Puppies in Shibuya

Puppies in Shibuya at nite

Shibuya is an area that I avoid, especially on weekend nites. My husband describes this busy neighborhood as full of “horny hetero teens” mostly from outside Tokyo and aspiring to big city life. A recent dinner with work colleagues found me there until close to last train time.

Poking around, we saw this incongrous juxtaposition: back-lit photos of sleazy girls next to “Baby Doll” puppies. Were these innocent puppies a metaphor, a bait-and-switch, a euphemism of some sort?

Exploring closely, we discovered that the establishment to the left was indeed a strangely empty store with a dozen flat screens, and a few male customers perusing catalogues of ladies online. The proprietors steered clear of us. Next door at Baby Doll were some very pricey puppies and kittens. As in small live animals.

The husband found nothing surprising about this combination of sex trade and puppies. Apparently hostesses and other “water trade” specialists often purchase small animals late at nite in an effort to find genuine love and affection.

In front of these stores, we were repeatedly approached by a good-looking young guy offering to take us to a place where he would show us photos of girls. My het colleagues were unimpressed by the special benefits of looking at internet ladies with him. His good looks and cute hair style made me inquire whether he dealt in men as well. No one got what they wanted!

Curiosity sated, I rushed towards the Yamanote train home. At the Shibuya JR gate, I was only half surprised to see the fluent-in-Japanese and stylish, bald European engineer who had introduced a prestigious lecture earlier in the week. He was walking unsteadily with a considerably younger Japanese lady, looking somehow lost or confused. So much for my idea of Japan having more dignity or “hinkaku” than the US. I could not get home quick enough.


  1. Haha, K. What indeed? This is one of Tokyo’s busiest commercial and entertainment districts. The crosswalk outside the biggest of the train stations is super famous for pedestrian spectacle.

    Normally I avoid it after dark, but some work colleagues invited me so I witnessed what I did not want to see.

  2. Kourosh – some Tokyo areas make Times Square before the cleanup look sedate. Now , of course, it is all Disney and wall to wall tourists (plus some parts of Broadway newly closed to traffic and equipped with plastic webbing lounge chairs, which is fun).

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