Train Cafe takes hands-on approach in fight against transit molesting in Japan

By Ryann Connell
October 1, 2006

Groping remains a painful fact of life for Japan's female train commuters, even with most cities now having Women Only carriages to combat the heinous issue, but molesting addiction has recently started attracting headlines, according to Weekly Playboy.

Celebrity economist Kazuhide Uekusa's arrest last month for groping -- his third sex charge in eight years -- has thrown the spotlight on the scores of train molesters who simply cannot help themselves.

Train Cafe, an adult's club in the basement of a seedy building in Tokyo's Ikebukuro district, claims to be combating the crime of molestation by getting chikan, or gropers, off the streets.

Train Cafe is a members' only club and is staffed by young women dressed in school uniforms or aprons. Membership costs 5,000 yen and there is a 2,000 yen payment for a cup of tea levied with each visit. A subsequent payment of 3,600 yen for 20 minutes permits members to partake of Train Cafe's services.

Those services are carried out in a room refurbished so that it looks exactly like the inside of a carriage on the Yamanote Line, the train that loops the central Tokyo area. Young women stand at strategic points in the carriage and patrons are permitted to fondle them in whatever way they please. An extra payment of 5,000 yen gives patrons the option of selecting the woman they want to ride with for a 15-minute period.

Male customers, of who the club says there are 4,000, are not allowed to ejaculate in the establishment.

Train Cafe members are offered a virtual reality trip on the Yamanote Line.

"During the 20 minute session, the trip takes you from Ikebukuro to Meguro (about one-third of the Yamanote Line's 60-minute complete loop). With each stop, the doors of the carriage open and the girls get on and off the train. We use actual recordings of the conductors' announcements and LCD screens outside the window display actual footage of the trip along the Yamanote Line," Train Cafe's operator tells Weekly Playboy. "We cannot be beaten when it comes to reality."

Train Cafe's operator tells the weekly that the club's membership is largely based on men in the early to mid-40s. He adds that many customers enter the establishment saying that they had just ridden trains and been driven almost mad by temptation, but made it to the club before tackling an innocent woman commuter.

"We have a crime reducing effect," the operator says.

Far from feeling demeaned, women working at the club say they enjoy it.

"I loath real chikan. But if I'm attacked by one, I'm too scared to do anything and just shut up. I really, really hate it," 20-year-old Rin tells the weekly. "But here, all the customers are members. You know you're going to be felt up and it's a good place to make friends, so I enjoy it."

Copyright 1999-2006, Mainchi Daily.  Used with permission. All rights reserved.  Ryann Connell is a Staff Writer and Senior Desk Editor for the Mainchi Daily News. No content may be reproduced in whole or part without written permission.  Please contact us via the link below for re-print and syndication policies or visit Mainchi Daily at for more information on Mainchi stories.








2005 Asian Sex Gazette.
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