11 Feb 2020
I was travelling in Tokyo with my cousin and on one of the nights I wanted to get kinky so I decided to go to the infamous Kabukicho to look for some action.
While we were walking around, we were approached by a man wearing a black cap with a black puffer jacket and long pants (could have been jeans but I don’t remember as it was dark at night). Now is the time of the Wuhan virus, so the man was also wearing a white surgical mask. He spoke in Mandarin (with a Chinese accent) and he talked to my cousin (who did not want it) mostly as I was on the phone navigating via Google Maps. He asked if we were looking for some action and said that the price was 10,000 yen for sex. We do not remember if he mentioned a duration for that price, but he said it was for the full sex experience. He then proceeded to ask us what kind of action we were looking for as there were lots of kinds, but as we preferred to find places on our own, we tried to refuse the man. The man then continued to convince us that most places in Kabukicho would not accept foreigners and etc. In the end, we managed to walk off.
We returned to Kabukicho two days later and was approached by the same man. I am not familiar with the place, but my memory tells me that it was the same street as the first time. We met him at the cross section outside Manzoku Station. It is not a station, but just a name for the shop (or maybe the building as well). This time, he was trying to sell us a soapland service at 20,000 yen for 70 minutes. We asked him about the 10,000 yen offer he mentioned to us two days ago and he brushed us off, saying that what he said was 15,000 yen for normal sex and not 10,000 yen. So, us being unfamiliar tourists, we blindly accepted that it was us who had a memory error. So okay, this man was trying to sell us this soapland service which is better according to him. He mentions that the original price is 23,000 yen, and if we accepted his offer, he could give us the rate of 20,000 yen at 70 minutes. We asked him what it is like, and he pulled out a video from his phone, showing an inflated bed inside a large bathroom with a naked girl preparing it. He also said that before payment, we could go in and take a look at the place as well as the girls, and if we did not like it we could pull out of the deal. And also, he stressed that 20,000 yen was all that we needed to pay and nothing else. Basically, he was trying to instil a sense of guarantee for us, like there was nothing we could lose based on what he was saying. So we said okay and we went with him.
Now here’s where it gets interesting.
1) He began by asking us to follow him. He did not say where we were going, but we just followed. He made a call to someone during this time. Along the way, I asked him if he was Chinese. He said he was born and raised in Japan. That was the end of the conversation.
2) He brought us to meet an older man in a suit who was also wearing spectacles. We were passed off to him and now we were following the older man in a suit instead. The first man left us at this point.
3) While we were following the older man to yet another unknown place, we asked what was the name of his company. He just said “Soapland’. Like, he expected us to believe that the name of whatever his organization was, is “Soapland”. And as stupid tourists, of course we believed it (or maybe we just did not bother to press any further). We were brought to a lobby of a building where we were then met by a third man wearing the same oufit as the first man, but he did not wear a cap. He had waxed up spikey hair, and while he could also speak Mandarin, it was not as firm as the first man. He would at times alternate between Mandarin and Japanese.
4) The third man pulled out a phone with pictures of girls who were mostly pretty and had grea bodies (subjective to your own personal tastes). The older man in a suit also tried to “recommend” a particular girl to me. So, I chose one of the girls. The third man made a call, and then told me that the girl was confirmed. I was then told to pay the 20,000 yen then. I thought to myself, “The first man said we could see the place and the girls first before paying”, but since we were already brought this far I took a chance and just paid him. At this point, the third man asked me to follow him (my cousin retreats to a nearby bar). The older man in a suit leaves.
