Forever Alone, No More! 5 Trends of Finding Romance with Online/Offline for Japanese People

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Forever Alone, No More!  5 Trends of Finding Romance with Online/Offline for Japanese People

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Using dating services to find someone to date with is becoming more common these days. This is not special for Japan. The app “Tinder” or  “Speed dating” is popular all over the world,  however, what’s happening in Japan seems more unique and Japanese-like. We investigate and list up five trends in dating industry in Japan.


Find someone to “Kabe-don”!

Don’t be forever alone in Japan!


1. Aiseki-Izakaya (Aiseki-ya)

“Aiseki” literally means “sharing table” and sharing table to the group next to you at Izakaya sometimes happen in Japan. However, Aiseki-ya arrange strangers to sit together at the same table randomly!


The process is, going there as a group (the minimum is two people), waiting for the opposite sex’s group comes to your table, and moving the table when you have enough or feel boring. Time limit is not set, so you can stay longer with the group you liked.

Here is a promotion video of Aiseki-ya and you can demonstrate how it works…but the story is too perfect to be true, isn’t it?!

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The unique but strange point is that, women are charge free and only men have to pay for everything. Men have to pay 1,500yen per 30 minutes. However, according to my friends who visited there, and media report that there is always long line of men and less women.

There is one of the branch named as “R30”, allowing only men and women over 30 years old to visit. This would be for people who are seeking for a marriage partner.

Aiseki-ya official site :

2. Mobile app “Pairs”

“Tinder” is big trend in Western, however, few people use it in Japan as it doesn’t have Japanese version. Instead of that, a mobile app “Pairs” has the largest share in matching service in Japan. This app is released in Taiwan, Hong Kong, Singapore, and Indonesia, and over 3,600,000 people are using the app in totall, according to Pairs’ website.



You can register “Pairs” only through Facebook and after that, sending ID picture to the app management for age-verification is required. This is the one of the reasons that Pairs is popular ; no fake account exist.

Now you might wonder how “Pairs” looks like. Let’s take a look of it!



Compared to Tinder, Pairs has more detailed profile.
-blood type
-marital status
-annual income
-Whether you want to have kids or not
-How do you expect for the first date’s payment?
-Whether you’re social person or not

It looks weird about writing the payment for the first date before meeting, but this must be set for women who want to be treated, and men who want to be gentleman…


However, still, meeting on Pairs and got married is not unusual anymore. I have several friends who got married with a person met via Paris. It could be said that Pairs is thought as a trustable matching app in Japan.

Pairs official site :

3. Machi-con

“Machi” means “city” and “con” is abbreviation of “conpa” which means party. “Machi-con” is a party where towns & districts organize for their area to be used as the ‘venue’ for matching party, with the aim of it to match-make couples as well as to promote their local restaurants. You can hop bars and restaurants in the area while taking with new people. It started from Tokyo, but now it spreads all over Japan.


It sounds like “Speed dating”, however, the difference is that normally “Machi-con” don’t set time limit to chat. If you like the person you are talking with, you can stay longer. The good thing of Machi-con is that you can participate alone freely (if you’re enough brave though). Most of them are coming as groups, but anyway, there are only strangers, so going there alone would be no problem.


Machi-con portal site:

4. Konkatsu Party

“Konkatsu” is the abbreviated form of “kekkon katsudo”, which translates to “marriage hunting”. Most of the participants are trying to find someone to settle down with, not just a boyfriend/ girlfriend, as the name says “marriage”. Therefore the large percentage of the participants is people in their latter 20’s or older.


The styles of the party are rich in variety. Some are just like “speed dating” but some are like normal party with strangers. There are unique party such as “IT jobs people limited” and “Hokkaido-born people limited” and pick up the parties where your target will be.


Konkatsu Party portal site :

5. Mask party

As you can guess, this is party where male and female are meeting up with wearing masks. This style seems matching with shy Japanese people as they feel less awkward to people who don’t show their face.


In addition, the first judge is not by visual, more conversation and feeling. Online app, especially one like Tinder is judging by visual, however, this is not. I cannot 100% agree…but… if you really think “personality is the most important factor for choosing a partner, visual doesn’t matter at all”, this party must be for you!


Most of the case, if you feel get along with someone and agree with taking off masks, you can see each other’s face. However you’ll be get depressed if the partner goes away when you took off your masks. You need to have tough mind. Be confident. Hm!

Mask bar ZORRO website :
DRESS UP PARTY website :

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Been working in girls’ fashion magazines for a long time and am now the chief editor of Tokyo Girls’ Update. I have more expertise in Japanese teen fashion than anyone else (probably)! I’m a huge fan of the Revolutionary Girl Utena and Bakemonogatari animes.

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