My Experiences with Dating in Japan

Dating in Japan


I can’t lie, before I moved this was one of things I was the most interested in/concerned about.  What would it be like to date a Japanese guy?  how would we communicate? would Japanese men even find me attractive? should I only date foreign men? would I be able to date at all? or would this time in Japan just be one long dry spell?

I’ve decided to make an FAQ, to answer questions I know I had, that you might have as well. And if nothing else you can be nosy and read all about my dating life :p.

Do Japanese Men want to date Foreign women?

Yes, some do and no, some don’t, and it’s as simple as that as far as I’m concerned.

Do Japanese men find Black women attractive?

I think straight men in general find women in general attractive, and if you’re an attractive woman men will be attracted to your feminine charms, no matter what race or colour you are. I think there is more of, for lack of a better word, a “demand” for white women, particularly with blond hair and blue eyes. I talk more about that in this blog post. However, I’ve been hit on/flirted with by Japanese men, so yes some do. I’ve briefly dated two Japanese men.

The first was when I had just come to Japan. We met at a club and I gave him my number, but his English level was very low, and my Japanese was even lower. So when he called communication was pretty much impossible, as we had said all the basic stuff when we met, so there was really no way that could go anywhere.

The second I met at another club a few months later. I was actually first sitting outside on the patio and his friend started talking to me, but then he somehow “swooped in” and took over the conversation. His English was much better because he’d lived in Australia for a couple years. We went out a couple times, and it was cool and we had good conversation, but it fell apart, I believe, because we didn’t have so much in common. Hmm, maybe I should stop meeting guys in clubs.

Do foreigners date other foreigners?

Yes, I’ve dated foreigners as well, most recently a guy originally from Cameroon, but it depends on the people. Perhaps you’re aware or the charisma man, charisma girl stigma? These are people who come to Japan with the aim of “sowing their wild oats”. They’re like, I dunno, cheese. Not only because they’re usually kind of cheesy people, but also because cheese is cheap and widely available in the west, but here in Japan it’s expensive, more valuable… you get my drift? If you want to date other foreigners, avoid the cheese people. It shouldn’t be too difficult though, as these cheesy people are usually pretty scared of you, and only have eyes for their “prey”, Japanese people.

Do cultural differences make dating more difficult?

They can, yes. If you’re dating someone who has lived in the West, that mitigates it somewhat. But I don’t think “cultural differences” are a good excuse for not dating in Japan. When two people really like each other you can get over it. The main problem foreigners seem to have with dating Japanese people is not really knowing what they think. In Japan, people are expected to be more empathetic. Because people try to avoid giving offense, you’re supposed to know, or anticipate when something is making the other person unhappy. That can be really difficult for us Westerners who value verbal communication. When communication with the second guy stopped, I didn’t actually know something was wrong. He was still really polite and attentive. My single clue was at the end of the date where he didn’t hug me like usual.

How can I attract a Japanese guy or girl?

Just be your vivacious self! I wasn’t particularly trying to attract the guys I did, they just saw something in me that they liked and went for it.

Do Japanese guys/girls just want to date me because I’m foreign?

There are definitely some people like that in this country yes. And you’ll be able to tell pretty soon based on their behavior and the questions they ask you. (“Do foreigners like this? Do foreigners like that?” As opposed to “Do you like this? Do you like that? ) Then it’s up to you to decide whether you care or not.

So that’s my experience with dating in Japan. I plan to be here for another year at least, and it that time, especially as my Japanese improves, I’m sure I’ll have more stories to tell. And please, drop a comment with your stories about love and dating in Japan and abroad.



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37 Responses to My Experiences with Dating in Japan

  1. Kim says:

    I will be moving to Japan in 3 years after I finish college. I have a job offer over in Fukuoka and I would be packing up my life and moving there most likely for good. I’ve always been interested in Japanese culture and language, so this is a dream come true for me. But my biggest concern is not being able to find someone over there. I’m white, brown haired, American. I’m just concerned about how Japanese men will feel about dating someone like me.

    • Amanda says:

      I know a lot of foreign girls who have Japanese boyfriends and even married Japanese men, and also a few (like myself) who have foreign boyfriends. You may have to get used to the rules of dating in a new culture, but it’s not hopeless. Just live life, have fun, enjoy Japan and you’ll meet someone same as back home.

    • Mary says:

      Question, whats your profession going to be in Japan?

  2. chow says:

    Japanese are like others don’t bother men are after all men,a gentlemen never judged by its race or color but by its personality.

  3. Edward says:

    Is learn Japanese hard because I want to visit there for about a year and learn about there culture. I’m African and moved to America.

  4. jessica lee says:

    interesting post! i was googling and i came across your post. i workedin an american company that hires local japanese. i’m filipino.i like one japanese colleague whom doesn’t even know i like him. lol! i checked him out alot but i don’t know if there are any tips to attracting them. they seemed shy and doesn’t really try to hold a conversation with me if i initiate one with him. i wondered if it’s because he is not confident of his english or just shy. but if he is in a group of other japanese, he does seem to talk a lot more with me.

    • Amanda says:

      It’s probably a combination of both. I think in this case you’ll just have to be aggressive and really let him know you like him so he feels OK admitting he likes you too if that’s the case.

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