JAPANESE COURTSHIP AND DATING RITUALS
Sex and sexuality is less frowned upon in Japan than it is in western countries such as the USA. Japan does not have a Christian history with its attached morals that place a somewhat undue sense of "wrong" on what many countries see as very natural occurrences. Many Japanese people do in fact accept that physical interest is part of the attraction. Having said that, this does not mean all Japanese women will jump straight into bed at the drop of a hat, many can be extremely conservative when it comes to dating, but do recognize that sex is a natural part of life if dating develops into a relationship. Japanese women are often conservative in social groups but may be more open and flirty in more intimate situations.
Many Japanese women are unlikely to take the lead while on a date because there is still a social taboo on female expressions of desire. Because of this, Japanese women are often more demure, cutesy, a little tempting but not overly forward.
Money can sometimes play a small part in early dates in Japan, where a man might mention his salary, more than once, to emphasize his ability to care for his date. This is almost a subconscious act that many westerners may consider pointless bragging, when it is not. This kind of conversation will often happen at "blind date parties" (goukon) where friends arrange for other friends to meet up to see if they like each other. Japan is much more a culture of introductions, swapping email addresses and business cards, than it is picking up dates in bars.
In a large city like Tokyo, where people are generally more "forward thinking", dating couples will often book into a "love hotel", a place geared specifically for romantic situations and usually equipped with a bath large enough for two people, video games, karaoke machines and other forms of entertainment. Although the love hotel is an obvious place for sex, some people do go there because it is one of the few places were a couple can be intimate, due to the fact their own homes are often very small and overcrowded with family. People from the more provincial areas of Japan, however, may well cringe at the thought of a love hotel and the forwardness of the Tokyo lifestyle.
A love hotel (ラブホテル rabu hoteru?) is a type of short-stay hotel found in Japan operated primarily for the purpose of allowing couples privacy to have sexual intercourse. Love hotels usually offer a room rate for a "rest" kyūkei, as well as for an overnight stay. The period of a "rest" varies, typically ranging from one to three hours. Cheaper daytime off-peak rates are common. In general, reservations are not possible, leaving the hotel will forfeit access to the room, and overnight stay rates only become available after 10pm. They may also be used for prostitution.
Entrances are discreet and interaction with staff is minimized, with rooms often selected from a panel of buttons and the bill settled by pneumatic tube, automatic cash machines, or a pair of hands behind a pane of frosted glass. While cheaper hotels are utilitarian, higher-end hotels may feature fanciful rooms decorated with anime characters, equipped with rotating beds, ceiling mirrors, karaoke machines, strange lighting or styled similarly to dungeons, sometimes including S&M gear.
These hotels are typically either concentrated in certain city districts such as Dōgenzaka in Shibuya, Tokyo, near highways on the city outskirts, or in industrial districts. Few Japanese people wish to have a love hotel in their neighbourhood, and construction in residential areas is often opposed. Love hotel architecture is sometimes garish, with buildings shaped like castles, boats or UFOs and lit with lurid pink and purple neon lighting. However, many love hotels are very ordinary looking buildings, distinguished mainly by having small or covered windows. ~ Wikipedia
Technology plays a huge part in modern Japanese dating rituals. Dates are arranged, rearranged and even initiated via text messages and phone emails. Dating sites are an obvious progression for Japanese people. Some Japanese people will spend days, or even weeks, sending messages back and forth before they ever meet someone face to face. When couples do start meeting in person they will often go to cafés, restaurants and bars. Some Japanese men will go to great lengths to find out the kinds of things a potential lover likes best before they arrange bookings at restaurants, or even simply meeting at a café. They may even visit the planned venue of their date beforehand to make sure it's appropriate for their date, and make other arrangements if it is not.
Perhaps the most important aspect of Japanese dating and courting rituals is the arrangements you make. If you say you will meet someone at 10:30 on Tuesday, most Japanese people will expect you to be there at exactly 10:30 on Tuesday. If you don't show up they may wait and wait and wait, thinking some disaster has befallen you, then, if you do show up late, or ring to say why you didn't show up at all, they will think you inhuman and you will probably never hear from them again.
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