Have your tobacco rolled by sexy women at Japan’s first 'shag bar'

Have your tobacco rolled by sexy women at Japan’s first 'shag bar'

TOKYO —

Japan is a cigarette smoker’s paradise. More than a quarter of the adult population is said to smoke and, unless specifically stated, smoking in restaurants and public places is widely permitted.

Yet while cigarettes are so popular here that you can even buy packs of them from vending machines on the street, there is virtually no tradition of hand-rolling tobacco, also known as shag.

However, this could start to change as “Japan’s first hand-rolled cigarette bar”, Smoke Friends House, opened in Shibuya earlier this month with the hope of adding a little refinement to Japan’s smoking culture.

We attended a special pre-opening reception event to get a first taste of shag and were quite impressed with the taste and depth of this gentleman’s tobacco.

And if that weren’t luxurious enough, at Smoke Friends House you can have your tobacco rolled and lit by sexy Japanese women!

The staff explained to us that shag is a living thing and the humidity and temperature inside the shop is regulated to preserve the freshness of the tobacco’s odor and taste.

The shelves are lined with an abundance of flavors, such as vanilla, mint, apple, mango and raspberry. In addition, all varieties are said to be completely natural and therefore emit less smoke than normal cigarettes.

Food and drink are also available for order so you can hold a glass of whisky in one hand while smoking your shag and reading The New Yorker. Indeed, the shop already promises to be a hit with smokers looking to enjoy a classy atmosphere and was brimming with dapper men on the day we visited.

■ Smoke Friends House
Location: Alcove 2F, 3-17-2 Shibuya, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo-to
Business Hours: 17:00 – 24:00
Closed Mondays
Homepage: http://shag.jp/

RocketNews24

  • 17

    minello7

    "Japan’s first 'shag bar' this really conjures up the imagination. Was the writer of the headline aware of the many meanings of the word "shag" one of those meanings is sexual intercourse. so I am sure the foreign community here in Japan will be rolling about after seeing this headline.

  • 19

    keika1628

    Asking a woman for a shag would get you slapped around a bit in the place where I come from .

  • 6

    ultradork

    Austin Powers...

  • 4

    paulinusa

    She looks sexy enough rolling that cigarette, but if she lit it up herself she would cease to be attractive.

  • 14

    Matthew Simon

    Shall we shag now or shag later?

  • 3

    OMGhontoni

    The clue is in the title: "Japans FIRST shag bar" - so it cant be the other meaning, there are plenty of those around already!

    I wouldnt want this womans job. You could never pay me enough to have smoke blown in my face all night, even if it is apple flavored. At the risk of sounding bitchy too (and I apologise if I do but the article keeps pushing the "classiness" of the place) she doesnt look classy to me, in a tank top and tattoo. Sexy yes, definitely, but not classy.

  • -3

    REMzzz

    Yumm! ^_^

  • 8

    soldave

    I'm guessing the writer of this article wasn't English, or rather was, but knew the editors didn't speak Commonwealth English. Reminds me of the line from Blackadder: "They tell me that Captain Blackadder has rather a good line in rough shag. I'm sure he'd be happy to fill your pipe"

  • 0

    Crystalyle

    What are they smoking in the back?

  • 0

    REMzzz

    she doesnt look classy to me, in a tank top and tattoo. Sexy yes, definitely, but not classy.

    The "tattoo" is the kind that wash off, it's there to coordinate with the tank top logo. But yeah i agree.. I'd rather see her in a frillier open back top, the kind that tie at the back of the neck and cover only starting below the shoulder blades.. now that's sexy... and maybe a fresh flower in her hair...

  • 4

    zurcronium

    I guess roll your own lung cancer was ruled out as a name.

  • 2

    Liberty Joe Lowe

    Well it Friday, I think I will go for a shag tonight

  • 1

    gogogo

    So it's a pickup place? Shag means sex?

    • Moderator

      Readers, "shag" in this story refers to tobacco.

  • 9

    Alan

    The young lady rolls a cigarette, moistens the paper with spit, and then hands it to the customer to put in his mouth. Very refined. Sounds like a great place to share interesting diseases.

  • -1

    Vesperto

    unless specifically stated, smoking in restaurants and public places is widely permitted.

    Pretty damn nice. It's the owner's call, not the state's. Say so outside and let the client decide. Same for this bar: don't like smoke? Don't go in.

    And yeah, the name is very shagadelic. :)

  • 1

    ultradork

    @alan - perhaps the woman's horrible bacteria will die a fiery death?

  • 5

    Dutchduck

    The term "shag" is used in the Netherlands and means as explained, a hand rolled cigarette or as the people in the common wealth call it "a hand rolled fag".

  • -1

    REMzzz

    Alan, she lights it too. But i'm sure the company tells them to use mouthwash twice an hour. If her mouth wasn't clean, you could probably smell it from the spit.

    Because the way to tell if your breath smells is to lick the back of your hand, and if in 30 seconds, when it dries you can smell something, it means your breath does need attention. When she licks a dry piece of paper, it dries even faster.

  • -1

    kurisupisu

    Surely it has been proven that smoking is a decidedly addictive and dangerous habit. Smoking unfiltered tobacco is likely to bring on lung cancer at a faster rate than filter tobacco.

    Having another person roll ones tobacco also involves a quantity of spit to be transferred from mouth to mouth.

    Herpes and other skin diseases are may be passed in doing so.

    I feel quite sick even thinking about this article................

  • 2

    Alan

    perhaps the woman's horrible bacteria will die a fiery death?

    Not unless the customer puts the lighted end in his mouth!

    And I'm not sure how effective mouthwash would be against things like herpes simplex (cold sores).

  • 0

    Wakarimasen

    How this story gets comemnts about passing disease is beyond me. Just how uptight can people be? This looks like a clever concept for those who like smoking. Leave it at that.

  • 4

    GW

    I will stick to home with a beer/shochu/scotch beside me on my deck watching the stars, listening to the sounds of nature, with my dog & cats hanging out as well!

  • 1

    gogogo

  • -2

    Alan

    How this story gets comemnts about passing disease is beyond me.

    Because the picture shows a woman with her tongue applied to a product that is about to be consumed by a customer.

    Wakarimasen: I'm sorry that my opinions upset you so much. Just how uptight can people be?

  • 4

    Scrote

    I should imagine that any germs in the woman's saliva would be the least of your worries when visiting this "Cancer House".

  • -2

    kurisupisu

    @Alan

    Do you know how infections are passed?

    The herpes simplex virus?

  • 2

    REMzzz

    Surely it has been proven that smoking is a decidedly addictive and dangerous habit. Smoking unfiltered tobacco is likely to bring on lung cancer at a faster rate than filter tobacco.

    When the filters shed finely chopped fibers from the cut end, i'm not sure what is worse. Assuming this is higher quality stuff (no recon or fillers), there's nothing wrong with having some once in a while....

    Filters were introduced to catch tar at a time before the technology to puff up tobacco (like crispy rice) using CO2 was put to use, so it's not the same as unfiltered cigs 50 years ago.

  • 3

    blue_monday

    I used to enjoy rolling cigarettes when I still smoked, it's the only thing I miss about them since I quit.

  • 0

    REMzzz

    Meaning that puffed tobacco has the same amount of tar for twice the volume...

  • 2

    soldave

    gogogo - I'm guessing most that go will treat it like a pick-up place.

  • -6

    kurisupisu

    Sorry, my last comment was directed @ wakarimasen

    And the 'dapper' young men might want to consider the following..........

    'The toxins in cigarette smoke attack nearly all parts of the body, from the mouths that suck in the smoke to the lungs, heart and other organs that deal with the aftermath. Smoking puts tobacco users at much higher risk of death from cancer, emphysema and heart disease than non-smokers.'

    That sexy young woman licking the shag may have mouth cancer-sounds appealing , no?

  • 4

    REMzzz

    That sexy young woman licking the shag may have mouth cancer - sounds appealing , no?

    Sorry, but cancer is not contagious.. We are in the 21st century now

  • 2

    jforce

    I'd go if she was rolling a blunt. I'd pay whatever, too.

  • 1

    Vesperto

    @kurisupisu If it bothers you so much just don't go there. I've never smoked nor do i intend to start, but i'll sure visit the shag house next time i visit Japan.

    (by shag i meant tobacco-related shag (not the post-coital cigarette, the shag in the article (oh nevermind)))

  • 2

    Kakukakushikajika

    Stupid! But at least I have a place nearby where I can for sure find some rolling paper yeah!

  • 4

    Jonathan Hunt

    I wonder what's more universally hated; smokers, or non-smokers who don't stop going on about cancer.

  • 3

    smithinjapan

    I'm aware that 'shag' here refers to tobacco, but I think the place is going to have some pretty disappointed customers, unless of course they expand the services to fit the various meanings.

