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HOST CLUB AI: BEST KABUKICHO SHINJUKU HOST CLUBS & BOYS. JAPANESE KITSCH DECORATION, CRAZY GAUDY LIGHTS INTERIOR.


HOST CLUB AI: BEST KABUKICHO SHINJUKU HOST CLUBS. JAPANESE KITSCH DECORATION, CRAZY GAUDY LIGHTS INTERIOR. host boys, host hair, kabukicho host clubs, kabuki-cho hair styling, host hairstyle techniques, club ai, best host clubs japan, shinjuku hosts, tokyo host boys, japanese love, visual kei jrock, ari behn, husband of Princess Märtha Louise of Norway, ARI OG PER, tv show hosts male, PRINCE OF NORWAY. travel host tv, Ari og Per NRK, Ari Behn og Per Heimly reiser verden rundt og treffer folk som lever mot normalen. I kveldens program oppsøker de det mannlige geishamiljøet i Tokyo, og prøver selv rollen som verter. Prince of Norway, Programmer, famous Norwegians, travel tv show, european tv hosts, japanese pop culture, weird japan

Welcome, ladies… to the gaudiest place on Earth! The Norway TV show (which we Pirates hosted and arranged) filmed inside Club Ai, the popular chain of host clubs in Kabuki-cho (the red light district of Shinjuku in Tokyo, Japan).

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The clubs are run by this mustachioed fellow, Mr Aida. He used to be a host boy, then opened up his own establishment in the 1970s. Now he lives in a gilded apartment packed with kitschy objects, overrun by a menagerie of cats and dogs — including his three giant poodles.

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Mr Aida stole his wife, Akemi, from her boyfriend at the time. Her wig is divine; her skin is as smooth as a baby’s.

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I’m not sure who did the interior decoration of Club Ai. But I’m assuming he was on heavy doses of Jesus Juice.

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Famed Norwegian photographer Per Heimly couldn’t stop taking pictures inside Club Ai. So much kitsch and tackiness in one room!

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First Mate Naomi, who does the arranging/locations/translation, was equally snap-happy. (She took most of the photos in this post.)

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Like a good Japanese host boy, TV host (and Norwegian royal) Ari Behn offers Suntory Whiskey to the ladies.

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There were a million places to check my makeup.

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The bathrooms were also jam-packed with lights and gaudy objects.

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Club Ai’s decor highlights the fantasy world of the host club. The female customers want to get as far away from bland reality as possible.

Have you seen the excellent documentary, The Great Happiness Space? (I review it in this post.) Host boys weave a web of romantic lies, but most of the clients are willingly ensnared… and have some venom of their own. Others, however, put all their savings into this substitute experience of love — a bubble that quickly bursts.

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What do you think of Japanese host clubs, and the (false) relationships between the boys and their clients? Is this type of romantic outlet more harmful than not?

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PS: Our TV hosting and “fixing” (arranging, researching) company has been busy. Last fall, I was the presenter for the Tokyo episode of Roam, a Sony Australia-produced TV show starring the Two Tims (of Travel Oz fame). The series will debut in August, on a major international network (to be announced soon!) And I’ll be in the very first episode.

Big hug if you “Like” the Roam Facebook page, which has photos and fun updates on the show. For more about La Carmina & The Pirates, please check out our site. Our services include making arrangements for TV crews that wish to shoot in Japan and worldwide (clients include CNN, NHK, Travel Channel, Canal Plus, Sony Australia, Dutch Pepsi.)

Song of the Day: I’m loving everything on Intergalactic FM. Italo, electro, disco, minimal streams.

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43 Comments

  1. Posted April 14, 2011 at 2:41 am | Permalink

    Haha, awesome. As I tweeted, I have walked past the bar many times as I always stay in Kabukicho, but have never been inside :)

    • Posted April 14, 2011 at 3:39 am | Permalink

      Heheh funny! I’d never been inside a host club, until that TV show. It’s funny, I also got to go into a capsule hotel (photos coming up) — something I’d never get to do otherwise, since females aren’t allowed.

