Next time the kids complain that they never get to do anything cool on the weekends, just take them to this host club.

Host clubs are entertainment establishments known to be staffed by silver-tongued, handsome men and catered towards women for nights of boozy, gallivanting pleasure.

While often stereotyped as seedy and full of scams which have purged many an unfortunate victim’s bank account, not all host clubs are made the same, and this especially goes for Ai Honten.

▼ A snapshot of what we assume to be a pre-COVID-19 Ai Honten.

Opened up in 1971 by a former bed-selling business man, Ai Honten (Ai meaning “love” and Honten indicating it as the mothership store) is one of Tokyo’s oldest host clubs, located in the heart of Shinjuku’s Kabukicho district.

Though the host club is moving to a new location and will be demolished by the end of June, considering the density of host clubs and influential hosts in the area, it’s no small achievement to not only remain in business for nearly 50 years, but to also expand with at least seven sister host clubs in the process.

While it takes guts and a well-padded wallet to enter your typical host club, Ai Honten has decided to celebrate its final days by opening up their doors for afternoon tea time at a jaw-dropping price: 1,000 yen (US$9.31).

All-you-can-drink soft drinks as well as snacks are part of the package, and the host club encourages folks of all demographics, men and children included, to swing by for one last look.

▼ Buckle up, kids! It’s time to learn how to pour a champagne tower.

Similar to other host clubs, the interior of Ai Honten is overflowing with baroque and crystal embellishments. There’s an unmistakable vintage aura to the room, and it comes as no surprise that the host club was a popular filming location for dramas.

Since children are allowed into the club, it seems like visitors will understandably not be able to receive the standard host treatment. However, that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy the quite distinctive atmosphere of the club. If anything, Ai Honten recommends that you take photos as a keepsake.

If you wish to visit the host club, tea time is available only on weekends from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. In terms of preventative measures for COVID-19, the club will ensure that all hosts regularly disinfect their hands, maintain distance between lined-up visitors, and check temperatures before allowing entry into the club.

And if you still feel antsy about going out, but desire the company of attractive men for whatever reason, you can still socialize with your favorite hosts through a dedicated streaming app.

Club Information
Ai Honten / 愛本店
Address: Tokyo-to, Shinjuku-ku, Kabuki-cho 2-22-5 Jojoen 2nd Building B1F
Open weekends 2 p.m. to 5 p.m

Source, images: PR Times
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