Tobita Shinchi 

Date of publication :
Tobita Shinchi

Osaka's Red-light District

Osaka's red-light district emerged in the early 1900s, and become the largest pleasure area in the West of Japan, despite the prohibition of prostitution. Sordid place but authentic, visiting Tobita Shinchi is like taking a walk into the past.

Although prostitution is officially banned in Japan since 1958, the activities practiced in the red light district are unequivocal.

The old brothels, aligned next to each other, may have officially converted into "Japanese restaurants" (Ryoutei 料 亭), and the ladies declared "waitresses", however many of these businesses do little effort to hide their true activities.

It is therefore easy to see on the ground floor, a room "showcasing" a prostitute behind a glass - in sexy outfit or disguise (often schoolgirl or nurse) -  sitting under a bright light. In front of her stands another older woman who solicits passersby. Right next to the room is a staircase to go upstairs ...

Welcome to the last century

Located in one of the poorest neighborhoods of southern Osaka, sandwiched between a housing project, a bridge road and a dilapidated shopping street, Tobita Shinchi is decidedly sordid ...

However, despite its murky and depressing side, it may be worthwhile to go for a visit. The atmosphere is very special and offers a journey into the past.

This popular area has escaped the property speculation, it contains an atmosphere of Taisho era (1912-1925) with old buildings that have survived in this part of town. Of course, most are crumbling but there are still old wooden buildings with beautiful sculptures of old billboards or old lanterns that illuminate the fronts.

So the municipality ended up taking interest in this last century architecture, and in 2000 the Taiyoshi Hyaku Ban-building (鯛 よ し 百 番) was declared a cultural property. Built in 1918 to house a brothel and then converted into a restaurant in 1970, the twenty-one rooms of this establishment are almost still in its original form. Here, nothing of the legendary simplicity of Japanese architecture and decoration.

There are imitations of temples, bridges, docks, sculptures, exuberant short, an abundance of decorations and a change of scenery.

Neither traditional nor high-tech, a far cry from the touristy areas, Tobita Shinchi, sordid but authentic, offers a very different version, but no less real, image that one has of Japan.

Comments Read comments from our travellers

Worth a look!

It feels a lot more historical and 'authentic' than the bright lights of Amsterdam and Tokyo.

Bad experiencr

You will lost your money. Girls are cute is true but they hate this job. I pay for 30 min, (21000 yens, it s expensive i thinks) i get out after 20 min. ( 7 min sex only) A beautiful young girl , black, hair, beautiful breast . ( the first "shop" after the stair, one where they try to attract gaijin) At least you are ugly and virgin, ( sorry guys, but i m pretty) it s not good experience, you can have better in Tokyo , Even if japan it is not good for sex tourism. My experience: I come ,go at the first floor, she tell me to be naked and she left the room. After be naked and begin to drink, i checked my watch...2 min was passed since i came in the shop. She came back 4 minute after. Before we start , she washed me and , of course, take her time. After some minute and 2 position, she tell me to cum. I ask to change position and said i m sure i had time. She say no , you need time to be dressed . Etc .and... " oh! The towel is dirty, i will wash" , after 30 sec , i checked my phone... Only 17 min since i enter in the shop. I ask what she do, there is again time. "sorry , the towel is dirty". " ok, i understand" . I take my clothes and began to leave and she tell me, "there is again time" . Wtf. i said that to the mama san : i didn t pay 30 min to be outside after 20. ( i show her the time )but she didn t t care about that. The other girl laugh. They didn t tell me good bye. VERY VERY BAD EXPERIENCE.( i warned you guys). I recommend much more blowjob bar at Tokyo.(oh and after i read on internet there is a bell who ring 5 min before the end.... she really piece of me. Be careful guy.