First up on the card for this events organization: love, cake, and more love.

After some time, it can hit you: Tokyo may be a massive city with a huge number of people, but there are times when it can feel awfully lonely. Recognizing this, Julien Tirode—who had been living in Tokyo for five years and establishing himself in the French community as a dynamic figure with a flair for putting together creative events—decided to start up Bonjour Tokyo to create opportunities where international crowds could hang out, relax, and have fun, even if “Bonjour” was the only French they knew. Since its founding last September, the organization has sponsored a variety of themed parties and gatherings that have drawn more than 2000 guests.

Given France’s well-known association with romance, it should come as no surprise that Bonjour Tokyo’s parties have led to quite a few international matches: French, Japanese, and otherwise. But the relationships that the organization has inspired go beyond just love stories: they’ve been the start of friendships, and even sparked a few business opportunities. But Tirode tells us that Bonjour Tokyo will start the year off with some romance and a bit of culture. Here’s what they have planned for the next two months.

Singles Party at Ginza Roots

Bonjour Tokyo’s first Singles Party drew more than 200 people, and created more than a few couples. Expect the same at their next one, which will be held at Ginza Roots on January 17. The night will offer two different chances to mix it up. First is a speed-dating session, where people will be able to quickly decide whether that spark is there, or if it’s time to be polite and just wait for the next round.

The other hot point of the night will be slow dances with a theme known as quart d’heure Américain—literally, 15 minutes American-style. As dirty as it sounds, this old French ballroom tradition gives women the chance to break the ice and pick guys they’d like to dance with for one or several dances. Tirode says he’s looking for the Japanese women in the crowd to be a bit more aggressive, so watch out, fellas . . .

Galette des rois at “Le Cordon Bleu” Daikanyama

On January 31, guests can take part in a bit of French culture, and maybe even become king for a day. The galette des rois, or the king’s cake, is a traditional pastry that has a small figurine hidden inside. The person who finds the figurine is made king (or queen) for the day, with all of the mighty rights and privileges that come with the honor. Long may you reign!

Valentine’s Day Masquerade Party

As we know, Valentine’s Day in Japan puts a big burden on the girls. Baking cakes, making homemade chocolate—it can be a lot of work. Bonjour Tokyo’s Valentine’s Day Masquerade Party lets both sides have a great evening of it, and adds some spice to the affair. The theme is simple: you must wear a mask for the night. As we all know, there’s something about the mystery of a mask that can help you let your inhibitions go, so here’s hoping that Cupid has armed himself with the right arrow in your case. The Valentine Masquerade will be held on Friday, February 14 in Las Chicas’ Tokyo Salon (B1).


Tirode (3rd from left) poses with guests at a recent Bonjour Tokyo party

This will be just the beginning for Bonjour Tokyo’s year of events. Keep your eyes out for these upcoming parties and celebrations.
Apr: Hanami Parties in Yoyogi Park
Jul 14: France’s National Day, or Bastille Day
Oct: Halloween Costume Party
Nov: Beaujolais Nouveau Party at “Le Cordon Bleu” Daikanyama
Dec: Christmas Party

To keep up with Bonjour Tokyo’s events, check out the Weekender’s Agenda section, our Event Calendar, Bonjour Tokyo’s Facebook page, and their site:

Images courtesy of Guillaume Tauveron