When it comes to sex, Japan has it all. A full range of colorful and exciting clubs, bars and spas all geared towards satisfying the country’s demand for all things naughty, kinky and erotic.
As a nation, the Japanese can’t get enough of sex and this is reflected in their extravagant attitude towards the world of fantasy, fetish and the extreme.
In this guide, we discover what makes the sex industry of Japan so unique, what you can expect as a visiting tourist and what places Johnny Foreigner (or gaijin) is welcome.
Japan’s Colorful World of Sex
Known as fuzoku, paying for sex in Japan is like being a kid in a sweet shop; every type of conceivable fetish is catered for, and catered for in abundance. It’s not just the big cities like Tokyo and Osaka (though these are perhaps the largest fuzoku scenes) but also across the country. Regions like Hokuriku, Kansai and the capital area or even the island of Hokkaido.
The country is home to its own richly diverse and uniquely branded sex trade establishments such as the soap lands, theme and image clubs. You can just as easily find love hotels as you can massage clubs, escorts, street hookers and S&M clubs.
With an industry that covers almost 12,000 business venues and one that nets an annual $15 billion dollars per annum, the sex industry in Japan is big business.
We take a leisurely stroll through the delights you can find in the land of the rising sun.
Prostitution in Japan: The Grey Area of Fuzoku
There is nowhere in the world as exciting for anyone looking for paid sexual services than in Japan…even though prostitution is technically illegal. The key here is that the Japanese authorities define prostitution as paying for vaginal sex with anything else being considered a grey area.
As a result, the Japanese have pushed every possible boundary to service the demand for a sex industry without breaking the law. Having said this, it is well-known that you can get full service in many establishments but this is plainly not advertised.
What is advertised is the range of groping, masturbation, oral and even anal (technically not breaking the law) services.
Prized the world over for their slender and petite figure, demure nature and elegant facial features, Japanese girls (or J-girls) have a special place in the heart of many sex tourists. Native Japanese prostitutes are different to any Japanese prostitutes you may have experienced in other countries. Understanding the cultural demands of their fellow countrymen, J-girl prostitutes know what makes their men tick. Culturally, there is a huge demand for role play in particular with younger women and school age girls being popular. As a result, many Japanese prostitutes play the cute and innocent role; both are highly prized and attractive traits in women within Japanese culture.
This is reflected in the considerably large Japanese porn industry!
Japanese girls tend to be well-groomed with most, if not all, of their pubic hair shaved. Underarms and legs will also be closely shaved. Not only does this ensure for good hygiene but also accentuates the appeal of being a younger girl.
Another quality of Japanese prostitutes is the embedded cultural motto that the ‘customer is king’. Most J-girls take it as a personal goal to perform the very best in customer service, whether they are an escort, a soapland attendant or a pink salon blowjob girl.
A lot of working girls speak some English but not extensively. Tourists will find that experiences with a Japanese prostitute can be heightened if you speak (at least a little of) the language.
The escort scene in Japan is very varied with a lot of foreign women working the big cities. You can find Asian, European and even South American women providing out-call services.
However, the predominant ethnicity is Japanese women both catering for the demand of locals for J-girls but also sex tourists looking for an authentic experience.
There are independent escorts as well as large agencies offering services by the hour. Uniquely, the escort industry (and other sexual services in Japan) tend to employ direct marketing methods with flyers being delivered door to door for their services on an almost daily basis. Many Japanese men claim that they would not use the services of an escort unless they weren’t enticed into doing so by this method.
You can read our full guide on escort services in Japan here which includes prices, what to expect and some of the best ways to book a Japanese escort.
Due to the fact that there are plenty of legitimate outlets for earning money from the sex industry, street prostitution in Japan is not that common. However, there are still pockets of working girls who earn a living from the streets. It’s worth pointing out that if these women are not in full time employment with a professional establishment or providing services through an escort agency then it is likely that they are not the classiest of girls. However, they do offer a budget service.
You can usually find street prostitutes who work train and bus stations as well as around the red-light area of the big cities; try Tobita Shinchi in Osaka or Yoshiwara in Tokyo.
Chocolate Box of Treats: The Selection on Offer
It would probably be quicker to list the things that aren’t on offer in Japan when it comes to paying for sex but we’ve got to start somewhere so, here’s a menu of the kind of treats you can find in Japan.
Offering salary men the chance to unwind after work with a fully attended shower service, soaplands are very popular establishments. You normally pay a bathing fee of anything from 20,000 YEN up to around 50,000 YEN ($180-$450) which gives you 1-2 hours.
Most are based on a Turkish bath model but some feature more of a themed approach. The Secretary’s Club in Tokyo, for instance, has attendants who do a full role play in costume as a secretary.
Most of the big cities have soaplands and you can read our full guide on Tokyo’s Soaplands here which includes what you can expect as well as a list of the best.
Image clubs are a really popular type of service mainly operating from Tokyo. Catering to the Japanese demand for role play and fetish, these playful venues provide full costume play, staging and props. There can be a varied number of scenarios catered for but by far the most popular are based on offices and secretaries (or the boss), schools including gym changing rooms and classrooms and doctors surgeries.
However, head and shoulders above the rest, and appealing to the Japanese fantasy of sex on public transport is the train carriage. Rooms of some image clubs are completely modeled on an a train carriage so that men can live out their fantasies of groping a stranger, maybe removing her underwear and possibly getting a blowjob. We say ‘possibly’ as with a lot of these services, the end-game for a lot of Japanese men isn’t the actual act of sexual intercourse or getting off; rather, it seems to be just as satisfying to play the game.
