Existing Member?

the world outside / outside the world My life outside America: teaching, learning, living, loving.


JAPAN | Sunday, 11 January 2009 | Views [2381]

A tiny clip of the flyer for the super trance night.

A tiny clip of the flyer for the super trance night.

I visited my first trance club here in Japan over in the well-known Amemura in Osaka’s Shinsaibashi. Wait, according to the flyer it was called “super trance” (whatever that means) at a venue called Club Joule (http://www.club-joule.co.jp/) which takes up the second and third floors of a building right off of Triangle Park. A well-known spot and one I pass by whenever I’m shopping or heading off to my favorite goth club event at a nearby venue called NEO, I felt it was time to finally take the plunge and step inside.


And what a step it was! Wow, dance clubs in Japan are strange, prickly creatures full of bright colors and even brighter flashing lights. Anyone out there ever heard about that Pokemon seizure episode where children watching it started getting seizures from all the bright flashing lights? – stepping into this club was sort of like that sans cute anime characters saying things like “pikachu~~~”, though some of the girls there looked like they should have been in an anime with their perfect hair and make-upped eyes trying to look that much larger than life. And the boys there reminded me a lot of off-duty host boys considering just how much hairspray they used on their spiky Final Fantasy-esque hair and dangly earrings and other random accessories. Add in cheesy glow sticks and glowing bracelets and it was almost like a regular old rave but without the mind-altering drugs. I guess I could say that it was a very typical young 20-something crowd – I assume they were 20-something as I actually got ID checked going in; the first time that such a thing has ever happened to me while in Japan and legal drinking age here is 20, the age when you officially become an adult.


And, like all places in Japan, this club was no exception to the cliques. You just can’t get away from those cliques anywhere here! This can be overcome with copious amounts of alcohol transformed into liquid courage but don’t expect a lot of the Japanese kids to come up to you; as a foreigner you’re on your own so any sort of communication can be quite daunting, even if you know some Japanese. At the best of times it is perhaps possible but with booming oonts-oonts music and annoyingly flashing colored lights and you’ll probably find yourself at a loss and soon you’ll give up even trying to talk to anyone you might have come with, let alone want to meet.

Anyway, here my friend and I are trying to figure out what the thing to do is here as far as dancing goes and we eventually gave up on that as well. Japanese kids just can’t dance. They can’t. I’m sorry, but it’s true. Up in the front of the dance floor near the DJ were the thrashers and stompers (usually boys), followed by varying degrees of stomping, swaying and just sort of… rigidly moving one’s body from side to side in addition to the people on the middle of the dance floor just standing there doing nothing. I shouldn’t laugh about it but it is a bit funny to watch, actually. Later on in the evening (or should I say morning as the club didn’t start to fill until 1am) out came the synchronized para-para dance moves and apparently all these girls brought in big fuzzy fans to dance with as they clambered onto side platforms to dance together. It was a bit surreal, actually. Add in the Rurouni Kenshin cosplay guy in Kenshin’s hakama complete with “X” shaped scar on his cheek dancing in the corner and I just wasn’t quite sure what to make of this place!


I guess I should say that it was ok. I had a decent time, for all that I got there too early (don’t bother showing up to a club in Japan before midnight – nothing’s going on) and for ¥2000 plus free drink coupon (I actually got 2 coupons because I got there too early, heading in at 11:30pm), it wasn’t so bad. I did get a bit bored of the repetitious music and dancing after a while, amusing as it can be, so I called it quits early and left the club sometime after 4am. Don’t do this if you need to catch a train home because trains don’t start running until 5-5:30am so you’ll either be stranded outside the club or have to catch an expensive cab to wherever. Always take into account transportation wherever you decide to end up at night so you don’t get stuck somewhere that you don’t want to be, for all the Japan is quite safe in most areas even at night. And that’s my final bit of advice.


If you’re curious, I definitely say check out the clubs here in Osaka – there are so many of them all over Shinsaibashi or further up in Umeda with all sorts of music styles. Be warned that while the club may look familiar the people that fill it up will be quite a bit different than what you’re used to at home drinks aren’t always going to be as strong as you like it, and there might be a smoke haze from too many cigarettes but it should still be a good time nonetheless.


And that’s all I’ve got. It’s bedtime for me as the sun will soon rise.


Peace out.

Tags: clubbing, japan, nightlife, osaka

Add your comments

(If you have a travel question, get your Answers here)

In order to avoid spam on these blogs, please enter the code you see in the image. Comments identified as spam will be deleted.



Travel Answers about Japan

Do you have a travel question? Ask other World Nomads.