Our Hobby In Tokyo 2016

Discussion in 'Asia' started by DireWolf98, Oct 26, 2016.

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  1. DireWolf98

    DireWolf98

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    The current trend, which can be confirmed by various Wall Street economists, is that every year more people are retiring than are entering the work force. This is creating the urgent need to increased productivity per worker, etc. etc.
  2. Slinky Bender

    Slinky Bender The All Powerful Moderator

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    I think an awful lot of it is low birth rate leading to an ever increasing aging population.
    DireWolf98 likes this.
  3. DireWolf98

    DireWolf98

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    @Slinky Bender -

    Compared other people involved at UG, you definitely had more exposure to Japan than most.

    Therefore, that's the short answer and quite probably the main reason, IMHO.

    However, there are various forces at work and other factors might also influence this situation.

    Here's the Cliff Notes version of the longer answer.

    During the 1980s, when the Japanese economy was climbing upward - with no end in sight - Japanese arrogance also surged. The prevailing view within Nippon was that the superiority of Japanese intellect and work ethic was succeeding economically at what their military failed to accomplish in World War II: global domination.

    In their view, American domination had run its course. The Japanese and Germans would make all the products that matter. America would become a service economy -- Americans would all become waiters and barbers and consume those products made by Japan and Germany.

    Of course, in this environment, gaijin were banned from most venues. Then again, I remember seeing signs outside of live music clubs that said "No Foreigners Allowed."

    One of the engines that drove the Japanese economic machine was a corrupt/manipulated stock market, which in turn fueled real estate both of which helped to fund Japan Inc. That ride ended when the stock market began to fall in January 1990, which kicked-off a 14-year Bear Market.

    During that time regulators did nothing to address transgressions and flaws because they felt that at any moment the superior Japanese system would fight gravity, win out and the economy would resume its upward climb. Any day now. Any day now.

    During this time, the vast majority of the Japanese public remained in denial and remained convinced of their superiority.

    Economic and market reforms eventually came in several waves starting in 2005, the most recent under Prime Minister Abe.

    Now, everyone in Japan is now aware of their country's slide. They are no longer #2 in GDP, surpassed by China. They have a shrinking population, shrinking work force, and a rising number of retirees.

    The fall in economic status has humbled many Japanese, which in turn has dampened sentiments of racial superiority.

    Separate from that, I get the impression that many members of the younger generation views the Racial Supremacists of previous generations as uncool. This generation would probably be more accepting, regardless of the economic situation.

    Some cling to the Island Mentality. However, that school of thought has has morphed from "We are intellectually and culturally superior, therefore you can't possibly understand us" to "We are unique, therefore you might never fully understand us."

    A few years ago, when I first heard the phrase "Slow graceful decline" I almost fell out of my chair, given the confidence of the 1980s (and 1990s when many remained in denial). The Slow Graceful Decline crowd would feel comfortable (in their words) if Japan became like France, significant but not a dominant player.

    The state of the economy might be playing a role, however, as World War II moves farther and farther in the rear view mirror, Japanese people have also become more accepting (despite growing-up with censored textbooks).

    Currently, many more shops accept gaijin, but some shops still reject us. As I mentioned in Tokyo Part 2, I was denied entrance at 道玄坂クリスタル (Dogenzaka Krystal), a place that had been one of my regular venues when I lived in Tokyo (at times, I had to make an effort not to visit there because I found three members of their staff to be absolutely addicting).
  4. Slinky Bender

    Slinky Bender The All Powerful Moderator

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    I think it is an indication of a weak economy.
  5. DireWolf98

    DireWolf98

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    In terms of Our Hobby, the acceptance of foreigners in Tokyo has improved by leaps and bounds.

    There are many more gaijin friendly venues and they are relatively easy to find. Back in the 1990s, it was easier to find beer in Riyadh than it was find shops that accepted gaijin.

    Also, there are now Hobby-related tour guide offices that provide recommendations and will even directly contact venues on the behalf of hobbyists.

    Look for signs with this terminology: 無料案内所 (Information center) There are numerous info centers in Shibuya and Kabukicho.

    During my most-recent business trip, I visited three such offices in Shibuya. The info center with the friendliest and most cooperative staff was in Dogenzaka (道玄坂) in this location: 2-28-6 道玄坂 (punch that into Google maps and Street View)

    Enter the alley/street that has a huge arch-like sign above it that says 百軒店 The full name used to be 百軒店商店街 (might still be on some signs).

    If you walk from the main street, in a Northwest direction, pass under the huge sign says 百軒店.

    On your right should be カラ Net Karaoke and Internet Cafe (red sign with white lettering). That friendly information will be about 30 feet from that alley entrance on the right hand side (about 30 before Lawson). Side Note: once you exit/pass that info center and make a right at Lawson, you'll be heading in the general direction of Dogenzaka Crystal and Shibuya Strawberry Jam.

    It's a definite case of YMMV at the other centers in Dogenzaka and other parts of Shibuya.

    In general, in terms of Our Hobby, there are sites that feature gaijin-friendly shops throughout Japan. Here is one:

    http://erolin.net/?ac=top

    Also, after my recent trip to Tokyo, I discovered information about these gaijin-friendly Image Clubs (Ime Kura - イメクラ)

    JK Style
    http://www.jk-style.tv/pc/home/

    With JK Style, I might pull out all the stops - sex toys, blind fold, role playing ... Some of the girls at this shop as known for being great at staying In Character.

    Fantasy
    http://ikebukuro-fantasy.com/top

    Pururungang
    http://www.pururungang.com