This sounds about right to me. Otome Sugoren, the female half of the Sugoren dating advice website recently did a poll of its Japanese female readers asking the places they do not want to be taken on a first date.
The results follow:
1. His apartment (if he lives alone)… it hints that he may have certain ulterior motives.
2. A secretive or overly private karaoke place… for the same reason as above.
3. A crowded amusement park… the operative word here is crowded. One woman was quoted as saying that the first date is a little soon for something like an amusement park. If it is crowded on top of that, it’s just frustrating.
4. Something outdoors in the heat of summer… as many of our readers know, some Japanese girls and women tend to want to avoid getting suntanned. This speaks to their desire to avoid sun damage.
5. A date to the movies without a meal… on a first date they don’t just want to see a movie, but also want to get to know each other.
6. A restaurant that’s too expensive… a first date is nerve-wracking enough without having the added pressure of a very fancy and expensive restaurant.
7. A yakiniku (Korean-style barbecue) restaurant, or similar place with a lot of smoke… if she wears nice clothes for a first date, she doesn’t want them to end up smelling too smokey. They also tend to be quite noisy and busy. The magazine recommends yakiniku only if both or you have discussed it beforehand and agreed to go there.
8. A ramen shop… several reasons were listed for this one, including the fact that the steaming bowls of ramen can make one sweat, and in turn ruin their make-up. As you also know, the common way to eat ramen is by slurping, and it’s not exactly a style of eating amenable to making a first impression.
9. Sitting around the whole time in an average, everyday family restaurant… the point again, is the sitting around part. It’s very easy to waste a whole evening refilling soft drinks and enjoying appetizers, but that works a lot better a few dates in when you know each other better.
I think at the end of the day, it really depends on the couple, but as first dates with Japanese girls (or boys… I think a lot of these work both ways) whom you don’t know well go, these are some good places to avoid.