Those from North America might confuse the term “hostess” or “host” with someone at a restaurant that shows you their table, but in Japan, it’s a completely different profession. The host or hostess is the staff designated to sit, serve drinks and talk to clients in a bar / lounge type establishment called a Japanese hostess or stewardess club.
Part of Japanese nightlife culture, they usually wear fancy suits or evening dresses, heavy make-up, and fancy hairstyles. They are very beautiful and well cared for, as their function is to sell an image of glamor and elegance.
But what is really happening inside a host club and what can an outside visitor expect? Take a deep dive in one of Japan’s unique forms of entertainment.
Table of contents
Japanese host club versus Japanese host club
In Japan, host clubs are everywhere!
What to expect: The Japanese host club system
Our expert: Meet Yuki, the hostess
Tips for visiting Japanese host clubs for foreign visitors
Things to avoid in Japanese host clubs!
Are Host Clubs Right For You?
Japanese hostess clubs are a big part of Japanese nightlife and entertainment and are an important gathering place for men with their business clients, co-workers or friends.
Men often attend groups after work and discuss business and life while flight attendants serve drinks and add some feminine energy to the night.
Japanese hostesses often sit beside the gentlemen, listening and caring for the conversation the guys have, serving and refilling drinks as well as drinking themselves, and sometimes singing karaoke to entertain the group.
On the one hand, Japanese host clubs are a popular place for women to sit and chat with handsome, confident men and have fun conversations and encounters. But women tend to go in groups of friends or alone rather than working with co-workers.
The main job of hosts and hostesses is to gain attention, praise and act as a friend or temporary girlfriend to their clients.
A lot of people outside of Japan might think that these clubs are like strip clubs in the West. However, there is no nudity, prostitution or sexual acts in the nightclub. The structure of the club and its goal is for the host or host to gather a loyal group of customers who will always visit the club and spend money in it.