Enjoying Girls Bars in Japan: Discovering Their Charm!

Girls
June 17, 2024

Girls bars occupy a unique position in Japan's nightlife scene. This article provides a comprehensive guide to girls bars, from basic information to tips for enjoying them and how they differ from other nightlife spots. We'll share key points to help you fully appreciate the appeal of girls bars.

About girls Bars

Girls bar atmosphere in Japan

Image Source: https://girlsbar-66.com/recruit.html 

In this section, we'll introduce the basic information, appeal, history, and pricing system of girls bars in detail. If you're considering visiting a girls bar, be sure to use this as a reference.

What are girls Bars? What Can You Do There?

Girls bars are staffed entirely by women, with female staff members called "cast" providing service to customers. Some establishments feature staff dressed in cosplay outfits to add an extra element of fun, such as suits, pajamas, bunny girl costumes, or swimsuits.

Unlike regular bars, customers are served by at least one dedicated cast member, allowing them to enjoy personalized attention. Some venues also offer a nomination system. Operating hours are long, typically from late at night until morning, so you can enjoy the experience at various times.

Where are girls Bars Located?

Girls bars can be found throughout Japan, but they are particularly concentrated in Tokyo and Osaka. In these major cities, they are often located in lively nightlife and entertainment districts. 

In Tokyo, this includes bustling areas like Shinjuku, Shibuya, and Roppongi. These regions are always bustling with tourists and businesspeople from both within Japan and abroad, and are lined with a diverse array of bars and clubs.

In Osaka, the Minami (Namba) and Kita (Umeda) districts are particularly famous. These areas are cultural hubs, home to theaters, shopping centers, and restaurants. They are perfect spots to unwind at a girls bar that stays open late into the night. These bars provide a relaxing experience for locals and tourists alike, serving as an important part of Japan's nightlife.

The History of girls Bars

Girls bars have evolved gradually over time, with their current form emerging in the 20th century. While there are several theories about their origins, it is generally accepted that the term "girls bar" was coined by "Mcorols" (M Colors), which opened in Hachioji, Tokyo in March 2004. The establishment garnered attention for its unique style of being operated solely by women in their teens and twenties, which was unusual at the time. The name "Girl's bar" was also devised by the female owner of Mcorols. This new service style and establishment name attracted attention, and by the summer of 2006, the number of girls bars rapidly increased nationwide, spreading to major cities such as Osaka, Tokyo, and Nagoya. As of 2024, girls bars can be found throughout Japan and are popular in many regions.

Pricing System at girls Bars

The pricing structure at girls bars consists of a fixed set fee, drink charges, and taxes. Let's break down each element in order.

Set Fee

Each girls bar has its own set fee for different time durations. Typically, the fee ranges from 1,500 to 2,500 JPY per 30 minutes, but some more affordable establishments may charge 1,000 JPY for 30 minutes. It's important to check the pricing of each bar before visiting and choose according to your budget. This fee is equivalent to a seating charge and is always incurred, similar to a table charge at an izakaya or a cover charge at a bar.

Drink Options

Customers can choose between an all-you-can-drink plan or a per-drink system. With the all-you-can-drink option, only the drinks listed on the set menu are included, and any additional drinks will incur separate charges. It's recommended to check which drinks are included beforehand and select a plan based on your drinking habits. Female staff may also recommend drinks, but be aware that these will result in additional fees, so be mindful not to exceed your budget.

Taxes

The final bill at a girls bar will include a tax ranging from 5% to 10%. If the tax rate exceeds 15%, it should be considered high. The total of all charges will be the final amount due. To enjoy your time while managing your budget, it's crucial to understand this pricing system.

The Differences Between girls Bars and Hostess Clubs

 Between girls bars and hostess clubs Woman staff of a girl bar in Japan

Image Source: https://bar-navi.suntory.co.jp/shop/0X00094234/

While girls bars and hostess clubs share the common feature of being establishments where female staff provide entertainment services, there are clear differences between the two.

Differences in Service Style

In girls bars, female staff serve as bartenders, providing drinks and conversation from behind the bar. In this format, the staff do not sit next to the customers. In contrast, at hostess clubs, the female staff sit beside the customers and provide more personalized services. Due to laws regulating the entertainment industry, staff at girls bars are prohibited from sitting next to customers, resulting in distinctly different operations.

Differences in Licensing and Regulations

Girls bars do not require a license under the entertainment industry laws, but depending on the equipment installed, certain permits may be necessary. Hostess clubs operate under stricter regulations and typically close by midnight.

Differences in Business Hours

Girls bars have fewer restrictions on operating hours and are often open until 4 or 5 AM. This allows customers to enjoy themselves late into the night, making them particularly suitable for the second or third round of drinks and parties. On the other hand, hostess clubs close around 12am, imposing greater time constraints.

How to Enjoy Girls Bars

Many girls bars have unique themes, allowing you to choose based on your preferences. The main appeal is being able to enjoy conversations with various staff members, rather than designating specific ones. To further enhance this engaging experience, let's look at specific tips for interacting and how to fully enjoy each form of entertainment.

