I’ve been wanting to post this video for some time now, but forgot where I put the link. It is, quite simply, brilliant:
For those who don’t know, Tobita Shinchi is one of the historical red light districts in Osaka. Located in Nishinari-ku, the brothels operate to this day, largely unaffected by anti-prostitution laws and the police. It is the largest brothel district in Kansai.
The equivalent of madames stand in the genkan (entryways) of their homes and beckon passers-by to come in with clapping and hand gestures, ostensibly “for a meal” where they might just happen to “hit it off” with one of the young women living there. This is how they skirt around the law.
Comparisons are often made between Tobita and Amsterdam, but I have to say that the former is not geared toward tourism – it’s scary walking down the small streets at night, and foreigners that hang around there are usually not up to any good. The safest way to check it out is by car, behind tinted windows. This often elicits the flashiest performances by the madames trying to get business.