Girls Bars in Japan – A Guide for Beginners from A to Z

If this is your first time in Japan, you will never want to miss Girls’ bars in Japan. Some tourists even mention that it is a unique experience that you can find nowhere else on this planet. In this blog, we would like to show you everything from A to Z. Let’s get started! 

1. What are girls bars?

A girl’s bar (和製英語: girl’s bar) is a bar where the bartenders are mainly women who are 18 years of age or older. That kind of bars has become an increasing trend since 2006 in downtown areas of metropolitan areas such as Osaka, Tokyo and Nagoya. Until now, they have been recognized as a popular part of Japanese nightlife and a strong competitor of other kinds of bars such as: hostess clubs, snack bars, lounges, etc.

Girls’ bars in Japan (Souce: Internet)

2. Time and way of operation

Unlike hostess clubs, girls’ bar is a restaurant rather than an entertainment business. Therefore, the government allows girls’ bars to open late night (from 7 PM till morning) instead of being forced to shut down at midnight. 

Let’s find out how a girl’s bar works! When the visitors finally sit down at the counter in a girl’s bar, a pretty female bartender inside the counter will serve them a few drinks and the conversation is on. You will not only pay for the drinks but also for the companion’s services for the whole night such as chit chat, telling jokes, sharing, or even singing karaoke.

It’s interesting to see how this industry has grown enormously these days in Japanese society. Japanese men find a break moment when they talk to a cute girl at an affordable price after a hard-working day. Most girl’s bars in Japan prefer hiring ordinary girls to professional hostesses so that the atmosphere there is also more friendly and easily accessible to everyone.

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3. Who would be attracted by girls’ bars?

Actually, the bar style is casual and affordable so the guests could be anyone. If you are a foreign tourist or a newbie to the place, it’s a good idea to explore with a group of friends. 

However, girls’ bars in Japan seem to attract men more than women. It could be a blogger or traveler who is experiencing Japanese nightlife for the first time. Sometimes, he is a businessman or an employee relaxing after work by drinking and having conversations with cute bartenders. Or they are groups of youngsters hanging out and cheering in a very comfortable place for special cases.  

Whoever you are, girls’ bars will offer you different attractive aspects. Let’s immerse ourselves in that kind of Japanese night culture that you can find nowhere else on the planet.

4. Top activities in girls bars?

4.1. Drinking and eating

The drink menu of a girl’s bar is various with: beer, wine, traditional liquor (Sake, Umeshu, highball, etc.), whiskey/brandy, soft drink, etc. In some special bars, they also provide a category called “Staff drink” as a reminder that customers can also buy their bartender a drink. 

Furthermore, some bars will also have some kind of food such as snacks or canned food. The price depends on each girl’s bar and we’ll let you know in the next part.

Drinking in girls bars in Japan (Source: Internet)

4.2. Starting a conversation

After some drinks, it’s time for you to start talking with the cute girls. Normally, the female bartenders will rotate so that the customers will have chances to get to know two or three bartenders at the same time. They also dress in costumes with numerous styles such as: anime, kimono, school uniforms, maid, etc.

You may not know but having a conversation with those girls means that you are buying the feeling. It could be the satisfaction, the exploration, the relaxing or the pride even just for a while. 

Most of the bartenders are very friendly, lovely, good looking and humorous. They also have professional communication skills and the ability to make you laugh or enjoy throughout the night.

Starting a conversation (Source: Internet)

4.3. Playing games

In order to break the ice, playing games is a good choice! In addition to drinking alcohol and enjoying conversation, you can also enjoy watching sports, playing cards, and darts, singing karaoke, and so on. 

Other popular drinking games are the Yamanote Line Game, Pin Pon Pan, Kiku No Hana, etc. Most of them are very simple and easy to play even for the first time. Getting in the game is a natural way to communicate with girls and kick-start the night.

4.4. Dating outsides with your favorite bartenders

Although many girls bars in Tokyo prohibit exchanging contact information, you can still possibly go on a date with the special girls you like. Let us show you how!

First of all, you should go to the store many times and have them remember your face. Moreover, remember to drop money at the store with the specific girl. Talking with the girl little by little is also the shortest way to exchange contact information. On top of that, you need to casually show a sincere and gentlemanly response. 

However, it is up to the girl to decide whether she will reply or go on a final date. Many of the girls who work at girls’ bars are young, so they tend to worry about things like being found by other employees, love affairs, and career paths. You should not act selfishly or do anything that the girls might not like. After all, the most important thing is how well you can talk, listen and respect the girls’ wishes. 

Although it seems like dating at a girl’s bar would be difficult, it’s worth your effort to try!

Hanging out with a girl in girls bars in Japan (Source: Internet)

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5. How does it cost for a visit in girls’ bars?

Compared with Hostess Clubs, Girls’ Bars are generally cheaper to visit with lower drink prices and lower entry prices. The average price is normally the set price and does not include additional service charges such as nomination fees, accompaniment fees, boy charge fees, etc. 

