Like pretty much all the other mammals cohabiting planet Earth, the cheapo is hardwired at an animal level to find a mate and get jiggy. In this article, we hope to assist fellow cheapos living in or visiting Tokyo with some tips and pointers for economically achieving success in this arena. If you came here looking for sex in Tokyo, you might try Ashley Madison, perhaps the easiest entry into the world of Tokyo's bored housewives (and husbands). If you\u2019re not interested in that, there\u2019s always Craigslist, which does exist in Tokyo, as does\u00a0Tinder -- but not to the extent it does in North America due to the popularity of Japanese dating apps. Otherwise, if you'd like to learn about dating and romance the more traditional way, read on. Where to have cheap sex in Tokyo With a population of 38 million people, from a purely statistical point of view, the metropolitan area of Tokyo is perhaps the best location in the world for finding a mate. Never in the history of humankind has there been such an abundance and density of humans living among one another. But let's get a little more specific.\u00a0While Tokyo is vast and densely populated, the central areas provide the most opportunity and likelihood for meeting future loved ones. So let's start with a quick rundown of which areas work best for different people. For the younger crowd: Shibuya, Harajuku, and Kichij\u014dji For the more exclusive and fashionable: Daikanyama, Toyama, Omotesand\u014d, Ebisu, and Nakameguro For the more mature or professional:\u00a0Omotesand\u014d, Toyama, Roppongi, and Ginza And for some more specific niches: Akihabara is the spiritual home of male geeks. Shimbashi, Akasaka, and Y\u016brakuch\u014d are the haunts of salarymen. Shinjuku Ni-ch\u014dme is the LGBTQ+ district, while Shinjuku as a whole is a\u00a0potpourri of almost everything. And\u00a0Shimokitazawa, K\u014denji, and Nishi Ogikubo are frequented by indie rockers, thrift shoppers, punks, and other cool types. Nightclubs Unless you qualify for free entry on a girls\u2019 night, cheapos\u00a0generally look to nightclubs as a last resort.\u00a0It's not uncommon to pay or more just to get into a club in Tokyo. Some good deals do exist -- check out Jumanji 55 for all-you-can-drink specials, TK, Womb, and Camelot in Shibuya for other specials and crazy club action. A true cheapo, however, knows far more cost-effective ways of finding a potential mate.\u00a0So let's swiftly move on to the free options. Festivals Perhaps the best opportunities come in the form of traditional festivals or matsuri, of which there are an abundance in Tokyo, especially in the summer (also the season of fireworks). Festival merriment (sometimes also alcohol) serves as a reliable ice breaker. Plus the sheer number of people means that you'd be hard-pressed not to have a least a few friendly verbal exchanges with those around you. You'll likely find there's a matsuri in your local neighborhood, though some have reputations for being a huge smash, like the\u00a0Kanda Matsuri. Check out our events pages, or better yet sign up for our cheapo weekend newsletter and get the hottest Tokyo event listings delivered to your inbox each week. Aside from the matsuri, there are also seasonal occasions for partying, of which "hanami" (cherry blossom season) is perhaps the greatest.\u00a0On weekends during hanami season, Yoyogi Park is a veritable zoo resembling some sort of deranged music festival in which all the performers, bands, organizers and security failed to turn up. But most parks and locations of sakura (cherry blossom) trees are usually teeming with celebrating crowds and festivity. Perhaps the most on-topic festival is the Kanamara Matsuri\u2014a celebration of fertility that features a giant pink iron phallus.\u00a0Need we say more? Events, exhibitions, and parties There are always parties and other types of events going on in Tokyo (including international mixers where the theme seems to be \u201cmake friends with foreigners\u201d). You'll find a lot of these on the website Meetup. Cheapo favorites include promo parties, events at\u00a0galleries\u00a0and museums, and trendy things like\u00a0Design Festa. If you're a Facebook user and live in Tokyo, you might find you've already been invited to some of them. If not, spend a few minutes searching on Facebook and you'll more than likely find something that fits the bill. (Tip:\u00a0Type an area into the search box, then filter by the events tab.) House parties Last but not least, house parties are always a great (and cheap) environment for making new friends. However, you'll likely find house parties quite rare in Tokyo. Due to the lack of space and the noise prohibitions, few households throw parties, but there are some exceptions. When it starts to get cold, for example, it\u2019s common to have a nabe (hot pot) party. Half a dozen friends or more squeeze into someone\u2019s apartment to huddle