Are you single this summer? Put down your phone for a day, forget about Tinder and go for a walk instead. I promise it will be just as fun as playing Pokémon Go! And while you’re out there, see if you can spot these ten types of men you might encounter dating in Japan. Go catch ‘em!
1. The Charao (Playboy)
Where to find him: Your favorite club in Roppongi or Shibuya.
How to recognize him: Wears pointed leather shoes and deep V-necks. Expert at the smolder.
How to catch him: He’ll catch you. Don’t worry, by the time you see him, he’ll be halfway across the room.
What it’s like to date him: Fun, but short-lived. He’s a smooth talker, so save yourself the heartache and leave the next morning quietly. If you do meet again, don’t expect him to be boyfriend material.
2. The Yankii
Where to find him: Our Yankii can usually be found in the Greater Tokyo Area. In summer, head to the beach in Chiba or Kanagawa, where you’ll find him working on his tan, showing off his tattoos and generally being loud and obnoxious with his friends.
How to recognize him: Sports a tan all year round, bleached hair, smells like trouble.
How to catch him: Parade around in your bikini to catch his attention or invite him for a drink at one of the beach huts.
What it’s like to date him: Very exciting and wild. Deep intellectual conversations might not be his forte, but he’ll make you laugh. Bonus points if he owns a motorcycle. Perfect for a summer romance.
3. The Hipster
Where to find him: In the backstreets of Harajuku, having a single origin, drip coffee at the cool hangout of the moment.
How to recognize him: Wears glasses (but doesn’t need them), works for a startup or is planning to open his own hookah place.
How to catch him: Pretend to be cooler than he is. Take him to Earth Day Market in Yoyogi Park and enjoy a vegan picnic.
What it’s like to date him: You’ll have to have deep and meaningful conversations with him. Furnishing your new love nest won’t be solved by a single trip to Ikea — you’ll probably find yourself shopping for furniture a lot. Be prepared to spend an obscene amount of money on a coffee table.
4. The Gym Head
Where to find him: Go for a run at your local gym.
How to recognize him: The Gym Head is easily recognizable by his impressive physique. Will often do bicep curls in front of the mirror. Go for the ones not wearing gloves — they are the real deal.
How to catch him: Pretend you don’t know how to use a machine or do some squats and ask him to correct your form.
What it’s like to date him: Who said Japanese men were not manly? The Gym Head will always be happy to flex his muscles. He will carry heavy things for you and open lids. If you’re not into fitness yourself, it could be hard to meet him as he will spend most of his free time at the gym. Yet, who could resist such a man?
5. The Hairdresser
Where to find him: Since he works six days a week, you’ll find him at his job.
How to recognize him: Funky hairstyle, follows fashion trends and gives great head massages. He might look gay, but he’s not.
How to catch him: Become his favorite client and invite him for drinks. Very important: only make a move if you think he is replaceable. Should the relationship turn sour, you really don’t want to find yourself without a hairdresser.
What it’s like to date him: He might only get Tuesdays off, but you’ll always have great hair.
6. The Fashion Victim
Where to find him: In Harajuku, Omotesando or Shibuya.
How to recognize him: Wears red suede shoes, ankle pants and spends more time on his glossy locks than you do. He’ll also be carrying a man purse.
How to catch him: Take him out for brunch at this new Hawaiian pancake restaurant and wait for two hours in line.
What it’s like to date him: You’ll finally be dating a guy who likes shopping as much as you do. He will judge you if you buy your clothes at H&M or Forever 21. Don’t be surprised if he spends more than ¥30,000 on a pair of shoes.
7. The Mama’s Boy
Where to find him: Everywhere (unfortunately).
How to recognize him: You’ll probably only realize he is one when you meet his mother. Early red flags include: still living at home in his thirties, cannot cook to save his life, spends most of his weekends with his family.
How to catch him: Cook him nice food and clean his apartment.
What it’s like to date him: As long as you’re just dating, everything will be fine. If you do decide to get married, make sure to move as far away from his parents as possible!
8. The Starving Artist
Where to find him: A second-hand record store in Shimokitazawa.
How to recognize him: Wears vintage clothes, carries a guitar or sketchbook.
How to catch him: Compliment him on his art. Invite him to your photography exhibition or show him your drawings.
What it’s like to date him: He’ll be broke, so don’t expect fancy dinners and weekend getaways. If you’re not materialistic and like living simply, your starving artist could make a wonderful partner.
9. The Geek
Where to find him: Akihabara, Comiket, your nearest Pokéstop.
How to recognize him: His eyes will be glued to his phone and he’ll be frantically throwing Pokéballs at you.
How to catch him: Wear a mini-skirt and act cute. Bonus points if you play Pokémon Go. Extra bonus points if you wear cat ears.
What it’s like to date him: You’ll sometimes feel like you’re dating a man-child, especially if he’s collecting action figures. Unless you’re into the same hobbies, or don’t mind his Hatsune Miku pillow, it might be hard to think about a future together.
10. The Salaryman
Where to find him: At your local izakaya on a Friday night.
How to recognize him: Wears a suit and drinks highballs.
How to catch him: Wait until he’s had a few drinks and invite him to play a game of darts or pretend you can’t read the menu and ask him for help.
What it’s like to date him: He’ll work long hours, but you’ll have great weekends together. If you’re looking for something long term, he’s your man. Don’t expect too much from his culinary experiments or domestic skills. If you cook him a nice dinner, he’ll fall in love with you.
Know any other types of guys out there on the Japanese dating scene? Share your wisdom below and watch this space for the female version!