Tokyo’s forest of lovers and Japan’s erotic world
Tokyo has got many sides of love.
First of all it is easy to fall in love with the city and start an affectionate love affair with its absolute convenience, with delicious restaurants, the hospitality of its people, the shopping craziness, the dimensions of perfectionism and CALPIS (just had to mention this awesome Japanese drink somewhere).
You will see the love for details and admire perfect arrangements in food, fashion and architecture. The Japanese do have an eye for the aesthetic and overly adorable and cute.
We visited two places of love, the so called forest of lovers and an erotic mega mall.
Enter the shiny forest of lovers.
You will find a lit up romantic pavilion and many animal sculptures. And of course in matters of love you can’t go wrong with hearts.
All this can be marvelled at right at Ueno park entrance. It is closest to get off at Ueno Station.
During this time of the year you will not only find lovers but singles and families posing during Hanami.
I was mainly interested in this guy while taking in Hanami decorations at Ueno park.
While the culprit was more than happy to pose with the rainbow coloured manga girls.
Despite the promising name of Ueno park being a lovers’ forest, you will rarely see couples holding hands or hug in public. I have not seen couples kiss in Tokyo. Showing signs of affection the European way is not popular. Kissing and clinging too much in public is in fact considered kind of uncool.
Generally speaking in Japan, if you want to be respectful and not make people feel uncomfortable then it is better to refrain from strong displays of affection in places where people cannot avoid being around you (such as in restaurants, cafés, bars, parks…).
But really, nobody is going to complain about a couple in love, seen from a distance, sitting close on a bench watching the sun set at the horizon or the changing shades of skyscrapers at Ueno park…
Tokyo’s public erotic life is very different to western likings.
There is the cultivated image of girlie, naive and innocent, a lot of girls wear honeyed Lolita outfits and frilly dresses. There is the popular market for maid cafés where girls in Victorian maid uniforms serve customers by bringing tea, chatting and singing. Some role play may evolve apart from usually the respectful distant waitress service and involve bullying or slapping at designated cafés.
The best maid cafés ones are located in Tokyo’s Akihabara area.You will commonly see maids on the street giving out flyers for the cafés they work at. Their service is not sexualized, unlike their maiden counterparts in animé and Japanese games fulfilling men’s sexual fantasies.
Japan is obsessed with sexually precocious girls who are a major fetish deeply embedded in the erotic culture of Japan. Very young looking girls lure nothing short of Vladimir Nabokov’s famous novel who has coined the name Lolita to enter Japanese pop culture.
There is also a strong love for school girls who are wearing impossible short skirts as part of their school uniforms and who are the main obsession in animé, manga and erotic stores, taking a passive-naive role as commonly humiliated and abused sexual parters. But not only. Being the most adaptable mass media character they are not limited to convey the vulnerable and flirtatious girl, performing as fighters and heroes showing off girl power in films, videos or comics.
Japanese girls do show off a lot of leg but hardly any cleavage which is a very sensitive area and will be covered. Wearing a western type deep décolletée is considered a no go. Emerging breasts are images reserved for pornographic material. You will commonly observe Japanese men reading manga porn on the subway or at the book rack of the conbini store, without social embarrassment or stigmata.
Erotic stores serve school girl fantasy and enable Lolita dates in four steps.
When strolling through the city you will inevitably pass a karaoke bar and the red light districts of Tokyo with brightly lit up signs. There are many buildings offering rooms for sex, like Japanese Love hotels for prostitute sex by the hour or young couples (car backseats, homes, friend’s homes are not an option for first experiences or love nests in Japan).
No way to miss karaoke.
Tokyo has got a lot of drink bars where you can choose girls or boys for the evening to chat and have a good time by drinking large amounts of alcohol and paying for the host’s or hostess’s expensive drinks. The boys and girls are very dressed up, trendy and stylish looking, fishing for customers by giving out flyers to passers by. These host and hostess clubs are sort of a modern substitute for traditional Geisha service. They are places of pure entertainment, not brothels nor strip clubs.
Quick note on contraception. I have read that Japan has only legalized the pill about ten year s ago and that it is easier for women to get an abortion than hormonal birth control. However condoms are very popular and can be bought everywhere (such as convenience stores or vending machines) without fuss.
In real life, contact between the sexes seems to be a more difficult affair. I see men and women commonly sitting at separate tables in restaurants and it seems they are mainly mingling at work (which takes up most of their time anyway).
There are women only train cars to combat a prevalent groping problem. Signs at the metro escalators read to watch out for under-skirt-photography.
Stickers mark the designated women-only-car at platforms.
Women only during peak times.
Authorities have installed anti-groping campaigns in Japan. You can such signs at the metro.
My impression is that in Japan sexual emancipation is lived very differently than in the west. Shinto religion promotes freedom of sexuality which is not considered a sin unlike in Christian or Muslim beliefs but rather a natural urge and part of life. Japanese is the sex market to have everything on the menu. That will include the ongoing issues of child looking porn mangas and rape animé.
You can find all of that at Tokyo’s mega erotic store. Great entertainment and definitely worth a visit if you are over 18 years old.
Location: 1-15-13 Soto-Kanda, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo in the Akihabara area, called m’s online, their site is overwhelming www.ms-online.co.jp
The windows say ‘rotor, vibrator, s-m goods, anal goods’ on floor 3 and on floor 2 there is ‘ona-hole ducth‘ (whatever that means it sounds a lot like google translate).
I was the only woman in this incredible erotic store, six stories tall but they had a whole section just to the pleasures of women. Obviously a lot of schoolgirl sex dolls, sm and bondage gear, fascinating sex toys from mild to the extreme, like unobtrusively looking fake vaginas (the shape of a small vase or modern sculpture) and equally well hidden mini vibrators to use on the go for women. It was a lot of fun and frankly a bit like visiting an interactive science centre.
To sum it up, I think this is more or less the picture of a desirable female in Japan.
And for more traditional likings.