Select a Bar That Suits Your Preferences

Among the girls bars spread across Japan, each establishment has its own distinct concept. Therefore, when selecting one, it's important to find a bar with a theme that matches your interests and preferences. For example, there are a wide range of concepts such as funky, sexy, animal, uniform, and more. At bars adopting specific themes like bunny girls, all the staff wear bunny girl outfits to provide customers with an extraordinary experience.

Once you find a bar with a style you like, fully enjoy that atmosphere and learn about different cultures and backgrounds through conversations with the female staff. If you start to feel things becoming a routine, visiting a bar with a new concept can help you discover fresh appeal and also provide an opportunity to re-evaluate what you liked about your previously visited bars.

Enjoy the Conversation

One of the major attractions of girls bars is conversing with the female staff. In the casual atmosphere across the counter, various bartenders will come to serve you. During this time, you can enjoy chatting with many different women. While you can designate specific staff like at a hostess club, at girls bars you can equally enjoy your time with any staff member, making it possible to deepen interactions with many people.

By enjoying conversations with different staff each time you visit, you can experience friendliness, make new discoveries, and have a fun time with their unique personalities and topics. Even if it's your first visit, the staff warmly welcomes new customers and provides a space where you can relax.

Enjoy your Time with Various Girls, Not Just a Specific One

While it's common for customers at hostess clubs to designate a specific girl to spend time with, one of the appeals of girls bars is being able to freely interact and have fun with many staff members. As you sit at the counter, various staff will take turns serving you, providing opportunities to enjoy conversations with many women. Even if there are staff you prefer in the bar, start by communicating with everyone and building a rapport first.

Try the Drinks

At girls bars, you can enjoy a wide variety of drinks. From cocktails to rare local sake and imported beers, there are extensive options. You can also choose an all-you-can-drink plan, so it's good to try new flavors that are different from usual.

Enjoy Karaoke and Games

Many girls bars also offer entertainment such as karaoke, darts, and billiards. Through these activities, you can deepen interactions with friends and other customers, allowing you to have new experiences each time you visit. Karaoke is especially popular, and singing your favorite songs is sure to liven things up. Learning and singing Japanese songs can make things even more exciting.

Important Points to Remember When Enjoying a Girls Bar

Girls bars offer a unique form of entertainment, but there are several points to keep in mind to fully enjoy the experience. With proper preparation and knowledge, you can have a more comfortable and enjoyable time. Here are some key things to be aware of when visiting a girls bar in Japan.

Understanding the Language Barrier

Many staff members at Japanese girls bars have limited English proficiency, which can lead to communication difficulties. In some cases, entry may be refused if you don't speak Japanese. It's beneficial to have a basic grasp of Japanese or the ability to communicate through gestures. Another solution is to visit with a Japanese-speaking friend.

Familiarizing Yourself with the Pricing System

Girls bars have various pricing systems, often including hourly rates and additional drink charges. To avoid being surprised by a high bill, it's crucial to thoroughly understand the pricing structure before entering. This allows you to avoid unnecessary expenses and enjoy your time within your budget.

Respecting the Rules and Etiquette

Each girls bar has its own set of rules and etiquette. For example, physical contact with the staff is generally prohibited, and excessive drinking is frowned upon. Following these basic guidelines is essential to prevent conflicts with other patrons and ensure a pleasant experience. By showing respect to the staff and other customers and maintaining proper manners, you can have an enjoyable time.

Moderating Your Alcohol Consumption

A fun time at a girls bar is best maintained by moderate alcohol consumption. Drinking too much can lead to causing trouble for the establishment and, in the worst case, being banned from the premises. Avoid behaviors such as drunkenly harassing the staff or getting into disputes with other customers.

Tipping the Staff

Japan does not have a strong tipping culture in most service industries, including girls bars. However, if you wish to express gratitude for exceptional service, it is acceptable to give a small tip. This is entirely optional and should be reserved for instances when you feel particularly appreciative of the staff's efforts. When offering a tip, do so discreetly and considerately, making it easy for the recipient to accept. This small gesture may contribute to building a positive relationship that further enhances the quality of service.

Practicing Moderation in Spending

Girls bars tend to have higher prices compared to regular izakayas or bars. Drinking heavily each time can lead to substantial bills. If this becomes a habit, it not only strains your finances but can also diminish the overall enjoyment of the girls bar experience. To maintain a good time, it's important to know and respect your own drinking limits.

Tips for Impressing the Ladies at a girls Bar

Japanese girls bar staff with bottles

Image Source: https://mgc-group.jp/l/

To gain popularity at a girls bar, it's important to exhibit the right behavior and attitude. Here are some effective approaches to make a positive impression on the female staff at these establishments.

Minimize Phone Usage

Girls bars are places to enjoy face-to-face conversations. Constantly checking your phone while talking to the female bartender can give the impression that you're uninterested in the interaction. Even if the conversation hits a lull, instead of relying on your phone, try complimenting her outfit or accessories to keep the conversation flowing. This shows that you're engaged and helps the communication progress smoothly.

