Burned ruins of Japan’s only strip club
The Akeno strip club haikyo is something of an oddity in Japan, as the only actual strip club I’ve seen here. Of course there are similar venues; hostess bars, soaplands, love hotels, but they each cater to a slightly different crowd and provide a slightly different flavor of tawdry service. To find a straight-up strip club complete with central podium, viewing seats, and dancing poles seems a feat beyond expectation. But there it is, on a small back-road in a quiet rural area surrounded by bamboo, half-burnt to the ground and buzzing with mosquitoes.
This was my second time in search of Akeno. The first was with Mike months ago when we took our ‘Grand Tour’ of Tochigi and Ibaraki, which provided such classics as the Cosplay Factory and the Pearl Love Hotel. We came by the street we thought Akeno was on after dark, cruised it lasciviously several times, got out to search around a newly built ‘Big Bob’s’ love hotel complex, and decided it had been torn down. Only later when Paul alerted me that we might have had a bad map and a slightly miscued location did I fix upon going back.
The second time I went with Su Young, on a Sunday. We had hoped to go to the beach, as we had hoped for every Sunday stretching back for months, but like all the previous ones it was grey and rainy, so on a whim we decided to head out to Ibaraki.
We turned up to the fine-tuned location and there it was. We headed in and were wowed by the initial view facing us- the podium, chairs arrayed around it, general dilapidation and half-burnt texture. In our wonderment we stared open-mouthed for a moment or two. Then a mosquito bit me.
I hurried to take my photos. All the whileI was shooting, setting up tripod, mosquitoes were biting me. I cursed my failure to bring insect repellent. Arrgh! I climbed to the stage for some more shots, peered into a few of the side-rooms, but beyond that there was very little exploration to be done. It’s a great location for what it was, and for the lead shot. But after that there isn’t much to see.
SY was already outside, taking photos of a piece of green glass on the floor. I came over to check it out.
“What is it?” I asked.
“I think it’s glass.”
“It’s very nice.”
Sadly neither of us has a macro lens so none of the shots came out.
She was not interested in the main building really, I think because of its tawdriness and the mosquitoes. Instead she took photos of the insides of television sets, and a lone inline skate lying in the forecourt. We did however go up to the second floor together, where there was just one room, and one master chair overlooking the main hall, with a control panel before it. We didn’t hang around to see what the switches did though thanks to the mosquitoes.
After that we were off to a famous Wedding Hall, which SY enjoyed much more due I think to its wholesome vibe.
The video doesn’t really show much as it was so dark inside, but maybe you can get a feeling of the place from it.
Entry – Easy if you have the right map.
Highlights – The initial view when you enter, the weird master chair, the green glass.
RUINS / HAIKYO
You can see all MJG’s Ruins / Haikyo explorations here:
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