Today is the age of online everything—online shopping, online entertainment, online research, and arguably the most important, online dating. Thanks to traditional dating websites like eHarmony and the ever-infamous Tinder app, society is starting to lose one of its most basic social skills: having a face-to-face conversation. Am I the only one here who misses the simple things like that?
We’re human beings and I think it would be hard to argue that human beings are not social creatures. Our ability to express our thoughts, feelings, and emotions through verbal communication is one of the unique characteristics that set us apart from every other animal on this planet. That and opposable thumbs. So why are we limiting this basic human skill to meer digital messaging where our words are oftentimes misinterpreted anyway? I’ll tell you why: We’ve become so used to digital communication that a face-to-face conversation is now scary and uncomfortable. Sigh
So am I doomed to search for love in Japan via 2D photoshopped pics staring back at me from my phone screen?
That’s when my roommate told me all about Aisekiya.
What is Aisekiya?
Aisekiya (相席屋) is a combination of the words, 相席 (aiseki, sharing tables) and 屋 (ya, shop). Take Tinder and speed-dating, mix them together, and throw it into a Japanese 居酒屋 (izakaya) and you’ve got yourself one Aisekiya. Walk inside and you’ll see a dimly-lit restaurant filled with table booths, except the main purpose for these booths isn’t for ordering a meal. It’s so you can chat it up with your assigned pair (although a buffet and drinks are available as well #score).
If you’ve ever heard of 合コン (gokon, joint dating party), this is very similar to that group dating concept, but Aisekiya is different in that the pairs meeting each other are totally random and have no connections whatsoever. You sit down at the booth, you’re paired with a couple of guys, raise your glasses and cheers to a (hopefully) enjoyable night.
How Aisekiya works
Click here to read more.© Savvy Tokyo