Monday, April 12, 2010

The Tokyo Pick-Up

I am always surprised, and somewhat confused, when a strange man approaches me in Tokyo. I often assume they just want English practice...and then I figure out that is not the case.

First, it happens more often here than it EVER did in the United States. Not to say that men come up to me ALL the time here - I am sure that an adorable Western girl of age 22 gets more play than I. I'm old and overweight, so....if I had to average the experiences...I would say that a man approaches me on the street or train platform about once every 9 days. So...3 times a month?

I have been approached while shopping for shampoo, waiting for the crosswalk to change to green, entering a train car, checking train route signs, accepting tissues, returning to my work, or just walking on the sidewalk.

A variety of men speak to me. The first few months were usually men from African countries - apparently liking the fact that I am larger than girls here. Also a man from India, an American, and two Japanese. Now, the numbers of African men have dwindled, and the numbers of Asian men increase. (This is fine by me - after all, I am on the proverbial look-out for an acceptable "Japanese beau" to "shack up with.")(Second note - quotations due to profile description of another blogger and her living sitch: Green-eyed Geisha) (Third note: I say Japanese, but Korean and Chinese are equally as charming and adorable!)

The second reason I am always so surprised is that I have read/heard that Japanese men are extremely shy or closed. Based on that, when a stranger talks to me - I am taken back.

Generally I hear a "Hello miss" and the conversation begins - or at least staggers on. I do not speak Japanese - for which I apologize. I am polite - after all, it is flattering to be approached. And I often, although not always, agree to one coffee meet - it takes courage to approach a random stranger. Plus, then I can suss out their purpose. Is it because they want a "language exchange" friend or something else? (I would hate to miss out on a potential paying private language student!)

BUT the purpose of this post is not to give a count-down of attempted pick-ups. It is only to give the lead in to a story I want to share in the near future - "The Tale of the Kimochi-warui!!"


  1. Yeah I've noticed that Japanese men aren't as shy as you'd imagine either - and I don't fit into the young and skinny category either!

    Btw what j-doramas are you into? I am a big fan.

  2. Oh, I love j-doramas! (And a few k-dramas!) Hmmm....Anego, Zettai Kareshi, Boss, Gira Gira, Zeni Gebi, Otomen, Around 40, Enka no Joou, Orange Days, Slow Dance, At Home Dad, Haken no Hinkaku. To name but a few....which do you like?

  3. I've just been watching Otomen but am having trouble finding the last few episodes with subtitles... so annoying.

    I watch a lot of stuff with Johnny's esp Arashi dramas. I loved Kizarazu Cats Eyes (+ Ikebukuro West Gate Park and Tiger and Dragon by the same writer), the Quiz Show, Yamato Nadeshiko Shichi Henge, Ryusei no Kizuna, Tokujo Kabachi...

    Lots of teenagery stuff but I like that kind of thing :D

  4. What sites do you use? I watch via or usually. I did see that as for Otomen - they do not have subs for epi 10 though...

    I'm not a super Arashi drama fan - but I did like "Kimi wa Petto" and a movie called "Tokyo Tower." Both with Matsumoto Jun. The movie is about an older woman/younger man - Jun isn't main guy, but friend of main guy.

  5. Yep tried those and a few Livejournal communities. There is a shop here that sells Asian dramas but I hate to shop there because they are pirated (I mean it's one thing to download from the net and another to be making $$$ selling those downloads to other ppl) and also have really dodgy subtitles - translated via Chinese.

    I loved Kimi wa Petto, didn't like Tokyo Tower at all although I did appreciate the scenes of Junichi in the shower :)