Skip to main content

All by my selfie! Blogger shows how to take travel photos with an imaginary girlfriend

By Hiufu Wong, CNN
updated 10:04 PM EST, Thu December 5, 2013
Fed up with being envious of the lovebirds he kept running into in cafes, Keisuke Jinushi started a blog teaching single readers to take brilliant pictures with imaginary girlfriends, like these. Scroll through the gallery to see the lengths he goes to for his make-believe relationship. Fed up with being envious of the lovebirds he kept running into in cafes, Keisuke Jinushi started a blog teaching single readers to take brilliant pictures with imaginary girlfriends, like these. Scroll through the gallery to see the lengths he goes to for his make-believe relationship.
HIDE CAPTION
"Hitori date" (one-man date) guide
How to take dating pics ...
Powder up your right hand
Train snog
Train snog: The truth
"Thirsty, Hon?"
"Thirsty, Hon?" The truth
Jealous?
"If you are single, please come to Japan!"
Props
Tender moments
Not everyone is amused
<<
<
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
>
>>
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Japanese blogger Keisuke Jinushi started the "hitori date" (one-man date) blog two years ago
  • "Hitori date" shows how to taking selfies with a make-believe girlfriend
  • Keisuke's grandmother on the fake girlfriend photos: "Pathetic."
  • Keisuke's message: "Don't be ashamed of being single."

(CNN) -- Rejoice, single travelers.

Traveling alone during the Christmas holidays can be less gloomy -- provided you take the advice of Keisuke Jinushi.

Earlier this year, Keisuke, a 28-year-old freelance Japanese photographer and writer, gained Internet fame with a set of curious Instagram photos capturing him in various settings with his "girlfriend."

The images depicted a young lady feeding Keisuke and even lovingly wiping ketchup from his face.

The twist? "She" was actually Keisuke.

All the photos were single-handedly shot by the unattached Keisuke, with no girlfriend or anyone else involved.

Keisuke was sick of seeing people with lovebirds in tow. So he invented his own.
Keisuke was sick of seeing people with lovebirds in tow. So he invented his own.

How -- and why -- he did it

Keisuke started blogging about how to create fake couples photos two years ago. He calls the practice the "hitori date" or "one-man date."

In an early post he wrote: "Photos (one takes) while traveling alone may make one feel lonely and sad when you look at them. So I recommend the 'hitori date photo' technique. Looking at these photos makes me feel blissful."

Anxious to uncover the secrets of his bizarre success, CNN tracked down Keisuke. In the process, we found an engaging spirit who may just be the most amusing and honest blogger in Japan.

CNN: Where did the idea for the "one-man date" photos come from?

Keisuke Jinushi: Sometimes I go to cafes on my own, just to kill time.

When I look around, I see couples spoon-feeding each other. I then have a strong feeling -- I want this too!

In order to have that, I needed a girlfriend, but I didn't have one. I was distressed.

The platform (Daily Portal) where I started my blog gathers lots of writers who write on their interests.

I asked myself, what's my interest? "A girlfriend!"

Since then I have been blogging my feelings about it. Unexpectedly, it's been well received -- everyone wants a lover!

More: 20 most annoying things people do on planes

CNN: What kind of responses do you get?

Keisuke Jinushi: Most readers comment it's "interesting" or "fun." Some people want to copy my style.

Some say, "I hope you can get a real girlfriend."

Although there are female readers leaving comments, none of them have said, "Let me be your girlfriend."

What a grim world!

CNN: What do your friends and family think?

Keisuke Jinushi: My male friends say, "You seem happy!"

But my grandma said she burst into tears after reading my blog because her grandson seems pathetic in these photos.

CNN: What are the essentials for one-man date travel photo?

Keisuke: \
Keisuke: "Don't be shy."

Keisuke Jinushi: First of all, don't be shy.

I include a step-by-step, pictured guide on my blog.

I have to bring a tripod with me. That's embarrassing and my heart still races whenever I [take hitori date photos].

Taking a picture on your own may be embarrassing, but think about all the jealousy you'll get after uploading it on SNS -- for that sake, just bear the embarrassment.

You should also observe what couples do, then practice at home on your own.

