Well, here it is, the Adults Only edition of the Akihabara City Guide. I have been apprehensive about releasing this page to the Web, even though I am sure the subject will proof clickworthy enough, and also lucrative from a CPC imperative. The problem lies with Google, my underwriter (and my overlord). As part of the Google AdSense program I am compelled to provide family-friendly content. No nudity, no sex, no general perversion, that's the general deal. These are, however, precisely the subjects which draw in the most visitors, as reports on Google Analytics appeal. So my dilemma is: should I succumb to censorship, or should I run rogue, and chase these illicit dollars down the drain? It is not just about the money, though; there is principle at stake: how can I be true to the world without chronicling its dark side, as well as the light? Over the years Japan has developed the reputation of being one kinky country, repressed but paradoxically unrestrained. I must confess, I have yet to see any of those legendary vending machines selling used schoolgirl underwear, but I believe they are there. Schoolgirls are an enduring fantasy for Japanese males of all ages, and maids are not far behind them. So, you can buy pr0n on the street, or even read it on the train, without the need for shame. But so what, exactly? Japanese realize there is dark to match the light, and a market for every shade of grey between. Which is, of course, why such places like Akihabara exist in the first place! This is a city of sin, more introverted than Patpong, but a city of sin nonetheless. Here are some of the more disturbing establishments to be found here.
5th Floor Hashikatsu Honten Building, 3-1-15 Soto Kanda, Chiyoda Ward, Tokyo.
Time to time in Akihabara you come across something truly bizarre, truly hentai (perverted). Battle is one of these places. The sign in the photo here says "Battle Catfight -- men & women pro wrestling". Battle proclaims itself to be a Pro Wrestling Shop, but there is much more to the place than that. As Harmful, a man well acquainted with the seedier sides of Tokyo, reported: "Another one of those find-the-tiny-folding-sign-and-go-in-the-anonymous-looking-doorway-and-up-the-elevator deals. Battle is on the 5th floor.but -- lucky you! it is sandwiched between 2 other fetish stores! on the 4th is SPORTS FETISH store, where you can get videos of naked volleyball and pictures of old gym shorts, and 6th floor is FETISH WORLD.
FETISH WORLD is sort of a grab-bag of weird-for-the-sake-of-weird depravity, with a general focus on feet and trampling..."
Battle is open from 11am to 10pm.
3rd Floor Ohtake Building, ?-?-? Soto Kanda, Chiyoda Ward, Tokyo.
Phone: (03) 5298 2499.
When I was just a newbie in Japan, Cheap Bastard was trawling the backstreets of Akihabara, searching for buried treasure. A couple of years ago he encountered a specialist comics shop called Brainstown, somewhere off Chuo-Dori. I haven't managed to find it myself, but this is how the Bastard described this scene: "Take the stairs up to the 2nd floor, where they sell regular and hentai manga and magazines. Going up to the 3rd floor, they sell doujinshi, doujinshi soft, doujinshi goods, some live-action porn, and some other hentai anime-type shit. It's all retail price."
5th Floor Akihabara Center, 1-6-7 Soto Kanda, Chiyoda Ward, Tokyo.
Phone: (03) 3251 5865. Web: web.archive.org/web/20060415002716/http://www.doll-cafe.net/.
Waiting for a train last weekend I noticed a new billboard at Akihabara Station (Hibiya Line), at the southern end of the northbound platform. On first glimpse I thought it was spruiking a new maid cafe, or a place where the waitresses dress up as anime stars, etc. But no, that would be too pedestrian, too mundane. The billboard was in fact advertising a hentai-themed hotel (I suppose we could call it a "brothel", but I might get banned for using such a term). The story gets even kinkier: it turns out that none of the hostesses/prostitutes at this "cafe" are real. They are, wait for it... dolls! You could say that this is a dollhouse for grown-ups, for men who like playing with dolls. I admit, some of them look cute -- see some pictures here. But for the life of me I just can't understand why people would shell out money -- and this case a lot of money -- to sleep with a doll. For that amount of money they could purchase a real hooker.
Like love hotels, there are two options -- the short stay (euphemistically called a "rest"), and the "night course".
It's cool to take photos of yourself with the dolls, and you can also dress them up in whatever turns you on -- school uniforms and maid costumes seem to be particularly popular (this being Akihabara and all!)
The dolls are specifically made for love, weigh in at around 26 to 28 kilograms, and are 140cm to 150cm tall when standing. A night of passion with one of them will set you back 22,000 Yen (around US$250). If you want a quick rumble then a 45 minute session will cost you only 10,000 Yen.
4-3-2 Soto Kanda, Chiyoda Ward, Tokyo.
Phone: (03) 5209 4088.
This bright orange bazaar occupies a sliver of Chuo Dori streetside between LAOX and Sega, near Akihabara Station. Not only is the building narrow, but the aisles are very restricted as well. There is not much room, because it is stuffed with pr0n, anime pr0n -- adult videos or AVs as they call them in Japan.
I personally find this an interesting store, though I am no hentai (my girlfriend might disagree!) As you head up the stairs (which are narrow, like everything else in the complex) the vidoes and DVDs become progressively more hardcore. On the first and second floors it is fairly innocent enough -- cute girls in school uniforms or maid outfits, a lot of lesbian action, tongues interlocking, bodies erupting in wild passion... The stairs go on, ever up. By the time you stumble out on to the fifth floor, things have gone too far, as far as I am concerned -- bestiality, girls chained up with the dogs, sex in the stables, and that sort of thing are the order of the day. Amusingly, the customers look respectable enough -- salarymen on their lunch break and young students. Ahhhh... such is the paradox of Japan. Innocent but yet kinky -- and they don't even know how kinky they are. That's why I love this country!
If you make it to the roof, there is a maid cafe called Lamm Maid Café, which you can read about here. I never got that far.
If you want to get emails from a guy pretending to be a girl pretending to be your girlfriend, jon this site. Miharu is in fact a fictional "Akihiaba style idol", and she is often dressed in a school uniform. Basically the idea is you give Miharu your cellphone address and she will send you childish but rauncy and suggestive emails (I am not sure foreign email addresses are okay -- you might as well give it a try!) There's a guy in Liberty House who claims that he used to work in such a company, pretending to be a woman. Therefore Miharu wouldn't do it for me because I know how this particular magic trick works. If you one of those people who can suspend disbelief, you might get turned on by Miharu. If you are in Tokyo you might also catch her in public -- I saw two of her at Harajuku today, dressed in her famous maid costume (see the picture above!)