Shinjuku’s Kabukicho district is well known as a popular entertainment area. Although when I say entertainment, I don’t mean bingo halls and bowling alleys. No, it’s very much adult (and male) orientated. I always remember my first visit, as in the middle of the street was a man holding up a placard with an arrow pointing down – for want of a better description – a dark passageway. And on his advertising board in bold letters were the words ‘Anal Sex’. In English too. As a wide-eyed and naïve gaijin fresh off the boat, I was surprised to say the least.
Anyway, arriving in Shinjuku on Friday to meet a friend and finding myself a little early, I thought I’d take a little detour through this colourful part of town. But with it only being 4 pm, I wasn’t expecting to see much activity. I was wrong.
Within 3 minutes I’d seen a rat out on an early evening stroll, and been very kindly invited by numerous dodgy looking men in suits to watch a live show, have a sexy massage, or alternatively indulge in rigorous and fulfilling sex. Oh, and also the offer of a look around a shop that was selling all manner of unusual and exotic items. Many of which I couldn’t even begin to fathom their purpose.
Although if those (apparent) sex aids were mind boggling, they weren’t quite as baffling as this sign above a nearby pachinko parlour.
But considering the area it is situated in, and the various services on offer, the gambling emporium’s name is rather appropriate.