Japanese Nightlife Series Vol. 8: What is a “Shimei or Specific Appointment?” ”What to wear?” Dos and Don’ts in Hostess Bars

Hello, everyone, this is Aoshiso.  By popular demand, we are going to explore in more detail Japanese hostess or hostess bars. We will take a look at the meaning of some common terms.

What is “Shimei" in a Hostess Club?

Shimei ("specific appointment") means that the customer decides which hostess he likes most, and can nominate her to be the hostess at his table. Once the hostess has been appointed, there will be no change of hostess so the customer can enjoy chatting and drinking with the same woman all evening. There is a charge for shimei which varies from club to club, so be sure you know how much you have to pay.

Shimei are divided to two categories- “In-house shimei” and “Real shimei”.

Banai Shimei or In-House Shimei

Hostesses at hostess bars usually just swap with one another to serve customers in different seats all night when they have no specific appointments. When they have no shimei, the girls are called “free”. However, it is not uncommon to see customers take a liking to one of the “free” girls rotated to their table and want to keep them for the whole evening. This kind of appointment is called "In-house shimei". There is a charge for this, so make sure you understand the fees before committing to keep some beauties at your table!

Hon Shimei or Real Shimei

“ Real shimei” is the opposite of “free”: it is when customers have specific girls in mind, so they nominate them in advance. Hostess bars require customers to decide which girls they feel like drinking with when they return after their first visit. Real shimei is confirmed when the customer appoints the same girl for the second time. After that, customers cannot change their hostess at that club. Naturally, there is also a charge for this service, so please check the price in advance.

What is the “After” at Hostess Clubs? 

“After” refers to the system when customers ask a hostess to go for a meal or karaoke with them after hours. Customers do not have to pay extra for “after”, but all expenses for the meals or karaoke are on them. Generally, “after” does not mean dining and entertainment in normal restaurants, but only at but high-end ones. Customers get to monopolize their favourite girl in the “after” time, like on a real date!

This is an Absolute No No in “After”!

Of course, men have fantasies about women. At hostess clubs, there are also men who end up having urges for the hostesses. So, is “after” hours a great chance to make fantasy a reality since it is a private time alone with the woman? The answer is no, that is considered offensive. The hostess is providing extra service outside her working hours. Please remember that and respect her. Be good, and be a gentleman!

How to Dress to Impress the Hostesses at the Club? 

Since you are visiting the clubs, you might as well dress up in line with etiquette. A business suit or jacket is widely considered to be impressive not only by hostesses but other women. Dress smart, and be a real man. It is also fine to wear a jacket over a normal T-shirt: just do not dress too casually when visiting the clubs.

It is always fun to visit hostess clubs in Japan, though it can be a bit stressful if you are not familiar with the rules. I hope this article helped. And for those who want to give it a try for the first time, remember the rules to avoid trouble!

If you got this far, thanks for reading and I hope you'll read the next article too!

※ Reminder to foreign tourists visiting Japan, FUN! JAPAN does not endorse visiting any clubs or bars, so do so at your own risk.


Survey[Survey] Traveling to Japan