5) While following the third man, he asked me if I spoke Japanese and I said I could but very little. Basically, during this time he was trying to ask me questions to make this whole transaction seem more legit. He brought me to the lift lobby of another building where he pulled me aside. This time, he told me he had something important to tell me – No photography, no videography, and I must wear a condom at all times during intercourse. And there is a 50,000 yen deposit which I had to pay then, and he said it will be returned to me at the end. I do not know what was wrong with me then, but I did not pull out of the deal even though my gut was telling me that this was most probably a scam. I told him the truth, that I did not have enough yen on me. He asked me if I could go to an ATM to withdraw, and I said I did not have my bank card with me. I then told him I only had unchanged currency with me from my home country (Singapore). He then pulled out his phone and showed me the currency app, showing the conversion of 50,000 yen to SGD613. I told him I did not have that much, and that I only had SGD250 on me. At this point, he told me to hold on and he tried to make a call. The call did not go through the first few times, and then before calling again, he told me he was trying to call his boss. The call finally got through and he spoke in Japanese. The call ended and he said I could use my remaining SGD250 as the deposit, so I stupidly gave it all to him. Now he had my 20,000 yen AND my remaining SGD250 for the rest of my trip to Japan. I asked him how would I get the deposit back, and he said the girl would give it to me when the event is over.
6) He then brought me to yet another place. This time, it was the lift lobby of a rather weird building. Very suspicious. He told me to go up to the 4th floor and wait. I was confused, so I asked if I should exit the lift at 4th floor and wait. He said yes. While waiting for the lift, he told me to remember not to take pictures (still trying to suck me into believing this whole scam). The lift arrived and I entered, but he did not follow.
7) I went up to the 4th floor and waited. And waited. And waited. 40 minutes had passed, but nothing. There were only two doors, and I knocked on both. One had no response (a closed bar), and the other responded but it was clear that was no place for kinky stuff.
8) I went down to the 1st floor and the man was gone. I met up with my cousin and went back to the cross section outside Manzoku Station to find the first man, but he was not there. Instead, there were other people dressed in a similar way, but this time they were in a group. I asked them if they spoke Mandarin, and of course they did. I asked if they had seen a man wearing a similar outfit as them, and they said everyone wears the same thing. Then one of them asked me with a very intimidating tone, “What is your point?”. I figured it would be bad to continue the conversation, so I just said “Nevermind” and left.
9) I wanted to find the same people who I met throughout this entire journey, so I decided to stake out at some place to wait and see. Then, I saw a fourth man who dressed exactly the same as the first man guiding two other men (assumably Asian tourists) to someplace. I decided to be a detective and stalk them, hoping it would bring me to whoever. And indeed, this fourth man brought the two tourists to the same third man who brought me to the final destination. At this point, I knew that the tourists were in the phase where they select their girls and pay the fee upfront. I did not want to interrupt their transaction as I worried it would bring undesired consequences, so I waited till they were done.
10) When they were done, the tourists followed the third man off to somewhere and the fourth man came out to where I was. I approached the fourth man, trying to explain to him that I also met the same third man who brought me to some place. This fourth man (who also spoke Mandarin) was very intimidating from the get go and told me that there are also a lot of people there providing the same service. Basically, he was trying to dodge the fact that I was served by his same “organization”. I pressed on further, where he got even more angry and pointed me to the direction where the train station is. He kept saying (with a raised voice), “The train station is there! Go! Go now!”. Now he was trying to get rid of me. Then another man (assumably Japanese) came to me, also with an intimidating attitude, asking me “What do you want?”. Now there were two people trying to get rid of me. The Japanese man made a phone call, and the fourth man was still trying to tell me to head to the train station. Then, he grabbed my arm and led me away. I did not want to incur anymore trouble for fear of my life, so I gave in and headed to the train station where my cousin and I made our way back to the hotel. I feel sorry for the tourists who were also going to meet the same fate (maybe worse if they had more money on them than I did, or if they were as stupid as I was)
In summary, I was scammed of 20,000 yen and SGD250 (about 20,800 yen).
During my detective work in this journey, I saw a lot of similar people wearing the same outfit behaving suspiciously. So my conclusion is this: if they speak Mandarin and are wearing peculiarly similar outfits, WALK AWAY. Mostly, they are wearing black puffer jackets with a cap. Please do not take chances. There are many articles online that tell you where are the legit places to get these services. Please do your research. If anybody approaches you, it is either a scam or something you should just walk away from regardless. Many have lost even more (thousands from what I read), do not be the next one.