Even Sta-dori…The Surprising Reason Why Ramen Restaurants in Kabukicho Serve Champagne
The reality of Piena, as depicted by a writer who is currently a student at Keio University. 4 years after Reiwa, Kabukicho is now ...... #36
What is the drink of Kabukicho? If asked that question, most people in this town would probably answer “Champagne! That’s how much Kabukicho residents tend to put champagne down at the drop of a hat. That’s how much the residents of Kabukicho tend to put down champagne whenever they feel like it. Host Masaya (pseudonym, 25) says, “In Kabukicho, you can’t just drop a bottle of champagne on anything.
People in Kabukicho say, “I support you! They are taught to show their support by their actions, not by their words. Champagne is an ironclad rule for celebrations. We always pour champagne for celebrations such as the opening of a restaurant or the owner’s birthday. Champagne is around 20,000 to 30,000 yen for a “high-end” champagne such as Veuve Clicquot. When I was having a hard time in Corona, I would go around to the restaurants that usually took care of me and open a bottle of champagne as a way of saying, “Let’s work hard for each other.
Restaurants that serve as purveyors to the cast members of host clubs and cabaret clubs have a deep relationship of mutual support. Some restaurants even make their own “original champagne” (commonly known as “oirishan”) and have their regulars drop it off to make sales.
But this is just the beginning. Even more surprisingly, there is even a ramen shop in Kabukicho that sells champagne.
I used to be hosted by a ramen shop.
Anna (a pseudonym, 24), a hosiery fanatic who has been going in and out of Kabukicho since she was a minor, says, “I was a representative of a host club, but I was also a hostess.
There was a host who ran a ramen shop while representing a host club. I was still underage when I met him, so I couldn’t enter the host club. But he said I could go to his ramen shop, so he talked to me about various things while we ate ramen. Then he said to me, “You know, what I do is almost like hosting! Put the champagne down right here! (laughs). (Laughs.) I poured champagne several times at the ramen shop. After I turned 20 and could drink at host clubs, I used it at the restaurant.
There are several ramen shops in Kabukicho that were started by former or current hosts as a side job. In many cases, these stores are used by their fellow hosts at the end of the workday or after hours with their customers, so champagne is almost without exception on the menu.
Sometimes, the owners of the ramen shops themselves serve customers. In such cases, it may be in the nature of the host to want to make sales by having the customers order champagne.
On the other hand, there are ramen shops that serve champagne even though they have no such roots.
K” is a ramen chain with multiple locations around Tokyo. At its Kabukicho branch, “champagne” is sold for 10,000 yen and “staff drinks” for 500 yen. Both are purchased from a ticket machine.
The Takadanobaba branch and other branches do not have champagne vouchers, which is a reflection of the “local culture” of Kabukicho.
One of the author’s acquaintances was surprised when he downed a glass of champagne at “K.” The staff was surprised, too. Incidentally, staff drinks are ordered quite often.
The culture of spending money to “cheer up” the customers makes Kabukicho’s restaurants more and more exciting.
Born in Tokyo in 2000. After attending an integrated school in Tokyo from elementary school to high school, he went on to Keio University, where he has been living in Kabukicho since he was 15 years old and has a wide range of personal connections. At university, he is studying the sociology of the downtown area, including Kabukicho.
His book, ” Pien” to shakai” (“The Disease of ‘Pien’: Consumption and Approval of the SNS Generation”), is now on sale.
Interview and text by： Sasaki Chihuahua