Hooking up in Japan: The Strange and Surprising Reality

Why talk about hooking up in Japan? Is that an interesting topic? Over the past few years, there has been an increase in sexual freedom, and promiscuity has become increasingly accepted by society, which people call “sexual freedom”. However, through this article, we will be provided, learn some things to know about Japan. 

In 2020, about 28.4% of the male population and 17.8% of the female population in Japan are unmarried by the age of 50. The rate of unmarried age 50 for both sexes steadily increased until the age of 50. past decade. Therefore, hooking up in Japan is an issue we will care about and wonder about, looking for a lot of reasons. 

Is your opinion on hooking up in Japan good or bad? Each person will have their own opinion. It would be harmful to not know when to stop, and it would be good to know how to use it properly. 

Going to find love in Japan, like other countries, one must understand all the customs and culture, and dare to experience dating in Japan like a foreigner. There are strange, amazing surprises.

1. Hooking up in Japan – The surprising things you might not know

1.1. What is hooking up in Japan?

Explore a bit about the concept of “hooking up” in Japan. According to the Cambridge dictionary, “Hook up” is to meet, and start working with someone. But hooking up in Japan is about starting a romantic or sexual relationship with someone and how to say no when it’s too late.

hooking up in Japan

      Couple drinking coffee ( Source: Internet)

1.2. How to deny the one you don’t like?

If you don’t like to date someone, don’t make them feel embarrassed, be a cultured person, and politely refuse without hurting the other person’s feelings.

For example, in Tokyo, Japan, using public transport is mainly because it is cheaper than cars, more efficient, and midnight is the last time. For that reason, if you don’t want to continue the conversation with that guy, if you don’t want to date you can say my last train has arrived, so I have to get out of here right now.

1.3. What do you need to do if you do the next step in a love hotel?

“Rabuho” is also known as a love hotel in Japan. A wonderful space, the spice of love, where two people can spend some alone time together, where they can hook up. But is that easy to reveal to the other party? How to say to the other person “Do you want to take a break?”.

If you both agree, then the guy will be the one to open up to you first. To make love more romantic, and more sublimated, clean your body before activity, take a shower, brush your teeth and apply a little body cream.

The quality of the love hotel has increased many times, it no longer has a bad image because the Japanese gradually accept and experience it more. They have a more open view of love hotels and use them more commonly than before. 

hooking up in Japan

      A love hotel in Japan ( Source: Internet)

1.4. Love hotel prices in Tokyo

Coming to the love hotel in Tokyo there are many levels with unique building styles. Providing really comfortable, private spaces for couples in love and dating.

The price of love hotels in Tokyo is highly competitive because of the facilities, services, and quality of the room that are prepared for customers. But for overnight love hotels, the average is about $54.24 and the price can be higher if on weekends and public holidays.

1.5. Why does hookup culture exist?

Due to the explosion of new entertainment games, such as watching movies… The psychophysiology of young people is developing faster and faster, not strictly controlled, to satisfy their physical needs, emotional need, or see it as a means to find a mate.

Some see it as a commitment of love, and intimacy with each other. But to put pressure on someone, and embarrass them, is completely wrong.

2. How to date in hookup culture?- Are you curious?

2.1. Know yourself

The key before you start a relationship with someone in confidence. You confidently assert your own worth, know what you want, and determine the criteria for your partner. It can be considered a very necessary first step and opens up many options for you.

2.2. Finding love in the right place

People always take advantage of media, social networks, or groups of friends, groups of clubs to find friends, to expand relationships. But they are only interested in connecting, they do not find out who they are acquainted with, or who are preparing to get acquainted. Unknowingly those relationships can become toxic relationships, affecting you personally.

2.3. Take time to think

If your life is too much to worry about, think about it, calm down, and take more time to think again. If there is no one to go with you to settle down, don’t rush to blame yourself. Clarify your expectations first, you will find a more effective approach to finding romantic love.

3. Dating in Japan – Discover the differences compared to other countries. 

Love, dating, and marriage are feelings worthy of respect and sacred between two people. However, in fact, it is quite surprising in Japan. According to the research lab, the number of divorces per day in Japan is about 592 cases/hour in 2016. It is down from 622 divorces/hour in 2000. That information makes the single rate. in Japan increased?

