Saturday, March 13, 2010
On the last night of our Hokkaido tour, after a frenzied shopping trail trying to cover as much of the shopping malls, streets and sights in Sapporo, the largest city in Hokkaido, my wife and I arrived at Susukino, the largest entertainment as well as red light district in Hokkaido! We stumbled on Susukino innocuously and left with ‘eyes wide open’!
Save for the brightly-lit buildings and neon lights of the billboards of the towering buildings, we found the district a tad dimmer than our Orchard Road or City areas, that was a bit surprising to me as I thought that an entertainment as well as a red light district, even billed as the largest in Sapporo, should look quite bright like our world-(in)famous Geylang red light district.
When you are at Susukino, do not ever think of seeing dozens of young, pretty and sexily-dressed Japanese girls at the roadside, beckoning to you, brazenly and boldly dragging you for a ‘discussion’ or hot dating! No, there are no such things in Susukino and we were briefed by the tour guide that prostitution is not legalized in Japan, hence there exists other ‘adaptions’ and ‘hybridizations’ of the flesh trade in Susukino as I have learnt (from my tour guide again!)
As compared to Geylang, the red light district scene in Susukino is way too modest and covert, though there are some interesting finds and tell-tale signs of something sleazy, before I go on to that, let me tell you some of the interesting ‘adaptions’ and ‘hybridizations’ mentioned earlier.
First of all, there is something called a ‘cofeeshop’ in Susukino. If you heard of some men telling you that they are going to drink coffee in Susukino, ask yourself whether Susukino is like Brazil, famed for its coffee and cocoa beans. Of course not, these men are going for some special coffeeshops where the customers look at the reflective floor of the coffeeshop which reveal the ‘inside worlds’ of the young waitress wearing tiny dresses serving them coffee.
Then there is a peephole shop whereby men pay to look at the activities of women in rooms via peepholes similar to keyholes. And the final example given by the tour guide is a room with train settings where men enter in to molest the female ‘passengers’ inside the compartments!
Though the flesh scene in Susukino is not as overt as in the other red light districts in the world, including Singapore’s; when I heard the 3 examples of the ‘hybridized flesh trade’ I find that Japanese version is even more crazier or should I say pervertic!
With no ladies of the night in Susukino plying their trade, flaunting their assets openly, what my Dear and I saw were men in black: tall, handsome men dressed impeccably in office wear, topped off with a tie and a black jacket. As it was raining then, each of the groups of 3 or 4 such men stationed at each road intersection of Susukino were waiting with their umbrellas wide open, giving them a larger-than-life aura, and it was little wonder what they were doing.
There was even a shop with some comic books on the front, but it was pure XXX videos on sales inside!