The standard date of dinner and a movie is the same in Japan, but what is considered attractive, how people meet, and get married may be quite different. And in a country where nothing is quite what it appears on the surface, relationships are rarely simple.

What Japanese Women want

In the west, women want ,tall dark, and handsome. An athletic build and tanned skin are considered attractive and desirable. Decisive and strong-willed men are sought after. In Japan, it might be a little different. The image of a fresh, young “salary man” is ideal. He has a light, slender build and fair skin. He is courteous, kind, and doesn’t try to impose his will on her. Women really want a man they can talk to and who listens. They want someone they can relax with and be themselves. She wants to be treated like a princess. Japanese women are very fashion conscious and brand name bags and other goods are highly prized. She wants to be given presents and shown a good time. Japanese are generally more conservative than westerners and stability is important. Women love a man in a suit who recently joined a big, established company, or even better, works for the government.

What Japanese Men Want

Based on the mass media, the ideal Japanese woman is cute, sexy, and quiet. He doesn’t really like her to be overly opinionated. In Japan, gender roles are still more clearly defined. He expects a lot and often “tells” her what to do and she accepts this. Even today, many Japanese husbands don’t do housework. If he helps out around the house, the wife is considered lucky.

It’s often reported that many young people in big cities, especially men are tired of the whole dating scene altogether and have nearly given up on relationships. They say that wining and dining a woman takes a lot of time and money. If the relationship doesn’t work out, they have to start the process all over.

“Gokon” Dating Parties:

One popular way Japanese singles meet is through Gokon parties. These are dating parties with equal numbers of men and women. Less formal parties might be organized by friends or co-workers at the office and may only involve a few people. Larger, more formal parties may have dozens of people. They sit at a long table with men and women facing each other. They can talk to the person across from them and exchange contact information, then after a set amount of time, say five minutes, the men all move down one chair and talk to the next person, and so on until everyone has met.

Love Hotels

One problem for Japanese couples is that many young people still live at home with their parents. So, where do couple go to, “do it”? The so called love hotels are the answer. Clean and convenient, these hotels feature large beds, bathtubs, T.V.s, game consoles, mini-bars, and even vending machines with “equipment” like vibrators, all to be paid anonymously into a machine. They aren’t cheap however, and charge by the hour.

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