Explore Japan's Commercial Sex Industry

Official Soapland Guide for Japan’s Brothels 2024

Soapland
Published May 24, 2024
Last Updated July 9, 2024

Soaplands are brothels in Japan that operate in a legal grey zone designated as bath houses that offer guaranteed full-service sex as part of the basic service.

They can be found across Japan with the exception of Osaka & Kyoto where alternatives exist within Osaka’s 5 Brothel Districts, similar to De Wallen of Amsterdam.

💡What is Soapland?

They emerged in the mid-20th century, particularly in urban areas like Tokyo and Osaka, as establishments offering bathing and sexual services.

The term “Soapland” itself originated in the late 1950s, as a result of a renaming prompted by objections from the Turkish community in Japan to the previous name, “Turkish Baths.” These venues were initially modeled after Turkish-style baths, but they evolved into something distinctively Japanese.

Throughout their history, Soaplands have operated in a legal gray area. While prostitution is technically illegal in Japan, the provision of sexual services in Soaplands often falls into a legal loophole, where the exchange of money for time spent with an attendant is legal, but direct payment for sexual acts is not.

Regional variations on how Soaplands are operated in the country can vary by the local regulators that mandate rules such as

  • Minimum working age for sex workers being 18 or 20 years old
  • Permission of street touting outside the brothel
  • Permitted paraphernalia within the play rooms
  • Requirement for viewing windows to be installed on play room doors
  • Payment scheme and collection methods

Permits to open new Soaplands are no longer issued with all locations being the final places of business of all the brothels in Japan until they are demolished and the land repurposed for other use.

🙆‍♂️ What services are offered at a Soapland?

Basic services provided at Soaplands

The basic service include:

  • Showering
  • Bathing
  • Kissing
  • Blowjob
  • Nuru Nuru Massage*
  • Full-service sex

*Variations in service differ by shop and duration of service, though full-service sex is always guaranteed

Optional services offered at a Soapland

Optional services, if offered may include:

  • Cosplay – A costume will be worn during the session
  • Nirinsha – Threesome service with 2 providers in one session
  • Hanabira Kaiten – Multiple providers in one session, one at a time
  • Misegai dēto – Taking the provider out for a date, outside of the establishment

What is Nuru Nuru Massage?

The provider will use her entire body to massage you with a special nuru gel for this specific purpose. The word “nuru” means “slippery” in Japanese.

💴 How much does a Soapland cost?

Soaplands will often only advertise the bathing fee which is only one part of the cost.

The total can be calculated by multiplying the bathing fee, usually by two. Keep in mind that the multiplier can be 2.5 or 3 depending on the location and shop of choice.

For example, if the advertised price is 27,500YEN. The actual cost will be 55,000YEN.

  • Nyūyokuryō – Bathing fee for the use of the playroom
  • Sābisuryō  – Service fee for the provider
  • Sōgaku Ryōkin – Total cost is the combined amount of the two fees
TypeBathing Fee + Service Fee + Foreigner Surcharge
Low Tier Soapland ¥10,000 ~ ¥30,000
Mid Tier Soapland¥30,000 ~ ¥60,000
High Tier Soapland¥60,000 and over
Foreigner Surcharge¥0 ~ ¥20,000

Price discrimination for foreigners

The “Gaijin Tax” is a hidden surcharge that may not be openly advertised added to the total cost.

Always confirm this charge before making an appointment in-person or online to avoid any hassles.

Tip: Check the prices advertised on its official website to the Japanese market, not on foreigner-friendly directories which may have the “Gaijin Tax” disguised in the price.

What are the differences in Soaplands?

The main differences between the wide array of available Soaplands are dictated by

  • The type and quality of providers you will meet at the establishment
  • The customer service you will receive by the staff
  • The quality of the playrooms offered

There are three distinct tiers within the industry catering to different demographics at varying price points offering prostitutes of many calibers.

The majority of the foreigner-friendly Soaplands accessible to foreigners fall in the lowest tier as of May, 2024.

Low Tier Soapland

Gekiyasuten

  • Focus on short duration courses
  • Lackluster customer service
  • Antique playrooms
  • Quantity over Quality for both providers and patrons

Providers of Gekiyasuten

Usually young, early 20’s amateurs new to the industry and over-worked. Little to no quality control over the providers offered by the establishment. Can be of the opposite spectrum with middle age and above providers.

Pros & Cons of Gekiyasuten

ProsCons
Less Tolerance towards ForeignersShort Courses
Quick ServicePricing Discrimination
Young or Mature ProvidersOverworked Providers
Easy to UseAmateur Service

Mid Tier Soapland

Taishuten

  • Focus on medium to long duration courses
  • Satisfactory customer service
  • Renovated playrooms
  • Mixed range of providers on offer

Providers of Taishuten

Has the looks to warrant a higher price point but doesn’t want to service as many clients working in the lowest tier. Most have experience working in a budget Soapland or other genres of sex work.