But in order to take the perfect "hitori date" photo, the biggest trick is not having a girlfriend in the first place. You won't have to take "hitori date" photos if you've got a girlfriend.

More: Coolest hotel opening this month: an underwater room on a remote island

CNN: Anything embarrassing ever happen during a shoot?

Keisuke Jinushi: Once I was taking "hitori date" shots in a café. A man asked me, "What are you doing?"

I didn't know how to respond, so I told him, "It's art."

He tilted his head after hearing what I said.

It was embarrassing even though I didn't start the conversation.

CNN: Wigs are a big part of your "art."

Keisuke Jinushi: I'm always taking pictures with wigs, so I stock a lot of wigs at my place.

Recently I started calling them "my girlfriend."

CNN: Are you a traveler? Which way do you prefer to travel -- alone or in group?

Keisuke Jinushi: I travel mostly on my own or with my editor.

I want to go on group travel! That would be my goal for next year.

More: 7 reasons package tours aren't lame

CNN: What are the most ideal places to travel for singles? The worst?

Keisuke Jinushi: The most suitable place [for loners] would be Japan.

Many Japanese couples are so shy so they only hold hands.

The worst place for singles is France.

Couples are kissing everywhere. It makes you feel so jealous and it's even more painful for you to be on your own.

If you are single, please come to Japan!

More: 6 places where cats outshine tourist attractions

CNN: Any Christmas photo tips?

Keisuke: The best way is to get a real girlfriend!

This is hard for me, so I'm always thinking about "hitori date."

Now I'm experimenting with "kissing photos," but most likely I can't get it done by Christmas. So it's going to be a lonely Christmas for me.

In fact, even if I find the way to take "kissing photos," I'm still facing a lonely Christmas on my own.

CNN: Any message for single souls around the world?

Keisuke: Don't be ashamed of being single.

Rather, you should be puffed up with pride and say, "Yes I am on my own."

You should act like it's normal to be alone. Then the world will be slightly brighter.

And stay out as long as possible to avoid feeling lonely at home.

More: Tokyo company takes your stuffed animals on vacation ... without you

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
updated 9:56 PM EST, Thu December 18, 2014
Journals, luggage tags, Panama hats? Yawn. We've got a selection of gifts travelers will actually use.
updated 7:26 AM EST, Thu December 18, 2014
Global events, new attractions and anniversary celebrations will put these destinations on travel radars next year. Question is, which one(s) to visit?
updated 7:48 AM EST, Fri December 19, 2014
Of all Christmas traditions out there, one has an All-American pedigree: electric Christmas tree lights.
updated 9:51 PM EST, Sun December 21, 2014
The gateway to Japan's capital, Tokyo Station, is celebrating its centennial this month -- and it's never looked better.
updated 5:04 AM EST, Wed December 17, 2014
.
Looking for snow porn? This helicopter ski adventure will fly you into the Coast Mountains for the freshest runs.
updated 10:19 AM EST, Fri December 19, 2014
From Singapore to Norway, there are plenty of reasons to plan your next trip around a fabulous hotel opening its doors next year.
updated 4:25 AM EST, Wed December 17, 2014
Step aside Mount Everest, this mountain country is home to cool cafes, crazy drinks and ancient Buddhist tradition.
updated 5:56 AM EST, Tue December 16, 2014
Nonprofit Ethical Traveler has released its annual list of the developing countries doing the most to promote human rights and preserve their environments.
updated 5:36 AM EST, Thu December 11, 2014
These waterfront watering holes have killer ocean views, creative drinks and the mahalo vibe we demand.
updated 3:38 PM EST, Wed December 10, 2014
Can't wait to book your ticket to Indianapolis and Oakland? The venerable guidebook is right there with you
updated 1:25 AM EST, Wed December 10, 2014
By helicopter, snowmobile and big-wheel truck across some of the world's most volatile landscapes.
updated 4:42 PM EST, Tue December 9, 2014
Construction begins on a new Singapore airport complex that could make delays and layovers a pleasure.
updated 9:41 AM EST, Tue December 9, 2014
Inflight chatterboxes are annoying but they're not the worst violators of onboard etiquette, according to an Expedia study.
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT