“No pants hot-pot” enjoyed a brief spell of notoriety in the mid-90s when it emerged that Japanese Finance Ministry officials had demanded that bankers take them to a no-pan shabu shabu restaurant – where waitresses wear short skirts and no underwear – as a form of bribe.

After that scandal, no-pan shabu shabu disappeared, to be replaced by new trends in oddball sexy café entertainment. But the team in our Tokyo office felt it was about time this important element of Japanese culture was revived – no, improved! So we turned our office into a shabu shabu parlour for one night only, as two of our reporters enjoyed a night of bromance, bonding, and beef.

Warning: While there’s nothing full-frontal coming up, things are about to get NSFW.

You may remember our writers Yūichiro Wasai and Go Hatori, who escaped the stress of a lonely Christmas Eve surrounded by smooching couples to enjoy a bromantic night together at a love hotel in December. For this month’s experimental date night, they decided to skip to the end and begin by taking off their underwear.

The meat, vegetables and tare dipping sauce used were all exactly the same as they’d have at a normal shabu shabu night – the only difference is that Yūichiro and Go would be a little underdressed.

▼ Go (left) and Yūichiro (right), starting as they mean to go on.


To begin with, our boys were a little bit cold, but once they’d turned on the stove to start heating up the soup, they started to warm up nicely. What’s more, they were pleasantly surprised to discover that the gentle steam filling the room felt great on their skin – like a beauty treatment, or a trip to the sauna!

Yūichiro explained further: “When I wear pants, my crotch gets all hot and sticky, you know, but when you don’t have underwear on it feels great!”

▼ Thanks for that, Yūichiro!


There were other unexpected effects, too. Next, the boys tried some of the meat, dipping it into the broth to quickly cook it and swirling it around. Their semi-nakedness made them feel so free and relaxed, they felt like they weren’t in the office at all, but enjoying shabu shabu while camping in the great outdoors!


Now shabu shabu is delicious winter-warming food, but it can get a little messy at times. And there’s nothing more annoying than going out for a meal, spilling a tiny speck of sauce on your clothes, and knowing you’ll have to wash them when you get home. But with no-pants dining, those troubles are gone! If you spill sauce on your leg, you can just wipe it off quickly and not worry about it.


“Those dudes in the Ministry of Finance were just ahead of their time,” mused Go. “Thanks to the internet and Facebook and stuff, now we can let everyone know about no-pan shabu shabu. I really think it could be a big hit if restaurants let you go pantless now. They could do it as a special offer at [shabu shabu chain] Mo-para; pay an extra 1,000 yen (US $8) to be allowed to take your pants off.”

And so, having put the world to rights, our boys put their hands together to say “Gochisousama deshita!” (“thanks for the feast!”), declaring the no-pants hot pot experience to be twice as delicious as its fully-clothed equivalent.

Eagle-eyed readers, however, may have spotted one other final difference between Go and Yūichiro’s bromantic dining funtimes and the traditional no-pan shabu shabu experience. Erm, we hate to tell you this, boys, but isn’t it supposed to be the waitress that’s not wearing any pants…?





All photos: RocketNews24