  2. Posted April 14, 2011 at 2:42 am | Permalink

    I want to move there,its so awesomely tacky

    • Posted April 14, 2011 at 3:38 am | Permalink

      it’s glam-tastic :D

  3. Posted April 14, 2011 at 2:42 am | Permalink

    I want to move there,its so awesomely tacky

  4. Posted April 14, 2011 at 2:42 am | Permalink

    Hi! I really want to buy my first lolita dress, but I don’t know where a good place to get one reasonably priced online is. Help?

  5. Posted April 14, 2011 at 2:42 am | Permalink

    Hi! I really want to buy my first lolita dress, but I don’t know where a good place to get one reasonably priced online is. Help?

  6. Posted April 14, 2011 at 2:43 am | Permalink

    ..and of course I liked the Roam TV page, and can’t wait to see the Punk Bar footage from the Golden Gai, as well as Tokyo Dacadance :) (Maybe I’ll be in the background somewhere?)

    • Posted April 14, 2011 at 3:41 am | Permalink

      I hear the footage turned out amazing. I can’t wait to see it!!

    • Posted April 14, 2011 at 3:42 am | Permalink

      I’ll def let you know when it’s airing, and I’ll put clips up.

  7. Posted April 14, 2011 at 3:54 am | Permalink

    The decorating fascinates me.. Looks like you’ll feel high just by being in there for too long.. x) Wouldn’t mind going to a host club once for the experience, but the whole fake flirting thing is only good in small portions, I think.. xD What are you plans now? (Cus of the re-arrangements after march 11th..) Love your blog (as I always have!), and you look so good in those pictures <3 :)

    • Posted April 14, 2011 at 4:04 am | Permalink

      haha thanks! I’ll post TV clips soon. Seba + I are going to Italy on a sponsored trip… and have other travel adventures planned! More info – http://goo.gl/30hL3

  8. Posted April 14, 2011 at 4:03 am | Permalink

    Wow… that’s… like a blur between the lighting isle at Home Depot and the black light section at Spencer Gifts. (o_0; ) That’s a club?? Though I know they’re usually pretty skanky, my biggest difficulty with host clubs is actually the abuse of alcohol to such dangerous levels… it makes me worry for the host boy’s safety a bit…

    At the same time, if I ever go to Japan (doubt that will happen, though), I’d likely check out at least one of the mid to upper end host clubs for the experience. The way I see it, if you know that you’re going in to sit with paid employees that are working to a set formula, that have little desire to bond with you, it works both ways- go in, have a little flirting fun and you know that you’re going to be able to walk away without having led anyone on and not see them again… no strings, and everyone walks away happy. It’s all good. (LOL)

    The big problem is when someone is clingy or dependent on them, seeing them as some sort viable relationship source; a prince charming that truly cares and is going to myopically sweep them away to shower them with treasures and attention a la Gackt fangirl syndrome… then things get scary.

    • Posted April 14, 2011 at 4:05 am | Permalink

      Type your reply…

      • Posted December 11, 2014 at 4:16 am | Permalink

        It’s been 4 years since you been on here but your still around Judging Miss Scuba Philippines pageant lol so I’m testing my luck here. Might I beg you to answer some of my questions? Please! Im 24 years old and very interested in being a host boy In Japan. Im not Asian. Im actually a Hispanic from Venezuela and Colombia. You’ve been to Japan, New Orleans and even San Fransisco and more but my focus is on opportunity as a Host boy in Tokyo. Do other nationalities have a chance working at places like Club Ai? Im seriously desiring to go to Japan Tokyo and be a Host boy. Please reply richiespocket@gmail.com

        • Posted December 11, 2014 at 7:15 pm | Permalink

          Hi Richie,
          I’ll give you an honest answer… it’s not a realistic option for most people. You have to be at least high-level conversational in Japanese, and you won’t get a working visa to be a host boy… so unless you do something else on the side for a visa (which isn’t really realistic), you won’t be able to legally work. Some people do work illegally but it’s a horrible idea and will get you banned from Japan for years (if not life) if you are discovered. I hope this helps!

          • Posted December 12, 2014 at 12:20 am | Permalink

            Aw mann. lol Well it was worth a try. I guess in another life time or something. I was going to learn Japanese just so I can Host out there and have fun over there but risking a life time of getting banned from the country is not worth it. Living in the same country gets boring and Japan seems ADVENTUROUS! Thank you for your help. I’ll be on to the next thing.

