What is the best online dating site for Japan?
November 30, 2008 12:40 AM   Subscribe

What is the best Japanese dating site?

I'm a 26 year old male and just moved to Osaka and am interested in finding good dating sites with LOTS of people on them. So far I've explored a bunch of options, but nothing seems to have a lot of people on them. Previously I lived in Korea and used UBLove and had a lot of success on that site, but I can't seem to find the Japanese equivalent. Is there an equivalent? Do Japanese women go online for dating? Recommendations welcome.
posted by bindasj to Computers & Internet (6 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Dating sites in Japan tend to be known as deai sites in Japanese. You might want to start your search here.

I should warn you that deai sites don't have a very good reputation among Japanese; they aren't generally presented in as positive a light as dating sites are in America. This is mainly because men tend to use them for nampa more than anything else. Therefore, these sorts of sites are less popular than, say, Mixi.

Incidentally, do you speak/read Japanese? If not, you will be much more limited in the sorts of sites you can use.
posted by armage at 1:22 AM on November 30, 2008

Not adding much that hasn't already been said, but as armage notes, deai sites/services/culture seems to be mostly the purview (generalizing here) of people looking for one-night stands, etc. At least, this is the popular opinion. I don't profess to have first-hand knowledge.

I think that if you do some googling you will find that the particular niche that 出会い系 connotes is a fairly specific subset. Not that there aren't exceptions to the rule, of course. Note, too, though, that this kind of subculture is also in plentiful supply on Mixi if you look hard enough.

I knew some expats who supposedly had success with English-language-oriented sites, but I have no clue what those might be. If you're going to go the e-dating route, I would wager that those might be slightly more on the level - but of course there are probably lots of posters whose sole rationale is wanting to hook up with foreigners.

I would say hoof it. You're in the city, go to the local entertainment district or whatever, go to a bar, and you will meet people in droves. There are good concert venues in Osaka for every stripe of music, and people there are generally forthcoming because of the pretext of shared musical taste.
posted by softsantear at 9:49 AM on December 1, 2008

I thought I should be more explicit in my explanation.

Deai sites seem to be inextricably linked to advertising, scams, prostitution, porn, etc.
I would be thoroughly impressed if you could find one that isn't a sham or a front for escort services or something of that nature. Or where all the users aren't skanky high school-age gal types.

If you know some Japanese people who have actually had success with this, maybe they could give you pointers about a specific BBS or site, but separating the wheat from the chaff is an almost Sisyphean endeavor.
posted by softsantear at 10:00 AM on December 1, 2008

Most of the sites you will encounter in English all funnel you to White Labeled versions of WorldFriends. A couple of my friends in Japan have had success in getting STDs and meeting completely crazy girls from there but YMMV.

Japanese sites are shady, as armage said. My friend's ex-boyfriend had a hakken job pretending to be a girl on a popular deai site.

I'd recommend going to bars that cater to foreigners or try to be International in one way or another. Girls who go there are interested in meetin' da gaijin, and in the worst case you still get to meet real people and drink.
posted by ejoey at 11:48 AM on December 3, 2008

Hey, welcome to Osaka!

Get a mixi account - you will have no end of people mailing you asking to be your friend/go on dates with you. You need an invite for mixi (at least you did when I signed up for it.....) so if you want to start an account there let me know.
posted by emmling at 8:21 AM on December 8, 2008

Yeah, I've been using Japanese dating sites for ages. There are lots that suck and are full of fake profiles. Mixi is not really a dating site although there are tons of Japanese girls using it, more like an open Facebook or something. I used match. com for a while but it is more Japanese on Japanese. I met my last girlfriend on Soulmates Japan a free Japanese dating site. All the profiles are real I think. Also I use a site once called Meet Japan or something but it was pretty lame..
posted by jason4462 at 9:29 AM on July 25, 2009

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