Can Better Apartment Design Help You Find Love?

One Tokyo real estate company seeks to upend Japan’s low marriage and birth rates with “marriage hunting” apartments.


Need to find a spouse? Try installing a stripper pole in your living room.


Such is the thinking behind the design of one Tokyo-based real estate company’s latest developments, konkatsu or “marriage hunting” apartments. Developer Rintaro Kikuchi believes the cure for Japan’s legions of unhappy singles lies in better apartments–with more space, better light, and yes, a recreational pole, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Japan’s marriage rate (and subsequently, birthrates) have plummeted in recent years, the product of a combination of economic decline and social changes (like the move away from traditional matchmaking and women looking to stay in the workforce longer). In 2010, 47% of men and 34.5% of women ages 30-34 were unmarried. Last year, the Japanese government allocated 3 billion yen ($30 million) to boost the country’s birthrate, including through konkatsu parties aimed at people searching for partners. Kikuchi’s marriage hunting apartments are only the latest incarnation of the phenomenon.

Here’s what they look like, according to the Wall Street Journal:

His latest model, a one-bedroom apartment, fulfills all of his seven rules for a konkatsu apartment, including a spacious kitchen and shower room, so couples can cook and bathe together. The home has plenty of windows to let in natural light and was remodeled with natural construction materials such as earth with fossilized algae.

‘You sleep better, you wake up feeling refreshed, and you become more active,” he says about the home’s construction. “You smile more, and your skin looks better, and you are making lots of pheromones.’

There you have it. Get a better apartment, get laid.

And, in case you were wondering, Kikuchi “isn’t half-bad on the pole himself.”

[via the Wall Street Journal]

About the author

Shaunacy Ferro is a Brooklyn-based writer covering architecture, urban design and the sciences. She's on a lifelong quest for the perfect donut