Although tech is mainstream and fully integrated into western dating culture, over here in Tokyo, stigmas associated with dating apps still run high. So in that sense, overall reception of dating apps in Japan is still about 5 years behind the United States. However, the trend is in full motion with more and more Japanese people leaving traditional websites/services and giving dating apps a try.
Dating Japanese girls.
First let me say that Japan is an amazing country rich in history and culture. There are many things about Japan that has given me an incredible amount of respect for the people and culture here. Living here as a foreigner takes some getting used to but the dating game is a completely different animal. I can only only speak from a man’s point of view, but to me it seems many western men have a misconception about the dating culture here. Many assume Japanese girls love American (western) men and it’s easy to date but this couldn’t be further from the truth.
Easily put, dating is just not that simple here for foreigners. Sure, being foreign is a great conversation starter and even though there are tons of girls looking date, foreigners will quickly find out the hard way that many Japanese girls don’t speak fluent English (shocker, I know) and are just not so open to dating outside of their race. But just like anywhere else in the world, you can’t find a partner unless you put yourself out there and make yourself available.
Tinder in Japan, is it worth using?
Tinder is the go to hookup app in the United States and with a lot of swiping you can find yourself setting up some dates. Personally, I’m not the biggest fan of Tinder, but if you accept the flaws and use it the right way, it’s more decent than other apps out there. However, does tinder get single people dates in Japan? How does it work for foreigners? Well, recently I’ve been using Tinder in Tokyo and I wanted to share my experience.
Lots and LOTS of matches. 243 to be exact.
This isn’t breaking news if you’re a Tinder user. The high amounts of matches yielded is normal thanks to Tinder’s game like hot or not concept where users effortlessly swipe on users who they find attractive. No matter what country you use Tinder in, you will probably find yourself getting loads of matches.
Tinder does a great job of getting you matches but the issue is that only about 1% of these matches will actually lead to a real life date. Almost all of my conversations went like this:
Out of all of these matches I made, I was only successful in meeting two girls in person and just to give you an idea of low the response rate was to my messages, check out my inbox and see for youself:
To sum it up, about 99% of my matches didn’t reply to my initial message. There are many different reasons as to why this could be, but from what I already know, this is a well-known general Tinder issue.
Users match with each other on Tinder for almost zero reason other than liking your profile picture. At the time of that swipe, no real thought of meeting and therefore no real thought of compatibility took place. As a result, when it’s time to actually start having a conversation, most realize they shouldn’t have even swiped right on you in the first place as there is nothing in common.
To make things even more difficult, especially for men, women have ton’s of men messaging them and asking them out already. Therefore, when my matches went back to check their nice yield of male matches, I simply was last pick or just didn’t make the cut as they had loads of other guys to choose from.
I was able to finally exchange messages with some girls, but it was no use. All of my conversations went cold.
It was nice to finally have some conversation and honestly, these girls were very attractive too. Sadly though, nothing materialized into an actual real life date and I then found myself frustrated with dead end conversations.
Tinder’s biggest issue seems to be the conversion process from the time a match is made to an actual first date.
Tinder is a pretty vague app these days. Besides having a bad reputation of being the #1 hookup app, it seems today people are using Tinder for so many reasons other than dating. Moreover, no one is ever on the same page and every user has completely different expectations.
Some people are using it for friends, others for fun and then serious people who want to date find themselves frustrated with all of these matches not turning into a single real life date.
All in all, I found Tinder in Japan to be ineffective. Not only did I get almost zero dates in comparison to the many matches I made, it was actually a lot of work having to swipe every single day and take my time browsing through the sensory overload of users introduced to me every day. I can’t speak for everyone, but if you’re someone who is looking for a serious relationship in Japan, you will definitely have better work taking the paid route and subscribing to a dating service like Pairs or Omiai. Some people are opposed to paying for dating apps/services, but the truth is paid apps screen how the people are aren’t very serious about dating.
(Posted by Michael Tudda)
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