A ‘Japanese only’ place in Tokyo’s red light district

There will of course be the argument that language skills are needed to speak through the ‘magic mirror’ this place so proudly possesses. Hence the nationality requirement. But Japanese ability is in no way just restricted to those born here, and anyway, this isnโ€™t the only establishment to enforce such restrictions. Not even in this area in fact, let alone the whole of Japan. And yet what really struck me was the darkly comic irony of the internationally sounding American Crystal being anything but.

Japanese only


  1. Martin says

    A lot of the interesting places are Japanese only but from your photo I’d guess at this place it’s because the girls only understand Japanese. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  2. Ina says

    Somehow, your reflection adds to that dark irony tenfold…Thank you for these everyday glimpses. Fantastic job, as always!

  3. willy says

    I got kicked out of a bar in Tokyo once.. because the Philippine wait staff spoke English.. and the boss didn’t understand. Well Paranoia is alive and kicking everywhere(me out in that instance).

  4. J-L B says

    Rather than racism, could ” Only Japanese people” be instead xenophobia? (fear or hatred of foreigners). I experienced it twice in my life in North-America. In both cases a Caucasian manager told a crew of workers that they were hopeless because they didn’t understand the “white man ways”..
    All eyes turned to me, as I was the only Caucasian in the crew.

    In both cases these managers–different towns, 20 years apart–shouted, pointing at me “He is not a XXXX white man, he is a XXX European!”
    So I told the managers ” you are a Caucasian..where do you think your ancestors came from, if not Europe?”

    The great thing is that, in both cases, my co-workers, after the manager was gone, hugged me and apologized for thinking I got my job unfairly.

    • says

      Thanks. I was pleased to be able to get the reflections.

      Not sure if it’s actually Yakuza run, but I’m sure there’ll be Yakuza connections in some form or other. But nah, not dangerous. Unless you go actively looking for trouble it’s totally fine.

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