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An Appreciation of Japanese Strip Theatre: Part 1 – Overview

Japanese wife watches show at Japanese strip theaterRockit has noted the general format and entry fee / discount system of Japanese Strip Theatres in his reviews of Super Strip Theatre in Shibuya and TS Music Strip Theatre in Kabukicho on this site. Nevertheless, some gaijin still find the Japanese system and rules rather puzzling.

The first thing you must accept is that what you are seeing is theatre and not striptease. There is no tease involved in Japanese strip theatre. Tease is a western concept, arising out of puritan and judeo-christian concepts of guilt and sin and based on viewing and enjoying something sinful and forbidden. Such concepts are foreign to Japan, and so is the concept of tease (in spite of the fact that strip theatres originated during the Allied occupation after WWII as entertainment for allied troops). Japanese strip theatre is art.

Art / Theatre is the reason for the “no talking” rule during strip shows. You wouldn’t talk during the ballet, would you? The rule is taken seriously – I have seen Japanese being hushed by the muscular attendant for saying only a few words to each other. The “no cameras / cellphones” rule is universal and should be obvious.

Also probably due to the rather substantial (by western standards) entry fees, Japanese do not simply drop in to a strip theatre to have a beer or two with their friends for an hour or so, as westerners do. The show is the reason for their attendance, not just a sideline addition to the main purpose of drinking and socialising. Many arrive before the first show of the day and stay till late evening.

Japanese strip theatre is therefore essentially a compromise: the strippers want to be appreciated for their artistry, dancing, beauty, grace etc; and we want to see tits and pussy. So the first part of their show is the artistry, which just happens to have long graceful poses with the legs wide open, but all under soft lighting; and we politely applaud. Afterwards they come out under full lighting and spread and show the pussy, and we applaud more enthusiastically. Win-win all round. When in Japan, do as the Japanese do.

Wherever you go in Japan, there is a strip theatre not too far away, as you will see from this map. The map is in Japanese of course, but most search engines these days have a “translate” button.

Each theatre generally has 6 strippers who perform 4 shows each day. Each stripper has about half an hour on stage: 16-18 minutes for the show, 10 minutes posing for photos (more later), and 3 or 4 minutes of pussy show finale.

Entry fees generally range from 3,000 yen to 6,000 yen, with various discounts: early arrival, senior (60 or 65+), discount coupon from the website etc. You should always visit the theatre’s website before attending to get any discount going. I have never been refused a discount that I asked for: if you have their website on your smartphone or have a printout from it, so they can see you have actually looked for them and not wandered in out of the weather, you will get the discount. I’ve also got the senior discount by showing the DOB in my passport and pointing to what little remains of my grey hair. After discount, you should pay no more than about $40. As Rockit noted, this is not cheap, but as you can stay all day, you do get value for money.

Japanese strip theatres are less crowded Monday to Friday when the Japanese are at work. Weekends can be crowded, so midweek is best. They all have refreshments on site (beer / soft drink etc), and allow you to return same day if you want to pop out for a bite to eat (but make sure you ask first!) The quality of the seating varies, so I always assess it in my reports.

Women are welcome in Japanese strip clubs; all advertise a discount for women. In the included below, the fully clothed lady attended with her husband, who took the attached photo and other photos of me with the strippers. On this occasion, there were three other women together in the audience (but they didn’t sit in the front row!).

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