A Guide for Dating in Japan.


A Guide for Dating in Japan.


Dating can be challenging, but it doesn't have to be. We deconstruct the core ideas of mainstream dating in Japan so you can avoid potential cultural clashes.


Have you ever thought about what the romantic confessions in manga and anime are all about? Those aren't just plotting tools. It's known as a kokuhaku (confession), and it's a popular technique to ask someone to start dating exclusively. In fact, until one of them admits, many people won't feel like they're genuinely dating. It's not the same as disclosing your loving intentions when you ask someone for a date. When you confess your feelings, you're telling the person you want to date for the rest of your life. In their kokuhaku, some adults may even think about the possibility of marriage. It erases all of the guesswork from dating.

Hanging Out

While group dates are popular among teenagers, the concept of "friend-zoning" is not. People dislike wasting time, and Japanese women, in particular, are unlikely to want to hang out unless there is a chance of romance. What may appear to others as a casual date is given a lot of weight? As with any relationship, it's critical to be open and honest about your feelings if you decide you're no longer interested.

Language Barrier

Both "I love you" and "I like you" are common English translations of the Japanese term suki desu. English speakers see a major contrast between "like" and "love," and there's a stigma attached to professing one's affection and being the first to say "I love you" for a variety of reasons. However, because there is no such distinction in Japanese, it may appear that things are moving too quickly when they say Daisuke desu, which simply means, I truly like you.

Role Reversals

Unlike in many Western cultures, where man has the pressure of making the first move, it’s not uncommon or weird for Japanese women to ask out someone they like. In addition, many Japanese men expect the women to pay for their own way on a date – yes, even for the first one.

Special Dates, Special Places

Certain days in Japan have particularly romantic meanings that don't necessarily correspond to their Western counterparts. Couples can go out for a fancy romantic supper on Christmas Eve, for example. Some areas are simply regarded as great spots to go on dates or hang out with your significant other. Disneyland, for example, is a favorite holiday destination for couples as well as families.

Valentine’s Day & White Day

Women offer gifts to men they like on Valentine's Day, but they often give mandatory chocolates (Giri–choco) to coworkers. As a result, receiving chocolate does not always imply that someone likes you. In exchange, on White Day in March, girls receive chocolates from their romantic interests, as well as reciprocal chocolates from those who got Giri–choco the month before. The price and quality of the chocolate should reveal the feelings of the giver.

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