Interview with a Japanese Hostess

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The lady in this photograph is not the lady being interviewed. Photo Cred:

What if I told you that you can pay to drink with young, beautiful women who will compliment and shower you with affection?

It’s not a fantasy. In fact, host and hostess bars are huge business in Japan with clients paying anything from $500 to $5,000 a night, or even more, for just drinking, chatting and being shown a good night after a long work day.

The most concentrated location of hostess bars is Tokyo’s Red Light District, ‘Kabukicho’ (歌舞伎町) in Shinjuku, sometimes referred to as the ‘Sleepless town.’

But, what is so attracts someone to being paid to flirt? What kind of clients come and are there rules to follow?

Miyu, age 26, has been hostessing for 3-4 years part-time while attending university during the day. She works with an agency that places her in different hostess clubs every week.

Why do clients come to hostess clubs?

Guys want to talk to young and pretty girls. Some guys are lonely. Some guys are neglected by their wives/girlfriends and they wanna feel affection and stuff. Some guys are looking for a girl to date(many hostesses take advantage of it). When I say this when people ask the same question sometimes, they say “but why don’t they just talk to girls like, at a bar, for free?” That’d be ideal but there’s chance that you get rejected. At a hostess club you’ll never get rejected, girls always like you. Deep down guys should know it’s not real but it still feels nice and that’s why customers go to hostess clubs it seems. Some business people go to hostess club to wine and dine their clients as well.

What demographic of people come? 

It really varies. Young to old. Alone and a group of people. Sometimes a girl is in a group. Many kinds of jobs from students to CEO’s.

What rules do you have to follow? 

Other than normal table manners, you’re supposed to always say you are single even if you’re not. Can’t ruin the customers dream and who’d be very interested in a taken girl? Many places don’t allow girls to wear black dresses because girls are supposed to stand out, look brilliant, not blend into walls or background. You can’t date men co workers.

Do you have to drink a lot?

It’s definitely a plus if you can drink a lot but you don’t have to be strong. Many places have secret signs for you to order fake alcohol drinks. The way to do that depends on the place but for example some places take orders by a note and if you add and write a heart mark♡ next to a drink you order, no alcohol comes to you. Some places are so nice to girls that they only serve real alcohol when you say “strong” when you order. Some stuff you can’t fake though like beer or some cocktails. You definitely can’t fake when there’s a kept bottle with the customers name on it and you share it with customers. So it depends on how often you get to those customers but it’s not like you need to drink a lot all the time.

Have you ever dated or had a crush on a client?

Never, personally. For me it’s just work and they’re just customers. It’s quite rare but it happens sometimes to some people, though. But again, for most girls it’s only a job and it’s very rare.

Is it really just drinking/flirting or are there ‘hidden’ options? 

I don’t think there’s any hidden options. It’s really just talking and drinking.

Is the Yakuza(Japanese mafia) involved? 

It is said so. But not quite sure because hostess girls don’t get to deal with those stuff.

What’s the average salary?

It depends on how popular you are. Usually you start from 3000 – 4000 yen per hour(roughly $26 per hour) and it can go down or go up depending on you.

What misconceptions do you want to clear up?

People who know the hostess world well say that many girls who work at a hostess club have some mental issues or are emotionally unstable. In society it’s not considered to be a good job and sometimes customers treat you like shit, like objects and you need to be strong. Personally I’ve been a student so it helps me I think. This job is always just a part time and I don’t let it be my identity. Many hostesses are part time and they have main jobs or study in the day. Of course there are full time hostesses and some of them have a great mindset about the job, like entertaining customers and provide a great time and I think it’s great, but as a part time you need to be careful not to get drowned and corrupted in the world, neglecting your main life because you can make a lot of money easily.

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