The Strange world of male hosts in Japan

Posted by John Spacey, Japan Talk, January 29, 2012

Male host clubs (hosuto kurabu) are nightclubs that provide male companionship to women. Host men have a definitive style that some Japanese women find attractive. In many ways they look like characters from anime and manga.

Good hosuto are personable. They flirt with clients, tell interesting stories, listen to the customer’s problems and treat them as a respected customer.

Strangely, most of the customers of hosts are female hostesses. They head to the host clubs after they finish work at 2 or 3 in the morning. Host clubs may operate until the early afternoon. Other customers are the wives or daughters of rich men.

Women pay an hourly fee and buy drinks for men. Customers are encouraged to spend vast amounts of money. One service (champagne call), involves a customer buying a bottle of expensive champaigne. All the hosts in the club father around to make the customer the center of attention. Everybody partakes in a round of cheers with the champagne. They often sing a song or dance. For this 5 or 6 minutes of attention the woman pays 20,000 – 150,000 yen ($200-$1500 USD)

Another service is the champagne tower. Up to eight bottles of expensive champaigne are poured into a champagne tower into an elaborate ceremony. The customer may be the focus of attention in the bar all night for such a purchase,  (usually around 1 million yen-$10,000 USD)


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