During rush hour, a number of Japan’s busier commuter rail lines designate cars as being for female passengers only. Likewise, it’s standard practice at video game arcades for the sticker picture booth section to be off-limits to men unless they’re accompanied by a female customer.
In both cases, the aim is to make women feel safer in a situation where men may try to grope or otherwise accost them by taking advantage of a lack of mobility or peripheral vision. But while neither one of those factors is really in effect at ConTERRAZZA, an Italian restaurant in Tokyo, the eatery nonetheless refuses service to all-male groups of diners.
Japanese Twitter user @araichuu snapped a photo of a sign outside ConTERRAZZA that diagrams the policy. Female customers are welcome, as are men who come as a pair with a woman or in a group that includes women. However, all-make groups, as well as men looking to dine alone, will be turned away.
The establishment, which opened in July, is unabashed regarding the rule, going so far as to enthusiastically tout it in ConTERRAZZA’s self-introduction of its page on popular Japanese restaurant website Guru Navi, which opens with:
“The first restaurant in Japan to prohibit all-male groups. A new style of all-you-can-eat-and-drink Italian restaurant that’s kind to women. And can you believe it? We even offer all-you-can-eat Häagen-Dazs!”
Surprisingly, the restaurant is located in Shinjuku Ward’s Kabuki-cho, one of Tokyo’s seediest red light districts that’s packed with hostess clubs, sexy massage parlors, and other lascivious male-oriented services. ConTERRAZZA boasts, though, that it wants to defy expectations for the neighborhood by “providing a place for women who want to enjoy themselves to their heart’s content, without worrying about men looking at them.”
To clarify, ConTERRAZZA isn’t a host club, butler cafe, or any sort of other food and drink provider serving titillation for ladies along with its fare. It’s a legitimate restaurant, which has some online taking issue with its essentially labeling half the population as undesirables who can’t be trusted on the premises. Still, men aren’t completely banned from the place, so if the food is good enough maybe we’ll see services popping up where men can hire a woman to get their group in the door, as long as they pay for her food too.
Sources: Hamster Sokuho, Guru Navi
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