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Yoshiwara – Soaplands in Tokyo

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The famed Yoshiwara (吉原) red-light district still exists in Tokyo. Even though prostitution is technically illegal in Japan, the law doesn’t seem to be enforced. Or perhaps it is written in such a way that things considered prostitution elsewhere are considered legal in Japan. Near the end of the Toden Arakawa Line, or closer yet the south exit at Minowa Station on the Hibiya Line, you can find loads of soaplands (brothels) in the old Yoshiwara (東京都台東千束4丁目).

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A green-light district? In the above photo you can see a sign for the koban (police box) right next to a number of soaplands.


This picture shows a futon hanging out of a window in a soapland. The sign says “Feel safe in Yoshiwara as it is safe.”

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