Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Peer Contributions

Part II of our pre-departure assignments included submitting contributions to fellow students blogs. Here are the contributions made towards our blog by some of our peers:

"The choices of the area for exploration are extraordinary. All four areas are extremely well known for their vivid nightlife. These are some places located in these areas that I found, both online and in travel guides. These areas seem intriguing and worth visiting while touring the area.


Kabukicho is a must go when you are in Shinjuku. This infamous Tokyo red-light district is filled with bars, restaurants, strip clubs and host/hostess clubs. The night really comes alive when you enter this district. However, along with all the fun there are some potential dangers since the Kabukicho district is also filled with Yakuzas; therefore, it is much better to travel in a group than as an individual.
After all the excitement in the Kabukicho district, you guys can always go to the New York Bar and the Peak Bar that are located in the upscale hotel, Park Hyatt. The New York Bar is located on the 52nd floor of the hotel.  The live jazz band starts up at 8pm everyday and plays until the bar closes (a 2000 yen cover charge applies after 8 pm). The bar also offers the best view of Tokyo. Unfortunately, after the movie Lost in Translation was filmed in the New York Bar, the place developed an attraction for tourists. It can be hard to get a table. Therefore, the Peak Bar that is located 11 stories lower is also a good choice, if not better. The Peak Bar has a bamboo garden located in the centre and it is softly lit by washi lamps (Japanese paper lamps). The atmosphere, the cocktails and the service are just perfect here, in fact, it is the seventh heaven of the Babel Tokyo.

        Shibuya is filled with nightclubs. There are at least ten different nightclubs packed in this little place. Out of all the nightclubs, Womb is the best, most famous and one of largest club in Tokyo. Womb has four floors and consists of two mezzanine lounges, a restaurant, a VIP lounge and two amazing dance floors which have the country’s largest disco ball. Like the Peak Bar in Shinjuku, Womb is also one of the places where the film Babel was shot. Another really cool thing about Womb is that at the entrance there is a biometric system that identifies members; therefore, they do not have to show their ID every time they go. However, Womb is built amid the “love-hotels” in the alley. It is very hard to find even with the address for the first timer. (Personal experience)


After all the partying in Shibuya, Lounge Tableaux in Daikanyama is a great place to relax. Lounge Tableaux is a classy, sophisticated and cozy cigar bar that offers great quality Cuban cigars. The price ranges from 600 yen to 6000 yen. With the crystal chandeliers, old books, leather armchairs and sketches of nudes on the walls, the Lounge Tableaux gives the customers a 19thcentury high class European experience.

        The Bar is an extremely classy dining lounge and piano bar that is located on the forty-second floor of the Mori Tower Atago in Roppongi. The view from the bar is amazing. People can get a clear view of the Rainbow Bridge and the Bay of Tokyo. The Bar is sometimes renedt out for private events, therefore it is always best to check their website before going for guaranteed entry. The atmosphere and the setting might be very high class, but the prices on the menu are very reasonable. People can order “Buck Wheat Noodle” for just 1200 yen or order “Today's Chef Recommended Special Nigiri Sushi” for 3700 yen."

Pachinko is a Japanese gambling devices. The Pachinko parlours have some different kinds of slot machines. A Pachinko machine is like a vertical pinball machine but without flippers. The players fires a ball up into the machine, and the ball run by itself through the machine. If it not just falls to the bottom, and more balls are released as a jackpot. The more balls the player get from the machine, the more expensive prize the player can exchange for. Gambling for cash is illegal in Japan, so those balls cannot be exchanged directly for chas in the parlor. However, the balls can be exchanged for token, vouches, or prizes, such as pens, toys, or electronics. Players can buy metal balls by inserting cash, prepaid card, or the members card directly into the machine they want to use. The parlours also offer an exchange of 4 yen per ball, 1000 yen per 250 balls. Most Pachinko parlours open from 10am to 11pm every day.

Host Club
Host club, as an entertainment in Japan’s nightlife, has thrived in these years. In host club, the male staffs cater to the female clients. Host clubs usually open from 4 pm to 2am, some of them till 4am next day.  The host clubs sell drinks at a higher price than the regular one and also offer the champagne tower when there is a special event. The drinks can start at 1000 yen to three million yen. The seven layers’ champagne tower is around 1.5 million yen. Most host clubs are located in Kabukicho, Shinjuku, Tokyo.
The males work in host club is called “Host”. In order to attract female clients, hosts build a seductive image, such as slim body, trendy hairstyle and expensive suits and accessories. However, this image seems not attractive to the western female, because it is opposite to the North American sense of beauty. They are responsible to entertain their clients by drinking, performing, and chatting. They make their clients feel being loved and usually pretend to have a romantic relationship with the clients but without sex.  The clients originally were hostess and wealthy women, and more office ladies go to host clubs nowadays. Most of them want to escape form the stressful life and have fun in the host club. Also, hosts are trained to provide highly stylized forms of service. They intend to establish a fantasy world so women are willing to spend money. Therefore, Dr. Takeyama concludes the service provided by hosts is commodified romance."


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