Remember how the law says prostitutes can’t have sex with customers?

Now, you two are considered to be having sex as a couple, rather than as a customer and prostitute, and therefore no one is breaking any laws

At this point, you may argue, “You must be kidding! I have seen people entering hotels with a prostitute before!” Well, they are not prosecuted because as with any law, there are loopholes. What if you are not one of their customers? To make it legitimate, the prostitution agency will only have to arrange a “blind date” for you with your selected girl. After the date, you are now a “couple” and you two can do the business perfectly legally. Some businesses are very smart, aren’t they?

Another little secret about Kabukicho is that it is a place that is crowded with members of the Yakuza, the Japanese mafia. Yakuza members are all over the place in the Kabukicho area because it is the place where most of their businesses are run. This is why you can see policemen on duty in many places in and around Kabukicho. Ask any of the locals, and they will tell you that it is better not to cause any trouble in Kabukicho because you might get much more than you bargained for.

Remember, in Japan, gangs and the mafia are legitimate, and the Yakuza is officially recognised as a real organisation. So make sure you keep yourself in check at all times and avoid making trouble, especially if you are drunk. In fact, the Yakuza and the Japanese police are working hand in hand to ensure security in their areas. In some cases, the police even have to ask the Yakuza for help with cases. The Yakuza don’t like it at all when people make trouble in their territory! If you have a tendency to break laws or get crazy when you drink, maybe Kabukicho is not the right place for you to visit.

If you are just looking for a fun night with friends and some low-key places to drink, you can find them in this area, although you should be prepared to get invited into more seedy places from time to time!

Not all of the bars and clubs are Yakuza-operated, but their intimidating presence alone is enough to give most people goosebumps

Of course, the area is filled with Karaoke places which are safe and a great place to socialize with friends and have some drinks or snacks. Some popular karaoke places include ‘Utahiroba’, which is fun and cheap, Karaoke-Ken, Big Echo, and Shidax (a bit more classy and a bit more pricey but great facilities).

Aside from karaoke, another type of bar/restaurant you may come across is a themed venue. There are many of these rocking around, and they are well worth a visit if you are in the area. One popular one which you really won’t find anywhere else in Japan is the Robot Restaurant, where you can eat alongside mechanical friends and watch a robot show! There are fitness singles also various horror-themed restaurants and bars which are fun and not seedy at all!

Basically, this area has it all, not just hostess bars and bars meant for attracting clients. You should be cautious in this area, but also keep in mind that this city is very safe, especially compared to western cities. The chances are, you will feel totally safe most of the time, and won’t have any trouble at all (unless, of course, you are looking for trouble).

You will most likely be accessing the Kabukicho area from Shinjuku Station. If so, you should make your way to the East Exit, and you can follow the signs to do this. Once here, there are several East Exits, but the best idea is to head for the main (central) East Exit.

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