Aisekiya: The Perfect Blend of Traditional Dating and Tinder in Japan

Drink
March 26, 2024

In today's digital era, dating platforms like Tinder, OkCupid, and eHarmony dominate our quest for love. But have we forgotten the charm of direct, face-to-face interactions? Aisekiya emerges as the answer, merging the convenience of Tinder with the authenticity of traditional dating in Japan. It's an invitation to set aside your devices and embrace real-world romance.

What is Aisekiya?

Aisekiya, derived from 相席 (Aiseki, meaning shared tables) and 屋 (Ya, denoting shop), is a novel idea that marries the convenience of dating apps with the genuineness of direct interactions. Picture this: a formal club/hostess bar or an izakaya (Japanese pub) where the main course is engaging conversations with potential matches.

Instead of the digital swiping on Tinder, Aisekiya offers genuine face-to-face interactions. It's akin to group dating, but with a twist. The pairs formed have no prior connections, making every interaction a fresh start. If you're seeking a respite from the virtual dating realm, Aisekiya promises a refreshing change.

The Aisekiya Way

Stepping into Aisekiya requires no reservations. Just walk in, present your ID (entry restricted to those 20 and above), and receive a group ID card, colored red for females and blue for males. You'll then be guided to a booth, either awaiting your match or joining a pair of men already present.

Your pairing is influenced by your entry time. If a duo of men arrives shortly before or after you, you're likely to be matched with them. Typically, groups consist of pairs, so it's advisable to bring a friend along. And, given that most matches are with Japanese men, it's a golden chance to hone your Japanese conversational skills!

Switching Partners

Aisekiya empowers you to change partners at will. If a conversation isn't resonating, hand over your group ID card to a server. In moments, they'll signal a change, mirroring the real-world version of a "left swipe."

Engaging Activities to Break the Ice

To counter potential awkward pauses, Aisekiya is equipped with fun interventions. Servers periodically introduce quick card games to infuse energy into the group. Additionally, entertainers like magicians might drop by, ensuring a lively and enjoyable ambiance.

The Rules at Aisekiya

When it comes to visiting Aisekiya, there are certain guidelines that users should adhere to for an enjoyable and respectful experience. This article outlines these essential Aisekiya rules and provides practical tips to ensure a seamless encounter.

Image Source: https://marriage-xoxo.com/konkatsu/aisekiya-kekkon/

Dress Code at Aisekiya

Striking a balance in your attire is crucial when visiting Aisekiya. Dressing too casually can make you appear uninterested, while an overly revealing outfit might come off as inappropriate. Strive for a middle ground by opting for smart casual attire that combines comfort with a touch of formality.

Responsible Drinking at Aisekiya

Aisekiya promotes a fun and relaxed environment. However, this should not be an excuse to pressure others into drinking. Respect everyone's drinking preferences, and remember that a good time doesn't necessarily require alcohol.

Engaging in Fun Activities at Aisekiya

At Aisekiya, entertainment is part of the package. Engage in various games and activities that can make the experience more enjoyable for everyone. Remember, the idea is to have fun and connect with others.

Planning a Safe Nijikai (After Party)

If you're considering hosting a nijikai, or after-party, following your visit to Aisekiya, safety should be your top priority. Always ensure that all party-goers are comfortable with the arrangements and that the location is safe and accessible for everyone.

No Business Sales at Aisekiya

Aisekiya is a place for fun and socializing, not for business transactions. Refrain from any form of business sales or promotional activities during your visit to respect the ambiance and the other patrons.

In summary, following these Aisekiya guidelines not only ensures you have a fantastic time but also keeps the environment enjoyable for everyone else. Always remember that respect and consideration for others are key ingredients for a successful visit to Aisekiya.

Cost Structure

While awaiting your match, indulge in a complimentary buffet and drinks. Men are charged between ¥715(with tax) to ¥825(with tax) for every subsequent 10 minutes, varying by the day. For women, the experience is entirely free!

Image Source: https://aiseki-ya.com/

Recommended Aisekiya Spot

Aiseki is a top recommendation - despite its straightforward name. As a chain, Aisekiya has numerous branches, including locations in Roppongi and Shinjuku that I've personally visited. Details about the locations can be found on their official app for iPhones or Android. The app provides handy information like venue occupancy and gender ratios, enhancing your visit.

1.Oriental Lounge(オリエンタルラウンジ)

These lounges are often found in entertainment districts of major cities, such as Tokyo or Osaka, and are designed to provide patrons with a unique and immersive experience. While Oriental Lounges may not specifically focus on group dating or Aisekiya-style interactions, they do provide a social environment where people can gather, enjoy drinks, and immerse themselves in a culturally themed setting.

Location

  • Tokyo(Shinjuku,Ueno,Shibuya)
  • Osaka(Umeda,Shinsaibashi,Namba)
  • Kyoto
  • Hyogo
  • Okinawa ect

https://oriental-lounge.com/

2.Aisekiya(相席屋)

These events are designed for single individuals to meet and interact with potential partners in a relaxed and social setting. The word "aiseki" (相席) translates to "sharing a table" or "sitting together," reflecting the group interaction aspect of these venues.At  Aisekiya, participants are often paired up with someone of the opposite gender, and they can engage in conversations, share drinks, and get to know each other. These events aim to create a comfortable and low-pressure environment for people to connect and potentially find romantic interests.

Location

  • Tokyo(Shibuya,Ikebukuro,Ueno,Ebisu)
  • Osaka(Umeda)
  • Fukuoka ect

https://aiseki-ya.com/

3.YATAKOI(やたこい)

YATAKOI is a place where people can meet "naturally" in such a way. The target age group is men and women between 20 and 35 years old. You are sure to meet someone here and have an "unreal" and "extraordinary" experience. If you want to escape from everyday life, please come to YATAKOI and have an unreal time.

Location

  • Osaka(Umeda)

https://yatakoi.com/

Optimal Visit Times for Aisekiya

For women aiming for complimentary food and drinks, the best times to visit aisekiyas are around 6 to 7pm. I recall an instance when I visited with three friends at 7pm and we had to wait approximately ninety minutes before being seated with male guests.

However, if your goal is to socialize and meet locals, arriving around 9pm should find the venue bustling with potential acquaintances. This guide aims to help you optimize your Aisekiya experience and truly immerse yourself in this unique aspect of Japanese culture.

Experience something you can only get in Japan

Aisekiya isn't about seeking a life partner. It's about enjoying the moment, connecting with new faces in a laid-back environment. If the repetitive swipes on your phone have dulled the dating experience, Aisekiya offers a vibrant alternative. It's an exhilarating way to meet diverse individuals, and perhaps, discover someone truly special.

Aisekiya creates an environment where individuals are 'paired' by default. For many introverted Japanese men, this setup is worth the investment, as it bypasses the initial hurdle of initiating a conversation. This arrangement is quintessentially Japanese.

PIJ Writer
PIJ Writer
PIJ Writer, a seasoned connoisseur in his 40s based in Japan, boasts an unparalleled depth of knowledge and experience within the vibrant landscapes of both drinking and gambling, alongside his well-documented ventures into various red-light districts. This extensive exploration encompasses not just the nocturnal delights of Japan's red-light areas but also its myriad of bars, horse racing, pachinko, and many others. Drawing on his firsthand experiences, he conveys the appeal and characteristics of Japan's diverse adult entertainment districts and his enjoyment of the nightlife scene through his writing for PIJ.

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