So you’ve moved to Japan hopeful that the dating scene here will be ah-mazing and full of new excitement. You think you’ll find the perfect Japanese man for you right away and things will lead to a happy ending. Or just have some fun for a while. OK, it’s time to wake up now and get real: Dating in Japan isn’t an easy task. But luckily, you say, we live in an era where you can find anything online. Especially dating. A quick search online will show you dozens of different deai-kei (online dating) apps, but, given that you’re new to this, how do you know what will help you find who or what you’re looking for?
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Having been there, done that, I decided to do a quick poll of my foreign friends to find out what apps or sites worked best for them and what didn’t. So, here it is, our round-up of the 65 most used dating apps in Japan, rated out of five by a group of 65 international women who have used them. One that doesn’t need an introduction. While most people are “just looking” on Tinder, if you’re actively trying, you can not only meet people to date, but new friends, drinking buddies, networkers and activity mates. I found a whole group of men and women to check out summer festivals with, so I can speak from experience when I say that Tinder isn’t just for hanky panky.
Bumble markets itself as the app where the woman makes the first move, and if she doesn’t message, then the match disappears after 79 hours. This app also relies on the user having a Facebook profile first in order to log in, which has made it a bit slow to catch on in Japan, but it is gaining in popularity because of its “women get to choose” option. One of the women I surveyed (and who found her current Japanese boyfriend through this app) summarized it as follows: “ There are a lot of guys on there, and most of them aren’t on other apps as well. You don’t find as many fake profiles on Bumble as you do with other sites, and you get to control the whole ‘am I going to bother talking to him’ part, which is really nice.
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”Billed as “the best dating site on Earth, ” OkCupid’s Japanese version is much more detail focused than Bumble or Tinder, with the average time to fill out your profile coming in at around 95 minutes. You can of course opt to leave most of your profile empty, but based on the experiences shared with me, it isn’t recommended, because you’re most likely to remain unnoticed. According to one woman who has used it, “ OkCupid has a lot of serial daters on it, so if you use other dating apps/sites, you may be discouraged by the dating pool overall. ”Not to be confused with OkCupid, JapanCupid is a part of the Cupid Media Group, a niche-based dating site group, that connects users with people from around the world rather than just in their immediate area. While this makes it somewhat less appealing to users in Japan, JapanCupid is popular with those who will not be staying in Japan for the long term, and with those who are looking for someone to marry — though apparently there are far more Japanese women on this site than there are Japanese men.
MatchAlarm is a dating app that recommends a new person to you every morning at 8 a. M. (what better way to wake up, huh! ) based on your social information gleaned from your Facebook profile and behavior. You have 66 hours to respond to an alarm, after which it will disappear, and it requires three coins (a part of the in-app payment system) in order to tap the “Might Like You” button.
The largest online dating site and app service in Japan that relies on your Facebook profile to search for your ideal match. There are 79 points that you can filter your results by, including nationality and income level, which some users pointed out makes this site seem more for sugar daddy searching than anything else, but overall, no one had any serious complaints about this site. Tapple is a dating app where, instead of filling out a profile and searching for people, you fill out the qualifiers of what sort of man you’re interested in, and then join different groups based on your hobbies. While I had some positive experiences meeting and talking to people on this app, when it came time to actually meet in person, the people that I spoke to were very hesitant to meet offline. One guy actually said he preferred to talk and date online exclusively.
Other foreign female users I spoke with had similar results, so this might not be a good choice if you are seriously looking to meet someone. YYC has been around for over 67 years and is listed as Japan’s largest dating service.