/tout/: “A tout is a person who hangs out around the entrance to bars, restaurants, shops… and tries to lure you into their establishment.”
Okay, this one is actually serious.
Not serious as in it’s dangerous and you’ll put yourself in danger if you’re anywhere near this sort of activity. Tokyo is generally very safe.
Touts are trying to get your money. Most are very shady and if you do get lured into one of their establishments make sure you’re hanging onto your wallet.
Both physically and also figuratively. The prices in many of these shops are overly high and they’ll have hidden fees — like paying for the drinks of the women who will come sit with you — even if you didn’t ask them to sit with you.
Clubs, restaurants, and well… any shop. You’ll see a lot of knock-off clothing shops with touts too.
Avoid eye contact and ignore them
This is the hard part. Some of them are very persistent and will follow you around the around.
It is soooo annoying. Probably one of the single most annoying things you’ll ever encounter in downtown Tokyo.
Just keep your nose down, don’t make eye contact, don’t speak with them, and most importantly never, ever, under any circumstances, enter the establishment they are trying to get you in.
No matter how big of claims they make about how great their shop is — almost 1,000% of the time it is the exact opposite and they’re just trying to get your money.
By now you’re probably thinking Tokyo is a dark, scary place you want to avoid because of touts.
No. It isn’t. There aren’t as many of them as you’re probably imagining right now.
Plus, most of them aren’t the ultra tenacious ones who won’t leave you alone after you say no.
They’re generally out in the evening in places like Roppongi, Shinjuku, and Shibuya. So you may not even notice them if you’re not the night owl type.
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