Eluding the Law

 It is said that there are approximately 10,000 sex establishments throughout Japan, which have been approved legally. Those that haven’t are not included.

 Technically, those that have been are also illegal. Let’s put that aside for now.

 How do the gray sex clubs do business? How do they keep up appearances?

 An increasing number of online prostitution is found these days. It’s like anything goes here. You can’t tell whether they’re organized or individual. They have no offices or front desks. It’s difficult to get the picture of what they really are.

 Aside from that, some sex clubs do business fairly and squarely despite the fact that they are defined as different facilities legally. The most well-known places are Tobita in Oosaka and Yoshiwara in Tokyo. Tobita are among the top red-light districts in western Japan. Yoshiwara is the mecca of soapland.

1 Tobita is a very small area which is densely packed with restaurants. None of them serve decent food. They provide women instead. Still, they have to be restaurants in a legitimate fashion. That’s why they serve tea and snack to every single customer. That’s also a sign that a session time begins.

 I wonder why they’ve ended up in the current way. I guess there must have been a backstage deal between the police and gangsters that want to make money from prostitution. It looks weird even to me.

 Sex establishments with a front desk, including soaplands, are obligated to close at 24:00 without a minute’s delay. Gray zones are seen everywhere in this business, but the time is kept precisely.

 Many men come all the way to Yoshiwara late at night but miss opportunities to take sessions. Insiders have chances to earn some money here. Customers want to enjoy.

 So there are several hotels targeting them. As you might guess, they don’t offer accommodation but prostitution. Most of them are affiliated with soaplands, which eagerly lead customers who visited later than 23:00.

 I saw a bunch of customers getting into a soapland’s car just after 24:00. It was such an odd sight.

 Red-light districts after the midnight come with illegal prostitution, but most of them are not associated with buildings. The degree in Yoshiwara is pretty rare.

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