Monday, November 18, 2013

Beginner's guide to snack/girls bars in Japan V 1.2

After spending the night out in Yokkaichi with bframe, its time to update. Updated stuff are in italics or at the bottom.

1) What's a snack/girls bar?

Bars where you have conversation with girls, sing karaoke and have fun. Can be 1 on 1 but depends on how busy it is.

2) Any difference between the two?

Girls bars are registered as a dining place or something like that. The only difference is that girls bar staff don't light your cigarrette and they are not allowed to smoke.

Generally speaking girls bars are staffed by 20 year olds and snacks by 25+ women and snacks have a mama-san who can be young and hot. Girls bars usually charge for karaoke. Also girls bars might have a kitchen and be able to serve hot finger food ie fries and fried chicken wings.

They will show you how much you owe them every hour and whether you want to extend while you find out how much at the end.

3) How much do I have to pay? 

Depends on where and the system. Average price I would say 3000円 an hour. Tokyo you're looking at 3000円 to 4000円. The important thing to look for is 飲み放題 which means all you can drink. There might be other minor charges like service charge so be careful.

4) How much Japanese do I need?

Enough to hold basic conversation for 20 minutes and ask about charges. Make sure you have a Japanese dictionary on your phone. Karaoke is not only fun but useful to kill silence in conversations or kill time until the next change if your current girl doesn't strike your fancy.

5) What about kyabakura/maid cafes?

Not that worth it IMO in terms of value for money. Maid cafes are ok for a meal but if you want attention you need to spend more. With kyabakuras you can get really beautiful women to lavish all their attention sitting next to you. Problem is not only do you have to pay the hourly fee, their's the nomination fee for every hour as well. Just came back from kyabakura in Yokkaichi and it was 6000円 per hour and 2000円 指名 fee and that's cheap compared to Tokyo and Osaka.

6) Can I take pictures?

Always ask and the kinnen shashin excuse on your last day never hurts.

7) Any problems accepting gaijin customers?

Never had any problems but I look asian. Pretty sure non-asians won't have problems as long as you demonstrate you can speak. They're mostly worried about miscommunication.

You might get no gaijin sign, show your Japanese and if you get told no, go to the next place. I do no recommend dogeza cause it probably works only in tv and movies. If they don't want your money, go someplace else that wants it.

8) Any recommendations?

I've been patronising this snack called Gift in Osaka for the last few years. Walking distance from  Fukushima station and 3000円 per hour all you can drink and sing. Tell them Michael from Australia sent you.

Cheapest so far is Kumamoto  where you can find girls bars that charge 1000円 for 40 minutes 飲み放題. If I didn't have stuff to do in Tokyo, I'll be there right now.

The only Tokyo one I've been to is Emu and its got a weird 1200円 for first 30 minutes, and then 1200円 for every 30 minute block not including drinks which cost like 800円 and a 1000円 all you can sing charge. 3 hours damage of 12000円 when it would have cost 9000円 in Osaka or even cheaper in Kumamoto. Karaoke is free after one and they have half price happy hour. If you can read the website, you're good to go.

Plenty of snacks around the Ikebukuro north entrance and I've seen sign for 3000円 an hour 飲み放題 though I've never been to any yet. If you see that, just try it since it standard price. Just make sure to ask about other charges before you sit down.

9) What time should I go?

My experience has always been one on one but according to bframe its because I go late. Avoiding the hours between 7 to 9 is a good idea. I usually start after 10 and walk back to where I am staying early morning. Japanese trains stop after 12 so unless you want to pay for a taxi, try to stay within walking distance.

10) What happens when they ask me to buy them a drink?

If its your first time at a place and within 5 minutes they want a drink from you, you've stumbled upon a rip off snack bar. You're options are to bear it until the hour block is over or refuse and risk getting bad attitude which may not be a bad idea if the store changes girls rapidly and they all ask for a drink straight away.

11) Can I go as a group?

Yes. If there are two of you, you'll get the counter and 3 or more will get you a table. Most likely on girl maybe 2 at the table depending on staff number.

12) Why are there so many snacks/girls bars in one building but no price list anywhere?

You could go in and ask but its considered rude or look up the place online or try out my recommended places. A lot of times, you can find girls soliciting business in the streets so ask them.

13) I'm in xxx and I need a drink.

Just type the place's name in Japanese and girls bar/ガルズバー/スナク. Alernatively, just head to nightlife area which is usually next to the main shopping area. There is usually an 案内場 which can direct you according to your price range etc.

Anything else?

They'll give you a wet towel when you sit down and after going to the toilet. If you are a non-smoker be prepared for lots of cigarrette smoke. Oh yes, have fun!


Jung said...

I have a feeling that this page will be getting a lot of traffic from all kinds of forums.

3000 yen/hour isn't so terrible... I spent 10000 yen at a temple in Koyasan and them young monks didn't even give me a lap dance.

Guess I'll be spending my 10000 yen slightly differently next time I go to Japan, now that my dollar stretches farther.

Akiramike said...

Better to give your money to young women than monks. Yesterday had this girl at Emu who was studying to be a jazz singer and pro singing is on a different level. Felt inadequate singing with her, lol.