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A Guide To Dating Japanese Women in 2024

If you have an interest in Japan and Japanese people, you’ve probably wondered what it would be like to date someone from one of the most interesting countries in the world.

While an article can’t substitute the real life experience of being on a date, we can spark your imagination. And while we are at it, we can provide some helpful information to smooth out dating with a Japanese girl. So, without further ado, let’s get into what you should know about dating Japanese women.

What do Japanese girls expect of a guy?

Be polite in words and actions

This will probably not come as a shock, but Japanese girls appreciate a man who is polite. This includes both how you show respect to the special someone and others.

One way to show you are a gentleman is how you talk. A 2019 survey of woman found that among the 26th most popular traits for a guy was saying “thank you” and “sorry” a lot. So keep in mind being courteous in your words.

Another method to be polite is how you show concern for her comfort. For example, think about restaurant setups. Most tables in Japan are set up with a cushion seat and chair. Direct your date towards the cushion to show that you care about their comfort, while taking the sightly less comfortable chair seat for yourself.

Generally, pay for meals

Japan has a culture of splitting the bill on dates. It is not uncommon for the guy and the girl to both pay their own way, however, much like the west, it is not always preferred.

This is especially true on first dates. It is expected that on the first date the guy will pay. From the second date onwards there might be an offer to pay, but often times girls still like a guy who insists on paying for everything.

Read the air and be attentive

Japanese dating customs highly prioritize the ability to “read the air,” or “kuuki wo yomeru” in Japanese. This means that you understand the situation and the feeling of others intuitively and through your senses, and don’t rely on having every feeling spelled out for you.

While being able to read the air is important in general in Japan, it will really pay off when dating Japanese girls. If you can spot when your partner is feeling uncomfortable, or doesn’t feel well, and then can take appropriate action, it will show you are attentive to their needs. This skill will go a long way in Japan in general, not to mention for a romantic partner.

Contact Often

It is common to see articles on the internet espousing that it is usual to not receive contact from your lover for several days cause of work in Japan. While this can be true in some cases, most people in Japan, especially younger people, say differently.

People in Japan are very busy, but it is appreciated, and sometimes expected, you will make sure to contact a Japanese girl throughout your day. Sometimes couples will do this upon waking up and right before sleeping as a rule. In any case, regular and everyday contact is important via phone or messages.

No PDA

PDA in general

In America or other countries, unacceptable PDA brings to mind french kissing or heavy petting. You know, the kind of behavior that makes people want to scream “get a room!”

Japan keeps things even more conservative. Skin ship in public is almost solely reserved to holding hands and potentially arm linking. Kissing and hugging are just out of the question.

Women and men in Japan are very conscious of their public image and social norms. When out, they don’t want to draw undue attention themselves. Even something as simple as a kiss on the cheek could embarrass and agitate a date.

PDA on the first date

First dates, as we’ve written about before, are meant for getting to know your partner. Your date is very unlikely to want to have any physical contact of the kind that could casually happen in other countries. This means holding hands or arm linking is off the table for that initial romantic outing.

It is not uncommon for a mixed western and Japanese couple to have some misunderstanding about personal space bubbles on the initial date. Western girl to Japanese guy, western guy to Japanese girl, either way a sudden and seemingly natural touch can cause the date to go sideways. The best bet is to stick to conversation and getting to know each other the first time out.

What gifts do Japanese girlfriends like?

What gifts Japanese girlfriends like receiving

A meaningful and thoughtful gift can do wonders for blossoming love and keeping the spark going seemingly in any country on earth. We’ll give you some great ideas here for that Japanese girlfriend. If you don’t mind poring through the Japanese then check out this article for more ideas on the subject for both Japanese boyfriends and girlfriends.

Accessories

Western women and Japanese women have at least this in common: You can rarely go wrong with a nice accessory. Whether it is for a birthday or an anniversary, a sparkling new piece of jewelry is a good choice.

A survey in 2021 asking 500 women in their 20s about their favorite present from a boyfriend revealed more women preferred accessories than any other gift. Specifically, necklaces came out above the rest quickly followed by earrings and rings a little farther down. If you find yourself wondering what do for those special occasions, most Japanese women will agree you should consider accessories.

Flowers

Flowers are also a common present within Japan. It isn’t uncommon for a Japanese woman to receive flowers from her lover on anniversaries. Flowers are not reserved, though, for such special days. If you are feeling like surprising the Japanese girl you are dating flowers are one way to put a smile on her face.

Short trips within Japan

We’d save this one for a relationship that has already started. However, if you’ve established a relationship already a romantic weekend together is a great present, and one that is often highly mentioned by both Japanese men and women.

Japanese culture has great options for short trips that make a great escape. First, onsen or hot spring hotels, often featuring traditional lodging facilities known as ryokan, allow you both to relax and enjoy beautiful scenery. Usually there is a plethora of delicious food nearby of the Japanese variety that adds to the overall ambiance.