around the steaming, bubbling pot, and it\u2019s easy to cozy up when passing morsels from bowl to bowl in a tiny studio apartment. Chance encounters, shopping, cafes, out and about But really, there\u2019s no need to wait or have a formal plan. Like all those infomercials say: you can start right now. As you read this post, regardless of the time of day or date, there are thousands upon thousands of unattached and available people wandering around central Tokyo. Few cities in the world have such levels of 24\/7 opportunity. Late afternoon and early evening provide innumerable opportunities for interacting with new people, and there are plenty of caf\u00e9s where you can hang out till the early hours. It really doesn\u2019t take much to start a conversation. Some suggestions: On the street, asking for directions. In department stores, asking opinions on clothes\/hairstyles\/products. In caf\u00e9s, asking for help with reading kanji on the phone. Or simply rocking up, being direct and telling someone you find them attractive (in a classy and respectful manner). Case in point: The author\u00a0met the love of his life on an escalator in Tsutaya, Shibuya (I asked her opinion about whether I should cut my hair or not). A word of warning: Hostess bars and the red-light district Tokyo is without doubt one of the safest cities on the planet (at least in terms of crime -- earthquakes, tsunami, and Godzilla notwithstanding). However, you risk shattering its Disneyland-level innocence should you stray into the\u00a0sex industry. The \u201cmizu shobai\u201d (sex industry) comes in many (50?) shades of grey, from the almost white, \u201csnack bars\u201d; to light, girls bars and hostess bars; to the medium, soaplands (aka thinly disguised brothels) and \u201cmassage\u201d; and eventually, the\u00a0dark stuff of documentaries. While there are specific red-light district areas, hostess bars are surprisingly common and visible in Tokyo and throughout all of Japan. Outside the glitz of central Tokyo, you'll find sandwiched among normal restaurants, language schools, cafes, and karaoke a number of exotically named "pubs" (as they are often referred to) with a placard picturing an array of sparkling young women. We'd warn anyone, especially cheapos, to steer clear of the whole lot. At the very least you\u2019ll pay ridiculous prices for watered-down drinks, but you also risk having your drinks spiked, being robbed and seeing huge charges (seriously, think millions of yen) on your credit card bill. And there are many tales of the police being uncooperative in helping tourists trying to file crime reports, etc. To be safe, avoid: Touts in the street, even just trying to get you into a bar Offers of massage -- if you\u2019re knotted up, try one of these\u00a0legit massage places\u00a0instead Hostess bars, which normally have some sort of expensive pricing system published out front Kabukicho in Shinjuku, Dogenzaka in Shibuya, and Roppongi after dark. These are known hotspots. By all means, it\u2019s interesting to walk around and see -- but look, don\u2019t touch! Host bars One possible exception is host bars. Targeted at women, especially office workers, these places often have first-timer specials, such as an all-you-can-drink (for a couple of hours) deal for as little as . The intrepid can take advantage of these deals, but a few rules of thumb: 1. Speak some Japanese or take a friend who does to make sure the deal is clear. 2. Don\u2019t give your digits to a host: he will pester you to come back, professing his love, and making you feel that you\u2019re \u201cdifferent\u201d from the other guests (you\u2019re not -- your money is as good as the next). 3. Don\u2019t visit the same host bar twice. The first-timers\u2019 deals are only good once; after that, you pay a premium price. Stay safe cheapos, don\u2019t risk Tokyo leaving a bitter taste in your mouth. Cheap dates Naturally, we've already covered a few options for cheap dates. You could try a picnic in a\u00a0secret park with a half-price bento. Or for a posh date,\u00a0go out for lunch not dinner. Pretend it's trendy and dine at a uni cafeteria. Try Omotesando's outdoor architecture museum\u00a0for something sophisticated. Or browse through our food section for more quality cheapo dining options. Mating grounds Once you've found your mate and been on a date (or three), you may find you need somewhere private to go because, unless you're part of Japan's wacky porn industry, Tokyo sex for the most part happens indoors and out of the public eye. Perhaps you've missed the last train and a taxi to your pokey little apartment or a hotel room is more than the cash in your wallet. Or maybe you live at home (as most single Japanese people seem to) and it isn't appropriate to bring anyone back. Or perhaps you just fancy a change from the aforementioned pokey apartment. Love hotels There are love hotels all over Tokyo, but a few areas