3.1. Japanese dating customs

Due to the influence of traditions and customs, each country brings different views into dating. With the dating customs in Japan, it is also necessary to pay attention to some details to have a date in Japan like a foreigner.

Westerners are very comfortable with dating and love. They don’t care who their daughter cares about, or how many people they care about. As for Japanese, casual dating, the connection is taboo and sometimes considered “dirty”.

Sex, Western men think when flirting with girls, women will often come to mind, and they see it as a step to see if two people are compatible. But the custom in Japan is definitely shunned. An accepted kiss is considered a mark of love when two people are actually officially in love.

According to statistics on Statista: “During 2021, the dating habit in Japan during the coronavirus epidemic situation, the majority of respondents met potential partners through dating apps. While a small percentage of men, around three percent, find a partner through social media and the like, which is not a popular dating channel for women in Japan.”

Even so, with Japanese dating, online dating is not considered a real relationship. Because on that application, they only partially reveal their faces and use fake names. So they are not caught by people they really know in real life. They prefer intimate, emotional relationships, meet face to face and have space for each other for half a day to a day. Because they respect each other’s privacy.

3.2. “Reading the air”

Japanese people often speak indirectly, while in other countries they encourage and advocate to speak out their own thoughts. Therefore, when dating in Japan, you must understand and pay attention to the dating custom of “Reading the air”.

As dating in japan as a foreigner, you must first understand what “Reading the air” is. The concept of this phrase comes from the Japanese word “kuuki yomenai”. Literally, it means reading the air. The ability to read the air is an essential survival skill in this day and age.

Air is a colorless, odorless substance, but with keen human observation, it will gradually become more aware of even the slightest changes. It fosters the ability to feel, the ability to understand a situation without words. Just like on a date, feel the changes in the atmosphere.



hooking up in Japan

    Reading the air in Japanese culture (Source: Internet)

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4. Japanese dating culture – Useful sharing as a foreigner

If you are playing with a group of multicultural friends, congratulations, you will witness a lot of new, distinct cultural differences in each place you live. And it’s also a fun experience when you get to go on a date in Japan.

Before you are about to fall in love, don’t hurry. Calm down a bit, and slow down for a few hours to learn what do’s and don’ts, what’s not acceptable when dating in Japan as a foreigner.

Do you know “Confession”? Confession happens when one of the two will approach the other and ask them out. You can accept the invitation to go out, eat, or go to the movies, but it is still considered a friend if the words and actions are not made clear. That’s the difference in Japan. Confession is like a switch, it will have an answer and go further if it is flipped.

Japanese dating culture

           Love is so hot in the sky in Japan (Source: Internet) 

4.1. The origin of dating in Japan

Looking for a partner to date? Going to school, going to work, going out, all those places can be meeting friends, meeting people. That place can be a place of vibes, a heart fluttering with someone. Romantic relationships will be born from there.

4.2. Group Day

“Goukon” in Japan is called a meeting to find new relationships. It is quite popular in Japan and is organized by a group of friends. And don’t get me wrong, not everyone participating in “Goukon” can find their other half. 

The reason for joining is very simple, it may be looking for people of the opposite sex, but you can also find yourself suitable for a fun and vibrant atmosphere.

4.3. Matchmaking party

The activity of finding the opposite sex for oneself in the Konkastu party has become popular among young Japanese until now. 

One day you can meet and talk to a lot of people. Talking face-to-face, and getting to know them better is not like communicating through social networks, or pre-installed online applications. It feels safer here.

Few people know if you are not Japanese. “Konkastu” parties like these come in many forms. Simply put, there are parties for the same profession, the same age, the same level… With that, the opportunity to find dates and get married will not be far away.

4.4. Called by their first name

Their first name is only called by family or close friends and is used in a formal setting and in appropriate situations. Remember, after you start dating someone, don’t let them call you by your first name.

4.5. Relationship status

Showing affection in public places, or posting public photos of your lover on social networks is being done by many young people. But when you’re dating in Japan, it’s not so well received.

Because they respect each other’s privacy, if it’s public, it will affect personal relationships. It is also a barrier, making love relationships uncomfortable and unnatural. As a result, it will not be popular in Japan.

4.6. Full-Day Dates

It’s not like any other date you’ve seen or seen on social media. Couples who love each other go for a walk, drink coffee, and chat. With dating in Japan as a foreigner, this is definitely not considered a date.