Pros & Cons of Taishuten

ProsCons
Virgin Friendly+Price & Service Don’t Match
Higher Satisfaction RateNot Budget-Friendly
Hidden Gems AvailableLimited Selection for Foreigners
Semi-Professional ProvidersMechanical Service

High Tier Soapland

Kokyuten

  • Focus on long duration courses
  • 5-Star customer service
  • High-end playrooms
  • Quality over Quantity for both providers and patrons

Providers of Kokyuten

Providers with several years experience in the industry, domestically and possibly internationally with an excellent track record to match. Has a solid following of loyal clients at her finger tips as a career prostitute.

Pros & Cons of Kōkyūten

ProsCons
Virgin Friendly++Least Tolerant of Foreigners
No Price DiscriminationHigh Price Point
Complimentary ServicesDress Codes for Entry
Believable GFEJapanese Required

What kind of sex workers can I meet at a Soapland?

Female Soapland workers are referred to locally as “Sōpu jō” which translates to Soap Girl in English.

Photoshopping of the providers is to be excepted with exaggerated facial features and slimming of the body being the norm.

This is an industry-wide problem that isn’t isolated to just Soaplands and should be taken into consideration whenever using any type of paid sex service in Japan.

This includes the information provided about their physical attributes, what they like to do in their free time and personal ambitions.

As the saying goes, “you get what you pay for.” But even with this in mind, there are more than enough times where there are quality providers at a budget Soapland.

What to expect visiting a Soapland?

On Arrival

Quote your booking name, chosen provider and appointment time with a staff member. If you didn’t make a reservation, you will be shown photos of the available providers to book.

  • Payment for the appointment at the reception or seated in the waiting room
  • Visit the rest room before your session
  • Cut your nails if a nail clipper is provided

Waiting Room

At this point you will be waiting to be summoned by a staff member for the rendezvous with your provider by booking name or number. If you visited without an appointment you may have to wait for the room to be prepared.

Pre-Play

After entering the playroom with your provider you’ll introduce yourselves to each other and get undressed for the showering process.

  • High-end services offer a complimentary blowjob before showering
  • The provider will start filling the bathtub at this point

Shower

From here the services will vary from shop to shop and duration of service.

Assisted by the perverted chair you will be given a thorough washing from top to bottom with oral cleansing included.

Bath

Once the bathtub is filled you will both take a dip while continuing getting to know each other

Nuru Nuru Massage

The provider will use her entire body to massage you on top of an inflatable mattress.

A special gel made from seaweed is used specifically for this type of massage.

  • Usually not available at budget Soaplands

Sex

Here you can take the lead and direct the action on your terms.

End

A call will be made to the room signaling to the provider to initiate the end phase with a final shower before you part ways.

👣 First time visitor to a Soapland

Choose the Area

The first decision you need to make before anything else is deciding the area where you going to visit.

  • How many shops can I visit there?
  • How long will it take to get there?
  • How do I get there?
  • Is there anything else I can do there?

Choose the Soapland

Once you’ve decided the area you’re going visit do some research on the Soaplands within area that interest you.

  • Is it foreigner friendly?
  • Do they offer “Nuru Nuru Massage?
  • Compare prices and services
  • Which providers are on schedule during the time you’re looking to visit?
  • Read the reviews posted by past clients about their experiences

Choose the Provider

Now that you’ve decided on which shop to visit do some research on the providers online activity through blog posts and SNS.

  • How accurate are the photos advertised and the ones the provider posts?
  • How “busy” does she seem through her online presence?
  • Does she post in English?
  • Does she take bookings directly through her socials?

Book the Session

Start contacting the shops you’ve short-listed with your preferred contact method.

  • Is the information advertised accurate, and correct?
  • Do they have a “Gaijin Tax”?
  • Is the price quoted as you excepted?
  • Do they answer your questions in a satisfactory manner?

On the day of the appointment make your way there with leeway, arriving at minimum 10minutes before your appointment.

Tip : For first timers it is best to go with the safest and most reliable options on the market before diving into the deep end of the unknown.

How long should I book at a Soapland?

This all depends on you and what you want to make of the experience. If you just want to have sex with a Japanese girl and nothing else, the shortest possible course is the best.

DurationSex
Under 60mins1 shot
60 to 90mins1 or 2 shots
90mins to 120mins*2 or 3 Shots

* Long courses recommended for first timers

Phrases you need to know when visiting a Soapland

Knowing Japanese isn’t a pre-requisite when visiting a Soapland but familiarizing yourself with these terms will come in handy when there are no English speaking staff.

