日本FLASHBACK: ShaSha Goes on a Goukon

14.7.11 ShaSha LaPerf 2 Comments

Picture it. Yokohama. Spring 2007.

Ahh goukon. In Japan a goukon is kinda like group dating. An equal number of men and women go out to a restaurant for dinner then do something fun afterward. For the most part the point of a goukon is to score a date, boyfriend, or just get laid that night. I'd first learned about goukon through Japanese TV shows while I was there. And it was mentioned in a few manga I'd read. I actually didn't they were still popular today, but I was wrong: Goukon Master

When I was invited to go, I actually didn't know it was a goukon. My friend had simply told me it was just a party with him and a few friends. Actually the friend--Kota--was a friend of another friend of mine, Masa. Nevertheless, I was always up for meeting new people, so I accepted the invitation.

So I get all cute, head out on the train, and meet up with Kota and a female friend of his in Yokohama. I'm a bit nervous about having to rely on my Japanese most of the night, but there's not better way to learn than to use it right? So we wait around for a few more minutes at the train station for the others. Another girl and guy show up. We go through introductions. then Masa makes his way towards us.

I was a bit surprised to see Masa since Kota hadn't mentioned the he was coming. But was also I was a bit relieved to see him since he spoke English which would give me a break every now and then. The group starts walking and Masa and I follow a little behind to catch up since it'd been a while since we'd talked.

"So you're on a goukon," he tells me.

I give him my confused look because I wasn't really sure I'd heard him right. At the time, I think I didn't remember what a goukon was. Masa must've seen the look on my face because he explained it to me. Then it rang in my head.

A group date. Why was I invited to go on a group date!?

Granted, I was single at the time, but surprised that Kota had invited me to such an event. I knew both Kota and Masa had quite a few friends as they'd thrown a party together before. Maybe they'd done it with some other friends and now it was getting down to me. Oh well. I was already there so I figured I might as well participate in things.


We head to a small izakaya (bar) in Yokohama with the girls sitting on one side and the guys on the other. conversations are flowing around me and I'm struggling to keep up. Kota and Masa try to include me in conversations. The other folks are impressed that I did speak some Japanese. Most of the time I was really just doing a smile and nod since I didn't know everything that was going on.

The two girls get together and start whispering. Apparently a "telephone" type game had started. The girls had to decide on which of the three guys was the most interesting. The girl sitting next to me whispers Masa's name in my ear and I nod. Masa is a pretty out-going person who loved attention where as Kota and the other guy were nice, but much more low-key. Then the girls had to say the name of the person out loud. So we say Masa's name. He feigns triumph while th other guys feign defeat. I really start to enjoy myself and start getting as loud and crazy as Masa.

After a while we head to karaoke. Now this is where I shine. Seriously I'm big into karaoke. I can sing in Japanese and English and tend to stick to songs I learned by heart so I didn't have to rely to much on the monitor for lyrics. when my term came, I belt out Lauryn Hill, Evanescence, and Beyonce along with Utada Hikaru, EXILE, and Sugar Soul. LOL, okay, I don't remember what I did that night, but I tend to do karaoke to those artists so I'm sure they were in the mix. I did duets with one of the girls and with Kota. I also did some with Masa as well.

I'm having a great time. The more into it I get, the more I forget that the purpose of the night was to get a boyfriend. In fact, no one seemed interested in hooking up, but were just having a good time.

It gets pretty late so we all head to the station. The other guy and one of the girl's pair off, so I guess there were some connections made after all. The other girl goes home alone. Masa, Kota, and I are going the same direction. Masa gets off at a few stops before me and Kota, so Kota and I spend the rest of the trip talking a big mess of Japanese and English. And I get off and make my way home.

So I didn't end up with anyone and I was okay with that. I just saw the experience is a wacky story to tell to people later. Well I guess I can't say the night was a total bust. Gave me a story to tell to people. :)

2 comments:

  1. You've attended a goukon?! That's something I've only ever heard other people talk about.

    The goukon you attended sounds like fun and it is a really interesting story. I've been having flashbacks to my summer vacation in Japan last year and it felt good to read this. While I haven't attended a goukon, I did meet some very interesting people. There was so much potential!

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  2. Yeah I didn't much about goukon until I actually went on one. What really threw me were the games! Apparently there are a bunch of different types but I think they didn't do some much since my Japanese was on the shaky side. Honestly I had I not known Kota, I would have chickened out, LOL. I can't image trying to use that Goukon Master site to go on one.

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