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Taboo no longer: Japan’s sex industry rolls out welcome mat for foreign tourists

With the pandemic very much over, the number of foreign tourists visiting the country has surpassed pre-pandemic levels. Sensing opportunity, Japan’s historically xenophobic commercial sex trade, known as the fuzoku industry, is now targeting foreigners, who were once considered taboo.

According to weekly tabloid Shukan Jitsuwa (Apr. 25), the “foreigner friendly” model has been adopted by G, which opened last September in the Horinouchi brothel district of Kawasaki City. The outlet advertises its location online as being easily accessible to Haneda Airport, Japan’s busiest international hub.

Shukan Jitsuwa April 25

They offer their services localized to foreign tastes by providing a “walk-in” service whereby potential clients can meet sex workers, face to face, when making an appointment, which adds to the excitement of the transaction. Though a standard service found outside of Japan, this is a breakthrough add-on for country conditioned to using photos for the brokering of deals.

Setting them apart from the competition, G offers multiple-partner services where sex workers can be booked back-to-back or together through their “double-dip” and “threesome” plans. Prices start at 20,000 yen for a 30-minute service. At current exchange rates, that converts to a reasonable $123.

A sex industry writer tells Jitsuwa: “There’s an increasing trend within the sex industry for doing business with foreigners in mind, notably in the Namba district of Osaka City and the Yoshiwara soapland quarter of Tokyo. Signage outside of stores in these areas welcome foreigners in English.”

The trend is just not just on Honshu. The Soap, a high-end brothel in the red-light district of Susukino, Sapporo City opened for business last November. It accepts foreigners with an additional surcharge of 5,000 yen.

Another brothel in the vicinity, Aqua Beyond, has its pricing page written in English. In a turn of the tables, Japanese nationals are offered a discount of 10,000 yen over the advertised prices. “A lot of effort is being is put in trying to attract foreign clientele,” says the aforementioned writer.

Western Japan’s largest brothel district of Tobita Shinchi in Osaka City has signs in English posted throughout the area. There is also kiosk nearby to exchange foreign currency.

“By the way,” continues the same writer, “there are rumors that a new brothel will be opening in Tokyo that targets foreigners. So it seems that the trend won’t be slowing down anytime soon.”