Be a Gentleman

The most crucial aspect of your conduct at a girls bar is maintaining a gentlemanly demeanor. Avoid arrogant behavior, condescending language, or inappropriate jokes. Treat the ladies with respect and courtesy. Keep in mind that the female staff are often younger, so approach them with a mature and composed attitude. This is key to making a good impression. Refrain from sexual harassment or pushy behavior, and simply enjoy your time with them in a natural manner.

Recommended Girls Bars

If you're looking to explore the unique atmosphere of Japanese girls bars, here are a few popular establishments worth checking out.

1. LOFT 101 STREET CLUB Osaka Minami Store (Osaka)

Exterior view of girls bar LOFT 101 STREET CLUB in Japan Osaka

Image Source: Google Street View

This unique themed girls' bar lets you chat with adorable girls in costume. Enjoy the sexy yet cute bunny girls as they serve you. The bar is very international traveler-friendly, with an official website available in both English and Chinese, making it easy for more people to learn about their services. Whether you're a local or a visitor, you're sure to have an unforgettable experience.

[Prices]

  • For 1 person: From 3,850 JPY (Table charge fee only) for 1 hour (Includes tax)
  • For 2 people or more: From 2,750 JPY  (Table charge fee only) for 1 hour (Includes tax)
  • *A service charge of 10% will be added to the above fees.
  • For 4 people or more: From 5,500 JPY for 1 hour (Includes tax, service fee, and all you can drink)

[Opening Hours]

  • Monday - Friday: 7:30 pm - 12:30 am
  • Saturday: 7:00 pm - 12:30 am
  • Sunday: Closed

[Address] 

  • 542-0083 Osaka, Chuo Ward, Higashi Shinsaibashi, 1-12-19, Rond Square, Eight Bldg. 6F

Website: http://www.loft101.jp/

2. Girls Bar GAGA (Kyoto)

Exterior view of Girls Bar GAGA in Japan Kyoto

Image Source: Google Street View

Located in the bustling Kiyamachi area, Girls Bar GAGA is the perfect spot for your night out. Surrounded by numerous bars and drinking spots, it's an ideal choice for your second or third stop of the evening. Enjoy our all-you-can-drink option and free entertainment, including karaoke and darts, all while mingling with our adorable cast members. Come and experience the fun and lively atmosphere at Girls Bar GAGA!

[Prices]

  • From 1,700 JPY for 30 min (Includes all you can drink)

[Opening Hours]

  • 8:00 pm - 5:00 am
  • Closed: Monday

[Address] 

  • 604-8016 Kyoto, Nakagyo Ward, Shimokoriki-Cho, 203-5, Tanaka Bldg. 3F

Website: https://www.pokepara.jp/kyoto/m325/a383/shop16780/

SNS: https://www.instagram.com/girlsbar_gaga_kiyamachi/

3. Girl's Bar Kilala (Tokyo)

Exterior view of Girl's Bar Kiala in Japan Tokyo

Image Source: Google Street View

At "Kilala," a popular girls bar in Kinshicho, you can enjoy moments with young, attractive girls dressed in captivating cabaret dresses. The spacious interior is enhanced by bright LED lighting that enhances the ambiance. The girls have an average age of 22 and come in a variety of styles, from glamorous to demure. Additionally, you can enjoy activities like darts and karaoke, with a talented cast guaranteed to keep the energy high. They are all waiting to welcome you.

Please note that it's unclear whether English is spoken at the venue, so it's advisable to check before visiting.

[Prices]

  • From 3,000 JPY 40 min /1 set  (Includes all you can drink)

[Opening Hours]

  • 8:30 pm - 4:00 am
  • Closed: Sunday

[Address]

  • 130-0013 Tokyo, Sumida Ward, Kinshi, 2−5−5, Potpourri Plaza Bldg. 4F

Website: https://girls-bar-kilala.jimdosite.com/

Exploring Japanese Girls Bars on YouTube

Check out this YouTube video that provides an in-depth look inside a Japanese girls bar. It realistically portrays the interactions between the female staff and customers, as well as the overall atmosphere of the establishment. If you're curious about Japan's nightlife culture, this video offers a valuable glimpse into the actual vibe of a girls bar. You can find more details by following the link below.

▼My Best Girls bar Experience in Tokyo / Japan explorer

Summary

Girls bars are a unique and intriguing part of Japan's entertainment scene. To safely enjoy this special experience, it's important to respect the rules and etiquette of each establishment. By visiting a Japanese girls bar, you can create unforgettable memories while experiencing the distinctive services offered at each venue. This allows you to gain insight into one aspect of Japan's nightlife culture. Embrace the cultural differences and take pleasure in making new discoveries and encounters during your visit.

PIJ Writer
PIJ Writer
PIJ Writer, a seasoned connoisseur in his 40s based in Japan, boasts an unparalleled depth of knowledge and experience within the vibrant landscapes of both drinking and gambling, alongside his well-documented ventures into various red-light districts. This extensive exploration encompasses not just the nocturnal delights of Japan's red-light areas but also its myriad of bars, horse racing, pachinko, and many others. Drawing on his firsthand experiences, he conveys the appeal and characteristics of Japan's diverse adult entertainment districts and his enjoyment of the nightlife scene through his writing for PIJ.

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