Dating in Japan: Expats on the difficulties of crossing cultures

Dating anywhere in the world can be a tricky and daunting business. It’s arguably a testament to the power of our base nature as a species that we still do it (when our minds are probably telling us to stay at home and watch TV instead). Even in our loneliest moments though it’s always fairly life affirming to see a couple out on a date. Well, maybe! For expats, dating locals in Japan likely presents the prospect of adventure, frustration, and confusion in equal amounts. But while it might seem that cross cultural boundaries would further exacerbate early dating jitters, perhaps these boundaries actually serve to the individual’s advantage; dating blunders could be put down to this rather than a lack of being able to keep one’s cool. We asked the City-Cost community about their dating in Japan experiences ahead of the coming (now here) ‘romantic’ weeks in Japan, during which market forces will likely do their best to force us into going on a date, or make some profession of feelings towards one another.When we asked the community if they have dated Japanese people, it was about a 70 / 30 split between those that have and those that haven’t. So then we asked the obvious question …What are some of the difficulties/challenges you’ve encountered when dating a Japanese local (in Japan)?We gave the following options to select from which we attempt to explain here. The percentage represent the comparative volume of ‘hits’ for each option.Language barriers (22%)An obvious one to start which probably needs little explanation. The romantic among us might be wistful about the language of love being universal, but I think we all know this is idealistic at best. However, things are more nuanced than just a straight forward and complete lack of ability to …continue reading