Japan is becoming more progressive and modern as years go by. To accommodate this fast-paced country, Japanese citizens have become more career oriented and marriage, although still culturally important, is being pushed to a later date for the working population. Dating has also become difficult. Therefore, it is safe to assume that more men and women in Japan are sleeping alone, especially in urban places such as Tokyo. With this target market in mind, a unique service has started in Japan – the cuddle café.
For tired single men, the best way to rest is to sleep in the comfort of a woman’s presence. This is the concept that was introduced by Soine-ya, which literally means ‘sleep together shop.’ The service provided by Soine-ya is primarily for young women to sleep beside the client which costs about 6,000 yen ($55) per hour. A woman is randomly assigned to the client but if the client wishes to choose a specific girl, he can do so for an additional fee of 1,500 yen ($13.67). There are also other non-sexual requests the clients can ask for such as stroking the girl’s hair for three minutes or staring at each other for a minute. Of course, these requests are charged extra.
On the other hand, for women looking for a boyfriend-for-hire, Soine-ya Prime is ready to present its list of handsome young men. Clients of Soine-ya Prime has two main packages to pick from the Standard Plan and the Date Plan. The Standard Plan allows the client to spend 7 hours with a young man for a fee of 30,000 yen ($273). The Date Plan is more expensive at 70,000 yen ($638) because it includes a trip to Tokyo Disney Resort, a popular date spot for couples in Japan. For those who would like to arrange their own plan with the rented boyfriend, Soine-ya Prime has a ‘Premium Date Course’ with a fee starting from 50,000 yen ($456). Of course, just like with the original Soine-ya, there is an extra fee of 2,000 yen ($18.23) if the client wants to pick a specific guy from the list.
Also, due to the nature of their work, it is important for Soine-ya and Soine-ya Prime to have strict rules in order to protect their employees. With that said, there is no kissing or intimate contact allowed between the employees and the clients. Also, clients are not allowed to ask for the employee’s number or to contact them.
The service that Soine-ya provides seems to come straight from a manga or a movie. It is amusing to think that the founders of Soine-ya thought to address this problem of lonely men and women in Japan. Although it is admittedly a bit expensive, Soine-ya’s concept seems to work as evident by the many shops in Tokyo offering the same services. Personally, I’m not quite sure what to think about this service but hey, the boyfriend-for-rent will probably be useful if I need an urgent escort to a party. One cute arm candy, please!
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