Many bars offer reasonable prices, starting from 1,000 yen (~ $7,14). There are also various systems such as time systems and all-you-can-drink so it is affordable even for young customers. Therefore, girls’ bars are for people who want to have fun drinking with girls on a budget.

Now, we will explain in detail the price of the girl’s bar. The total price of Girl’s Bars in Japan is 6,000 yen (~ $42.83) on average.

  • Set fee: Average 4,000 yen (~ $28,56) for 1 set of 60 minutes 
  • Extension fee: The same amount as the set fee or 1.5 times
  • Girls drink: average 800 yen (~ $5.71)
  • Karaoke: 200 yen/song (~ $1.43/song)
  • Consumption tax/service charge (20%): around 960 yen (~ $6.85)

Let’s take a closer look at the girl’s bar pricing one by one!

5.1. Full set fee: 

The average set fee for a girl’s bar in Japan is 4,000 yen (~ $28,56) for 60 minutes per set. Most of the set time is 60 minutes, but there are still some bars that only give you 40 minutes or 50 minutes. Let’s go play after confirming.

The system differs depending on the girls’ bars, but many stores offer all-you-can-drink sets. All-you-can-drink is basically whiskey, shochu, wine and soft drinks. Normally, most of the bars don’t include beer because of the expensive price. 

Some stores have a one-drink system, but the average price for one drink is around from 2,000 to 2,500 yen (from $14.28 to $17.85)

Female bartender at a girl bar (Source: Internet)

5.2. Extension fee: 

If you enjoy drinking and feel that one set of time is not enough, you can extend it. The extension fee is set at the same price as the set fee or at 1.5 times the price at many bars.

Normally, girls’ bars in Japan set the extension time from 30 minutes to 60 minutes. However, some bars have an “automatic extension” system. Sometimes, even if the time for one set has passed, the store will not say “time is over”. Therefore, you should ask the girls and staff about the details of the extension system in advance when you enter the bars.

Depending on the bars, there are some cases where you can order a more profitable system than adding an extension fee. If you know in advance that you won’t be able to drink enough in one set of times, you can enjoy it cheaply by choosing a free time system from the beginning.

5.3. Girls’ drinks

Girls’ drinks are drinks for girls with the average price being around 800 yen per cup. You should remember that there are bars where 2-3 girls are rotated in one set, so the girl’s drinks alone can cost 2,000-3,000 yen (from $14.28 to $21.42).

Most of the girls will friendly ask you “Can I have a drink?”. Buying her a drink is not compulsory but this will make her happy and so will you. If you’re on a tight budget, you can politely decline by saying “Sorry, I don’t have much money today.” The girls will understand so there’s nothing wrong with refusal. 

Buying a girl a drink is the great way to break the ice (Souce: Internet)

5.4. Karaoke

Some girls bars have karaoke and the price is about 200 yen per song (~ $1.43/song). The karaoke fee will be added to the bill. The more you sing, the more you will have to pay. If you request a girl to sing, they will increase the bill depending on the bars. Sometimes there are cases that all-you-can-sing is in the price of one full set. 

Moreover, some girls bars have darts and drinking games. The market price is 100 yen  (~$0.71) per game. In those games, most of the money is put directly into the machine, so it is not added to the bill.

5.5. Consumption tax/service charge

Most girls bars in Tokyo set a total 20% consumption tax and service charge. Consumption tax is a charge that occurs at any bar at around 10% added to the bill. A service charge is about 10% separately from the consumption tax. 

However, some stores set it at 30%, so even if the set fee and additional charge are average prices, the bill may still seem to be expensive. Consumption tax and service charges are often on the store’s website, so be sure to check before you go.

6. DO & DON’T in girls bars

6.1. DO

a. Researching information and understanding price system

When you enter the girls bars in Japan, you should research carefully about the bars through websites, newspapers and even word of mouth. Make sure it’s a reputable and legit girls bar.

Moreover, you should ask in advance what their payment system is and whether there are any other service fees to avoid bottakuri (ぼっ手繰り) or a “ripoff” in english. “Ripoff” means you are overcharged or received services that are not worth the expensive price.

In some cases, they will serve you strong alcohol and then fudge the bill while your consciousness is unclear. In other cases, you may be expelled without experiencing full services despite having made advance payment.

If you suspect you’ve been scammed, avoid anything that creates an overcharged fee. If you are forced to pay those fees, the best thing to do is to record the situation with your cell phone so that you can ask for help from the police or lawyer later.

b. Making a reservation

It is quite possible that popular girls bars are full at peak time. If you know where you want to go and want to be sure to get a seat, we recommend making a reservation. Also, if there is a girl you want, it might be a good idea to check in advance if she is at work. You can also check it out on the site or call if you’re not sure.

c. Drinking in a proper way

When you enjoy drinking in a girls bar, the purpose is not to get drunk but to enjoy the taste of alcohol, food and the talk with girls. Alcohol is only one of the tools that help you relax and have fun conversations.

