The reasons to visit Tokyo just keep getting more and more bountiful. I can go to the naked robot burlesque restaurant or to Love Joule, a “love and sex bar dedicated to women.” It’s described as a place women “can openly discuss masturbation.” Behind the bar, instead of liquor bottles, are rows of vibrators, lube and other female friendly toys. The bar is part of a trend going on in Japan to do away with the taboo surrounding female masturbation, sex toys and female sexuality in general. To ensure that it’s a safe space for women, mann aren’t permitted in the bar unless accompanied by a female partner.
This sounds like a great idea in theory, but I have have a number of logistical questions that need to be addressed: Keep reading »
Times are looking tough for Tokyo’s cat cafes, where feline aficionados can drop in for tea and some time with a cat.
At most such establishments, it’s the post-work rush that brings in the most cash, with tired and harried professionals dropping by on their way homes to pet and play with the animals as a way of relieving stress.
But now the purrs of delight may be getting quieter. Read more…
Japanese designer Anrealage is the spirit sister of American sportswear designer Thom Browne. Both play with proportion and shape, and in the process create new forms and bodies. And Anrealage’s designer Kunihiko Morinaga is guided more by architecture than by current fashion trends. She loves Spanish architect Antoni Gaudi most. “I love all of Antoni Gaudí’s work. The way he used patterns and recurring motifs was really cool and I love the design process behind the La Sagrada Familia. Gaudí made scale models and hung wires upside down to create the curves of the building. Also, his philosophy about architecture fitting within nature can be applied to fashion too.” But the body — and more expressly the obfuscation of the body — is at the core of Morinaga’s work. “We set ourselves the challenge of designing clothes in sizes and formats that had never been seen before. So yes, we were challenging the perception of the “normal body,” but just by trying to create a new way to design, rather than attacking anything.” Check out some of her incredible, effervescent designs. [Vice]
Apparently, “Vogue”-era Madonna is still very in. [Cabaret Aki and Jackal Kuzu for Gut's Dynamite Cabarets, Tokyo, 10/23/09] Keep reading »
While the recession has wreaked havoc on relationships here, in Japan it’s given a better name to what used to be a naughty profession: hostessing. Hostess clubs are akin to gentlemen’s clubs, only they’re all about non-sexual attention—beautiful women are paid to tend to men’s drinks, light their cigarettes, and laugh at their lame jokes. Young Japanese women have a crazy hard time getting hired for other jobs, since companies tend to favor men of the same age. Meanwhile, hostessing can be crazy lucrative—top hostesses make between $100K and $300K a year—and thus professional hostesses have gone from being considered tarts to respectable career gals. High school girls ranked hostessing #12 out of the top 40 professions, above nursing or working for the government. And why wouldn’t they want to spend their nights in evening gowns, sipping champagne? It’s a helluva lot better than getting minimum wage to temp, right? [NYTimes] Keep reading »
Men don’t always know how to keep their hands to themselves on crowded, rush-hour subways. In Tokyo, Seibu Holdings—the company that operates their trains—has set up women-only cars to prevent the morning commute from becoming a gropefest. But now, Seibu shareholders are asking the company to designate men-only cars, too. Why? So that women can’t falsely accuse guys of copping a feel. “While measures against groping, such as setting women-only carriages, have been effective to a certain extent, no measures have been taken against false charges of groping,” said the shareholders who’re requesting a vote at the annual meeting next week. “In the spirit of gender-equality, a male-only carriage must be introduced.” Seibu’s board of directors, however, isn’t so into this idea since only a few customers have made requests for male-only cars. [Reuters] Keep reading »
Zac Efron (Harajuku) lovers greet the star at an airport in Tokyo, where the swine flu scare prompted his fans to proclaim their love for him via fashion statements. Perhaps they read our DIY swine flu mask story? The star was delayed for an hour as doctors checked him for the virus. We think that was just an excuse to make him take his shirt off. We so can’t blame them. [Tokyo, 5/13/09] Keep reading »
Sexy cop, sexy nurse, sexy school teacher. They’re all very sexy, but nothing tops a good, old-fashioned flight attendant’s outfit! Even ladies melt at the thought of a ’60s pillbox hat and matching suit — so glamorous, like a sky-high Jackie O! Well, just like her classic pearls, stewardess uniforms never go out of style. Yesterday, to prove their eternal hotness, British Airways strutted its stuff down another kind of runway. In recognition of the airline’s 60 years of service to Japan, flight attendant trainees modeled fashions from 1946 to today at a Tokyo department store. The psychedelic ’60s floral paper dress and the ’70s space-themed geometric print have us wanting to get some replicas onboard! Feast your eyes on these friendly sky styles. [Mainichi Daily News via Fark] Keep reading »
Scientists and anti-aging specialists are really into researching the health benefits of drinks like coffee, tea, and red wine, and there seem to be positive advantages, such as discouraging the development of colon cancer and the like. But those benefits come from consuming the beverages in moderation — so, what does bathing in them do? At Yunessun Spa Resort, about two hours west of Tokyo, you can soak in communal baths filled with Japanese sake, green tea, and coffee, in addition to the more traditional Dead Sea spa and Turkish hamam. The resort claims that red wine rejuvenates, coffee fights fatigue and helps beautify the skin, Japanese rice wine bath warms the body up, and green tea enhances the immune system. They also offer a chocolate bath, which supposedly encourages weight loss. Yum. We’re wondering if anyone takes a sip while no one’s looking. [Times Online and Yunessun Spa Resort] Keep reading »
Sure, from square watermelons to batteries that run on pee, Japanese culture can seem a little backwards to us Americans. On Valentine’s Day, traditionally, Japanese women give the men they’ve had their eye on chocolates. Then a month later, on White Day, the men have the same opportunity to gift give. While the holiday pairing sounds middle school-style romantic, it doubles the amount of days singles want to die. But luckily, Tokyo-based cosmetics marketers Hime & Company understand that flying solo is hard to do. In addition to sick days and vacation, the sensitive CEO, Miki Hiradate, offers his employees paid leave after bad break ups: up to the age of 24, you get one day a year, 25-30 years of age get two days, 30 and up’s get three days, plus two extra mornings off for everyone to shop away their sorrows! It’s like the man knows we want to curl up and cry while surfing the internet for cute shoes. Keep reading »