what these are and how they work. Many in their twenties and thirties nowadays are using dating apps and websites to find love, especially as they are generally free of charge. Tinder and OkCupid work fine in Japan, plus some local ones like Pairs and Matchbook. Thanks to your smartphone, love is now only a few feet away.