  • 3

    anglootaku

    Well considering the government owns Japan Tabacco, they have to promote it some how :P

  • 4

    serendipitous

    Shagalicious!

  • 2

    dragsby

    The only thing this article made me want to roll was my eyes...

  • 2

    Gurukun

    Stupid! But at least I have a place nearby where I can for sure find some rolling paper yeah

    LOL! I was wondering the same thing. Will they just sell the rolling paper? (^_^)

  • 1

    Wakarimasen

    Not upset by comments. Just bemused.

  • -1

    theResident

    Quality. Will try and check it out at the weekend.

  • 1

    UncleBudah

    "She really knows how to Shag it !!"

  • 1

    oberst

    I have met many non-smokers who seldom turn down a " joint " in my young free roaming days..............

    This is sn interesting concept, young attractive babes rolling shags . I'd love to shag with her. LOL

  • -3

    REMzzz

    I have met many non-smokers who seldom turn down a " joint " in my young free roaming days..............

    And since joints are often rolled with tobacco, after a few times those "non-smokers" end up craving a cigarette. It sneaks up on you :)

    It's absolutely not how i started, but i've met people like that....

  • 0

    LH10

    sexy!

  • 0

    StanTheMan

    Shag is rolling tobacco, nothing else to it can we end all the Austin Powers oh so funny gags now. Why does an article about a smoking bar bring out all the non-smokers with their "eeew cancer, herpes panic doom" comments. And for the less informed, most rolled fags these days would use a filter, as you can see in the packets behind the young lady in the photo.

    Now for all the comments making jokes about the word fag.

  • 2

    SquidBert

    In the name of equality, I demand equal opportunity for men. It is unfair if only women are allowed to be SSRs (Sexy Shag Rollers).

  • 1

    Thunderbird2

    Posting a gag about rolling fags and popping in for a shag is too easy, lol.

  • 2

    choiwaruoyaji

    The lady in the pic looks like a fantastic shagger.

    I'm going to take up smoking again.

  • 1

    Nessie

    Japan, a shagri-la.

  • 0

    Ekkusaito

    SEX JOKE

  • 1

    Vernie Jefferies

    At least they didn't use the UK slang for cigarettes. It would be hard to explain to my friends about going to a Fag Bar.

  • -2

    Patricia Yarrow

    VESPERATO...that is exactly what I do. I do NOT go into bars and restaurants with ashtrays and clouds of cancer. It is really a shame that I have to NOT spend my money in these places for that one reason. So, what's your point? People smoking indoors are gods who won't get cancer? What about the staff working there? They want cancer? Much less the stench on clothes, hair, and body. You are an...oh, I give up. Just waiting for Japan to ban smoking indoors everywhere like all civilized nations, states, and cities.

  • 3

    Gobshite

    I wish Japan would lighten up a little and introduce Amsterdam style tobacco bars....

  • 1

    Thunderbird2

    Well said Patricia.... a place like this would be illegal in the UK, and rightly so. This article is actually promoting smoking by making the place seem cool and fun.

  • 1

    Open Minded

    Thunderbird, Patricia, ... You do not have to go to this place! So what the hell it bothers you? Smoking is an adult CHOICE. I admit it should not bother the non-smokers. But why 100% of the pubs/restaurants should be smoke free? 20% smokers -> 30% smoking pubs (smokers are somewhat more social - or alcoholic if you prefer - than the hysterical "healthy life" moralists). Great idea this place.

  • 2

    Serrano

    "Closed Mondays"

    This is ridiculous, where am I supposed to have my ciggie rolled and lit by sexy Japanese women on Mondays then?

  • 0

    SwissToni

    Crystalyle, 'What are they smoking in the back?'

    I've seen that trick. But the article makes it perfectly clear this is a classy place.

  • 1

    Thunderbird2

    Thunderbird, Patricia, ... You do not have to go to this place! So what the hell it bothers you? Smoking is an adult CHOICE. I admit it should not bother the non-smokers. But why 100% of the pubs/restaurants should be smoke free? 20% smokers -> 30% smoking pubs (smokers are somewhat more social - or alcoholic if you prefer - than the hysterical "healthy life" moralists). Great idea this place.

    Smoke moves, wafts with a breeze, polluting the place, making clothes smell. When smoking was permitted on the bus I used to get off and my jacket smelled like an ashtray. So yes, ban it in all public places.

    As for this smoke-easy... knock yourself out.

