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Japanese izakaya serves snacks and smacks

An izakaya in Japan, which was said to be on the verge of shuttering, gained fame and apparently revived its business – after it started offering patrons the service of being slapped on their faces before meals.

At Shachihoko-ya izakaya in Nagoya, there was initially one female staff member who carried out the striking, and each customer received a slap without being charged, according to Chinese-language YouTube channel Save Your Money In Japan, which posted the video on Nov 30.

As demand for the pre-meal slaps increased, the izakaya had to hire more female staff to carry out the smacking.

Fees were also charged: Patrons had to pay 100 yen (90 cents) per slap. There was also a 500 yen surcharge if patrons requested a specific staff member to slap them, reported Chinese-language media publication Liberty Times Net on Dec 3. The face-slapping service reportedly revived the izakaya’s business.

“The harder the female staff slapped them, the more excited the patrons became,” said the YouTube video narration on the Save Your Money In Japan channel, which also posts lifestyle content. “Not only were the patrons not angry, but they appeared to feel more relaxed after getting hit. They would even thank the staff member who smacked them.”

The video added that it was surprising that female patrons also wanted to be slapped.

“After being slapped, it was as if their life’s burdens and stress had been lifted,” the video said.

The izakaya has discontinued its face-smacking service. It was unclear when the izakaya had started and subsequently discontinued this service.

A Nov 29 post on its X account said: “Shachihoko-ya currently does not offer slaps. We appreciate the attention it has received today, but we cannot accommodate visits with the intention of receiving slaps.

“We did not expect old videos to go viral like this, so please understand before coming.”

JapanFOOD AND DRINKServices sector