Second, consider traveling for one of the many seasonal festivities. The Sapporo Snow Festival, for example, features impressive all snow sculptures. Plus, depending on when you travel, you might be able to hit other otherworldly events and sites nearby to add to the romantic memories.

How do Japanese girls act?

Shy

Girls in Japan tend to act shy and reticent. They may stand back in crowds at bars and hang in the back, not approaching anyone.

This is the stereotypical Japanese girl way to act. They tend to not be aggressive or draw attention to themselves by default, preferring to meld with the crowd. Japanese society honors the collective over the individual, and this kind of behavior is usually thought to be an extension of collective values.

Smile a lot

Remember to smile!

You’ll find that out in public Japanese women may smile a lot when interacting with everyone. Women desire to be seen as positive, as positivity is a high ranking factor for attraction in Japan. This can even effect the tone of voice used in public and body language.

Different at home

Because the public mask that Japanese people wear can often be quite different then their real selves, foreigners are often quite surprised to find that people in Japan are more like everyone else. They have ample frustrations and dislikes, quirks, and strong opinions about others. Once you’ve been dating a while, you might get to see a surprising side to your Japanese lover behind closed doors.

Give vague answers

Hiding emotions in general

Kuuki wo Yomeru is a phrase that means roughly “one can read the air.” It really is about being able to decipher the emotions and feelings of others, both positive and negative, in any given situation. This is really important in Japan as hiding one’s emotions is believed to keep the harmony between people safe. That’s why people in Japan often avoid hard negatives, and sometimes hard affirmatives, to the chagrin of foreign women and men alike.

Reading rejection

Rejecting someone directly is one of those non-peaceful acts that are avoided. A Japanese woman may never, no matter how many times you ask, say no. She may, with a smile on her face, politely, and in a friendly as can be manner, tell you she’s just always got plans already, unfortunately. If only she had the time!

Well, sorry to break it to any would be lovers out there, but if this happens, she’s just not that into you. And you know what? That’s totally fine. Asking someone out and getting rejected is part of dating, and it will happen sooner later.

Keep your chin up, be polite, and keep going. As they say, there are plenty of fish in the sea.

How important is Japanese language and culture for dating a Japanese girl?

Language

Communication and having lively talks is a highly desired aspect to relationships, especially a serious relationship. Many people can’t imagine dating someone without the natural repertoire sharing a mother tongue brings.

Japanese women are often concerned about the language barrier and assume most foreigners can speak absolutely zero Japanese. On the other hand, some Japanese women want a foreign man because he can’t speak Japanese at all. In this case, they either already know or want to learn the partner’s culture and language.

Still others are looking to be met somewhere in the middle, with both partner’s learning each others language.

Generally, the better your Japanese language abilities the larger field of women may be interested in you. However, while a top concern for cross cultural relationships, it definitely doesn’t make dating impossible. Jsut be aware that some women may be dating you for language practice, and in some cases might have to speak slowly and carefully to communicate effectively.

Culture

Not understanding a partner’s actions or words because of the lens of culture is one aspect that is just as likely to give pause as attract a Japanese interest. Their is both risk and mystery to dating someone with cultural differences you don’t know first hand.

However, as we are writing from the perspective of dating in Japan, and as politeness and fitting in are important traits to public life in Japan, many women fear to date some lout of a dude who doesn’t know the basics of public etiquette as their partner.

Best bet is to try to learn a few point of public etiquette. Here is a short list of some points foreigners don’t know or get wrong:

  • Taking your shoes off at the entrance of a home.
  • Table manners (especially with chopsticks)
  • Talking loudly on public transport
  • Carrying your trash back to your home

While it is expected you won’t be perfect, keep in mind that effort will be expected here. A Japanese lover will be willing to teach you, but you’ll need to show you are learning and trying to behave appropriately.

Do Japanese girls want to date foreigners?

Yes, many Japanese girls do want to date foreigners. While a smaller percentage of women are actively looking for a foreign boyfriend in Japan, numerous surveys over the years show that a sizable majority are at least open to the idea, and it’s easy to find success stories of mixed race couples.

While not exhaustive, we’ve detailed some of the common reasons a Japanese girls give for being interested in dating foreign men.

Language practice

Remember to practice your Japanese

Many Japanese women want to learn a foreign language. English remains the top foreign language studied in Japan, followed by Korean and Chinese.

English, learned from elementary school onwards in Japan, remains difficult for many people, who may struggle to say even simple sentences. One way interested women seek to overcome the speaking barrier is to practice with foreigners, and dating is a popular choice.

Dating apps, language meetups, and bars that cater towards foreigners are places where Japanese girls may go to mix learning and romance. And, hey, sometimes the language interest goes both ways and you can learn together while your relationships blossoms.

