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Bottle of Dom, Anyone?

Got to bed last night at 2:00 after passively breathing in about two packs-worth of cigarette smoke at a most excellent host club. These days in Kabuki-chō, it’s illegal to smoke out on the street, but inside a club? Fire ‘em up!

It was pouring rain and freezing cold outside. I thought it’d be a quiet night, but the club was packed. We met another excellent parade of hosts this time, including one who studied kendo (Japanese swordfighting) for nine years, one who I’d met before but didn’t recognize right away because his hair had changed radically since I last saw him (black is the new blond), and one who claimed he couldn’t even talk to girls until high school (clearly a late-blooming prodigy).

This time, around midnight one of the other tables ordered a bottle of champagne. All the hosts gathered around, laser lights and stage smoke blanketed the club, and they launched into a drinking song. Toasts were drunk, then the rest of the bottle was handed over to the customer to chug. Not to be outdone, three other tables ordered their own bottles of Dom Peri in rapid succession, thus ensuring that their designated hosts don’t fall behind in the weekly tally.

The price per bottle? ¥70,000 (about $750). This is on top of the door charge, the table charge, the charge for requesting a certain host, the service charge and 35% tax…

Andf you can’t make it to Tokyo, you can always lose yourself in Fallen Angel, a murder mystery that’ll slip you in behind Club Nova’s closed doors…

Read a novel set in Tokyo

The #1 hostboy at Club Nova makes a handsome living, whispering sweet nothings in the ears of women who pay him a fortune for the privilege. But the party’s over when Tokyo Detective Kenji Nakamura is assigned to investigate the death of…read more

Fallen Angel Book Trailer (1:08)

And if you want to find out more, here are the TOP TEN QUESTIONS ABOUT HOST CLUBS I’m asked most often:

Why do women go to host clubs?

What kind of women go to host clubs?

What’s it like to visit a host club?

How expensive is it to go to a host club?

What is a host club “champagne call”?

Can foreigners get into a host club?

How can I go to a host club?

How do I find a good host club?

Host fashion: Why do hosts dress like that?

A Day In The Life: What’s it like to be a host?

Jonelle Patrick View All

Writing mystery books set in Tokyo is mostly what I do, but I also blog about the odd stuff I see every day in Japan. I'm a graduate of Stanford University and the Sendagaya Japanese Institute in Tokyo, and a member of the International Thriller Writers, the Mystery Writers of America, and Sisters In Crime. When I'm not in Tokyo, I live in San Francisco. I also host a travel site called The Tokyo Guide I Wish I'd Had, so if you're headed to Japan and want to check out the places I take my friends when they're in town, take a look!

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