Hello again everyone, this is Aoshiso! From here onwards, I will now give a full-scale introduction to Japanese nightlife spots. In this article, I will teach you about Girls’ Bars which are the lightest of the nightlife spots.
What is a Girls Bar?
Put simply, a girls bar is a restaurant where female bartenders make drinks and serve customers. The customers sit at the counter and talk to the girls as they make drinks. The main principle is not to pour drinks next to the customers.
Girls Bar Payment System
If you are unfamiliar with the language or it is your first time at a girls’ bar, it is common to worry about the fees. Here are some of the possible charges you might encounter at a girls bar.
This is a time-based charge. Usually, it is set per 30 minute or 1 hour intervals. Some shops also charge something called an “appetizer fee.” Some bars have table charges and drinks together at set rates, i.e. "All you can drink for 3,000 yen per hour."
Drinks and Food Charges
A drink can go anywhere between 500 yen and 1500 yen. Most food is usually around 1000 yen. If you order a bottle such as champagne or wine, it will be in the range of 5000 yen to 20,000 yen.
Some bars collect 10%-20% in mandatory tips that go to the female servers.
Drinks for the Female Servers
Part of the experience of going to a girls bar is that the girls who work there drink as well. If there is a girl you would like to drink with, do not hesitate to treat her!
Caution Points About Fees and Charges
Different stores have different systems, so you may be billed more than you might imagine.
In addition, there are shops that will rip you off (known as bottakuri in Japanese), and you may be charged an unreasonable amount of money. Although Japanese people often end up in these situations, tourists and foreigners are often targeted as the language barrier and unfamiliarity with Japan are good weak spots to take advantage of.
Be sure to always listen to and carefully memorize the types of fees charged and the prices of the drinks. Always check whether a bar can accept credit cards or is cash only.
3 Things to Watch Out For at Girls Bars
In order for you to have a safe and fun experience, I have listed some caution points. Please read them before visiting!
Are Foreigners Welcome?
There are some cases where shops will deny entry to foreigners because of language barriers. When visiting a girls bar, it is better to go along with local acquaintances and Japanese people whenever possible. If you do not have an acquaintance who will guide you, ask an employee if they understand you.
Do Not Touch the Women
This is an obvious rule, but it is prohibited to touch the women while they are working. The girls bar is only a bar, not the type of shop that allows physical contact. If this happens, you will not only receive a warning from the employees, but you can potentially be barred from entry and the police may be notified, so please keep your hands to yourself.
Do Not Drink Too Much
When drinking with women, people forget how much time passes. However, at girls bars, it is best to stop drinking after a while. The more time you spend, the more you rack up on your tab. Try to leave the shop in one hour if possible, two hours at most. It is possible to avoid the risk of running a high tab.
Good Neighborhoods for Girls Bars in Tokyo
Finally, I will introduce areas in Tokyo where it is easy to find many girls bars.
Japan’s largest downtown area has been said to be an iconic “city of night.” There are many nightlife spots here, but Kabuki-cho also a large selection of girls bars. It is also an easily accessible location for tourists visiting Japan.
Shibuya, the neighborhood of young people. Girls bars in Shibuya are full of vigor. If you want to talk to young energetic girls, Shibuya is recommended.
Girls bars in Roppongi and Ginza are special! Compared to other areas, these two places are relatively wealthy. Service here is more expensive. But you have a chance to spend the evening with an intelligent woman.
Ikebukuro has a suburban atmosphere despite being in a large city. It is a neighborhood with many office workers and it is popular as a nightlife spot. It is a town with many girls bars that you can enter with ease.
How did you like it? Please make sure to enjoy the "world of night" at a girls bar when visiting Japan! See you againin Vol. 3!
Thank you for reading until the end.
※ This article is a reminder to foreign tourists visiting Japan, FUN! JAPAN does not endorse visiting.