have a higher than usual concentration, namely: Love Hotel Hill in Shibuya Kabukicho and Shinokubo near Shinjuku Station Ikebukuro's north side around Uguisudani Station in the Ueno area As a rule, the cheapest place is never the first one you come to. The hotels on the perimeter take advantage of the fact that their customers are probably as horny (or sheepish) as hell and aren't looking to shop around. Also quite predictably, the pricier the real estate, the pricier the love hotel. For example, if you're in Shinjuku, wandering (or taxiing) a bit farther north to Shin-Okubo will reduce the price by a few thousand yen. Another consideration with love hotels is that you often end up getting what you pay for. The absolute cheapest option is often a poor value proposition, so paying slightly more than the minimum will get you considerably better value.\u00a0For good deals, go in the early evening ("rest" options disappear later on, leaving only all-night options), and avoid weekends where prices shoot right up. Have a look at our love hotel guide\u00a0and the video below for more deets. Also, if you can read Japanese, try the website Happy Hotel. It has pretty comprehensive listings and user reviews -- plus you can get coupons! Some hotels offer point cards (though you might want to keep your card to yourself if you are taking multiple paramours to the same spot.) Other options We'll finish up with some more creative locations for a bit of privacy at short notice in central Tokyo. But first, an important disclaimer: The following examples are public places and could have you arrested for indecent exposure, so make sure to keep it decent and don't break the law! Karaoke and manga cafes Karaoke booths or manga caf\u00e9s are significantly less per hour than a love hotel for a (sort of) private room, albeit they don't come with a proper bed or a lock on the door. Be warned: Rumor has it that some karaoke booths have cameras installed. Personally, we'd be surprised if any staff that spotted you getting busy on camera would be bold enough to burst in and ask if you want to order any more drinks, but weigh up the risks before the frisks. What karaoke booths do have going for them is that they have actual doors and ceilings, as opposed to manga caf\u00e9s booths, which tend toward open-ceiling-ed cubicles with half doors that are easy to peer over or under. Also, karaoke will muffle any suspect sounds, while the manga caf\u00e9s are much quieter and lack actual walls. The great outdoors For the naturalist cheapo, Tokyo provides fewer outdoor options than most cities, but there are some good spots if you know where to look. A certain number of apartment blocks have no main access door, so you can just walk in and head straight for the roof. (Tip: Use "Looking for a lost cat" as an excuse if ever questioned.) And then there are cemeteries. People the world over are frightened to venture into the resting places of the dead after dark, so a big graveyard may just make the perfect spot for some privacy in the early hours.\u00a0Bridges over major roads are also strategic, as road signs provide ample cover from the cars below, and pedestrians -- if any are around at 4\u00a0a.m. -- are probably too drunk or tired to be of any concern. Condoms, contraceptives, and other paraphernalia For women, the easiest form of female contraceptive to get in Tokyo is the pill. However, it is still quite expenisve, costing between and a month. Condoms are easily found in pharmacies and convenience stores, but for the best prices and selection (including an array of sizes), head to\u00a0Don Quijote ("Donki"). They also have a decent selection of sex toys, from dancing with yourself (vibrators, Fleshlights, etc.) to vanilla sex (including flavored items), to props and S&M gear. Check out our guide to Japanese sex toys and sex shops in Tokyo. For readers in the USA and Canada, check out Tenga, an online Japanese adult store offering all sorts of pleasure products. Safe(r) sex Finally, if you\u2019re getting lucky, do the right thing and get tested! For yourself and for your partner -- it\u2019s the cool thing to do. Here are some cheap and free STI clinics in Tokyo: Shinjuku: Free telephone consultations. They also offer free STI testing twice a month. Schedule here HIV\/AIDS resources in Tokyo Minato Ward HIV testing\u00a0(Search for "HIV tests" on the website) For more information on\u00a0contraceptives, prophylactics, and STI testing clinics in Tokyo, read our comprehensive sexual health guide. One more thing... Cultural and language differences can be a source of both frustration and fun when looking for love in Tokyo. But be sure that consent is not something that gets lost in translation. If you're new to Japan, you need to be extra careful as it is a cultural idiosyncracy where directly saying "no" can seem too abrupt in many contexts. This post is regularly updated. Last update: August 2022.