Tobita Shinchi: The Amsterdam of Kansai Part 1
Are you looking to add some fun to your night out in Osaka?
But you . . .
- Are not confident enough in your Japanese skills to order a call girl
- Are apprehensive to enter the escort store areas in Umeda and Namba etc
- Have heard that your foreign looks might stop you from having fun
Don’t worry! There is a magical place in Osaka just for you!
I recommend visiting Tobita Shinchi. A red-light district that every guy needs to visit when doing a bit of sex-tourist browsing in Osaka.
In Part 1 of this post, I’m going to share the rich history, what to expect, and some general information on Tobita Shinchi. Followed by more in depth analysis and advice in the next part!
What is Tobita Shinchi?
In case there are some of you who don’t know what Tobita Shinchi is, allow me to fill you in…
Tobita Shinchi is the largest red-light district in the Kansai Area. Have you ever been or seen photos of the red-light district in Amsterdam? The girls there are displayed in the storefront windows to show ‘potential customers’ what they are getting. This is the same in Tobita Shinchi. Just Japanese-style.
A semi-residential area lined with ‘stores’ that provide male customers with relaxation, sexual relief and good old fun in its simplest form. At Tobita Shinchi, you will find 3-4 main streets filled with shops full of gorgeous Japanese girls in sexy, suggestive costumes. In the side-pockets, you can find ‘fetish’ areas. I.e. Mature women, chubby girls, etc.
As you walk through the streets, you will be greeted by rows and rows of stores with a mysterious Japanese girl kneeling in the middle of the store waving to you. And next to her is her ‘mama-san’ standing guard and trying to usher you in. No glass windows. Obviously, they are blatantly selling sex.
Before I go into it, for the guys who haven’t had their hand in paid sex in Japan yet, I want to make this clear…
Prostitution in Japan is ILLEGAL. “But, wait… how can stores in Tobita Shinchi sell sex services then?” They aren’t. They are ‘restaurants’.
The Hidden Sex-history of Japan and the Creation of Tobita Shinchi
I was told this story.
Prostitution in Japan WAS legal in the past. Although it was restricted to the ‘Pleasure Quarters’ of cities throughout Japan. You could walk into the ‘Pleasure Quarters’, look through the wooden bar windows, and gaze at the beautiful women for hire.
Once you picked the women you most desire, she would take your hand and lead you to your room. There you can be as soft or as rough as you wish. For centuries, this was the legal and open sex-trade of Japan.
. . . Until April, 1958.
All the ‘Pleasure Quarters’ in Japan were forced, by law, to shut down. So, they shut down . . . for 1 day.
Brothels and sex-related services in red-light districts bounced back immediately. They reopened under the disguise of massage parlors, health clubs, bath houses, etc. As for Tobita Shinchi, they were classed as ‘Restaurants’.
How is this even possible? There is a legal grey area where red-light businesses roam in Japan.
At a Soapland (Bath House), customers are theoretically paying for an ‘Entrance Fee’ into the bathing house. Each bathing room is private, and happens to have a female waiting for you inside. Whatever ‘occurs’ inside is classed as free expression of ‘love’ (Even if it was paid love).
At a Delivery Health service (Call Girls), you are paying for all services (sexually-orientated of course) EXCEPT intercourse. Yes, you can do anal as it isn’t counted as intercourse, but just no vaginal sex. Keeping in line with the Japanese laws on prostitution.
Tobita Shinchi ‘Restauraunts’
In the case of brothels in Tobita Shinchi, they are actually Japanese-style restaurants. The beautiful Japanese girl is actually a waitress. And the mama-san/lady-pimp? Let’s say . . . Manager.
When you decide to go with the sexy Japanese girl wearing a loosely-fitted kimono (or some other sexy costume) that reveals her large tits, she will take you by the hand and escort you to a room. There, you will be served drinks and snacks, before they show you a menu of additional services that the “girl” provides.
You’re actually paying for the food and drinks. This is what makes it a restaurant.
Similar to a Soapland, whatever happens inside the private room of a restaurant is considered private. You and your waitress just happen to fall ‘Genuinely in Love’ for the time you are there.
This includes sexual intercourse.
It’s hard to believe, but it’s true. And these businesses have been ‘banging busy’ since. (pun intended)
That is why brothels in Tobita Shinchi are called restaurants under the law. But in reality, they don’t hide under the restaurant blanket. You know they are brothels.
Time Travelling + Tobita Shinchi area
Here’s something you might find interesting . . .
When you walk around the streets of Tobita Shinchi, you are stepping back in time. The houses and buildings are similar to the Yoshiwara district during the Edo period 400 years ago (present day Tokyo).
Most of the girls don’t wear kimonos now, but you get my drift.
Tobita Shinchi’s location is thought to be ideal for men who are also visiting Shinsekai. Shinsekai is the run-down world fair with a post-apocalyptic Eiffel Tower. It’s a great tourist attraction in Osaka with great izakayas (Japanese bars).
Today, Nishinari – the area where Tobita Shinchi is in – still has a bad reputation among Japanese people. Decades ago, it was the center for criminal activity in Osaka. Many Japanese people believe it is a “dangerous” area, but having personally lived and walked the area at night, there are more homeless people than criminals and they are completely harmless.
How to get to Tobita Shinchi
Getting to Tobita Shinchi is simple.
Taking the Subway – Midosuji Line, you get off at Dobutsuen-mae Station and take exit 2. You should see the Shinsekai neon sign across the road. Travel south through the 70’s Japanese-style shopping arcade until you see a TAMADE Supermarket. You’ll know when you pass it by the crazy LSD-style neon lights.
By this point, you should take the next left.
You should hit the Tobita Shinchi area in about 50-100 metres.
Alternatively, here is a map to the middle of the area.
・9am – midnight
Yes, they have opening times. You’re probably thinking this is strange as most of the ‘services and activities’ customers want will be after midnight.
Nope, they all close 12am sharp. After 12am, it is a ghost town with unknowing confused foreigners walking around lost and trying to get some action.
The prices will vary and depend on the ‘restaurant’ and the ‘length of your stay’.
Here are the general average prices per length of stay.
15 Minutes: ¥11,000
20 Minutes: ¥16,000
30 Minutes: ¥21,000
45 Minutes: ¥31,000
60 Minutes: ¥41,000
You may also find that some parts of Tobita Shinchi may charge less. For example, ¥11,000 for 20 Minutes. These cheaper stores are usually in the Milf/Mature area. Obviously the higher the age of your ‘waitress’, the lower the price you can barter.
In Conclusion for Now
There you go guys, a brief introduction to get you guys excited about Tobita Shinchi! For those who are looking for a spark in your night out in Osaka, Tobita Shinchi is the place to go. Beautiful girls, ‘See-before-you-buy’ style, and overall just an amazing place with such a deep history to experience.
In the next part, Tristian, a red-light district specialist and member of Osaka Bros will be bringing you more detailed insight and useful tips to help you enjoy Tobita Shinchi more!
Marc is a veteran in the Japanese dating and nightlife scene in Osaka. A writer and team member of Osaka Bros, an Osaka adult guide blog, he aims to share his knowledge to help foreigners achieve unforgettable experiences while in Osaka.