Matches Made in Heaven

Matches Made in Heaven

Find the perfect partner at these marriage-hunting events


Originally published on on November 2009

If you’ve had half an eye on the Japanese media in the past couple of years, you’ll know about konkatsu. Ever since the term was coined in 2008 by fusing the Japanese words for “wedding” and “job-hunting,” the nation’s newspapers, magazines and TV shows have helped turn spouse-searching into a full-blown craze. What began as a kind of speed-dating for the marriage-minded has blossomed into a massive industry with plenty of quirky variations—beach-cleaning eco konkatsu, anyone?

The stats suggest there’s some need for a helping hand: the percentage of single Japanese in their 20s has tripled during the last 30 years, and for people aged 25-50, the percentage without a wedding ring has risen every year since 1970.

This marriage crisis is being addressed by konkatsu companies, who offer the chance to meet dozens—or perhaps hundreds—of fellow singles in an evening.

Want to try your luck at meeting the man or woman of your dreams? Grab your chance at two unique upcoming events.

White Key-Metropolis

With a decade of experience, White Key is one of the top konkatsu organizers—the matchmaking maestros, if you will. The company hosts three spouse-hunting events per day, some of them intimate, some enormous. Now, in the first event of its kind, Metropolis and White Key are collaborating to produce the Cupid Party, an international konkatsu gathering that is sure to inject some romance into our readers’ lives.


We’re inviting 200 Japanese and expats for two hours of free drinks, light nibbles and serious socializing at Ginza’s Suikyotei, the aqua-themed restaurant from design superstar Yukio Hashimoto (the man who also designed the Peninsula Tokyo and the Hilton Niseko). Participants receive their own number and card of introduction, which, along with personal info, has spaces to take notes or record the numbers of people you’d like to meet again. An MC will host the event to ensure everyone meets plenty of potential partners. If you think it’s time to take your love life as seriously as your career, here’s an event that might steer you in the right direction.

Date: Sunday, November 29 Time: 6-8pm (doors open 5:30pm)
Venue: Suikyotei. B2, 7-5-4 Ginza, Chuo-ku. Nearest stn Ginza.
Fee: Men ¥4,000, women ¥3,500 (with reservation); men ¥4,500, women ¥4,000 (on the day). Free drinks, canapés and a “partner matching service,” plus a special prize giveaway!
For more info, email or call 03-4550-2929. To register, visit

Mario i Sentieri cooking konkatsu


If music be the food of love, then you’re probably not cooking properly. To bowl a partner over, what you really need to do is learn to rustle up a meal.

And where better than at one of Tokyo’s top kitchens? Mario i Sentieri is the first stand-alone restaurant from celebrity chef Mario Frittoli, alumnus of several celebrated Italian eateries and the Iron Chef TV show. With its black and red interior and towering floral bouquets, this Nishi-Azabu hotspot sets a passionate tone—and serves as the ideal venue for this month’s “cooking konkatsu.”

On November 14, the Tuscan virtuoso will open his kitchen for a few lucky single ladies and gents to meet potential partners and learn how to feed them. Participants in this unique event will make a pizza from scratch, choose their toppings from Mario’s premium ingredients, then bake and eat their creations while the chef leads a discussion on love and the dating game.

Places are limited to 30, but if the course is full, we suggest you hook a partner elsewhere and take them to Mario i Sentieri for dinner—dishes like chestnut-spelt soup with porcini, pistachio gnocchi with scampi and asparagus cream sauce, and confit of guinea fowl should dazzle your mate. As with any top-tier eatery, Mario i Sentieri goes beyond the merely seasonal: his ingredients vary by the day, using only the freshest available organic veggies and Tsukiji fish alongside top-quality New Zealand meats and Italian cheeses.

“You won’t make it in Tokyo unless you’re the best,” says the chef. And his two decades in Japan, culminating in one of the capital’s hottest new restaurants, shows that Frittoli is at the top of his game.

Date Saturday, November 14 Time 12:30-3pm
Venue Mario i Sentieri. 4-1-10 Nishi-Azabu, Minato-ku. Nearest stn: Hiroo.
Fee Men ¥7,000, women ¥6,000.
NOTE The event will be held in Japanese
For more info, email or call 03-4550-2929.

Guide to konkatsu success

If anyone knows how to ace a konkatsu, it’s the company that’s been hosting them for a decade. A White Key party organizer gives us seven top tips.

1. Dress to impress. You don’t have to be the most handsome or beautiful person in the room, as long as you’ve made the effort to look sharp. For gents, a jacket is best, but a collar of some kind is a must.
2. Smile! First impressions count. Be courteous, offer compliments and give everyone a big, friendly smile.
3. Communicate. Don’t just try to sell yourself. The winners are the ones who can ask skillful questions and elicit interesting conversation.
4. Boys, be assertive. Shrinking violets don’t do well at konkatsu. Approach with confidence. It’s what the ladies are waiting for.
5. But don’t be pushy. If the person you’re talking to doesn’t seem keen
to swap numbers, don’t try to bulldoze them.
6. Fill out the entire profile card. The other guests want to know who you are, so don’t leave gaps in your story.
7. Be single-minded! Come to the party determined to find your partner.