Tokyo is known for its peculiar variety of sexual shops, bars, and clubs. But the latest attraction in Akihabara electronics district, home of eccentric maid cafes and lingerie bars, is a new specialty shop for clients who want to simply sleep together, without having sex.
Soineya, a small shop on the third floor of an old run-down building, offers a chance to spend time with young girls cuddling and snuggling. Odd items in its detailed long list of menus also include slapping face or staring at each other.
"This is not a sex service," said its manager who requested to be identified by his last name Koda. "It is for men who feel lonely and just want to be with someone."
Koda got the idea for Soineya reading an online blog about Jacqueline Samuel, from Rochester, N.Y., who opened her business charging $60 an hour to cuddle and snuggle.
"Japanese men are tired from excessive work hours. They just want to feel loved and cared for," he said.
At Soineya, an hour's stay at one of the seven dimly lighted cubes separated by boards and curtains costs 9,000 yen or $120. The entire store is approximately 600 square feet, and each cube is about the size of a queen size bed decorated with stuffed animals, heart-shaped cushions, cloud-shaped lamps, and accessories that play lullabies.
Koda opened shop a month ago with seven female employees who he claims are from 17 years-old to 25 years-old.
"We can wear cute pajamas or one of these costumes," said Sakura, a petite employee who appear no more than 15 as she pointed at a rack of clothes displayed at the entrance wall. Costumes include school uniforms and a sailor's suit with a blue mini-skirt from a popular Japanese cartoon, Sailor Moon. Each time a client requests for the woman to change outfits cost 1,000 yen or $13.
Standard course is lying down on the floor mattress with the partner for a minimum of 20 minutes to maximum 10 hours that would foot a $632 bill. Clients could pick a certain partner at an extra cost.
One of the most popular "optional service" menus for Japanese men is sleeping with head on the woman's lap: 1,000 yen or $13 for every three minutes. If could be vice versa, the lady sleeping with head on his lap, but the price is doubled. Same condition goes for massages, costing more to massage his partner than to be massaged.
Lending an arm pillow while clients sleep, patting on the back, or petting on the head costs 1,000 yen for each three minutes. Cheapest additional option is holding hands, at 1,000 yen for 10 minutes.
In order to "break the ice" and to bring some fun into the experience, the customer could request to stare at each other for one minute at the price of another 1,000 yen or $13.
But the oddest item may be the slap on the face. Each slap is 1,000 yen. Asked why this is part of the menu, Koda shrugged saying some clients simply enjoy being slapped by women.
On a recent visit, four of the cubicles were occupied and giggling and conversation could be heard. Koda said that since opening Soineya, an average of 20 clients have visited every day.
"Business is good. Really good," smiled Koda.