1.3 Million Yen a Month…Why Are Women in Shinjuku’s “Tachimbo Park” Here?
Report from the area: Many girls who appear to be "Toyoko Kids" and men waiting for the return of prostituted women.
In this area, it is common to see girls around 20 years old doing uri, and recently the number of girls who are clearly underage has increased. I often see girls who look like high school students going to a hotel with an old man who approaches them.
The name “Kouen” comes from the term “kouen,” which means “to provide assistance” in the park. The number of young “koen” (stand-up dancers) is rapidly increasing in the vicinity of Okubo Park in Kabukicho, Shinjuku. Every day, five to ten girls in “pienkei” looks, reminiscent of the “tohyoko kids,” and five to ten young women who look like they have nothing to do with prostitution stand on the streets. And there are several times that number of men talking to them or waiting for them to return to the park after they have finished their prostitution, creating a strange atmosphere.
Lena (pseudonym, 22 years old), who began prostituting in the park around November of ’21, told us at the beginning of this article. The four streets surrounding Okubo Park and the area of the adjacent health facility “Hygeia” had long been secretly famous as a spot for foreigners and middle-aged women to sell their bodies. But about two years ago, the number of young women around the age of 20 began to increase.
I think this area started to become famous last fall when a female teacher at an elementary school was arrested for playing stand-up here,” she said. Around May or June of this year, youtubers started taking up the story, and the number of men who seemed to be onlookers also increased. There are also some old guys who just want to talk to the girls.”
Rena stands for about six hours a night three to four times a week, and charges a fee of “15,000 yen (condom, hotel fee not included). She offers to provide assistance at a rate of “15,500 to 10,000 yen per night, condom and hotel fee not included. She earns 60,000 to 100,000 yen a day. She actually negotiates with customers on the street, and if a deal is reached, she moves to a nearby love hotel or Internet cafe. If the deal is successful, they go to a nearby love hotel or Internet cafe, where they engage in the actual sex act. In addition to the standing-up sex clubs, Rena also uses Twitter to recruit customers and sometimes meets up with them in Kabukicho. She says that she earned more than 1.3 million yen in July this year. She uses the large sums of money to pay tribute to her favorite host.
I used to work in a health club in Nagoya, but when I visited Tokyo on vacation, I went to a host club and fell in love with my current “boss” (……). It was too much work to go to the club, so I came to Tokyo. I spent about 500,000 yen a month at the host club I was in charge of, and when things were bad, I spent about 2 million yen a month. Even if I had less than 10,000 yen in my pocket after spending all my money, I would think to myself, “If I stand in the park tomorrow, I will have 60,000 to 70,000 yen in my pocket, so I can go to the hostel.
At a health club in Nagoya, you work 10 hours a day and get paid 40,000-50,000 yen. In that respect, the park is cosy because you earn money right away and you are not restricted by time. There is also an “encounter cafe” in Kabukicho, but the level of girls there is so high that we don’t attract many customers. So, I make money at the park, and when I have enough money, I go to Hoskura and repeat the process. If the person in charge would quit being a host, I wouldn’t have to do the uri.
As the number of players increases, the market and conditions change, as is usual in such places. Some Japanese women are apparently willing to pay 10,000 yen for “NN = live Nakadashi. This is probably lower than the price offered by the foreign women who stood in this park until a few years ago.
There is no question that playing stand-up in the park is dangerous.
I told them at the negotiation stage that I couldn’t do it without a rubber, but after we got to the hotel, many of them said, ‘I want to do it raw,’ or ‘I want to do it inside. There are also people who get angry and say, ‘I paid money but they didn’t give me any service at all,’ or people who expose their appearance or the content of their play on Twitter. The police sometimes question them about their duties, and I think the park area may soon disappear. So I’m looking for reliable fixtures on Twitter.”
The girls continue to stand in the park while the police keep a close eye on them. The place, which has long been famous as a prostitution spot, must have some kind of gravitational pull.
Reporting and writing： Hideo Hayashi：