Giving your other half a day or a day together is common in Japan. They treat the date like an event. Go shopping, go to amusement parks, drink alcohol, and watch fireworks. Oh! How romantic and peaceful. This means that on dates like that, they actually spend all their time together, together.


Japanese dating

 When dating in Japan will spend the day together. Do you know? (Source: Internet) 

4.7. Contact Frequency

Love each other but are limited in the frequency of contact with each other? Is there limited love energy for each other? Is it a barrier that keeps couples from wanting to continue? It would be hard to believe that it’s especially common in Japan when you’re Japanese dating.

2-3 times a week is the frequency of Japanese contact. Because they value privacy, value the work of both parties. During working hours and meetings, they did not reply to each other’s messages. When you’re dating in Japan as a foreigner, it’s a good idea to research such information in advance.

4.8. Say “I love you”

Sweet words, sweet words like pouring into the ears of couples for each other to express their affection through saying “I love you”. But the Japanese dating culture doesn’t do that. Do you wonder why?

Firstly, because they are shy and timid. Expressing feelings to the other party is difficult to express in Japanese. They hesitated whether to speak or not. In Japanese, “I love you” is expressed by the word “Aishiteriru”, which has a stronger meaning, so it is not easy to say it.

Second, they prefer to say “like” to “love”. “Like” in Japanese is “Suki”. It sounds softer, showing the beauty of love. And to level up their love, they can say “Daisuki” to their date.

When Vietnamese people fall in love, they will speak frankly and clearly. But not the Japanese. Strange isn’t it? The Japanese rarely speak, but instead, their actions prove it all. They love to pamper their lover through caring and worried actions.

Dating in Japan as a foreigner

          They give flowers to show their love ( Source: Internet) 

4.9. Holidays in Japan

What is the most memorable day? Is there any special day when you are dating in Japan? Won’t be able to forget Valentine’s Day, White Day, and Christmas Eve. Both are meaningful days for each individual and for both.

Valentine’s Day

A little gift, a little love sent from a woman to the man of her life. Chocolate is the main gift for the person you love, the person you are dating. And genuine “honmei Choco” for men.

White day

On this day, giving “Honmei Choco” is to show more “heavy” feelings. The day when men will give meaningful gifts to the women of their lives.

Christmas Eve

Another romantic night comes at the end of every year. In the cold weather at midnight, how romantic it is to have dinner together, watch the stars, the electric lights flickering in and out, and fully enjoy the atmosphere. That is the space, the happiest time they will spend together.

Dating in Japan as a foreigner

   Holiday- The day of two lovers dating, happily together. (Source: Internet) 

Dating at home

Being together is extremely important, and spending time together is also important. Therefore, they want to stay at home and use Netflix to watch movies. Unlike Americans, they have to go outdoors, enjoy new spaces, socialize with friends, and meet many people. The Japanese cook together, play games and spend time alone.

Dating where?

On a first date, that date determines about 50% of you whether or not you continue with your partner through the place you choose to go on a date together. So finding places for a first date is quite sensitive, and important. Make sure it’s a place she likes and makes her feel comfortable.

Now, you can list out a lot of places and choose to match the girl you are after. If the location is indoors, you can also choose restaurants, cafes, aquariums, cinemas, amusement parks, shopping, and cooking …

If the girl likes a beautiful, gentle, and relaxing space, the cafe will score points. Here girls can take beautiful pictures, boys can enjoy their passion for photography. But you will suddenly realize that it is also a place where two people’s conversations can be silenced. Because if your girl doesn’t want to share in public, or you don’t have a knack for words.

Other outdoor locations such hiking, cycling, going to the park, the beach… But the place involves a larger space, you can enjoy the beautiful scenery, enjoy the peaceful space.

It’s memorable if you choose to cycle around in a quiet place. Both have their own space and have a lot of romantic times together. Both of them put aside their busy jobs to spend all their time on this first date.

Japanese dating

 Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden is a peaceful and pleasant retreat. ( Source: Internet) 

5. Dating budget in Japan – Equality in dating that you didn’t know

A survey shows that the more money Japanese people earn, the higher the budget for dating in Japan. Overall, about 26.7% of men think about $34 /per person, and about 32.5% of women think about $20.34/per person is reasonable.

