Luxury "CLUB" in Japan: A Guide to Exclusive Social Gatherings

Drink
March 26, 2024

Introduction

Today, we will delve into the world of luxury "CLUBs" in Japan. Although they may seem similar they are different to nightclubs, hostess clubs, and kyabakura clubs. The mere mention of these clubs might make you feel a bit apprehensive. They seem intimidating, and you might assume that the prices are exorbitant. Well, let's dispel those notions and dive right in!

Understanding "CLUB"

First and foremost, it's important to know that there are two types of "CLUBs" in Japan. One is the familiar nightclubs where you drink and dance that everyone knows about. The other is the luxury "CLUB" like a high-class hostess lounge I'll focusing on here. In these exclusive establishments, you'll find beautiful women known as hostesses who sit beside you, serve you water, and engage you in conversation. But wait, there's more to it than that! Luxury "CLUBs" in Japan aren't easily accessible to just anyone. Most of them operate on a members-only basis, not admitting visitors at first glance. They are selective about their clientele to maintain the bar's atmosphere and reputation. Therefore, they strive to attract only sophisticated, affluent individuals with high social status.

Gaining Access to a Luxury "CLUB"

Now, you might be wondering how you can gain entry to a luxury "CLUB." Well, there are several ways you can do it:

  1. Enter with a "CLUB" member (customer): If you know someone who is already a member, they can accompany you and vouch for you.
  2. Ask a "CLUB" member (customer) for an introduction: If you have a connection who can introduce you to the club, you can make a reservation in advance.
  3. Leverage personal connections: If you happen to know someone associated with the "CLUB," you can ask them to facilitate your entry.

It's crucial to understand that the exclusivity of these establishments is designed to preserve their atmosphere and integrity. However, in rare cases, if the club perceives you as someone who meets their standards, they might make exceptions and allow you in, such as by requiring you to purchase a bottle and exchange business cards. Keep in mind that not all clubs follow this practice, but it's worth exploring if you're genuinely interested in becoming a member.

The Role of "Moms" in the Club

Let's take a moment to talk about the prominent figure in the bar called the "Mom." There are two types of Moms: owner Moms and hired Moms.

Owner Moms assume managerial roles, while hired Moms receive monthly salaries or commissions. Regardless of their designation, Moms play a vital role in the club's operations. They handle various responsibilities, including sales, customer service, hiring and training of hostesses and staff, salary evaluations, and sales management. From a broad managerial perspective, Moms are responsible for overseeing the entire club. Their dedication and hard work are truly commendable. Being a Mom is not simply about socializing and drinking with customers. It entails significant effort and multitasking.

Pricing in Luxury "CLUBs"

Now, let's discuss the price range you can expect at a luxury "CLUB." Generally, the amount paid per person ranges from approximately 50,000 to 100,000 yen. However, some top-tier "CLUBs" charge as much as 70,000 yen just for a seat, and it's not uncommon for customers to spend several hundred thousand yen or even over a million yen in a single night!

The breakdown of these expenses is as follows:

  • Table charge: When you enter the bar and take a seat, a fee is charged. Typically, you have about 90 minutes for one set.
  • Bottle keeping: This system allows you to store a bottle of whiskey, brandy, or another liquor for repeated consumption on subsequent visits. Usually, you are required to keep the bottle, but some bars offer a partitioning system where you can set a specific amount in advance to enjoy the drinks. In such cases, the bar will provide their own "house bottle."
  • First set: The first set includes an appetizer called "Otoshi" and costs around 10,000 yen. Some places offer small bites of food that you can consume in one bite if you wish.
  • Minerals: This refers to the price of water, which is necessary when drinking whiskey, brandy, or other alcoholic beverages.
  • Hostess charge: While most bars do not charge a fee for hostesses, some do. It's important to note that nominating a hostess doesn't guarantee that she will stay by your side throughout your visit. She may move to other seats and return later.
  • Boy charge: This fee covers the services provided by male staff, including serving drinks and food, cleaning, and miscellaneous tasks.
  • Time charge: After the initial table charge (one set) expires, a time charge comes into effect. Most bars automatically add time charges in 30-minute increments. So, if you stay longer, you'll end up paying more.

