Beware of Japanese Scammers: Bottakuri Tips

Have you ever heard about bottakuri? In Japan there are establishments such as strip clubs and bars that trick customers into paying excessive amounts of money. In this article we are going to talk about these scammers in Japan.

The word bottakuri [ぼっ手繰り] literally means unfair blow, deception or excessive charge. The word has an etymology that involves being rolled up, handing, transporting and arranging.

In English it is also called "clip joint" or "ripoff". It is a bad financial transaction. Generally, an incident where a person is overcharged for something, or received services that are not worth the price.

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What is Bottakuri?

In neighborhoods with a high concentration of foreigners, establishments such as nightclubs and bars offer attractive promotions for foreigners, but in the end it presents an exorbitant bill that is out of the ordinary.

If you refuse to pay the undue charge, you are often bullied, threatened and even about physical violence. These establishments are usually managed by the Yakuza or foreigners.

Usually a group of foreigners, often Nigerians, will approach you on the street to offer you a place with drinks, sex and sometimes even drugs. In some cases they are just invitations to cheap food.

Other invitations are for sensual massages or even sex. Be very careful and don't listen to anyone who approaches you in the middle of the street inviting you to some activity.

Remembering that there are establishments that apply this scam without the need to approach people on the street. These are usually sushi restaurants that hide their prices off-site.

Below is a list of what can be considered Bottakuri:

  • Expensive drink prices without customer knowledge;
  • Unusual additional charge after service;
  • Being expelled after making the advance payment without receiving full service;
  • Can be used to refer to machines pachinko and bet;
  • Paying for a beautiful woman and receiving an ugly one;
Asian (japanese) woman engaged in night work such as cabaret club

You pay for the drinks of the Escorts

This tradition is not a blow to foreigners, usually in bars with escorts the Japanese actually have to pay for the girls' drinks. The problem is that many foreigners don't expect this.

Part of the plan is to have escorts order the most expensive drinks in the establishment, so be careful when choosing an escort. It's not just foreigners, but many Japanese go bankrupt because of it.

Everything in these establishments is charged. There are hourly fees, per-girl fees, touching-the-girl fees, and many other fees that you need to be aware of. We also recommend reading our article on escorts in japan.

Hostess clubs - everything about the bar for the lonely

How to avoid Bottakuri?

The first thing you should do when you receive an invitation is to ignore it, say thank you and leave. If a scammer tries to convince you or even insults you for not wanting to accept the invitation, just ignore it and run away.

If you end up walking into a suspicious establishment, avoid anything that generates an exorbitant fee. If you are faced with an exorbitant fee, the best thing to do is record the situation with your cell phone so that you can call the police or lawyer.

Usually the police are not used to solving Bottakuri's problems due to the difficulty of communicating with foreigners and also the lack of evidence to take any action. It is always best to avoid suspicious establishments!

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The article is still halfway through, but we recommend also reading:

Bottakuri is not just bars and restaurants

In all countries natives often exploit foreigners. You can get scammed with bottakuri not only in bars but also in retail stores and tourist transport.

Some stores in tourist spots do not put prices on their products to charge foreigners more. Generally tourist districts not the best places to buy things.

At other establishments, prices in Japanese may differ from the price written in English. Some restaurants deliver two different menus for deceive foreigners.

Maid's Cafes they also offer services, fees and food for a pretty hefty price compared to other places, but it's not considered a bottakuri. They usually also invite people into the establishment.

Not everything is Bottakuri

In a certain situation in Ginza a lady was asking for money to help with the Hokkaido earthquake. Unfortunately, there is no way for me to prove whether this money would be used for this purpose.

After talking a little with the lady, she invited me to go to a kind of bar where there was a traditional Japanese musical performance, with a fee of 1500 yen.

I didn't even remember Bottakuri's moves and accepted the invitation. Lucky for me, it was a really friendly little bar, the lady even bought a snack, and the prices weren't exorbitant.

It was very risky, I'm also sure the lady won something for inviting me to the place and paying a fee of 1500 yen. But I really enjoyed the experience, I tell you more about it in the video below:

Izakaya Bottakuri

There is a manga and drama called Izakaya Bottakuri that tells the story of a small bar located in the desert center of Tokyo. In this place the sisters Mine and Kaoru, serve hearty food and sake.

The two sisters and their regular customers solve small problems and share wisdom while eating and drinking. Why does the series have the word bottakuri meaning cheat in its title?

Despite the name Bottakuri, the series is not about establishments that cheat people. Izakaya is so named because it serves common foods found in Japanese homes.

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