Kabukicho’s New Year: Intimate Moments and Shrine Visits with Clients | FRIDAY DIGITAL

Kabukicho’s New Year: Intimate Moments and Shrine Visits with Clients

The reality of Piena, as depicted by a writer who is currently a student at Keio University. 2024, Kabukicho is now ...... the 80th issue

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Heading to the shrine for New Year’s visits with customers every day. It seems that popular hosts have no time off, even during the New Year holidays.

In preparation for the abolishment of the sales pitch, which will begin in April, many host clubs in Kabukicho have changed the amount of money that can be sold to 30% of the total account from January. In addition, customers are no longer allowed to enter the clubs until they have paid their bills.

“I used to live extravagantly on credit at the beginning of the month and worked in the adult industry to pay it off by the end of the month. When I think about it now, it’s crazy.”

According to Mika (pseudonym, 22), the end of the year and the beginning of the new year are the best times to make money in the sex industry.

“Christmas surprisingly gets quite busy too. The difficulty is that it’s hard to book hotels. People who are feeling lonely because they don’t have someone to spend the holidays with, or those finishing work for the year, come. Many people call on a whim with friends while they’re home for the holidays, and there are quite a few who call in a drunken state. Occasionally, there are even virgins clutching their New Year’s money.”

All the money Mika earns disappears on the first business day of the year.

“I chose this path because I liked my customer, but still, when you engage in something resembling sex with several people only during the year-end and New Year’s, it messes with your head (laughs). I even spent the New Year’s moment in a hotel with a client I just met. When I see Instagram posts, my assigned host is back home, eating his mom’s warm meals, saying he’s showing filial piety and handing over a large sum of money to his parents. I can’t help but think, ‘That money is what I earned working for you during the year-end and New Year’s without going back home to my family.'”

A 29-year-old mid-career host, Yuto (a pseudonym), told us how he spent the New Year’s holiday.

“I’m from Kyushu, and most of my friends are already married with kids. So, I can only go out and drink during the year-end and New Year’s. Of course, I get mocked for being a host sometimes, but I just think, ‘I make your annual salary in a month?’ (laughs). So, I deliberately dress like a host when I go back home. My relatives say it’s cool, and even my parents, who were initially against it, have started warming up to me as I buy them electronics every year.”

Some hosts even invite employees who have no family or who do not return home to their hometowns. The sight of everyone gathering around homemade food is both pseudo-familial and reminiscent of a childhood party.

There are hosts who use the year-end and New Year’s for rest like this, and there are also hosts who are immersed in work throughout.

“I’ve already been to Hatsumode five times.”

Haruto (pseudonym, 28), a host who smiles wryly, is from Suginami Ward, Tokyo. After returning home for one day, he spends every day with his clients.


“I’m inviting clients to the New Year’s shrine for now. I try to change the shrine as much as possible. I’ve decided to go to Asakusa with the girl who spent the most money on me the previous year. We draw fortune slips each time, but the results are always different, so I’ve stopped believing in it. The year-end and New Year’s is a long vacation period, and girls go back home and become more composed.

By spending this time together and welcoming the new year, I can convey, ‘Thank you for last year. Let’s be together again this year.’ So, these events are important. As I go through more repetitions, my enthusiasm fades in the latter half… Last year, I went to cherry blossom viewing over 10 times, so I hope to reduce that a bit this year.”

This is how the New Year’s opening of the host club began. They call it the Kagami-wari event, open sake, and put on hakama. Hosts who have just turned 20 hold a coming-of-age event and are forced to drink until they are tongue-tied. Despite its commercial nature, Kabukicho may be a town that enjoys all the traditional Japanese events.


Sasaki Chihuahua
’00. Born in Tokyo. Attended an integrated school in Tokyo from elementary school to high school, then went on to Keio University. 15 years old, he has been going to Kabukicho and has a wide network of contacts. At university, he is studying the sociology of downtown areas including Kabukicho. His book, ” Pien” to shakai” (“The Disease of ‘Pien’: Consumption and Approval of the SNS Generation”) is now on sale.

From the January 26, 2024 issue of FRIDAY

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