Whether you’re looking for a casual hookup or a serious relationship, dating apps have come a long way starting off as a shady hideout for pedophiles to a convenient and accessible tool to easily match your needs and wants to your potential partner.
If you’re in Japan for a holiday looking for a fun memory or plan to stay long-term and want to find someone to share your life with, dating apps are definitely a fighting ground you should consider. However, depending on the app there are wide variations in what users are looking for in a partner or what age groups are common, making it seem like a labyrinth to find the perfect match.
There are largely two categories for dating apps in Japan: ones that are suited towards some quick, fun, and sexy romance, and others that are geared towards finding a long-lasting relationship or potential marriage partner. Here are some popular apps in both these categories alongside each of their characteristics.
Looking For Some Casual Fun?
Recommendation Level: ★☆☆☆☆
Tinder is likely the most well-known dating app out there and here in Japan too, it is quite popular amongst younger generations. In Japan, Tinder is not generally thought of as an app to build a serious relationship upon, and many users are only seeking something short and sexy.
Here are some characteristics of Tinder:
- It’s completely free for both male and female users! If you’re trying to find a savvy date, Tinder will not do you wrong.
- Being an American app with users from around the world, there seem to be a lot of girls (and guys) who are interested in foreign men/women and are ready to party.The most popular age group for users are people in their early 20s, so you may have limited options depending on what you are looking for.
- Since Tinder uses your GPS to find matches near you, if you live in a thinly popular area you may find yourself at a dead end.
- Looks are a game changer (sadly). Compared to other dating apps, especially men who match on Tinder are, let’s say…hotter than average. This is because Tinder is all based on swipes and first impressions, and Japanese users aren’t so interested in your funny bio or clever pickup line.
Recommendation Level: ★★★☆☆
Tapple is a popular Japanese dating app similar to Tinder where you swipe left or right, but with additional features like being able to search people who share similar hobbies or interests as you.
Here are some characteristics of Tapple:
- Tapple has a similar style to Tinder where you swipe your potential matches.
- Many users of Tapple also use Tinder.
- If you are a male user it will cost you! Downloading and matching is free, but anything beyond this (like sending messages) will require you to become a premium member. A one-month membership will cost you 3700yen.
- If you are a female user it is completely free!
- There are additional features to the app like being able to search and match with people who share similar interests or belong to a certain category. There is a category for foreigners, meaning Japanese women can search for you in your category making it easier to match with someone interested in you.
- There is also another feature you can use to build a community within the app. You can use this for example to build a foreigners category and let Japanese women (and/or men) find you within the community.
Recommendation Level: ★☆☆☆☆
Dine has fewer users than Tinder and Tapple but has its own unique concept different from the above two. With Dine, you will choose a restaurant you want to go to on a date, and if your potential match also selects the same restaurant, the app will automatically place a reservation at the restaurant and set you up on a date.
Here are some characteristics of Dine:
- For all those out there who aren’t confident sending messages in Japanese- Dine has it sorted out for you! You do not have to exchange messages to meet your date.
- Worried your date won’t show up? Worry not! The app has a system in place to avoid users from abruptly canceling on you.
- (Unfortunately) to send unlimited messages and gain access to unlimited matches, male users will need to purchase a gold membership, which can cost around 6500 yen per month.
Seeking a Stable Relationship?
Recommendation Level: ★★★★★
Pairs, with 10 million active users, is the most popular dating app in Japan. There is a wide variation of ages between the users, and it is especially popular in less populated areas of Japan since it does not use your GPS to find matches near you. There is a “foreigners” category people can search by. This feature is also available in Tapple.
Here are some characteristics of Pairs:
- Don’t dive into Pairs if you’re just looking for someone to hook up with! Pairs app is oriented more towards people who are seeking a serious relationship!
- Being the most popular dating app in Japan, you will have the chance to meet with men/women of all shapes and sizes!
- It is especially popular amongst people who live in rural areas since it does not use your GPS to find matches near you. Definitely try it out if you’re in a prefecture your mates back home have never heard of!
- Again, male users, it will cost you if you wish to send messages and meet with anyone. The cost is a 3590 yen per month monthly fee or a 1-year membership averaging to be 1320 yen per month. (And once again, everything is free for females!)
Recommendation Level: ★★☆☆☆
You could say Omiai is one of the most serious dating apps out there, hence the app name meaning matchmaking or arranged marriage in Japanese. Demographics of the app show users are most frequently of the early 30s age group, and many people use the app not just to date but to find a spouse.
Here are some characteristics of Omiai:
- There are around 5 million users.
- It is oriented towards people looking for a serious relationship! It is definitely one of the best apps out there if you’re trying to find a spouse or someone to seriously consider.
- The most common age group of users are people who are in their early 30s.
- Male users- sorry again, you will need to become a premium member if you wish to send messages and meet up! The cost is 3980 yen per month, or 23,400 a year. Female users- lucky again, everything is free!
Recommendation Level: ★★★☆☆
With has risen to become a popular dating app amongst younger age groups, with more than half of its users in the student’s category. Considering that demographics show popularity towards younger age groups, most users are generally not looking for a spouse (unlike Omiai). However, it’s not so much of a go-getter-find-yourself-someone-every-night app, and many of its users are looking for a nice, clean, stable, and serious boyfriend/girlfriend.
Here are some characteristics of With:
- There are around 3.2 million users, with more than half being students.
- Mostly popular amongst people in their early 20s.
- For many users, With is their first dating app to use, and many are looking for someone they can build a proper relationship with.
- Male users will need to purchase a premium membership to receive and send messages. Female users, once again all free! (I know, it all sounds unfair) The membership cost is 3600 yen per month or 22,000 yen per year. There are also price options for a one-week membership, 3 months, or 6 months!
Did you find the perfect Japanese dating app?
Whatever your age, gender, or objective is to use dating apps, knowing the best app for you will help you efficiently find your optimal partner.
|Details||Appearance becomes important factor|
|Cost||M: 2400~4000 yen/month
|Details||Easily able to find with search category|
|Cost||M: 2900~6500 yen/month
|Details||Recommended for people who who would rather meet in person than exchange messages|
|Age Group||All age groups|
|Cost||M: 1320~3520 yen/month
|Details||Highest number of users, most popular, relatively cheap|
|Age Group||Early 30s|
|Cost||M: 1950~3980 yen/month
|Details||Recommended for people finding a serious partner.|
|Age Group||Early 20s|
|Cost||M: 1833~3600 yen/month
|Details||Popular amongst uni students|
Enjoy your time in Japan from a new perspective; add some spice to your life and have fun meeting someone new!