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Discussion in 'Questions, Answers & Warnings' started by Wwanderer, Dec 31, 2013.
Btw, why are you avoiding Roppongi specifically, if I may ask?
Three years ago, before my first trip to Japan, I got arrested and temporarily charged with assault in Spain after I acted like a drunk dumbass and hit a tout/thief who tried to pick my pocket.
I don't do so well with touts because I let their constantly following me and not taking no for an answer get under my skin, and I love travel in Japan so I don't want to get deported and barred from reentry. I always want to be on my best behavior in Japan because unlike Spain I love it. Plus I do have mild PTSD and when touts get up in my face I kind of lose it. I'm not crazy/ dangerous at all in regular circumstances So dont think that im some kind of belligerent tough guy or something. Its just that some strange weird guy putting his hands all over me trying to lure me into a club so he can knock me out and steal all my money- that is not something I can correctly deal with right now I don't think.
That and I had an expat friend in Japan who hated Roppongi, but come to think of it I don't think he had ever been there. He ended up being a weirdo anyway.
Is it as bad as I'm thinking? I'm thinking Barcelona gothic quarter just in Japan. Again I have no experience.
No, not nearly that bad, especially since they passed some law/regulation (I think) making it illegal for touts to touch the people they approach and restricted somewhat the areas (in Roppongi) where they are tolerated/allowed.
Touching was never that common in my experience, and on the few occasions it ever happened to me. I simply stopped in my tracks, looked the guy in the eyes, and stated firmly and clearly, "NO touching!" or "Do NOT touch!" They either just walked away (good) or apologized but kept following me making their pitch (not as good).
That said, they can be seriously annoying, and your reason for staying away appears to be a sound one to me. No point in looking for trouble or going where you think you would be uncomfortable.
If you want to see/do Roppongi, it might work better to go with a group of guys or with a date; my impression is that the touts see both (particularly the latter) as much less promising "targets" than guys walking along alone.
A couple of years back, there was a television catch phrase: "DONT TOUCH ME!". Gennojins is translated to Celebrities I think, used to say that a lot. If the tout is Japanese or a Gaijin with longtime in Japan, they should both know to react instantly after hearing that claim. If they dont get you in the first say it slowly "DONT - TOUCH - ME!". I think that might work. In my years of mongering I never had the experience of somebody reaching for my wallet without my consent.
I'm glad it isn't as bad as I'm thinking. I wish there was a better strategy in dealing with them.
Ill try that out.
I think pick pocketing is much more common in Europe.
ABSOLUTELY! Especially in some areas/countries. I've had and heard of pickpocket problems most frequently in the Netherlands-Belgium-France, not so much in the UK or Germany for example. And, as far as I can recall, I've never heard of anyone having their pocket picked in Japan (although I've spent more time in Japan than all other non-US countries combined by a wide margin), although I imagine it does happen occasionally in all countries.
My strategy is to not acknowledge their existence. I don't look at them much less talk or nod to them, and I just keep walking. They get the idea after about 10 seconds.
Another tactic to deal with annoying touts is to take out your mobile phone and pretend to be involved in a lively conversation with someone on the other end. Mostly you can just nod frequently and exclaim "hai!" into the phone...making it appear that you are listening to someone talking on the other end of the call. No tout has ever tried to interrupt me in the midst of one of these faux phone conversations. It feels a bit silly but works. It is useful to stride along purposefully too, as though you are heading for some specific destination and not just wwandering around. Of course, if you actually want to just stroll around and check things out, this doesn't work so well.
I'm going to try that out. Ill also try the phone conversation method.
I bet both are effective in Japan relative to Europe. What I hate about touts in Europe is all the unsolicited touching.
Meiji can part of this conversation be moved to questions & answers as it is getting away from RAKU Gotanda in general. As far as I know there is no tout for RAKU in Gotanda.
I moved these posts over from a Raku thread since we got off topic, and dealing with touts in 'adult entertainment' areas is a good topic to have anyway. Thanks for the suggestion bichan2!
Thanks both. This discussion will be enormously more useful in the long run in an appropriately labeled thread.
I never go to Roppongi but often to Kabukicho, and that has steadily got worse over the years. You can ignore most of them but some of the African guys try to be intimidating.
Yes, that would work, but I think it is overkill for dealing with the Nigerian touts in Roppongi. Just ignore them. They might run after you for a dozen meters, trying to pretend that you are their best friend, but then they will turn around and harrass the next person. And Japanese touts have never been annoying anyway. The whole issue arose only once the Nigerians appeared in Roppongi. Just ignore this pest. And, of course, never ever follow one of them into their shops.#