It was not easy to convince Pangzi to visit Red Tokyo Tower at first. After all, my interest was not typical of the average tourist in Japan.
“I’m going Red Tokyo Tower to see my idol,” I told him. “You can wait for me at the top. See some winter birds, watch the traffic below, I don’t care.”
“Who’s your idol?” Pangzi wondered aloud. “Takuya Kimura? Takumi Minamino? Fumio Kishida? Don’t tell me it’s Lisa Ono?”
“My idol goes by the name Roland. He’s the top male host in Tokyo.”
“What’s a male host?”
“Let’s just say Roland makes a lot of women very happy,” I explained. “So happy they’re willing to spend obscene amounts of money on him.”
“Is that why you idolise him?” Pangzi asked.
“I think many people would like to be in his position.”
“And he’s at Red Tokyo Tower?”
“Yes, I read there’s a Roland Bar. It’s like a pilgrimage to go there!”
“Why can’t I come along?”
“It’s out of bounds for kids. Adults do what adults do inside. You go do your tourist thing. If you’re bored, I heard Red Tokyo Tower also has a few levels of kids entertainment you can check out.”
Indeed, Red Tokyo Tower has a series of VR and high-tech games available across the lower floors. Some are sports related while others involve physical challenges like jumping rope.
Racing simulators used for training by professional racers give the place an arcade feel. There’s also a poker room and a section for Japanese and international board games.
Pangzi spent hours playing and almost forgot I was in the same building.
In fact, Red Tokyo Tower was a strange spot that managed to blend a host of interests. The usual tourist crowd more keen on the observatory and views seemed oblivious to the dark exchanges happening at the bar where the infamous male hosts plied their trade.
Of course there were also the innocent games to captivate the younger ones. It’s like three different worlds rolled into one.
“So daddy, did you see Roland?”
“No, it’s a scam. He only appears Fridays and Saturdays.”
“Oh too bad. Actually what is really happening inside the bar?”
“I’m not telling you but since you asked I’ll give you a taste of it.”
At the cafe, I ordered Pangzi a bottle of beer.
“That’s cheating, Daddy. It’s only root beer!”
We were here: