A guide for being single in Mimasaka, Okayama Prefecture
"A Tsuyama singles scene?" scoffs single Mimasaka resident Hiroyiki Matsuda. "There isn't one. If you want that, you go to Okayama City."
Farmer Toru Mizushima, 55, echoes the statement.
"I don't even go there as far as Mimasaka's concerned," he says. "I've lived in Mimasaka for 18 years, raised a family, and can tell you there just isn't a singles scene - it's a family-oriented town. That's why we moved here in the first place."
It is, unfortunately, a common sentiment - in a community built primarily around families, finding ways for the underrepresented single adults to mix and mingle can be a daunting task. When questioned about such opportunities, Yoshimi Tabata of the Mimasaka Community Center just laughs.
"We have open-gym basketball and volleyball, both of which are cheap, co-ed and attract a younger crowd," she notes. "But other than that?."
Yet while trendy bars, dance clubs and hip hangouts may still be the exclusive domain of the big city, Mimasaka residents shouldn't lose heart - even out here, there remain a few local youths where the age-old hunt for love continues.
For the religiously inclined, a local temple can be a powerful tool for both meeting other singles and getting over the shock of being single again due to death or now rising divorce. Endaiji Temple is currently in the process of putting together a singles group, and the Endaiji Taiko group, while not host to a group of its own, refers interested lay believers to Endaiji for Re-Singled and Singles in Aso.
At Endaiji, single Buddhist band together for a veritable treasure trove of networking opportunities. In addition to its "Bereavement" and "Divorce and Beyond" support groups, the temple helps organize everything from singles dances to hikes, ikebana, tea ceremony, yakisoba socials to house-building trips for the less fortunate in Vietnam.
With close to 20 events per month, not counting the regular support-group meetings, singles clued in to the goings-on at Endaiji can quickly find themselves with more fun, upbeat social opportunities than they know what to do with.
For the nonreligious, things get a bit harder. While it's always possible to take your chances with the karaoke bar scene - Jet 5554 and the Sukesan Izakaya appear to be generating the most buzz - many singles prefer to take a more direct approach. That's where Junichiro Komatsu and Pink Tomato Dating Service step in.
Pink Tomato Dating Service specializes in an activity more widely known as "speed dating," is a simple concept. Working with between 15 and 30 adults matching a target age range and set of interests, events coordinators like Komatsu set up a series of up to a dozen six-minute-long "speed dates" at a local bar, café or restaurant.
Afterward, participants make note of any other individuals that interested them, with mutual interest resulting in both parties' receiving the others' contact information, allowing them to set up their first "real" date. Of those who participate, over two-thirds receive at least one match.
"I've been doing this for over three years now, and I just love it," says Komatsu, who ran the first Mimasaka event in quite a while at the now defunct Mimasaka cannery on June 7. Ultimately, Komatsu hopes to make the Mimasaka sessions a monthly affair.
For more customized dating help, singles like local computer analyst Yuji Shiraishi look to actress-turned-matchmaker Reiko Ando. Her new company, The Fantasy Cupid Dater, is a Mimasaka-based organization embodying old-time matchmaker values and offering everything from speed dating and date coaching to "wingman/wingwoman" services, in which a client hires an outgoing "friend" by the hour to help introduce him or her to people and make him or her look good.
"Reiko and I met a few times," says Shiraishi, 61. "I had a lot of inhibitions, and she coached me on meeting people and introducing myself. She even went into a large Tokyo-based dating service I had been using without success, and re-did my profile and pictures with me, which really helped."
A lot of Mimasaka singles run into the same problems, Ando said.
"Most of the people I work with are divorced and in the rural area with no idea what to do," Ando explains. "They need to figure out what their interests are outside of the couple - many might not even be used to buying their own clothes.
"We tell them the dos and don'ts of dating - yes, we're here to introduce our clients to people, but we're also here to work on whatever's holding them back. We're a support system."
A support system, it should be noted, with a hefty price tag - fees for The Fantasy Cupid Dater's customized matchmaking can run anywhere from $1000 to $10,000. The company's speed-dating events cost about $300 each.
Yet for those who'd rather shop from home, the Internet offers a bevy of convenient dating services that allow you to browse other users' profiles while posting your own pictures and personal information. While there are thousands of services to choose from, one company stands head and shoulders above the competition where Mimasaka is concerned.
At one of major Internet provider's Personals section, a single click brings profiles from literally hundreds of singles in Mimasaka, with the inclusion of nearby cities increasing the selection exponentially.
More importantly, all ages and lifestyles are represented en masse - whether you're straight or gay, 18 or 80, there's undoubtedly an Mimasaka resident worth checking out on Yahoo! Personals. Though creating a profile and browsing others is free, e-mailing and instant messaging said singles costs anywhere from 3,000 yen a month to 10,000 yen a year.
A word of warning, however: while most online dating services are a pay-to-play venture, there are also free alternatives that offer almost identical opportunities, sometimes with even greater results.
For instance, there is a completely free networking service that allows individuals to post profiles with pictures, bios, Web blogs and more, and the service's "browse" feature allows members to search profiles by age, location, keywords - and relationship status.
When this type of networking service search for Mimasaka-area singles interested in dating returns over 250 hits for free, it's hard to imagine paying for a service. For the slightly more adventurous, free classified-ad sites may boast indescribably huge readerships in the Mimasaka area, as well as ad forums ranging from "strictly platonic" to the risqué "casual encounters."
In the end, Matsuda and Mizushima are probably right - a town like Mimasaka will never have the same singles scene as a city like Okayama City. But maybe that's not so bad. The big cities keep their cover charges and two-drink minimums, their greasy karaoke bars and snobby brushoffs.
Mimasaka residents got other options.
Kinue Saito-Thompson is an author for Teanobi.com. All articles may be used and reprinted as long as they have an active link at the bottom pointing to http://www.teanobi.com with the anchored text: Teanobi - Green Tea
This RSS feed URL is deprecated, please update. New URLs can be found in the footers at https://news.google.com/news
Dating After Fifty
Dating at an older age is not too hard. And it can be a lot of fun especially with internet dating.
Are You Up For The Challenge
Back in 2004, I met a gentleman who was interested in getting to know me better. After a few discussions of finding out what I needed to know, I decided to participate.
Quality Adult Personals
Quality adult personals are becoming harder to find these days. The recent growth in the online dating world has created a polluted industry, leaving only a handful of good quality sites.
How To Find A Dating Web Site That Is Right For You Today Starting From Scratch
So at last you're sick and tired of the bar scene, and now you want to find a dating web site that's right for you, but you don't know where to begin! No worries let us take you through a few options available and see what dating site will fit your plans!Now the first step you may want to do, is write down on a piece of paper the key tools you're most interested in using, and the ones that will assist you in reaching the right dating community online.You might think this is not an important step, but what this does is eliminates the dating sites that have unnecessary products that won't help in your search for the right people, whether it's to meet friends, or a life long partner for love and possible marriage.
How to Overcome The Fear of Rejection
Feeling uncomfortable in the stomach, cold sweaty palm, trembling of legs, losing the ability to think correctly when approaching a girl? Hate yourself for not able to overcome this problem? Oh? please do not feel so. Believe me, you are not the only one facing this problem.
Online Dating Beginners Quiz
Free dating online-you've heard about it, you've read about it, maybe you even have a friend who's doing it. You're thinking of giving it a try yourself.
Table For Two Please!
I recently heard a woman say that she would not date a short man. She doesn't care about how nice he is, educated, godly or anything else - he's short and that doesn't work for her.
The Truth About Women Revealed
Have you ever imagined what it would be like to read a woman's to mind - especially a woman you want to get into your bed? How about just being able to fake it enough that she thinks you can read her mind?Here are some powerful clues that can tell you if she is interested in you and the type of things she might be interested in in bed.1) Is she biting her lower lip or licking it? She is definitely into you.
Top Ten Ways to Set Appropriate Expectations for Dating
1) Give yourself time to get back into the groove of datingIf you haven't dated in a while it may require an investment of time and effort on your part if you are ultimately looking for a soul-mate. As we get older and learn from our experiences our requirements for an ideal mate may change and some things that were must haves may become negotiable.
90% of Your Dating Issues Solved!
A friend of mine recently exclaimed, "Dating is so complicated!" I thought about it for a moment and realized, "No it's not!" It's actually very simple if you follow two principles that will solve 90% of your romantic issues. Let's begin.
Dating Tips that Work- Which of the Three Types of Women Should You be Dating?
When most "dating gurus" and sex therapists spout their dating tips, they often complicate the whole process with unusable theory and psychobabble.I'm going to bypass that, make it brain-dead simple for you, and most importantly, reveal a few dating tips you can apply in the real world.
Probably you do have attitude, but what is it? Jaded, self-protective? Frightened? Is "scared to death" too strong?What you want, a plan to get there, and an attitude to match is vital for partnering success. Think about it: if you are sure that what you are doing won't work, chances are very good that you will be right.
Gay Dating Tactics: Your First-Date Dos & Donts
IntroductionNothing gets the heart pumping quite like the nervous anticipation that goes along with going out on a first date with a guy. Whether it's a blind date or someone you're already acquainted with, the first meeting with a dating prospect brings with it a host of emotions, more commonly a mixture of excitement and nervousness.
Internet Dating for Men
Over the past several years online dating has become very popular. Many men try this format of dating or meeting in an effort to meet someone special without the risk of face-to-face rejection.
Too Ugly? Too Short? Heres How To Turn Your Flaws Into Strengths
If you're worried and upset about your physical flaws, which prevent you from attracting women, then I've got some good news for you.Not only can you eliminate those flaws, you can turn them into your advantage.
Are Parents Still Stopping You from Having a Girlfriend?
There are a lot of young men who find it difficult to go out and meet new girls on days when they have a quarell with their parents.There are also a lot of older men who can go out easily and have success.
E-Love at Easter! Part One
Kiki sat on the park bench, staring ruefully at the passers by. Last night's row with Tolu was the cause of her blues.
How to Be a Great First Date
Okay, you've scored a date with a sexy somebody for Saturday night, and you're terrified you're going to blow it. Don't worry; if you follow these tips, you'll do just fine.
From Pen Pal Romance to Online Dating
While dating in person usually starts with physical attraction, dating online or pen pal romance often starts with the echo of souls. When the appearance and thoughts are in harmony, we fall in love and have a happy ending.
Dating On The Internet Is Growing! See How Online Dating Can Help You Find Available Singles Today
Dating on the Internet is growing rapidly year after year, because it has become very difficult for most people to meet quality singles in their local communities and find compatible matches!When it comes to meeting new people, we tend to create an urgency, and we put a large amount of stress on ourselves to unite with someone quickly, without taking the time to really get to know the person and see their true qualities.Where sometimes you just don't have all the answers on a date, the first thing you need to ask yourself is, what are you looking for?Are you looking to have fun and meet a variety of people on a casual basis, or do you want to seriously establish a relationship, which can eventually turn into a love match? The decision is yours!In the first meeting it's all about honesty, which most of us throw out the window on the first date! I know you heard it before, but it's true! As you begin the matchmaking process through different dating avenues, you will make your life so much simpler if you're totally honest with yourself and the person you're with.