Even though there’s not a rule that you have to order an additional drink for the girls, it still seems stingy to refuse that. If that happens, the place will not be exciting and the time you stay there may end up boring. In that case, it would be more meaningful if you could treat the girls who are working hard to serve you a drink and enjoy conversations together.

Treat the girl by buying her a drink and start a great conversation together (Souce: Internet)

6.2. DON’T

a. Giving inappropriate advices

Many of the girls who work at girls bars are young people in their teens and twenties, while the customers range in age from 20s to 50. You may be a successful person who would like to give the girls life advice. 

“Why are you working here?”

“Don’t you feel bad for your parents?”

Well, if you say it that way, it’s very stressful. Please keep in mind that the girls working there are also human, so you should treat and respect their private life the way they treat you well.

b. Being an annoyed customers

Most female bartenders are working part-time and they are really busy not only at work but also in daily life. Some impolite customers continuously text the girls all the time, which makes them really unhappy. You should understand that the girls don’t have an obligation to talk to you after work. Just relax and have a good time while you are in the bar.

c. Ordering entertainment services

As you know, a girls bar is registered as a restaurant more than an entertainment place. Therefore, all kind of entertainment such as physical contact or sexual performance are strictly prohibited at girls bars.

In fact, the female bartenders will only stand behind the bar. The men are not allowed to touch the girls. If you intend to do it on purpose, the girls may even report you to the  bodyguard or owner and you will be banned there forever.

Just keep a safe distance and enjoy the fun conversation! 

7. Where would I find those girls bars?

As it is a rising trend, there are thousands of girls bars in Japan in operation from 2008. We will shortly introduce to you the popular girls bars in Tokyo.

  • Kabuki-cho, Shinjuku

This is the typical location of the largest and busiest “night streets” in Tokyo. This is one of the areas that foreign tourists conveniently and often visit.

  • Shibuya

Shibuya is always described as a hub for young people. The Girl’s bars in Shibuya are filled with a bustling atmosphere. If you want to chat with cheerful, young and energetic girls, Shibuya will be a good suggestion for you.

  • Roppongi, Ginza

Girl’s bar in Roppongi, Ginza area has a very special character. As this is an area of the affluent class, prices are somewhat more expensive than others. However, you will have an evening with knowledgeable and very smart girls there.

  • Ikebukuro

Although Ikebukuro is located in the city area, it has a fairly casual atmosphere. The majority of office workers in Japan gather here, so nightlife venues are also a familiar and quite close part. You can easily set foot in the Girl’s bar shops in this place.

Different styles of girls bars in Japan (Source: Internet)

We would also recommend to you 10 interesting girls bars in Tokyo: 

  • JJ Hanare – JJ-はなれ: 〒105-0004 Tokyo, Minato City, Shinbashi (+81 70-2009-7743)
  • King: 〒192-0082 Tokyo, Hachioji, Azumacho (+81 42-649-3326)
  • Maid Cafe&Bar Luvpia: 〒160-0021 Tokyo, Shinjuku City, Kabukicho (+81 50-1864-1062
  • PREMIUM GIRLS BAR Cherish+: 〒170-0013 Tokyo, Toshima City, Higashiikebukuro (+81 3-5985-4533)
  • SUNNY’S (サニーズ): 〒176-0012 Tokyo, Nerima City, Toyotamakita (+81 3-6914-9971
  • Girl’s Bar OLEO(オレオ): 〒105-0004 Tokyo, Minato City, Shinbashi (+81 3-6205-4534)
  • GirlsBar X -cross- : 〒150-0043 Tokyo, Shibuya City, Dogenzaka (+81 3-6416-9335)
  • HAPPY GIRL’S BAR: 〒113-0034 Tokyo, Bunkyo City, Yushima (+81 3-6284-4408)
  • Muscle Girls: 2 Chome-41-2 Ikebukuro, Toshima City (+81 3-6886-7001)
  • Tokyo Girls Cafe YEBISU: 〒150-0022 Tokyo, Shibuya City,  Ebisuminami (+81 3-5725-3745)

If you still wonder where to go, you can also research for more information in the websites we recommend as below:

For more tips & information about girls bars in Japan, please take a look at: 

When having an opportunity to visit Japan, let’s experience girls’ bars to feel the lively atmosphere of the “night world”!

About Haruto Suzuki

Haruto Suzuki is a senior food and drinks blogger at Question Japan. He has a background in F&B industry and also experience of running his own Japanese restaurant in Tokyo for over 10 years. Therefore, he has a great knowledge of Japanese cuisine. So if you want to discover Japan through its unique traditional cuisine, Haruto Suzuki’s blog will be a great source of information for you.