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Review: Arcadia (Tokyo)

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In all my visits to Tokyo, I have been remiss in not checking out one of the most famous rope bars in Kabukicho, Arcadia. The original Arcadia opened in Osaka in 2003, where Douyama Tesshin, the currently general manager of the Tokyo location began attending and learning to tie.

When Arcadia expanded to Tokyo in 2009, he moved from Osaka to manage the new space.

By Tokyo standards, the space is quite large, with seating for 15 to 20 people and a central area for tying and SM play. The entry fee is 6,000 yen for the first 90 minutes (which includes a drink). For 3,000 yen more you can stay until closing.

Upon entry you are given a questionnaire to fill out to specify your interests and preferences, which facilitates discussion with the employees who are happy to spend time with you talking about your SM interests and background. English is in short supply, but not entirely absent. Either way, the staff is incredibly friendly and work hard to make sure you are having a good time.

It was fun seeing a wide variety of rope scenes, from extremely experienced to the relatively novice. One of the great things about the Tokyo rope bar scene is that everyone is free to do their own rope at their own level. There are always more advanced rope artists willing to lend a hand or teach a few things, but for the most part people are free to explore as they see fit.

I found chatting with Tesshin Douyama to be a lot of fun and the women working the room were a lot of fun to talk with.

All in all, I would recommend a visit to Arcadia as a must see for part of any visit to Tokyo.

Location: 10-6 Kabukicho 2-chome Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo Pier Shinjuku 3F

Website: http://www.arcadiatokyo.com/

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Zetsu has been studying rope since 2008 and kinbaku photography since 2010. He is a member of Yukimura Haruki’s kinbaku school in Japan under the name Haru Yutaka. He has participated in workshops in Tokyo with Suguira Norio and has had his work exhibited in Tokyo at Gallery Shinjukuza, run by the legendary kinbaku photographer Kanno Kei. While in Japan, he has participated in several “satsueikai” photo shoots, photographing the rope work of Naka Akira and Yukimura Haruki. He is a member of The Monarchs in Los Angeles and runs the Los Angeles Rope Dojo, and sells kinbaku books and rope through his shop at Ai Nawa