Tokyo and the booming sex trade: the mirage of reality
Lee Jay Walker
Modern Tokyo Times
If you reside in Tokyo or visit this highly developed city then on the surface it appears that peacefulness abounds and that Tokyo is conservative. However, the truth could not be further because the sex trade is flourishing and it is either in the open or hidden from sight.
Buzzing parts of Tokyo like Ikebukuro are full of seedy love hotels and you have so many diverse places to visit within the vast compass of the sex trade. Now Shibuya is becoming engulfed by the sex trade and you have countless websites, sexual matching services, and so forth; which is mainly aimed at the domestic market.
What is more surprising is that many buildings may look normal from the outside and it appears that only trade is happening or only usual companies exist. However, this is not the case and so much remains hidden and is discreet.
Of course you get “red light areas” and open images of sexy ladies in parts of Ikebukuro, Ueno, Shinjuku, and other parts of Tokyo; however, many other parts of the sex trade looks highly respectable and it would be difficult to imagine the reality of what is really happening.
In up market Ginza you have the legendary “Ginza ladies” and you will see enjo kosai because many bankers and financial workers with high salaries work in Ginza, Nihonbashi, and Yurakcho. Therefore, money is awash and given the availability of so many beautiful ladies and high rolling businessmen; then obviously a powerful market exists.
I have lived in Manchester and London, and other major cities. However, while you have pockets of the sex trade in both cities is does not compare with Tokyo. Indeed, you have “used panty” vending machines in some areas of the sex trade in Tokyo and it is difficult to image such a thing in England.
It is reported that the sex trade generates $15 billion dollars a year in Japan but it is not just the enormous money that it generates which is astonishing; it is the diversity on offer. This applies to brothels which come under so many different names and this applies to image rooms, soaplands, pink salons, delivery health, and a vast number of names and services are provided.
Therefore, you can easily visit a fake train carriage and grope ladies in your “chikan heaven” or you can buy used panties at vending machines or visit a place and pick married women and so much more.
Not only this, you have seedy love hotels all over Tokyo and throughout Japan. Not all love hotels are seedy and many are used by lovers or married couples who have problems with meeting. This applies to living with parents for the younger generation or couples who have children and little privacy.
Yet in places like Ikebukuro you can meet a lady for sex outside either the local police station or wherever you want. After all, the police tend to leave people alone and then you can visit an abundance of seedy love hotels.
Not only this, many love hotels on the west side of Ikebukuro are within the residential area and clearly shame is not an issue. Therefore, I often see ladies dressed in long black leggings, short skirts and looking very sexy and it is abundantly clear that the older male or similar aged male is neither a boyfriend or their marriage partner.
Everything seems so natural and nobody appears to care therefore you can rent places for a few hours and then leave. Everything is tailor made for the sex industry to flourish and enjo kosai is also powerful.
Some pink establishments cater to the whims of their clients and are open 24 hours a day. Also, some pink establishments provide alibis to wives who provide a sexual service and the same applies to mothers and girlfriends.
Despite anti-prostitutions laws in Japan the police have adopted a relaxed approach and they rarely intervene. Also, it is clear that language manipulation is allowed and even illegal sexual joints are left alone in the main.
Japanese female sex trade workers are a little unique because the underclass is very small in Japan and drug abuse is still minor when compared to nations like America or Iran. Therefore, most ladies come from middle class backgrounds and you have many housewives involved in the sex trade or very young adult teens are involved in enjo kosai.
In places like Kabukicho in Tokyo it is clear that Chinese gangs have become involved in the sex trade and the Japanese yakuza appear to have separate zones of influence within the sex trade.
Foreign women sex workers often face brutal conditions because they were either tricked into prostitution and many have been forced into the sex trade. Many reside in terrible conditions and Japanese immigration appears to care little about this fact and if they run away to the police in Japan then they face deportation.
Turning back to internal sex trade workers in Tokyo then the Yoshiwara district is famous for soapland workers and the same applies to pink salons and delivery health services.
Pink salons applies to ladies dressed with little on and performing oral sex in areas where the lights are low; and this business is flourishing. Health applies to places where you partake in nude bathing with a sexy lady or sexual services are provided but not full intercourse. Therefore, “health” denotes being a place where sexual diseases can be prevented and this is aimed at reassuring the client.
Image rooms is what it sounds like and Japanese men in Tokyo can visit fake crowded subways in order to grope and touch ladies or they can be in a specially designed car and fulfill their dream.
Some ladies in image rooms will dress up like nurses, school girls, waitresses, manga characters, and so forth. You also have “baby play” whereby willing customers fulfill their desire to be in a diaper and treated like a baby and of course given the sexual nature, then breast feeding is an added cost.
S and M clubs are also popular amongst salarymen, company bigwigs, bureaucrats and other types of employment and you can also find dominatrix clubs.
Sexual cabaret clubs are based in many parts of Tokyo and you have “no-pan shabu restaurants” where waitresses have no panties on and very short skirts and for a strong tip they will bend over for the client or clients.
Indeed, Japanese men have a thing about food and women because you have “kaitzenzushi kuabakura” which is a combination of fast food and a sex club. This applies to young ladies being dressed like chiefs and they will expose their breasts and let you fondle them.
Sex is main-stream and Japan’s largest video rental chain, Tsutaya, provides vast numbers of new releases each month of new porn films. Of course, in the same shop you will find children buying Mickey Mouse films.
If you want to compare the sex trade with America then remember that in America you have around 300 million people compared to 127 million people in Japan. However, despite this, in America they produce 2,500 new porn videos a year but in Japan it is roughly 14,000 videos.
If you maximize this with the population then the ratio would be 2,500 in America to well over 30,000 a year in Japan.
In truth, you have an abundance of areas where the sex trade flourishes and you also have only women sex shops whereby they can pick sexual aides or videos to suit their needs.
Tokyo may seem like a gentle and tranquil city where crime is very low and everything looks rather conservative. However, in Tokyo, and throughout Japan, the sex trade business is thriving and the array of services is huge and this is all backed up by a police force which cares little and laws which have little meaning.
Yet, true to the nature of Tokyo it happens without the feel of danger or that it is upsetting the balance within this highly developed and beautiful city.
Therefore, the Japanese way of “compromise” is working because nearly every area of Tokyo is highly developed, very clean and drug issues are minor and the crime rate is very low.
In truth, you will not find a more highly developed city than Tokyo in the world which is buzzing with energy and where the infrastructure works. Also, negative social issues like crime and drugs are very low and the quality of life is very high.
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