Uncovering Pots and Pops and Surviving the Hidden Sex Industry Beyond Downtown | FRIDAY DIGITAL

Uncovering Pots and Pops and Surviving the Hidden Sex Industry Beyond Downtown

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Some brothels continue to survive even though they are not located downtown.

Compared to the past, opportunities to see signs of brothels such as soaplands and health clubs in downtown areas have decreased. This is because it has become virtually impossible to open new store-type brothels under the Entertainment Business Control Law, and existing permitted establishments are unable to undergo expansion or renovation. According to data from the National Police Agency, the number of soaplands nationwide has decreased from 1,408 in 1983 to 1,185 as of 2021.


Taking their place are non-store-type brothels such as delivery health services. As of 2021, there are 26,740 of these establishments. “No-store” brothels have been the mainstream for quite some time now.


However, there are still brothels striving to continue their operations nationwide. Among them, there are brothels surviving in unexpectedly unusual locations, where you might find yourself exclaiming, “Wait, there’s a brothel here?”


Remote restaurants may evoke a sense of anticipation with thoughts like “This might be really delicious,” but what about brothels? One might not have the best impressions, imagining scenarios like “An outrageously elderly woman might come out,” or “I might end up being kidnapped and stripped bare.” However, within these “lonely” brothels are many establishments that have survived through customer support. There’s the “Northernmost Soapland in Japan” in Hokkaido, a hidden gem shop in the Kanto region where nearly 100 customers visit daily, and even one in Shizuoka Prefecture popular among elderly men living in nearby nursing homes. Each of these establishments utilizes its own strategy and features, quietly garnering support.


In the paid version of “FRIDAY GOLD,” they reveal a real-name list of lonely brothels located all across Japan.

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