EnglishJapaneseRomaji
High-Level Soapland高級店  Kōkyūten
Mid-Level Soapland大衆店Taishūten
Low-Level Soap激安店Gekiyasuten
Bathing Fee入浴料Nyūyokuryō
Service Feeサービス料Shimeiryō
Nomination Fee指名料Shimeiryō
Total cost総額料金Sōgaku Ryōkin
Waiting Room待合室Machiaishitsu
Front DeskフロントFuronto
Front Desk受け付Ukezuke
SurveyアンケートAnkēto
Guidanceご案内Go Annai
Valet送迎Sōgei
Matt Play (Lotion Service)MットMatto
Bed Play (Sex Service)BッドBeddo
Extension延長Enchō
Morning早朝Sōchō
Massage with LotionヌルヌルNuru Nuru
Periscope Blowjob潜望鏡Senbōkyō
Perverted Chairスケベ椅子Sukebe Isu
Larger Perverted Chairくぐり椅子Kuguri Isu

Soapland Paraphernalia

Matto – A waterproof air mattress used to conduct Nuru Nuru Massage as seen on Nuru Massage porn. These beds are designed to provide a smooth and comfortable surface for the massage to take place.

Sukebe IsuTranslated into English as “Pervert Chair”, these stools are designed specifically for sexual activities and used extensively at Soaplands. A larger variation with a wider opening exists as “Kuguri Isu”.

Gold Chair – A full body seating apparatus used to diversify the sexual services offered by the soap girl. In addition, a pink chair variation exists that supports the soap girl from beneath, available at high-end Soaplands on request.

🔎 Where are the best Soaplands in Japan?

The most popular Soaplands areas in Japan are

  • Yoshiwara – Largest number of brothels by shop count in the country
  • Kawasaki – Popular for sex workers in their teens to early 20’s
  • Fukuhara – Second largest brothel district, close to Osaka & Kyoto
  • Nakasu – The Red-Light-District of Fukuoka with brothels
  • Susukino – Red-Light-District of Sapporo, Hokkaido that are budget friendly

Soaplands near Tokyo

Yoshiwara the largest Soapland district in Japan with over 130 shops, near Asakusa in Tokyo.

Many Soaplands in Yoshiwara offer a free valet service from the following stations

  • Minowa Station accessible via
    • Hibiya Line
  • Ueno Station accessible via
    • Tōhoku Shinkansen
    • Utsunomiya Line (Tōhoku Main Line)
    • Keihin-Tōhoku Line
    • Yamanote Line
    • Jōban Line
    • Ginza Line
    • Hibiya Line
  • Asakusa Station accessible via
    • Tobu Skytree Line
    • Asakusa Line
    • Ginza Line

Horinouchi & Minamicho of Kanagawa prefecture situated between Tokyo and Yokohama, near Haneda Airport.

Kawasaki Station accessible via

  • Keihin-Tōhoku Line
    • Tōkaidō Main Line
    • Nambu Line

Oomiya & Nishikawaguchi of Saitama prefecture situated a short distance North of Tokyo.

  • Oomiya Station accessible via
    • Tōhoku Main Line (Utsunomiya Line)
    • Takasaki Line
    • Shōnan-Shinjuku Line
    • Ueno-Tokyo Line
    • Keihin-Tōhoku Line
    • Saikyō Line
    • Kawagoe Line
  • Nishikawaguchi Station accessible via
    • Keihin-Tohoku Line

Soaplands near Osaka & Kyoto

Fukuwaracho of Kobe prefecture, situated West of Osaka.

  • Kobe Station accessible via
    • Tokaido Main Line
    • Sanyo Main Line

Noka of Shiga prefecture, situated North-East of Kyoto.

  • Ogoto-onsen Station accessible via
    • Kosei Line

Soapland areas in Japan

There are over 32 areas in Japan where Soaplands proliferate with a few dozen single standing stores operating between the areas across the country.

By region

Hokkaidō – Northern most prefecture of Japan

  • Hokkaido – Susukino

Tōhoku

  • Akita – Kawabata
  • Fukushima – Onahama

Kantō

  • Tochigi – Utsunomiya
  • Ibaraki – Mito
  • Ibaraki – Tsuchiura
  • Chiba – Sakaechou
  • Saitama – Nishikawaguchi
  • Saitama – Oomiya
  • Tokyo – Yoshiwara
  • Kawasaki – Minamicho
  • Kawasaki – Horinouchi
  • Yokohama – Fukutomichou

Chūbu

  • Niigata – Furumachi
  • Yamanashi – Kofu
  • Gifu – Kanomizunomachi

Kansai

  • Shiga – Otsu – Noka
  • Kobe – Hyogo – Fukuwaracho
  • Hiroshima – Naka
  • Yamaguchi – Shimonoseki

Shikoku

  • Takamatsu – Jotocho
  • Tokushima – Sakaemachi
  • Ehime – Matsuyama
  • Kochi – Sakaimachi

Kyushu

  • Kyushu – Kokura
  • Oita – Beppu
  • Kyushuu – Takaeo
  • Kyushu – Ureshino
  • Kyushu – Nakasu
  • Kagoshima
  • Kumamoto

Okinawa – Southernmost prefecture east of Taiwan

  • Naha
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