Take our user survey and make your voice heard.
Image: iStock: Toru-Sanogawa

Marriage-centered dating apps in Japan: Finding your partner for life


We’re mid-cuffing season now, and people seem to be pairing up left, right and center, even in Japan. Living in Japan can be lonely at times, there are language and culture barriers to contend with, and if you’re not the casual dating sort, then clubs or casual dating apps aren’t for you.

What Is Omiai?

Image: iStock: Toru-Sanogawa

Omiai (お見合い) is something akin to the Western match-making practice. Originally limited to the upper classes and meant to align clans via shared bloodlines, modern-day omiai services are typically approached by the person looking to marry. They are not an arranged marriage per se, but a personally catered selection of suitable partners that said person can meet, get to know and then decide to date/marry.

According to a 2022 study conducted by Recruit Co. Ltd (the parent group of the marriage magazine Zexy), the percentage of people who got married as a result of using apps in general increased by about eight percent between 2019 and 2021. These results show that it’s not uncommon for people to meet and get married on an app. For some it’s seen as less stressful than meeting a partner themselves, for others it’s a matter of practicality. Others believe that, after dating and not finding what they’re looking for, a match-maker service is the next logical step.

My parents met via a matchmaker, so did my mom’s parents and, after breaking up with my ex, I’m considering it too”

(Japanese woman, 35)

If you are looking for a serious relationship where marriage is the goal, then in terms of apps you need to be careful. A true omiai type dating app is rare. The vast majority of omiai services are still conducted in person (or via video chat), as for relationships of this type you need a deeply personal touch rather than an algorithm. Two of the top non-app services are En-Konkatsu Agent and IBJ.

There are also several factors to keep in mind with any match-making service. First, you will need to have excellent Japanese language skills. The vast majority of these services are Japanese only. Next, your age. The majority of apps are used by those in their 20s-30s and older users may have little luck finding a partner this way.

You will also need to be living in Japan (some may require a copy of your Residence card and/or passport), and for some especially strict services, provide proof of your annual income and ability to support yourself in Japan outside of getting married.

Click here to read more.

© Savvy Tokyo

©2024 GPlusMedia Inc.

Login to comment

So the man is just a wallet? Too bad mine is empty.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

Can’t wait to try it!


4 ( +4 / -0 )

I signed up to omai on a whim not realizing it was looking for marriage specifically but it was an interesting experience.

They ask a range of questions without a fee. Essentially they are not concerned with you telling them your type, rather than based on your general response to the questions. Most import questions definitely are your income, do you want your spouse to work (men’s side question) and how soon do you want to marry, (with 6 months or under as an option)

Then you’ll get an email or mail of a list of basic profiles and names, their income, ideal time to marry, and no pictures. If you see any that appeal you can proceed from there and meet the matchmaker who will interview you again and setup a meeting if it seems amicable.

Matchmaker doesn’t get paid unless you agreed to start meeting people. Something like 30,000¥. Apparently you -have to- pay again if you get married but no idea how they follow up on that.

i never went to the meeting but the process was interesting at least. Like the start of the article says, seems like it’s geared for more wealthy types at least in inception and branched out to the public. Definitely geared to the specific demographic that want marriage over wanting to meet someone they like.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

A bit of a nothing article, just a list of apps.

There will be a Japanese cultural twist or two to dating or matchmaking apps, there's bound to be. It would be interesting to read about them, but the legwork has not been done here.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Good grief.

Everything in this article, including the creepy photos,will put off potential suitors.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Can’t wait to try it!

0 ( +1 / -1 )

piskianDec. 6  05:43 pm JST

Good grief.

Everything in this article, including the creepy photos,will put off potential suitors.

It ain't nothing if it is not in the flesh. And BTW, pedos and sex traffickers use this trick all the time. The good part is, that's how the cops nail the pervert scumbags.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

So the man is just a wallet? Too bad mine is empty.

Immediately made me recall the lyrics to "Sharp Dressed Man" by ZZ Top

Top coat, top hat

I don't worry 'cause my wallet's fat

Black shades, white gloves

Lookin' sharp and lookin' for love

They come runnin' just as fast as they can

'Cause every girl's crazy 'bout a sharp-dressed man

0 ( +1 / -1 )

RedemptionDec. 6  02:19 pm JST

So the man is just a wallet? Too bad mine is empty..........................................LOL!!!..........may be you should get a job at a chaebol company.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

RedemptionDec. 6  02:19 pm JST

So the man is just a wallet? Too bad mine is empty

Better still, look for a young heiress in a chaebol family and marry her.................This has happened before, a young woman from a family like this fell in love with her uneducated, moronic, body guard and married him, however, after years of verbal and physical abuse from him she kicked him out. But sadly he got 5 million yen for his trouble.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Login to leave a comment

Facebook users

Use your Facebook account to login or register with JapanToday. By doing so, you will also receive an email inviting you to receive our news alerts.

Facebook Connect

Login with your JapanToday account

User registration

Articles, Offers & Useful Resources

A mix of what's trending on our other sites