Here in Japan, particularly in urban areas where life is geared up to getting out of the house, settling on a date spot could mean being overwhelmed by choice.
As for who pays, well, just offer to do so and see what happens?
Yes, we're casting our net wider for this question although we're still doing it in Japan. This has been looked into in more detail on an earlier post on City-Cost (Study Japanese For Free! In brief, language exchange is typically facilitated by a website through which expats and locals in Japan can find people to meet, sit down with, and do some language practice rather than having to fork out the money for lessons.The romantic among us might be wistful about the language of love being universal, but I think we all know this is idealistic at best.However, things are more nuanced than just a straight forward and complete lack of ability to communicate.Even the poorest of linguists will be able to make some dating in roads in Japan.Conversely, even complimentary linguistic fluency sometimes struggles overcome the nerves.To take a different tangent, it would be remiss not to highlight what for many expats is the seemingly more 'lax' attitudes to cheating in Japan.What is often deemed as a relationship decider in other parts, can sometimes appear to be remarkably commonplace over here.While some people want to do just this, it should probably come as no surprise to learn that language exchange is ripe territory for finding / meeting dates. Gokon parties are a kind of group blind-date situation here in Japan. Small groups (maybe an average of six), typically evenly matched between ladies and gents, meet in an izakaya, get drunk, get to know each other, and then, well, what happens from there I haven't a clue (although most likely everyone goes their separate ways). Getting in on Japan's 'gokon scene' will likely be via invitation from a local rather than organising something online.