Meiji Shoten is a large adult toy and entertainment shop located very near the east exit of . Demonstrating the complicated yet widespread state of the commercial sex industry in Japan, Meiji Shoten is located next to a classical music shop just a few meters from one of the busiest train stations in the country.
The shop actually has two entrances. The main entrance is narrow but set off by a large red frontage that extends up several stories. The frontage has a picture of a busty blond manga character along with the name of the shop in both Japanese and English. Down at the ground level a poster with a picture of the famous red Tenga male sex toy is posted in the window to draw in customers from the street.
While Meiji Shoten is not nearly as large as either the M’s Pop Life or Love Merci super stores it is big enough to merit a mention. At the same time, it is not nearly as odd as the nearby Mania Shop Slum even though it does carry some of the same titles on one small shelf on an upper level.
Meiji Shoten spans multiple levels. The ground floor has two separate magazine sections along with areas selling erotic Japanese manga comics and other items. Next to the front counter there is even a section filled with things being given away for free. This often includes things like DVDs, tissues, small sex toys and posters of Japanese porn stars.
A sort of split level basement accessed at the back of the ground floor is filled with male sex toys of all kind. The place is absolutely overflowing with so that some toys like new editions of the Tenga cup are displayed along the walls in the stair cases!
An upstairs level is an absolute cornucopia of Japanese adult video for . The library like room is packed with thousands of DVDs expertly organized by things like theme, studio and star. Small screens spread throughout the room play some of the movies being sold.
The prices at Meiji Shoten match those charged by other similar shops across the city and country. Nowadays a new Japanese porn DVD goes for the equivalent of around $25 USD. Apparently they still sell too since shops like this continue to flourish selling new videos that are produced nearly every day. While some studios have closed and Japanese porn actresses don’t make nearly what they used to per shoot the local AV industry is far from dead.
As made clear by large signs both inside and outside the store, foreigners who shop at Meiji Shoten do not have to pay the sizable eight percent local tax. If they bring their passports and show them to the staff at the counter they can have any tax on their purchase waved. Somewhat surprisingly the place still seems to be much more popular with locals than foreigners, even though tourists from places like mainland China flood nearby pharmacies in droves buying up all sorts of Japanese products.
Tourists can also get a 8 percent discount at this store if they show their passport. The deal is mentioned right on the website so there should be no confusion for anyone.
Meiji Shoten. 1 Chome-3, Ikebukuro, Tokyo. Open every day from 10:00 AM to 2:00 AM. Website: Click for a map.