Kabukicho Red Light District

Kabukicho Red Light District


Kabukicho is an entertainment and red-light district in the Shinjuku ward of Tokyo. It is famous for its innumerable pink cabarets, hostess bars, porn video and DVD outlets, strip joints and many love hotels. However, most of the sexual services which are on offer are not available to foreigners unless of you enter with a cognoscente. Kabukicho is often termed as a ‘sleepless town’. This famous red light district of Tokyo was named after the Kabuki Theater was supposed to be built here after the end of World War II but, unfortunately, the theater never got built. The name was retained but this district does boast of a number of good theaters including a few that put on Broadway musicals.

Kabukicho is now a famous Red Light district of Tokyo although the place is less friendly than similar places in other parts of the world. There have been numerous campaigns to clean up the area and make it less seedy and most of the sleazy places have been closed down and technically speaking, prostitution is illegal in Japan. A number of closed circuit cameras have been installed and security has been beefed up to make the place more tourist-friendly. However, women should avoid wandering alone on the streets after dark. However, in spite of the government crackdown some of the places are still very dirty. The area is dotted with dingy looking alleys and the place is densely populated with touts and hostesses. The government has announced a ban on street solicitation but these strict regulations need to be enforced so that people can walk the streets with less anxiety.

The Red Light District

This world renowned red-light district is home to more than 3000 bars, nightclubs and love hotels. Although the area is known as a red light district, there are no red lights in the area a la Amsterdam in Europe. Since tourism from China is constantly increasing, nowadays people are visiting Kabukicho even during day time.

There are a number of adult sex shops that sell vibrators and different kinds of sex aides such as dildos and lingerie. The area is dotted with strip clubs, massage parlors, Pink Salons, Image Clubs and Soap Lands. Since the area is ‘controlled’ by Japanese mafia, it is wise not to get into any kind of trouble in this area.

The streets are full of touts who would want to lure you to get into their bars and massage parlors but these touts generally prefer Japanese men and choose to ignore the foreign tourists. There are also a number of African men (Nigerians) who speak good English and will strike up a conversation with foreigners so that they get into the expensive strip clubs. These people are very harmless and less pushy. If you are not interested then just ignore them and they will leave you alone.

It is important to note that the Tokyo Red Light District or Kabukicho is not favored by all Western tourists. There are many who want to experience the vibrant night scene of the city and for them visiting the Shibuya district is a better proposition as the crowd is classy and less rowdy. However, contrary to popular opinion, Kabukicho is not at all sleaze and there are a number of good restaurants and cinemas in this area which is worth paying a visit.

Date posted: 12th August, 2015

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