If you are unfamiliar with the term 노래방알바 kyabakura (portmanteau of Japanese pronunciations for cabaret and club ), it is essentially where men pay good money to drink alcohol and have conversations with beautiful women. Girls bars, or hostess clubs — known in Japanese as kiyabakura kyabakura — are little, dimly lit rooms with comfortable booths where you can sit, drink, and chat with the women who work there. Girls bars are paid a lower rate, and they usually do not sit down with you, instead they will talk with you from across the bar stall.
At a Gokon Bar, you usually will be going with one or two friends of the same gender, and if you are a girl, you just go inside and get free drinks. You will likely be sitting behind the bar, perhaps on the couch, and there are a few other beautiful Japanese girls, typically about 30+, who sit down with you to chat, and they will pour you drinks, and they will laugh at your mean jokes.
Keep in mind that these places have tons of repeat customers and regular customers because the waitresses and the beautiful Japanese girls can entertain you quite well just by talking. The clubs hosts are generally looking for customers that come back — this does not generally hold true with tourists. As far as the English language goes, it is possible for these venues to have hosts or hostses that speak English, as long as they are located in larger cities such as Tokyo or Osaka – but since tourists and foreigners are not a target demographic for these businesses, this is not always the case.
The focus of a business is on having regular customers, rather than customers that come only once – this is one of the reasons it may be hard for foreigners to get into the clubs with hosts. Host clubs are geared towards female customers, while Kyabakura is for male customers – they have the same concept of the business, only the target audiences are different.
You are welcomed in the clubs by international hosts, and there are Asian girls and Western girls. The allowed seems a little bit bending at the foreign hostess clubs, but the limits are up to the girls and what they are willing to do. In a foreign hostess club, all girls are going to be either part Japanese, or all foreign (go figure).
Here, you are given a booth, again assigned to one girl, and within minutes, they rotate out to the other girls. In the kabakura, you get something called the downtime, in which they dim all of the lights in the club, and a cute Japanese girl sits down with you. You may have some after hours with the girls at the kabakura, meaning that you bring them out after work, but it is normally only to go to dinner or to do some karaoke.
Hanako might be a bit demanding, while Kabakura Tarou gets annoyed easily, but then the two couples go back to liking each other. Mama matches a girl to a guy, and if a customer has preferences, Mama makes sure they sit with their favorite girl, while the guy pays for half an hour (or one hour) of all-you-can-drink.
If girls are inviting you out for drinks in their clubs, prioritize your very tiny budget for Kyabakura over girls who are smart enough to go sleep with you. While there might be some shady stuff going on in kyabakura, pretty much every activity in kyabakura itself is totally innocent, as long as you think that spending money on girls talking to you like you are some sort of celebrity is totally innocent. The clubs hosting and kyabakura businesses are all gaudy affairs, and the city is equally vibrant and charming.
There are more relaxed versions of these types of businesses, like stand-up clubs called kyabakura, snack bars called, and so on. There are also higher-end ladies clubs in places such as Tokyos upmarket Ginza neighborhood, as well as an intricate assortment of more raunchy establishments offering more prurient services, but the examples above should give you an approximate picture of what entertainment venues are like around the country. Below, I provide a brief history of snack bars, and outline how they differ from the other types of bars and clubs dotting the Japanese evening entertainment landscape.
Generally speaking, the snack bar, as well as its cousins, girl bars and kyabakura, is distinguished from the standard alcohol-drinking establishments by the fact that it is primarily focused on entertaining.
Alongside snack bars are what are called girls bars–the name comes from the fact that staff are usually young women in their 20s. Girls bar (gyaruzu ba) — Similar to a new club, but instead of seats and tables, you are standing behind the bar, or perhaps the little table on the counter, with girls usually standing behind.
The girls club one of my friends worked in had mainly girls from the Philippines working there, including two mamas who ran the place. The hosts in those clubs are providing a form of entertainment for older men, who do not like the really young girls, but rather women who are closer to their own ages. A staple of Tokyos nightlife, the hosts clubs provide men and women with an opportunity to immerse themselves in fantasies in which they are a cooler, attractive, more humorous, successful, charismatic version of themselves.
At host clubs as well as at Kyabakura, you are met by an array of attractive men or women blessed with the gift of gab and tactical flirtation. Sometimes, if you spot a bunch of girls that you like coming in, you may mention this to the people sitting with you, and they will get them to come in.