Sunday, 14 October 2012

In Japan: Pay 1000 Yen To Hug A Strange Girl

Yep. Hugs aren't always for free anymore. And I didn't just make that up to make you read my blogpost. This shit is for reals.

Now, Japan is known for some weird stuff. Hentai being one of them. I am not even going to go there. But when I saw this story in the Sunday Times of India, it pretty much won the competition for weirdass.

A new shop has opened up in Japan's Akihera district. 'Soineya' which literally means 'sleep together' calls itself a 'co-sleeping specialty shop' and it lets customers sleep chastely in the arms of a beautiful girl of their choice. It also offers a variety of other services such as foot massages and an affectionate pat on the back - all for a fee of course. Its target audience is the otaku - someone who prefers imaginary worlds to reality, the Japanese equivalent of a nerd.

'Maids' in a maid-cafe depicted in an anime (Japanese cartoon)

In the 1980s, Hostess Clubs were popular in Japan - where women were paid to sit with men, listen to them, fill their glasses and light their cigarettes. The 'hostesses' were 'mature women trained to talk with equal felicity about politics and sex'. Then came Maid Cafes in the 1990s that featured more two-dimensional hostesses, who offered different services to customers but they wouldn't get physically engaged. Apparently the 'co-sleeping specialty shop' is a 'new evolution' of these maid cafes. There are now a variety of types of cafes - with no shortage of customers - one of which is the 'tsundere', where the customers are first treated rudely by staff but as they leave, the staff turn sweet and loving, begging the customer not to leave them.

One can't help but imagine. You walk in, and the waitress spills tea on your shirt and calls you a dumbass. Then when you get mad and get up to leave, she's like 'Nooo, don't go, come back! I'll hug you for 1000 yen!' And then I guess the customer is turned on by these symptoms of split personality.

These are Soineya's 'cuddle charges', according to the newspaper article.
Duration - 3 minutes.
Customer sleeps in girl's arms - 1000 Yen
Girl pats customer on the back - 1000 Yen
Customer pets girl on the head - 1000 Yen
Customer and girl stare at each other - 1000 Yen
Girl changes into new clothes - 1000 Yen
Girl gives customer foot massage - 1000 Yen
Customer gives girl foot massage - 2000 Yen
Customer sleeps with head on girl's lap - 1000 Yen
Girl sleeps with head on customer's lap - 2000 Yen

Spending four hours cuddling a strange woman would cost around 33,750 Sri Lankan rupees while twenty minutes will cost you around 5000 Sri Lankan rupees (damn that's an expensive cuddle!)

Glorified prostitution? Or just weird Japanese folks being weird? I don't know. All I know is Japan is beginning to sound like a strange, strange little place. With very strange little men, if these cafes (and Hentai) are any evidence. I don't mind visiting one of these joints some day, just to interview somebody who would actually pay 1000 yen for a staring contest with a stranger. And mostly for the lols, when some sad little man goes 'here's 1000 yen, now stfu and pat me on the back'.

Sach, you're in Japan aren't you? Paid for a hug recently? :p


  1. Sounds like the Sims in real life xD Change outfits? Hahaha

  2. Haha sorry I missed this but better late than never.

    Didn't pay recently (or ever) but I know of places that offer things more than hugs though. ;)

    But actually, I know the reason (or at least one of them) for this seemingly endless weirdness of Japs. Japan too is an agricultural country like Sri Lanka and it too turned into a developed high-tech nation comparatively rather late. And the huge majority of Japan's population is concentrated in and around Tokyo (Out of 130 million, about 30 million live in Tokyo alone. Thats one and half times the population of Sri Lanka living in one goddamn city!) and there are a lot of lonely souls. You see, unlike us Sri Lankans or most of the other nations in the world, Japanese tend to keep to themselves. You could work at one place for ten years and not have a single friend there. While we make friends easily they don't. Add to that most of the people who come to Tokyo live in rented apartments, and you don't go to see your parents at the end of each weekend. Practically, once you started work, if you had to leave your hometown (which is the case often) you are mostly alone or has very few friends. As such, a paid hug might not seem that weird to them. Hence all the weird kinky stuff.

    But honestly though, sometimes I prefer these weird Japs who keep to themselves as opposed to sexually deprived Sri Lankans. Yes I'm a guy but sometimes I'm so embarrassed about Sri Lankan males.

  3. thanks for share.