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Guide to sex on the sly in Kansai

Shukan Asahi Geino Oct. 23
Shukan Asahi Geino Oct. 23

The Tobita Shinchi area of Osaka is widely known as one the top-five red-light districts in Japan where full sex is available.

However, a special feature on underground night life in Kansai, Shukan Asahi Geino (Oct. 23) reveals the area, located in Nishinari Ward, to be but one of the many opportunities awaiting pervy punters.

But how can this underground practice, which is technically illegal — coital sex is prohibited under the Anti-Prostitution Law — manage to continue to exist?

“Occasionally there are patrols, but no big raids,” says a writer covering the underground fuzoku trade. “So the businesses survive.”

The writer cites two reasons.

“Historically, the establishments have blended in with the surrounding communities to the point where they are accepted,” says the source. “Plus, they contribute to the local economies.”

In Tobita Shinchi, the area consists of alleys of brightly lit ryotei structures. In the first-floor doorway of each establishment sits a woman attired in a revealing costume (a cheerleader uniform, for example). Next to her is an elderly female proprietor who verbally solicits clients.

According to Shukan Asahi Geino, the area’s brightly lit streets are surprisingly bustling given its underground status. Prices start at 16,000 yen for the first 20 minutes, but since this past summer the numbers of ryotei offering services for 11,000 yen for 15 minutes have jumped.

Tobita Shinchi (The Tokyo Reporter)

For some slightly down-market action, the magazine recommends Matsushima Shinchi. Much like Tobita, customers can browse before they buy: The establishments feature three or four women seated behind lit windows. Prices begin at 10,000 yen for the first 30 minutes.

Imazato Shinchi is the last of Osaka’s “Big Three” brothel areas. Lined with Korean “snack” hostess clubs, the area is where punters can get in and out without a condom at a rate of 13,000 yen for the first 30 minutes.

“Above ground fuzoku shops and the underground variety exist in different areas,” says the aforementioned writer. “That is the reason they thrive.”

Chinese massage joints

On the other hand, police have been targeting the street walkers and Chinese massage joints in the Tennoji and Kita areas, the magazine says. However, there is more to Kansai than Osaka.

The famous soapland bathhouses in the Fukuhara area of Kobe shut at midnight, but that is when a different kind of fun begins. Street walkers, some possibly awahime (or soap princesses), offer an hour of action for between 16,000 and 20,000 yen.

In nearby Amagasaki City, honban herusu (meaning full sex) is all the rage in the Kannami-gai area. Female attendants in their early 20s, and possibly attired in nurse uniforms, are seated on high stools are in full view of prospective purchasers. Interested customers are then taken to a separate room in the back at a rate of 12,000 yen for 30 minutes.

In Kyoto, one is advised to head south along the Kamo River from Kawaramachi Station through the dilapidated love hotel area to find working girls priced at 20,000 yen for 60 minutes.

Meanwhile, the pink lights illuminating the businesses in Tenno Shinchi of Wakayama City offer a blast-from-the-past feel. Women in their 50s lounge in the entrances of the shops, available for 10,000 yen for the first 30 minutes. The use of a condom might even be optional, the magazine suggests.

“If a guy wants to play a little, he’ll hit a regular fuzoku joint,” says the same writer. “But if he wants to have a real good time he’ll go underground.”

Source: “Kansai ura fuzoku sennyu kakushi tori rupo,” Shukan Asahi Geino (Oct. 23, special pull-out section)