Japanese word for the act, or the "art" of males "picking up
" females. The reverse, females "picking up
" males is called "gyakunanpa" or simply "gyakunan" (gyaku = reverse) A male, "pick-up artist" that regularly does nanpa
is called a nanpashi
and there is no special word for a woman that does nanpa
An integral part of Japanese society, and not necessarily a bad thing, because it is the start of many personal relationships.
Typically, the male will try to "get as far as he can" with the female (see mochikaeri), however, typically just ends up getting her cell phone number in order to meet "next time" (see konpa or goukon). I used to think that asking a woman that you just met for her phone number was kind of bad, but it is perfectly acceptable. Even if she doesn't like you at all she will probably exchange phone numbers, but remember, she doesn't have to answer her phone (to my chagrin)!
Where are some places people typically do nanpa? Hard core guys (high school and college students) will do it anywhere, especially the middle of the street in Shibuya or Shinjuku for example (probability is low, but there are lots of girls, so statistics are on your side). Next most common would be izakaya, but you have to depend on the luck of
1. sitting near a group of women (low probability, but I know a few good places in Yokohama...
2. there are actually are women in the building!
However, the best place is bars (but you have to know the right people and places - like Mishuku)
As a kyuryou dorobou and master of the art of the "shuden" it is my job to know these things. Lastly, with the advent of computers, we now have net nanpa.
However, as I have learned from experience, do it only in places where you do not know anyone.
ie. 1. Not at a company event with 3 VPs around because by your next day at work your reputation as a worker is blown! (but reputation as a nanpashi is raised and everyone wants to drink with you and your "friends" Or
2. at your or your friends train station "Hi mom"
Finally, remember 2 things when practicing the art of nanpa or gyakunan; confidence and shippai wa seikou no moto.
The word nanpa can be written in kanji but is almost always written in katakana.