In order to satisfy this desire, some women in Japan have taken quite calculated steps to help make this a reality, including purposefully moving into international share houses in order to be in close proximity to Western men.
If you’ve spent anything more than a couple of weeks in Japan, you may be familiar with the concept of the “gaijin house” or “share house.” Getting an apartment in Japan can be a serious hassle often involving coughing up huge sums of non-refundable “key money” and gratuities, begging a guarantor (which usually always has to be a Japanese man) to agree to vouch for your untrustworthy gaijin (foreigner) self, and just generally running around filling in paperwork and getting tangled up in red tape.
There is no (strong) prejudice associated with dating foreigners, but most women still would be reluctant to do so as they feel uncomfortable about the cultural barrier.
Before we start talking about “Dating in Japan” one thing should be crystal clear: If you’ve ever been to Japan you might have noticed that there’s a tremendous number of (often not so handsome) foreign guys walking hand-in-hand with Japanese women.
Japanese men seem to expect certain things from a woman.
Things that they fear a foreign woman would not agree to do (e.g.
Rebecca: I wasn’t so attracted to Japanese men but now after living here for three years I would say I definitely am. Christa: I’ve always been attracted to Japanese men, even when I was young, so I did some research before I came here and I saw that generally they are interested but they’re very shy about approaching women so you may need to approach them.
I could sometimes detect a flicker of interest, at most, before they ran away. From what I gathered from my Japanese girlfriends, it seemed to involve a lot of passiveness, indirect communication, text messaging, misunderstandings and patience.
Christa: I actually approached someone on the train recently and he was totally ok with it but yeah it was kind of up to me to make a move.
Chiara: Um, let’s say in another field I had to make the first step.
“Gaijin houses”, on the other hand, are usually straightforward and hassle-free, allowing you to rock up with nothing but a passport and the first month’s rent up front to secure a room for as many months as you like.
It’s no surprise that most of the gaijin in Japan use the services of these establishments at some time or other due to the alternatives being almost non-existent.