      • Posted March 17, 2015 at 11:39 am | Permalink

        Hii
        I am like to join as a host boy in Tokyo

    • Posted April 14, 2011 at 4:05 am | Permalink

      Over the top, isn’t it? And I agree, there’s something creepy/sketchy about paying so much money for the fake relationship… especially when most of the clients are hostesses themselves, and do exactly this to male clients!

      • Posted April 14, 2011 at 4:23 am | Permalink

        LOL! I saw a scary documentary on it once… it’s like drug addiction… yeah, people can get a bit delusional about it unfortunately… so many girls are sadly still “socially programmed” as romantics instead of just relaxing and enjoy things for what they truly are. Romance isn’t reality, but reality can be pretty damned good. (^◊^)

  9. Posted April 14, 2011 at 5:28 am | Permalink

    I think you’ve stumbled upon the shiniest place on Earth!

  10. Posted April 14, 2011 at 6:35 am | Permalink

    Whoa! U kick ass lacarmina♥ 愛本の相田社長ウケるし~ jam-packed room full of gaudy objects and tackiness LOL willingly ensnared customers..

  11. Posted April 14, 2011 at 6:35 am | Permalink

    Whoa! U kick ass lacarmina♥ 愛本の相田社長ウケるし~ jam-packed room full of gaudy objects and tackiness LOL willingly ensnared customers..

  12. Posted April 14, 2011 at 7:41 pm | Permalink

    AWESOMEZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ

  13. Posted April 14, 2011 at 7:41 pm | Permalink

    Host boys are enticing but controlled. I love them. <3

  14. Posted April 14, 2011 at 7:42 pm | Permalink

    My favorite place on earth. :)

  15. Posted April 14, 2011 at 8:24 pm | Permalink

    That’s a lot of lights but it looks like fun (I guess some harmless, no-strings attached flirting doesn’t hurt once in a while?). I wouldn’t have found your blog if it wasn’t for Travel Channel.

    • Posted April 16, 2011 at 7:47 pm | Permalink

      Oh that’s so cool how you found me! Love Zimmern.

  16. Posted April 14, 2011 at 9:49 pm | Permalink

    I’m getting a seizure just looking at the pics. @_@
    I say if it gets these boys food on the table then go for it. They get money and the client gets some flirting. Everybody wins.(I think..XD )

    • Posted April 16, 2011 at 7:48 pm | Permalink

      I think it’s win-win! :)

  17. Posted April 14, 2011 at 10:21 pm | Permalink

    How do they do the cleaning on that place without breaking anything?

    • Posted April 16, 2011 at 7:48 pm | Permalink

      ahaha carefully ;)

  18. Posted April 14, 2011 at 11:26 pm | Permalink

    I think it would be really nice to just have a boy give you all of his attention and compliments,etc for a lil bit. Just as long as it remains god fun and you don’t get too obsessed

  19. Posted April 15, 2011 at 3:53 am | Permalink

    you have such a crazy cute style <3<3 :3

  20. Posted April 15, 2011 at 12:10 pm | Permalink

    LOL I thought the Butler Restaurant in your book was weird. But this does it.

    • Posted April 16, 2011 at 7:48 pm | Permalink

      Host clubs… pretty weird! :)

  21. Posted April 18, 2011 at 4:52 am | Permalink

    Awesome pictures man. This is really marvelous stuff. Thanks for sharing it with us. This is unbelievable. I have never seen anything like this before.
    :)

  22. Posted April 25, 2011 at 1:25 am | Permalink

    What a FIND (your site in general, as well as this host club). I am headed to Tokyo end of May – is there anyway I can drag my husband in there (semi-against his will) and experience the glory without breaking my band (I basically don’t speak any Japanese, so I imagine I could easily agree to forking over my life savings without even knowing it). I could tolerate parting with a hundred bucks for half an hour of basking in the crystals….

    • Posted April 25, 2011 at 7:29 am | Permalink

      Sounds great! I hope you find my Shopping and Club guides helpful. (Links on the right sidebar).

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