5.1. Split the bill

Through many face-to-face interviews with people in Japan, splitting bills or splitting bills is to keep equality and fairness between couples.

5.2. Respect is important

Whether your date goes well or not depends a lot on your respect for each other. Be polite, no matter who you are talking to, or with whom you are walking.

In the case of using money to tip. It is rude and insulting to others in Japan. Maybe in the West is considered a polite, polite action. But in Japanese culture, it is quite the opposite.

5.3. Japanese people think about marriage

Japanese dating, falling in love, and then thinking about marriage, marrying the right woman. When they bring their daughter back to meet her parents, it is a sign of marriage.

Does a question arise about whether to live together before marriage? In Western culture, they call it “cohabitation”. 

Currently, cohabitation is quite common, and consider it a time to see if two people are compatible or not. But if two people do not have much awareness and finance, that is the biggest barrier. The Japanese dating culture doesn’t allow that.

6. Dating site | Dating apps in Japan – The most popular app everyone is looking for 

In Japan, there are quite a few online apps and websites to connect, talk, and possibly find a partner to date. But before using a website, or a certain dating application, you need to make sure that it is completely safe, no form of fake, fraud occurs.

According to a survey conducted in 2022, the most popular Japanese dating app for both men and women is Pairs. With nearly 60% of men and nearly 64% of women using the app. And one app used by men in Japan is Tinder, the only non-domestic app on the chart.

Every application has good features and unique features to attract users. Do not hesitate any longer, try to discover the websites and applications we mentioned below.

6.1. Pairs

An app founded by Datingscout. Why were Pairs born? That’s because there are many singles who want to fall in love, and Westerners want to find and find ways to date Japanese women. People who are looking for a really serious, deeply committed relationship.

How to register

Just need Facebook account information or a mobile phone, and you can fill in basic information, and upload photos. After filling in the information, Pairs verifies the account information and you can start searching.

The ability to avoid fake users and AI biometrics have been updated. The web will scan and recognize faces in real-time, correctly confirming that it is a reputable user. Using this app, you can filter the relationships you’re interested in by geographic distance, age, and more.

With texting for men, it’s not free, you will have to upgrade to a premium account to get unlimited. There are also unique features like a group chat. A community of about 8 people, can chat privately or message any member. Or the ability to see who has browsed your profile. And especially this is a free application for women.

6.2. Tapple

The site only works within Japan and can be used abroad if you are abroad. The app links people through their interests in the platform. An application can be installed on iOS and Android operating systems, but the number of members is smaller than some other applications.

According to data statistics, 72,000 people search for their love through this app every month. That has proven it is in the position of the largest website in Japan.

 How to register

Signing up for Tapple is also quite simple, need to use email, or Facebook to be able to connect. Then fill in the specific information. More unique than Pairs is that it connects with others through interests such as cooking, sports, art, fashion, etc.

Adding to the application is a function that allows you to talk for 24 hours, aka the hang-out function. Hang out, meet, and talk for 24 hours about hobbies and interests. If not used enough, the chat will be deleted.

6.3. EDarling

A smart, thoughtful Japanese matchmaking and dating site. The features here are basically free and can look for a long-term relationship. It attracts about 14 million users worldwide. This website is different from others as the relationships here when connected lead to suitable marriages. By people aged 35 – 45 years old.

How to register

This step is really simple and easy to understand. Fill in your information, upload your profile picture, and create a profile to describe yourself to others. Since it’s an age-defining website, it’s easy to find like-minded people.

The plus point of this site is that you can test your personality through quizzes, answer questions quickly, and improve your chances of making a connection. Safety and security are always highly valued. 

EDarling will receive, store and investigate reported, forged records. In general, it protects the very personal information you have uploaded.

6.4. Omiai

Dating app for people looking for a serious relationship. Not an application for people to connect and talk normally, but mainly from the age of 30. If you want to date in Japan like a foreigner, immediately download this application and experience it.

How to register

One step downloads the app to follow the instructions on the app. Log in with your personal Facebook account and fill out your basic profile as a document so you can introduce yourself to someone of the opposite sex looking for. This is not an easy app to fake, or clone an account.

From the initial profile information of each individual, users can search more easily, select men and women that they can match, and get acquainted. This is a reputable application, all fake profiles are strictly checked, and each individual’s personal information is confidential.

6.5. Tinder

It’s easy to chat and find friends through interests on the Tinder app. It is extremely popular with Japanese daters like foreigners. Just looking for love for a moment. 

Take a moment to see who has expressed interest in you, there will be many interesting things. With each like on Tinder, your profile will have the opportunity to reach even more people. From “funny singles” suddenly closer together, and know each other more through social networks. 

A little eager to meet the person you want to get to know through video chat. Even the distance of 2000 km still feels close right in front of your eyes. To talk face-to-face, interact, and get to know each other better anytime, anywhere.

6.6. Bumble

A bit similar to Tinder in terms of how it works, but it will certainly have other unique features that need to explore. The woman – the first sender of the message. And the audience that Bumble extends to is not only dating relationships but also business colleagues.

The Bumble app was launched in 2014, Bumble supports many cool features. To get started, make sure you’re over 18 and log into Bumble, create a profile then search for someone you’re really interested in.

You can search for people to date, you can also find colleagues and business partners. Create a lasting, productive relationship while you’re in Japan.

6.7. Grindr

Everyone has the opportunity to be loved, cared for, and protected and gay people are no exception. Grindr is the largest app specifically for LGBT people.

It is launched in 2009. An early geography app and became a popular mobile app in the world. It is already available on iOS and Android operating systems with a free version.

After 2 years of launch, it has up to 11 million users per month. The app uses location to search for members. The application was born with the purpose of gender equality. Like other applications, it supports messaging and creating personal and group chats to be able to connect and build close relationships.

And there are many dating sites and apps in Japan that are interesting and attract users such as OkCupid Japan, Match Alarm, Frigg, Hatch, Meetup, Enmusubi, Match.com,  CROSS ME, marrish, youbride…

6.8. Use the app properly

Finding people that make you want to date, is not too difficult. But you have to make sure that the person you are looking for is the right person, a good person must create her own profile properly, and professionally.

6.9. Simple biography

There is no need to be too fussy about your profile, just keep it short, flexible, and to the point. Do not try to be too cumbersome because then the other person will think you are quite complicated, afraid to communicate with you.

6.10. Matching images

Personal image is a portrait for you to identify who and how the opponent you are about to contact is. They can look at your face to see if it’s appropriate to start a conversation. 

Do not use group photos, because group photos include too many people, and will not know who the subject is. Express your own personality through photos with quality images.

Before posting a photo, find your friends to ask for comments and suggestions. In communication, don’t just stop at saying “hello”, say more, quality over quantity.

What do you think it means to date in Japan as a foreigner? Dating is an interesting period of learning about your partner. Is to find the right friends to accompany on a new journey. Dating is a way to relax, comfortably enjoy a romantic space, and forget the worries and stress of life and work. Learning to adapt to a new country, with new cultures and customs. 

7. FAQs 

7.1. Is Tinder a thing in Japan?

Tinder is a very popular app in Japan. In addition to exchanging, it also connects and finds many new friends. And there are also people who succeed in finding future companions, and seriously dating them. It is like a chance for two people to find each other, exchange, talk, and move further.

7.2. How do you pick up girls in Tokyo?

First, talk to those girls wisely. Thank you, that’s very kind of you. And continue the story, ask her if she wants coffee or not. See if she wants to continue hanging out… It’s one of those gradual approaches, make sure things take it slow if it’s too rushed the answer is definitely “No”.

7.3. Why are there so many singles in Japan?

There are many reasons why Japanese people remain single. Because they also focus too much on freedom, work, and self-love. There are also men who choose to be single because they don’t want to end up with the wrong person. 

Today, it is increasingly difficult to approach and conquer women, because they are highly critical-thinking women. And for a slightly subtle reason, renting the body has serious consequences, the idea of ​​marriage becomes “inconvenient”


Whether you are a Westerner, or a Japanese when you want to date in Japan like a foreigner, make sure you learn the information and avoid the taboos that we have mentioned. It is the most expensive, valuable material when you hooking up in Japan. Understanding the dating culture in Japan will have a more enjoyable experience in the future.

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About Yuu Sato

Yuu Sato has been working in hospitality industry since 2003. In the past, he used to work as a tour guide and now he is running his business of supplying comfortable accommodations in Japan. Thanks to this experience and his passion for writing blog, the articles by him provides awesome tips and things to do when you are traveling in the country of cherry blossoms.

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