It's worth mentioning that luxury "CLUBs" typically do not inform customers about the time. Instead, they discreetly inquire whether you would like to extend your stay. Interrupting your conversation would disrupt the pleasant atmosphere, so if you wish to leave after the initial 90-minute set, it's best to inform the hostess in charge.

The Role of the Hostess in Charge

Speaking of the hostess in charge, let's explore her role and significance within the "CLUB." In these establishments, a unique system exists where certain hostesses are designated as the hostess in charge. As long as the hostess in charge remains at the bar, any sales made by her designated customers will be credited to her. Even if the hostess in charge is on vacation, any fees or sales generated by her customers will contribute to her evaluation. It's an intriguing system, isn't it? So, even if you develop a strong affinity for a particular hostess and frequently nominate her, the sales won't be directly attributed to her. Instead, they'll be credited to the hostess in charge.

Therefore, it's the responsibility of the hostess in charge to contact customers, express gratitude, send year-end and New Year's gifts, and even collect accounts receivable, known as "Tab Payment." Managing the entire customer relationship requires immense dedication and accountability.

Etiquette and Manners at Luxury "CLUBs"

Etiquette and manners hold great significance within the walls of a luxury "CLUB." Displaying improper conduct will not only lead to dissatisfaction from the bar and hostesses but also hinder your overall experience. To ensure a smooth and enjoyable time, it's crucial to adhere to the following guidelines:

Prohibited behaviors:

  • Choking on alcoholic beverages
  • Taking pictures or recording within the bar
  • Touching the hostess's body without consent
  • Exhibiting drunkenness or engaging in disruptive behavior
  • Verbally abusing or harassing others
  • Demonstrating an arrogant attitude
  • Engaging in unreasonable bargaining
  • Making other customers feel uncomfortable

Who is Suited for Luxury "CLUBs"?

Luxury "CLUBs" cater to specific individuals who align with their concept and atmosphere. The following categories of people tend to be well-suited for these establishments:

  • Those who have ample financial resources and time, enjoying the company of beautiful women while indulging in drinks.
  • Individuals who believe that the presence of a charming woman can enhance their business meetings.
  • People who can claim their expenses and utilize the receipts for entertainment purposes.
  • Those who seek recognition and are willing to invest financially to attain it.
  • Individuals who feel mentally exhausted and seek solace and rejuvenation.
  • People who desire advice or discussions on work-related matters with Moms or hostesses.
  • Those who wish to enjoy a meal with a beautiful woman, even if it's an accompanied experience.
  • Individuals who possess financial resources and time, seeking a mistress or lover.

Who is Not Suited for Luxury "CLUBs"?

On the other hand, there are certain types of people who may not find luxury "CLUBs" suitable for them:

  • Individuals lacking sufficient financial means or time availability.
  • People who struggle with social gatherings or are disinterested in the company of beautiful women.
  • Those who prefer to solely invest their money and time in themselves.
  • Individuals who cannot exhibit kindness and respect toward staff and hostesses.
  • People with problematic drinking habits, experiencing drastic personality changes when intoxicated.
  • Those who possess an arrogant demeanor and look down upon others.

Locations of Luxury "CLUBs"

Luxury "CLUBs" can be found throughout Japan, but some locations are particularly renowned:

  • Hokkaido (Susukino)
  • Miyagi (Sendai)
  • Tokyo (Ginza, Roppongi, Akasaka, Shinjuku, Ikebukuro)
  • Yokohama (Kannai)
  • Ishikawa (Kanazawa)
  • Nagoya (Nishiki 3-chome)
  • Kyoto (Gion)
  • Osaka (Minami, Kitashinchi)
  • Hyogo (Kobe)
  • Fukuoka (Nakasu)

Conclusion

What are your thoughts on luxury "CLUBs" in Japan? Did you find this article informative and engaging? The structure of these clubs is unique to Japanese culture and may not necessarily appeal to everyone. The intricacies of the fee structure might leave some feeling perplexed.

Nevertheless, social gatherings such as luxury "CLUBs" hold great significance in Japan. They have fostered friendships between influential individuals, birthed successful ventures, and provided a platform for genuine hospitality. Experiencing the presence of highly intelligent and beautiful women who put tremendous effort into their craft is an opportunity reserved for those who venture into luxury "CLUBs." It's truly a captivating space, offering a blend of opulence, attractive companionship, and remarkable drinks—a remarkable experience exclusively available to the chosen few!

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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