life in japan

Have you ever seen this in Japanese dramas or movies? Japanese “Goukon”, or group dating

Writer
Manga Designers Lab.

Apr 13 ,2018

“Goukon” is a group blind date to meet opposite sex. Most of you are likely to have watched it in Japanese dramas or movies. “Goukon” comes from the words “Godo Konpa” (informal group meeting of mixed sex). It is where 2 and more groups of people organize a party together and both the male and female participants get to know each other. In Japan, how do the OLs organize this kind of event? This time, we will share the “Goukon’s rules” based on the actual experience!

Rule 1: “Goukon” must have the same numbers of male and female participants!

The basic rule for a goukon is to have the same numbers of male and female participants. According to A-san who works in Tokyo and joins goukon once a week, “If someone decides not to join on the day, no matter what we will find a backup to ensure the same numbers of opposite sex”. If the numbers are not the same, then there is worry that someone may not be able to find a partner. Generally, a goukon is organized for 3 to 5 pairs of different genders.

Rule 2: Not public izakaya, but restaurants with private rooms!

Usually a restaurant is decided before the goukon. The organizer will share the venues for gathering and goukon in advance. Most of the goukon is held in private rooms. According to A-san, the reason is to avoid the awkward situation where by any chance, a senior or colleague from the same company is sitting at the next seat. Goukon is often held in places where access is convenient such as Shibuya or Shinjuku.

Rule 3: The flow “Toast→ self-introduction→ Exchange LINE ID

Once place the order for drinks and have a toast, it is time for self-introduction. In some cases, the organizer will introduce each participant, and in other cases, the participants will take turn to introduce their names, work, and others. After this section is the chatting session. Participants will talk to the person sitting nearby. The topics are mainly about origin, workplace, hobby, ways to spend weekends, and other topics that are casual.

During the chatting one gets to know whether the other party matches with him/her or to one whom he/she likes. LINE ID will be exchanged before leaving. In some occasion, the organizer may create a group chat at LINE.

Rule 4: In most cases, male participants pay the bill!

“Sometimes men will pay the bill and even pay for the taxi fares to go home,” said A-san. Normally the estimated payment is 3000~4000 yen for female participants, and 6000~7000 yen for male. Some may share the amount of money in advance before the goukon, but in most cases, the organizer will calculate and then collect from the participants.

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