As even a novice would testify, among the most popular adult-entertainment options in Japan are the hostess club (whereby conversation with an attractive woman is the focus) and the oppai pub, a similar establishment but one in which women’s breasts take top billing.
However, Weekly Playboy (Sept. 11) would like to introduce its readership to the currently popular icha-kyaba, a club that offers intimacy.
A typical icha-kyaba establishment has all the trappings of a hostess club, in that seated women pour drinks while engaging in pleasant conversation, and the shoulder-to-shoulder closeness of an oppai pub, but with one crucial difference: Touching is allowed.
“The term ‘icha-kyaba’ came into vogue about a year ago,” says a writer who covers such topics. “Right now, Tokyo has about 50 such clubs. Over the past six months, the genre has exploded.”
The writer says that crackdowns on izakaya outlets employing school girls attired in revealing uniforms has been part of the reason for their popularity.
As to what exactly happens at an icha-kyaba joint, Weekly Playboy probes further.
“Since there is a bit of variation from club to club, there is no strict definition as of yet about what comprises an icha-kyaba,” says the writer. “But, in general, there are some services that are common, such as the hostess slinging her legs over the knee of the customer, who can also fondle the upper half of her clothed torso.”
Though rare, kissing is possible, as is the chance to touch the bare breasts of the hostess.
Well, says Weekly Playboy, those services sound awfully similar to what is on offer at a typical oppai pub. But not so fast, the writer cautions, there’s more.
“The level of the girls at an icha-kyaba club is higher,” says the writer. “A lot of hostess clubs are in fact converting their operations to icha-kyaba establishments, and using the same girls.”
Then there is the matter of cost.
“While kyabakura joints may have lower cover charges, customers wind up paying a lot via the drinks they buy for girls,” says the writer. On the other hand, an icha-kyaba pub is often priced in packages that make the total cost the same or even cheaper. Plus you can touch the girls, so the cost performance is better.”
The magazine mentions Fortuna, located in the Akasaka entertainment area. Due to an ongoing special, entry to the club can be had for as little as 2,980 yen for the first 30 minutes.
However, love counselor Isaki Toyoshima says that the appeal of the clubs is as a result of an intangible factor that exceeds such aspects as content of services and number of yen.
“It is the sensation of virtual love,” says the counselor.
“But since a visit to an icha-kyaba establishment does not contain that emotional emptiness there is that feeling of wanting to return,” says the counselor. “So you can see why they’ve become popular.”
Source: “Icha-kyaba ga hayaru riyu,” Weekly Playboy (Sept. 11, pages 62-63)