Services can cost as little as few hundred dollars whilst the elite clubs can charge as much as $3000. Women who work in these exclusive clubs can earn as much as $5000 per month. Demanding more than just sexual services, talented role play actresses who can really deliver an authentic experience are in high demand.
For more information, read our guide on the best image clubs of Japan.
No Pan Shabu Restaurants
These ordinary restaurants are nothing special to the untrained eye until you realize that none of the waitresses are wearing panties. Many have mirrored floors and for a tip, your waitress may bend right over to give you an eyeful. The food is good but the views are better.
Yes, these places are exactly what you think they are. Bars where staff work in their finest and sexiest underwear. There is no full service on offer at these bars but in a lot of venues girls will sit on laps and French kiss customers with the possibility of a hand job.
Also known as blowjob bars or pinsaros, pink salons are quite common in Japan, particularly in the red light areas of Tokyo. You will generally be touted long before you even reach the bar so most foreigners will be fine.
Set up for a quick suck only, the salons are usually quite open venues with little privacy afforded in the budget bars. At best, you can expect a private booth but be prepared for as little as a curtain screening you from the other customers.
The charges for a blowjob can vary depending on whereabouts you are in the city and what kind of establishment you are at. However, you can expect to pay anywhere in the region of 3000-7000 YEN ($27-$60).
Services are perfunctory and you should not expect more than oral service only. It would be very rare indeed for anything other than a blowjob to be on offer. The girls are well-trained and you can expect to be in and out within about ten minutes.
You can read up on our full guide to Japans Blowjob bars, here.
Karaoke bars or KTVs are hugely popular across China and other parts of Asia with Japan being no different. Often known as piano bars, these venues are similar to hostess bars but centre on the activity of karaoke. Paid for by the hour, you can arrange for a private room with one or more women to join you for company. They are paid to attend you and often provide additional services whilst you enjoy the experience of a night out with or without friends.
There are quite a few foreigner friendly KTVs in Japan, catering for the big demand of businessman looking for an authentically Asian experience.
Club Ananda in Akasaka is a European friendly bar and has a clear and easy to understand pricing system. They offer quite a few ethnicities in the hostesses available and the place is frequented by a lot of Eastern Europeans including Russians as well as Americans and English.
Big Echo Karaoke is part of a chain of KTVs and is popular with salary men as well as sex tourists. More of a traditional karaoke bar, the rooms are well sized and can cater from small parties to up to 20 people.
Erotic Massage Parlors
Most of the cities in Japan have adult massage services which can vary from independent masseurs (often escorts) who will provide out-call services to your hotel to dedicated salons. Those that provide sexual services are often known by other names which can include ‘love lounges’, ‘love stations’ or simply ‘erotic massage’.
In Tokyo, you can find the most abundant choice in sexy massage with a range of clubs offering everything from a rub and tug to full service.
Just as many venues don’t always except foreigners for service, there are venues which cater for non-Japanese men. This is usually explicit from the shopfront with signs stating ‘No Foreigners’ being in English as well as other Asian languages. Again, don’t take this personally, there are plenty of places where your money will be welcome.
An hours massage costs in the region of 20,000 YEN ($185); a happy ending can cost as little as $100. In recent years, venues known as seikan esutes have been taking more business. With budget prices and instant availability, touts tend to work around the red-light areas for these places. A word of caution though: a lot of these venues are staffed by Chinese or Korean women and the experience is not as high-end as you would expect from a Japanese massage salon. The emphasis being on customer service and a satisfying GFE with Japanese girls. However, if you want to pay less for less then you still get same result, right?
Whilst it would be misleading to call them ordinary, you can simply check out an ‘ordinary’ brothel to receive full service whilst in Japan. Known as sex or escort clubs the whorehouses of Japan by no means offer a simple menu. Most try to appeal to the sense of play that is inherent within the sex industry of Japan and incorporate something else with their services. Whether this is themed rooms, costume play or doubling up as a soapland or image club, brothels in Japan are a hit to the senses.
In Osaka, you can try the Osaka Maugee Escort Club and in Tokyo hit up the Nipponbashi International Head Shop. Both have a good range of girls, services and are gaijin friendly.
Gentleman’s clubs in Japan are similar to those found in the rest of the world. You can expect erotic cabaret style entertainment with Japanese and non-Japanese dancers. The waitresses are scantily clad and you can get lap dances from your choice of dancers in a private room or booth. Largely attended by salary men and visiting businessmen, strip clubs can be found in all the major cities.
Juso Music in Osaka is a good venue, DX Kabukicho and Club Roaring 20s in Tokyo and Confidential in Roppong are also popular strip clubs.
Most venues offer packages which include drinks on top of an entrance fee with discounts being available during quieter periods.
Japanese men who want to experience FS without the possible stigma of using a prostitute use what’s known as date clubs. Usually used by richer men, the clubs charge membership fees as well as introduction fees plus date fees. Paid to the girl directly, date fees seem similar to what you would pay a hooker with the rest being a cost normally levied to the brothel. If it seems like a brothel or escort service, then don’t be confused because that’s exactly what it is…just call it a date club to avoid offending anyone.
Fashion Health Clubs
Similar to soaplands, fashion health clubs provided attended before and after shower experiences with a hand job or blow job being performed in a private cubicle. Prices vary from $45 to $200 depending on the establishment, type of service and caliber of attendant.
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