Hidden Gems of Taiwan Tourism II
My Journey Begins
Embark on a captivating two-hour adventure through a compact yet intriguing region, where the winding alleyways and hidden storefronts are best explored with the guidance of someone who knows the ins and outs. This enchanting journey takes you to the heart of Taiwan’s rich history and cultural tapestry, deeply intertwined with Japan’s own past and traditions. Experience the fascinating fusion of cultures that will leave you yearning for more, and potentially entice sponsors with this alluring and unique travel story.
Exploring the Linsen North Road District
Gathering at Taipei’s Bright Spot
Our adventure began at the bustling gathering spot in Taipei, where a diverse group of people, including a significant number of female participants, joined us. Although we started in the city’s bright spot, our actual destination was the Linsen North Road district, known for its unique blend of Taiwanese and Japanese-style bars and clubs.
The Difference between Taiwanese and Japanese-style Bars
As we passed through the so-called “Taiwanese-style bar district,” our guide explained the key differences between Taiwanese and Japanese-style bars.
While 80% of customers at Taiwanese bars are locals, Japanese bars attract a predominantly Japanese clientele, making up 80% of their customers.
This difference in clientele leads to a significant divergence in the services and atmosphere of these establishments. Japanese-style bars tend to be smaller, with a more mature and elegant ambiance. Female staff dress conservatively and engage in conversation with guests, who are mostly high-ranking professionals. These guests prefer a more intimate setting and are willing to pay a premium for it. In contrast, Taiwanese-style bars are larger, with younger staff and private rooms. Sensory stimulation is the focus, with clothing often being optional during events.
Exploring the Linsen North Road District
As you venture further along Linsen North Road, you’ll encounter ten unique streets, each with its own distinct character. The seventh street, for example, features a variety of specialty bars catering to different preferences, such as T, gay, and third-gender public relations. Meanwhile, the sixth street allows two-way traffic, making it more accessible.
In this district, you’ll find not only bars but also pubs and hostels. The Japanese-style bars here cater to a predominantly Japanese clientele, and staff members are often fluent in Japanese. However, as times change, many establishments have gradually transitioned into pubs, focusing more on providing a space for heartfelt conversations and emotional connections rather than just offering the company of female staff. Finally, the hostels in the area serve as the ultimate destination for those seeking further interactions and connections during their night out.
By exploring the Linsen North Road district and its diverse nightlife offerings, you’ll gain a unique insight into the vibrant and ever-evolving social scene of Taipei. So, if you’re looking to experience a different side of the city and indulge in some lively conversations, this is the place to be.
The Alluring World of Japanese Hostess Clubs
The Art of Fading Glamour
In recent times, Japanese hostess clubs are experiencing a decline in popularity. This is mainly due to their clienteles’ reliance on Japanese patrons, who now have fewer corporate allowances and need to spend more of their own money. As a result, many Japanese people prefer to explore Taiwanese hostess clubs for a change of scenery.
The Essence of a Japanese Hostess
Japanese hostess clubs have high expectations for their hostesses, who must understand men’s needs and be able to transform themselves into the customer’s ideal woman. The key to success lies in reading their clients’ unspoken desires and reacting accordingly to every gesture, such as offering drinks, embracing, or switching tables, in a manner that makes the client feel special.
Pricing and Earning Models
The average spending per customer at these clubs ranges between 7,000 and 8,000 TWD. Apart from accompanying clients to dine or go out, the main source of income comes from clients ordering drinks. The hostesses’ appearance fees are shared with the club, but the club does not pressure them to go out often, as it takes up their working hours.
A Day in the Life of a Hostess
A hostess’s day consists of several stages: pre-work hours are spent grooming and attracting clients, sometimes joining them for dinner. This is followed by reading newspapers to catch up on current affairs, making it easier to serve Japanese clients. Once their shift begins, hostesses may be assigned to public or private tables, depending on the clients’ preferences. In the last hour before closing, some clients may invite hostesses for a late-night meal before they finish their shift at midnight.
Mastering the Art of Subtle Gestures
Hostesses employ various subtle gestures to handle tricky situations, such as blocking drinks, offering drinks, embracing, etc. These gestures are essential tools to maintain a professional relationship with clients. For example, a hostess’s drink must always be lower than the client’s, and touching glasses during a toast signifies the failure of blocking a drink. When embracing, both hands should not be at the same height, which may give the client the wrong impression. The best way to embrace is diagonally.
The Path to Independence
Some hostesses at these clubs start their own businesses as early as the age of 23. The low cost of starting a club makes it relatively easy to enter the industry. However, the real challenge lies in maintaining a successful business in the long run.
Unlocking the Secrets of the Hostess World: Past, Present, and Future
The Essence of Hostesses
The origin of hostesses is not particularly restricted, but most of them aim to understand the human heart. As mentioned earlier, their purpose is to become the customers’ goddesses. Therefore, hostesses don’t necessarily need to be young, have a great figure, or be very beautiful, but understanding people’s hearts is essential. This is why older hostesses can continue to work in Japanese-style bars, as age brings more experience in discerning people’s needs.
The Changing Landscape
The recruitment and training of hostesses now require more marketing efforts as finding suitable candidates for Japanese-style bars is not easy. In addition to appearance, Japanese language proficiency is crucial for communication. It is expected that hostesses should at least pass the Japanese Language Proficiency Test N5 or higher. As one recruiter said, “If you use it every day, you’ll naturally pass the test.”
Historically, the “bar street” was dominated by traditional bars, but as times have changed, so have the spending habits of Japanese visitors. Corporate expense accounts have given way to personal spending, causing a decline in the area’s overall consumption. One recruiter, foreseeing this trend, opened a piano bar, believing more people would follow suit and open similar establishments.
A Future of Diversity and Internationalization
No one can predict the future with certainty, but it’s evident that traditional bars will gradually disappear, replaced by more diverse and multifaceted establishments, such as gender identity bars, dart bars, or even lounge-style wetlands for social gatherings.
The recruiter has a vision for the future of the “bar street” — one of greater diversity and internationalization. Although he doesn’t have a concrete plan for how to promote this effectively, he is taking practical steps, such as organizing various events to promote and explain the “bar street” culture. Perhaps one day, an opportunity will arise that will enable Taiwan’s urban culture to be presented in a better light. At that time, the term “bar” may carry more historical and professional significance, allowing the recruiter’s vision for the future to be realized.
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Traditional Chinese version : https://medium.com/%40aha/%E6%9A%97%E5%A4%9C%E6%A2%9D%E9%80%9A-7849cca57748