Romance

Many women understand foreign men to be romantically expressive. Verbose, if you will, in their elucidations on beautiful women. Japanese men tend to be reticent in their expression of love and complimentary phrases. There is a view that foreigners are desirably quite forward with such topics.

Gaijin Hunters

This is a phrase that is almost derogatory in nature, and one that needs a word of caution. Gaijin means “foreigner”, so the phrase denotes a woman is “hunting foreigners.” The phrase is used to describe women in Japan who are obsessed with foreign men.

The aggressive phrase belies the fact that most women who might be described as a “gaijin hunter” act shy and reticent. That’s just the way most Japanese girls tend to portray themselves. What separates them from other Japanese girls is that they often have a specific, serious goal in mind.

Half-babies

A couple of the common goals are half-babies and escape. Shortened to half in Japanese and pronounced “half-u”, mixed race babies are quite popular because Japanese women believe them to be so cute. Marrying a handsome foreigner and having a beautiful family is not too uncommon of a dream.

Escaping sexism

Japan isn’t an equal society. As of the year of writing this article, 2023, Japan is in 125th place in the gender gap ranking. That’s out of 146 countries.

Escape from a society that is still highly dominated by men to another country is a reason to marry a foreigner. The sexism and lack of opportunities many women feel they face causes some girls to see foreigners as a means to a green card or visa. In short, a ticket out of Japan.

What do Japanese girls find attractive in a man?

There are a ton of things that could make this list. We’ve picked out a few common items. You can see a full list from a 2019 survey on the subject.

O Blood type and personality

Don’t worry, this has nothing to do with vampires. If you’ve never heard of it, it might surprise you to learn that Japanese people connect people’s personality to blood type in a similar way other cultures might discuss astrology signs. For this reason, every Japanese person knows their blood type, and being asked is actually a fairly common occurrence.

O can be generalized as an easy going leader type with some selfish tendencies, and is the most popular for Japanese women. Following in popularity is B, then A, and finally AB.

Body type

“Smart” is a loanword in Japanese that doesn’t apply to intellect. Instead, it has a similar meaning to “tall and thin” or “athletic build”.

Other builds can be popular to. Alongside the specific body type, being involved in athletics of some kind was listed. Basically, if you work out in some form you are in the realm of what people list as popular.

Clothes

In Japan, people tend to put a lot of thought into their clothes. However, that doesn’t mean style needs to be complicated to look attractive. Women responding to a survey in 2019 listed specifically that they prefer men wear casual clothes, hoodies , and prefer white and navy blue as the color of choice.

Smile a lot

As we mentioned before, positivity is an attractive trait in Japan. Girls like a guy who smiles a lot. That doesn’t mean constantly or overdone, but a friendly, positive person who is also respectful seems to be the preferred type.

How can I meet Japanese women?

Dating sites and apps

There are many popular dating apps in Japan, both from foreign countries and from Japan itself.

Japanese dating apps

A current popular Japanese dating site is Pairs. This is an app that focuses on getting serious couples together for marriage. Mostly used by people in their late 20’s and 30’s, it is widely used and even has a foreign friendly section.

Another popular app of this variety is “Omiai.” It’s a popular app that is literally for those seeking marriage only, or nearly only. While still quite popular, if you aren’t looking to settle down and also don’t have a grasp of the Japanese language, this might not be an app for you.

Foreign dating apps

The most popular dating app of 2022 was Tinder. After following to a lower ranking for a number of years, it has recently spring back up in popularity and number of downloads.

If you are looking for casual dating and also are interested non Japanese girls as well, this could be for you. Tinder is considered an app much more casual than the Japanese varieties, and the people using it are also more likely to be expecting to speak in English or another foreign language.

Another app to try is Bumble. An app where women make the choice to start talking to men, it is another foreign friendly and popular choice.

In person

There are a lot of options for meeting people in person as well. Japanese singles often get to know each other through school or work, with in-person meetups still being the number one way couples meet.

Since school or work is often not an option, for the foreign guy searching online for various kind of events is a great way for foreign guys to meet women. Some common events where you could meet a foreign woman or Japanese girl are

  • language meetups
  • speed dating events
  • sports events
  • foreign focused bars and establishments.

Summary

There are bound to be many cultural differences from dating foreign women, and we hope that this article helped elucidate some of those differences.

Dating Japanese girls can be exciting and fun, but like joining Japanese culture as a foreigner in general, can also be quite daunting. We hope that this article gave you a bit of what you need to to make potential matches and start a dating success story of your own. For more on this and other topics, check out our other articles where we help you dive deeper into Japan.

Be sure to also check out our list of the best Japan dating Sim games.

Jonathan Mcnamara

Jonathan is a veteran of the Japan and Korean expat life. He lived in Japan and Korea for almost 10 years, and speaks Korean and Japanese. A blogger, a writer, website maker who's had his share of relationships while living abroad, he's now turned his attention to helping others navigate traveling, living, working, and relationships in Japan.

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