Hi guys, this is Aoshiso! And, this is already vol. 5 of our nightlife column. Following the previous one, we are going to look at some night spots for ladies this time. Let’s get to know what the heck “boys bar” is.

What is “boys bar”?

Boys bar is the male version of girls bar, at where male staff cater to customers at the counter seats who seek drinks and attentive conversation. You may understand it as a causal version of a host club.

The business model in boys bar

Next, let’s learn about the system in the bar.

1.Charges

Basically, it is the table charge plus the dishes and beverages you consumed. There are no time packages like in host clubs and nightclubs. So, the charge remains the same no matter how long you stay.

Usually, the table charge is around JPY 500 – 800. Food and beverages cost around JPY 3,000. It sounds manageable and affordable, right?

2.Show your ID when entering the bar

Similar to host clubs, there are age limitations in boys bar as stipulated by the laws in Japan. Be mindful that you have to prove your age by showing a valid ID when entering the bar so, bring your passport.

3.Pay for the male staff

The male staff in boys bar drinks with female customers as a kind of service. Yet, the drinks should all be on the customers. This is like the concept of tipping!

Points to note when going to boys bars

So, here are some points to note when you plan to go to these boys bars.

・Good for overseas visitors?

Communication in most of these boys bars are in Japanese or English. It is advisable to go with your Japanese guide or friends if possible. Remember to bring your passport, just in case of anything. 

・Check the charges carefully

The price in boys bars is commonly reasonable. However, there are places with hidden charges for food and beverages. To avoid these “rip-offs”, be mindful to check all charges carefully before enjoying your night.

・Check if you can use credit cards

As credit cards are becoming common, hardly do we carry a large amount of cash when playing around. Yet, many boys bars accept cash only. Just to be sure, add some more bills into your pouch. And, let’s check whether the bar accepts credit cards in advance.

・Do not pay tips as best as you may

There is no custom of tipping in Japan, so people are not in tune with any extra cash on the table. As tipping is not a part of the business of the shop, it may be interpreted as a nuisance in some cases. As you are not be expected to tip extra, just treat them drinks!

・Not be fooled by the words of the male staff

Boys bar are full of smooth talkers to make women happy. Remember you are their princess only inside the bar. Once you step out from the bar, you are nobody. Not to be deceived.

The location of boys bars in Tokyo

Lastly, let’s look at some districts with a large number of boys bars.

Kabukicho, Shinjuku

One of the largest “red-light and entertainment” district in Japan. It is the location for plethora of nationwide top ranked night spots.

Ikebukuro

An area for business women in Japan, with a lot of boys bars for the general public which receive popularity over customers from a wide range of age groups.  

Shibuya

The representative youth-oriented district in Japan thus the staff in most boys bars are young and cheerful.

Index