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How to Date a Japanese Person – 7 Tips to Avoid Awkward Dates

Dating someone outside of your culture can bring sensitive situations.
Make sure that everything goes smoothly on your date with your potential partner with these 7 Tips for avoiding awkwardness.

1. Don’t be late!

So you’re about to have your first date with your Japanese date, here’s the first tip, be punctual, secondly, be punctual.

If you’ve ever been to Japan, you’ll see that everything and everyone is bang on time.
The trains are never late, people get to work on time, post is arrives when it’s supposed to arrive (Crazy isn’t it? – or what we should expect -_-).

Us Nakama suspect that this behavior stems from a Japanese mindset called “KIKUBARI” 気配り.
Directly translating to English is – Attentive,

but in real life it play out as – ‘Being aware of others’ or ‘Being mindful of things other than yourself’.

So, if you’re late… It may appear as if you don’t have respect for their time! Hima ga nai zou!

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2. They’re not the Ambassador of Japan!

Do remember, that your dear date was born and raised in Japan but they don’t represent it.
Too often have we overheard westerners (and Easterners) on a date with a Japanese person and
question after question is related to Japan! – Give it a rest, they’re a person not an Japan Encyclopedia!

Don’t get me wrong, it’s perfectly OK to have a healthy interest in your date’s culture and visa-versa. But, it’s about balance! Would you really be dating this person if they were not Japanese?


3. Find out their story! Any mutual interests?

Become aware of who you’re dating. They’ve a person who has left their home country,
traveled to the other side of the world to live or study in a foreign land, away from family, friends
and everything that they previously knew.

Isn’t that amazing? They’re an adventurer!

You could ask  –

– Why did you decide to leave Japan?
– What did you choose to come here?
– How does it feel to have such a life changing experience?.

I could go on and on.

Japan Nakama - Dating Japanese

4. Let them in on the local English Expressions

We’ve witnessed many conversations between Westerners and Japanese where certain English phrases go right over their heads!
Believe me, in Japanese English classes they don’t teach students use “Pop to the Loo” when referencing using the rest room!

So, when on a date make sure that you’re mindful of your date’s response (Or lack of response) to what you’re saying.

Us Nakama have hour hours of conversations on different English expressions that don’t make it to Oxford English dictionary.

Quoting a passed conversation – highlighting English expressions in red:

Me: “I totally left it to his discretion, I wanted to give him the benefit of the doubt.
Japanese Guy: ..Yes, hmm it’s a benefit?”
Me: “Right? because at the end of the day it’s not as if it’d cross their mind
Japanese Guy: “Cross their mind? They are cross with you?”
Me: “Hmm Cross? Angry? no…. Oh “Cross their mind” is an Englsih expression”
Japanese Guy “Ehhh really?”

Simple expressions that we take for granted have hours of conversation packed inside.

Japan Nakama - Dating Japanese

5. Relate your story!

Sadly, most people are quite boring. This can be your advantage!
Why are you interested in Japan? or dating outside of your race?
There’s plenty of rich story of your life that you can tell.

Relate some of your private or intimate details, this shows your date that you’re willing to trust them – and trust leads to LURRRVE.

The greatest thing about relating your story, is that you may find that you and your Japanese date
may have many things in common!

One of our Nakama revealed that he practiced Yoga in the morning to feel fresh, little did he know his Japanese date actually was a full time practitioner – the next date was a Yoga Class.

Japan Nakama - Dating Japanese
Japan Nakama - Dating Japanese

6. Show them local spots!

Usually, your Japanese date won’t be familiar with the ropes of your city yet..
This is your opportunity to show them around, even more date opportunities!

If it’s London, most people see the Touristy spots – Big Ben, London Eye, Tower of London, Oxford Circus.

How about you show them the local spots that us locals go to?
Like the local Top Golf in Romford?  The quiet Coffee Shops on Brick Lane? Dinner in the restaurant hidden in the Hoxton Hotel – that’s Old Street! Where’s your local Chippy – perfect British experience right there!

– Also if you’re looking for Japanese related Events and Meetups to visit with your date, Japan Nakama is releasing a Mobile App showing you many Japanese Events happening in London.
It’s coming very soon, put your e-mail address in here to hear about it first!

Send me updates on App

Japan Nakama - Dating Japanese

7. Don’t be “KY” – Read the situation!

K-Y is a Japanese slang expression, It stands for “Kuuki-Yomenai” or “Can’t read the Wind”
A better explanation would be ‘Can’t Read the Atmosphere/Environment/Situation.

This one may go back to KIKUBARI that we spoke about earlier, though I feel this one encompasses more.  A person who cannot read the situation can find themselves in awkward scenarios.

We’ve witnessed a date between a Western man and a Japanese Woman.
The Japanese woman received a phone call with some distressing news, which would sounded like needed her to leave and deal with her situation.

Being polite, she said it was ‘OK’, and the man continued to talk about his trip in Kyoto.
Her body language was painfully obvious – Crossed Arms, Tapping Feet, Looking at her watch, Checking Her Phone, Looking distant….

Very painful to witness.

It took her 30 minutes of her not saying anything for him to ask “Are you alright?” >.<
She politely said told him she may have to go, apologizing profusely.

Kuuki yonde kudasai yo!

Although, this is also universal to dating – we’ve found in Japanese culture, it’s not nice to be rude.
Though, it may be ruder to not allow someone to be rude! (Haha complicated huh?)

Japan Nakama - Dating Japanese
Wayne Daniels

CMO & Partner at Japan Nakama. Entrepreneur, Designer, Japanese Linguistic.

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