Recently, I went to a K-pop karaoke bar in Kabukicho, Shinjuku. This concept of a Korean pop girls’ bar might be new to some. So, I’ll provide a brief explanation about both, Korean pop and the girls’ bar.

K-pop, or Korean Pop music, has gained global recognition, with artists like BTS achieving remarkable popularity beyond the scale of J-pop, or Japanese pop music. Despite South Korea’s smaller size and population compared to Japan, Koreans have been proactive in exploring overseas markets to expand their business, including pop music.

They have sought opportunities beyond Korea, venturing into Japan, China, and other Southeast Asian countries. By diligently learning the language and culture, and keenly adapting to local tastes, K-pop quickly gained popularity, particularly among trend-conscious youngsters.

This popularity has also led to the proliferation of associated brands and goods, such as Korean cosmetics, integrating into local cultures. An example of this is Shin-Okubo, a district in Tokyo adjacent to Kabukicho. Long known as a Korean town, the area was initially home to local Korean shops catering to the Korean population in Tokyo and its surrounding areas. However, with the rise of K-pop, it has become a hotspot for young girls who want a taste of Korean culture and buy related goods, including those of their favorite K-pop musicians.

Interestingly, this trend appears to be most prevalent among young girls, irrespective of their preference for girl or boy groups. It’s less common to find boys or men of any age expressing a fondness for K-pop. The above is a brief overview of the recent popularity of Korean pop music and culture in Japan.

I’m going to explain about Girls’ Bars, a unique concept that I understand was first invented here. Girls’ Bars differ from traditional bars in that they feature young girls serving customers from behind the counter. Customers pay an hourly fee, perhaps to appreciate the beauty of the girls, or for other reasons.

Unlike nightclubs where the girls sit with you and serve your drinks, Girls’ Bars offer a more casual interaction over the counter. If karaoke is available, singing together can be part of the experience.

k-pop bar S-Line
like being in a cabinet of airplane

However, customers should be cautious when visiting Girls’ Bars instead of regular bars. It’s common to be overcharged unknowingly, leading to potential disputes, some of which can be serious. For instance, if a girl asks you to pay for a drink, a common practice in such places, you might be overcharged due to misunderstanding the drink prices. Or, the girl might order a bottle of champagne without your explicit consent, and you’ll be billed for it later.

Therefore, it’s important to pay attention to what drinks are being ordered. Remember, the girls never pay for their drinks. Don’t be surprised by how much they can drink, as you’ll be the one picking up the tab.

Recently, with the rising popularity of K-pop music, we’ve seen the emergence of K-pop style girls’ bars. These establishments are not necessarily aimed at K-pop fans, but rather those who enjoy being served by girls embodying the K-pop aesthetic. As a long-time K-pop fan, these places offer an interesting experience. You can mingle with people who enjoy singing in Korean or appreciate Korean pop music from various eras, not just current hits. These places essentially offer a small taste of Korea, which can be appealing since traveling to Korea requires time and money. While you may pay a little more than expected, it’s a unique opportunity to experience a different kind of entertainment. It’s important to note that the staff may not necessarily be Korean; they could be Japanese or individuals of Korean descent who migrated to Japan in the past.

There are numerous K-pop bars in the area, but I frequent a particular building, which can be found on Google Maps. This building houses several bars, so you can explore each level to find one that suits your taste. Normally, the cover charge ranges from 3,000 to 4,000 yen per hour, not including the drinks for the girls. Be mindful of how many drinks you’re buying.

While I don’t necessarily recommend this place for tourists due to the potential for trouble, adventurous souls might not find the risk any higher than at other bars in the area.

When it comes to their drink selection, don’t expect anything extraordinary due to the nature of these establishments. Avoid ordering anything special to avoid being overcharged. Typically, client drinks are included in the hourly price, and you can order as many as you want. This should give you an idea about the quality of the drinks they serve.

Leave a Comment


No comments yet. Why don’t you start the discussion?

    Leave a Reply

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *