Monday, July 25, 2005

Tokyo underground casinos

I'd love to find an underground casino in Tokyo, but it's not going to be easy.

There was this tantalizing article I found a while back, which gives me hope. But...

The casinos are usually found in the same sorts of buildings that accommodate hostess clubs and massage parlors. Each casino is about as big as a bar or restaurant. Doormen regulate customers by sticking to a strict "members only" policy that usually prohibits foreigners.

Well, I can't say it comes as too much of a surprise.

This article is actually from a couple years ago, so things may have changed. Shinbashi was the big casino area at the time he wrote this aricle, it looks like, but if there's still a casino hotspot I would guess it is someplace else now.

Still, might be fun to look! Will the old men with the signs actually tell me, a white guy, how to get there? Will whoever is guarding the door let me in? And even if I get in, would there be poker? I am guessing a big fat NO to the last one, even if I clear the first two.

Looking closely at the signcard for the joint that the man is holding in the photo, it lists a game called "Lucky Full House". Although I think it's referring to a machine (hard to make out the line above) so it might be video poker.

Hey, I like video poker to kill a bit of time while waiting for the cocktail waitress as much as the next guy. But tracking down one of these Tokyo casinos may be no small task, with a certain risk of having my wallet emptied and my body beaten and dumped in an alley by guys you normally only see in Ken Takakura movies. I'm hoping to find something more substantial at the end of my quest than video poker.

Gotanda is on my commute home, and it has a fair number of hostess bars, soaplands, and the like. I think I'll wander around that area a bit after work and see if anything looks interesting. For gambling possibilities, that is. Of course.

1 comment:

wj said...

There used to be an underground casino where I lived. but they shut it down because someone broke in and stole everything