Why don’t the hosts in Kabukicho approach our reporter anymore?

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When she was younger, she couldn’t tear herself away from them, so we visit the host club to find out what’s going on.

About 20 years ago our reporter Ikuna Kamezawa could hardly walk through some sections of Tokyo’s Kabukicho without being harassed by men calling her out on the street.

According to her estimates, the situation was so bad that at one point men called her about 50 times a day, and about half of them wanted her to visit their cabaret clubs and the other half asking her to visit host clubs.

Back then, Shinjuku’s famous red-light district was full of hosts’ clubs where the hosts personally entertained guests with drinks and banter, and today it remains the best place for these bars, but one thing has changed.

Now hosts inviting her to their clubs do not approach Ikuna at all.

▼ Entrance to Kabukicho

In fact, the harassment by men trying to get her to spend money at their establishments has decreased so much that now no one even approaches Ikuna, despite walking the same route she used to go to work.

Ikuna has been regularly disembarking trains at the East Exit of Shinjuku Station for years, and in those days the harassment started after exiting the ticket gates as shown below.

When she was younger, she was even harassed by men at the exit above the ground (see below). Sometimes, when she didn’t have the energy to deal with the harassment, she would take a detour through Subnade, an underground commercial district.

After leaving Shinjuku Station via the east exit, Ikuna crossed the street and walked along the path next to the Alta building, commonly known as “Harcerska Streetamong women, thanks to all spruikers.

▼ Ikuna and her friends avoided crossing the “Scout Street” at all costs (pictured below).

Then, when you get to the large Don Quijote chain store (pictured right, below), it was really hard, with lots of hosts working around the clock to get women to come and visit their premises.

However, Ikuna is now in her 30s, and one of the things she’s noticed while walking around the neighborhood is that he’s a lot calmer because…the hosts no longer approach her.

Sure, Ikuna doesn’t dress as cute as she did ten or twenty years ago, but she’s not an ugly woman and is often told that she still looks like she’s in her twenties. So why don’t the hosts turn to her?

▼ Ikuna shows us what she usually wears as she passes Kabukicho on her way to the office.

While she disliked being held back by hosts when she was younger, she never thought the day would come when no host would ever approach her. Was it because of what she was wearing? Or what did she look like? Or did they see her as an old hag since she wasn’t in her twenties?

Ikuna decided to direct her questions to someone who would be able to answer them – Mr. Naruse, producer of the “Awake” host club in Kabukicho.

▼ Mr. Naruse welcomed Ikuna to his host club with a warm smile, saying “Nice to meet you, I’m Naruse.”

Ikuna, who always had a slight contempt for the hosts due to the way they harassed her, began to faint at the sight of Naruse, and his extremely attentive behavior took her completely by surprise.

▼ Stick together, Ikuna!

Somehow, here in this warm and dimly lit environment, the host seemed a lot less threatening, and Ikuna immediately felt comfortable opening her heart to him. So, without hesitation, she asked him the question: “Why don’t hosts contact me anymore?

Mr. Naruse smiled and said:

“Let me explain. Originally, the rules of the host club industry were a bit vague, but when new changes to the Entertainment Business Act were introduced, activities such as spruiking for customers in the streets and opening until late at night were no longer allowed.

Even then, the rules were a bit vague, so in the beginning there were plenty of places where hosts would mingle with spruikers in izakaya pubs. However, in 2014, the Tokyo Metropolitan Government’s Nuisance Prevention Ordinance came into effect, and eventually even the izakaya staff were not allowed to fool around in the streets…”

“Huh!?!?!?” After hearing this story, Ikuna came to a conclusion.

▼ “So it’s not because I’m older and kinky?” Naruse asked Mr.

Mr. Naruse laughed and replied:

“No, of course not. These days, new customers generally come to us through news outlets and social media, and we hosts usually don’t stand on city streets anymore. If we did, hosts wouldn’t leave someone like you alone, I assure you you.

▼ Thanks for your reply, Mr. Naruse!

So in the end, Ikuna’s investigation of the matter made her feel relieved, but also a little conflicted. She likes to think of herself as a strong woman who doesn’t need attention to feel special, but in a strange way, the lack of attention after years of receiving it has made her wonder if she’s lost her charm.

While she’s definitely happy to no longer be harassed on the streets, she’s also happy that the change has nothing to do with her aging and weariness. But more than anything, she’s glad that today’s women don’t have to experience what she did when she was younger.

It’s a sign of how much things have changed in Kabukicho over the years, and more on that can be found in Mr. Naruse’s interview with Mr. Sato, in which he tells us how dangerous things used to be in the notorious area.

Reference: Smapp! Group
Pictures ©SoraNews24
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