Translated News, Interviews, Blogs, and More From Japan's Other Side

Girls Bar Under the Table Part Two

Men's Cyzo - Original Japanese Date: November 11th, 2014
English Translation Published: October 7th, 2015

Bars staffed by women in Japan are increasingly veering into the territory firmly claimed by hostess clubs and are paying the price for it.

(Translator's note: This post is a continuation of a previous entry.)


Girls Bars operate a bit differently than the brothel-sanctioned (though not really brothels) hostess clubs. Hours can be longer and staff hiring is a bit looser, but certainly nobody under 18 can work at one—let alone at night into the early morning hours. Complex uniforms can help raise the popularity of a bar. Some have casino themes, some traditional Japanese themes, and others just try to show as much skin as possible. This, at least, is just a way various Girls Bars across the nation conduct business in order to stay afloat. By itself, issues with the law are far and few.

I spent some time looking up the laws that were allegedly broken by these two bars. It turns out that licenses are required for 'adult establishment' where entertaining guests is a business priority. Both bars in question, however, were regulated simply as bars in spite of the somewhat risque interactions taken for granted by customers and staff. Changing clothes and wearing lewd uniforms in front of customers would clearly denote a 'brothel' business which is something both bars lacked in proper classification.

Girls Bars often draw a fine line between a full-on hostess club environment and neighborhood drinking establishment. A hostess club is regulated as a brothel because the staff is always in close proximity to an increasingly intoxicated clientele whereas bar staff are required to keep some distance while on shift. Another aspect of hostess clubs that were found to be in some of the Girls Bars in violation were instances of the female staff not only remaining in close contact with customers, but touching them relatively inappropriately along with mouth-to-mouth feeding and drinking.

It's always possible that both bars in question simply did not know their business practices were venturing into the hostess level of indecent interactions. Either way, they did breach what they could do while being classified simply as a bar. There's no question about that and they were punished according to the rules already on the book.

We will probably see more instances of 'selective cleanup' of establishments clearly on the gray line of operations as Japan moves ever closer to the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. However, where will these cute young Japanese women find work for easy pay outside of working at a Girls Bar...?


Written by Gorou Sakagami


Men's Cyzo recommends this title to readers of this article.


(Translator's note: They'll never 'clean' up the adult industry here in time for the Olympics. Then again, is it really necessary? Girls Bars overall are pretty safe places to visit even as a foreigner so it's well-worth checking one out. They're also pretty open with their pricing so visits won't end with surprise checks that break the bank.)

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