The Shinjuko district boasts one of the most curious and eclectic nightlife scenes in the county, taking in the renowned strip of gay bars on 2-Chrome Street and the Kabukicho Red Light District which can be reached from the east exit of the teeming Shinjuko Station aka the busiest train station in the world.
Prostitution and sexual entertainment has been alive and kicking in the Land of the Rising Sun for hundreds of years, through such mediums as oiran and the exotic geishas. Technically speaking, you can also pay to see a woman or man naked, touch a prostitute in other ways besides sexual intercourse or receive an erotic massage from a sex worker without worrying about criminality.
Guide to stay safe in tokyo’s red light district- shinjuku kabukicho
But there are some rules of etiquette visitors must be mindful aboutespecially for non-Japanese speakers - for example, many bars in the district do not accept foreigners as customers due to the language barrier, and soliciting agents outside the adult clubs will usually avoid pitching to foreigners entirely. The area has a plethora of bustling bars which are well known to be owned and run by the Yakuza the Japanese mafiaand many stories have emerged from aggrieved travellers who had their drinks spiked and credit cards skimmed.
Making things all the more bizarre, the Yakuza and other mafia organisations are perfectly legal and are recognised as legitimate businesses in Japan, so be sure to keep your wits about you at all times inside Red Light territory just in case. Being drunk and disorderly in public is particularly frowned upon in Japanese society, so be mindful of this when imbibing on holiday in Tokyo.
Inside japan’s freaky themed bath houses and bars (nsfw)
Most clubs have some form of dress code, so style yourself well and bring plenty of cash as credit cards are not widely accepted. Travel advisory site Japan Info recently reported a story from foreigners visiting the Kabukicho Red Light District which claimed they were charged 2.
That said, the majority of online traveller reviews assured they were rarely approached by solicitors and when they were, the encounters were polite and courteous. If reviews are anything to go by, the food available in Kabukicho seems to leave a lot to be desired with many tourists awarding one star ratings and scathing critiques.
Although Kabukicho has a sprawling underbelly of sexual activities on offer, the district also boasts some straight up establishments where unusual cocktails are as exotic as things get. Albatross and Hair of the Dog are other oft-frequented bars with lively rock music, and the area is also packed with excellent Karaoke bars like Utahiroba, Karaoke-Ken and Shidax, all offering good clean fun for friends and family groups.
Although gambling for money is illegal in Japan, the national arcade game of Pachinko has become extremely popular among risk takers and betting enthusiasts. After inserting a coin into the pachinko machine, the game requires you to land a ball between two pegs and keep it in motion for as long as possible. While pachinko balls cannot be exchanged directly for cash, parlors circumvent the law by swapping balls for tokens which are then switched for cash - another loophole of the Kabukicho district.
Tokyo Cheapo advises steering clear of empty parlors, as they probably have low pay-out rates.
Types of prostitution in modern japan
The landmark makes for a great meeting point in the heart of Kabukicho, and sits beside the famous Toho cinema which offers a wide variety of dubbed and subtitled Japanese films. Japanese love hotels are infamous short stay accommodations specifically deed for quick sexual trysts for couples to enjoy in total privacy.
You Could Travel warn that you get what you pay for in Kabukicho love hotels, so be discerning - some establishments have also been known to refuse entry to foreign couples. Hotel Perrier is a popular choice offering in-room air conditioning and free private parking, as well as on-demand video and WiFi for its clientele.
The gallery is a family friendly option among the seediness of the Red Light District, spanning more than years of history through costumes, weaponry and storytelling. What is the Tokyo Red Light District?
Adventures in the kabukicho red light district of tokyo
Is prostitution legal in Japan? Tokyo's red light district Getty. Tokyo's Kabukicho Red Light District. Kabukicho Getty.