  • 0

    kobanwa

    Patricia Yarrow - I'm with you.

    I avoid hanging out in places were is allowed to smoke, Japan is so 1950 in these aspects. I hope the government to ban smoking in public and also inside the schools. It is a shame for this society! Even the Principal smokes in front of the kids, then later the government spend millions in researches "Why do the youth smokes cigs".

    And the "Open Minded" guy, damn! Mate, is not about being hysterical "healthy life" moralist, but some people chose to not smoke. Then smokers supposed to respect this by not blowing that disgusting smell on people's faces. It is just about respect. I don't care if people smoke, since they do not invade my space.

  • 3

    YuriOtani

    Bad enough in Oklahoma but this is worse. Do not smoke and looking at women is BORING. Suppose this puts the smokers in a more concentrated place. If they enjoy it, who am I to trash it?

  • 1

    Open Minded

    kobanwa: I agree with you, but why willing a 100% smoke free Japan? Can you tolerate people having a different life style than you have? There are plenty of things I find disgusting (MacDo, Coke, nato, Perfume, cap in a restaurant, sport fanatics, aso...) but I can live with. I just select my friends and where I go. This is what I call being open minded: not trying to impose self-life style. This article is referring to a cool idea I do not understand why you complain about.

  • 0

    Open Minded

    Thunderbird: I do not understand your complaint. Nowadays, at least 50% of the restaurants are smoke free. Public transportations are so for a decade. It is easy to spend a night without being exposed to smoke except if you like the company of epicureans. But please, make your choice, do not impose your own restrictions.

  • 1

    almostshat

    I'm shagged out reading this. Feel like some wacky backy

  • 1

    Wanda-kun

    Cigarette smoking is one of the most "overrated" forms of cancer. Most people who smoke for a lifetime (40-50 years) will never contract either cancer or emphysema. And even if they do, it will be after a lifetime (40-50 years) of smoking. It is a fact that the overwhelming majority of smoking related deaths happen at the end of life, not when one is in his or her 30-60s.

    http://tdi.dartmouth.edu/documents/cmm/Risk%20of%20Death.pdf

    The biggest problem with this "business model" is that most people, including younger Brits, think first of shag meaning sex and the very old fashion usage of shag meaning tobacco (not the act of rolling tobacco) a very distant second.

    Language fail.

  • 1

    Christina O'Neill

    My old man used to ask me to roll him a ciggie but I guess I slurped a little too much on the sticky strip and my efforts were a soggy mess. Perhaps he may avail of the smoking parlours services

  • 0

    Mike Sims-Williams

    Yay -another innuendo parlor. Now I know where to go when I fancy a quick roll-up.

  • 0

    REMzzz

    Bravo Wanda-kun!

    This is what i've been saying as well, but since i'm a smoker, i always get a couple downvotes for it. Common sense 1, Anti-smokers 0.

  • -1

    Wanda-kun

    Thunderbird2Jun. 15, 2012 - 10:27PM JST When smoking was permitted on the bus I used to get off and my jacket smelled like an ashtray. So yes, ban it in all public places.

    What? I've been in and out of Japan for more than 30 years. In all that time, smoking was never permitted in either buses or in subway cars. Only on long distance trains.

  • 2

    Wanda-kun

    ModeratorJun. 15, 2012 - 09:35AM JST Readers, "shag" in this story refers to tobacco.

    While that's true, the usage borders on archaic. Most people hear the phrase "shag bar" and they're going to be thinking knocking shop, not a place where you have someone else roll a cigarette for you.

    Again, language fail.

  • -1

    IncenseAndPeppermints

    It might be possible to get tobacco without any of the junk in it, unlike with prepackaged cigarettes. If so, this idea is a plus.

  • 2

    SwissToni

    Wanda-kun, 'It is a fact that the overwhelming majority of smoking related deaths happen at the end of life, not when one is in his or her 30-60s.'

    It's fact all deaths occur at the end of life. I think the point you're trying to make is that he majority of damage doesn't manifest itself until later life. Well, that may be true but how many people want to spend any of their life, let alone years, crippled with emphysema, chronic heart disease or god forbid suffer a painful debilitating death from lung cancer?

    I like a whiskey and a cigar or a roll up from time to time and would probably enjoy a visit to this bar. But I'm under no illusions what effect the tobacco has on my body. It's a fact smoking kills and second hand smoke unfairly so. Don't really understand why anyone would want to play down the negatives unless they're in denial.

  • -1

    REMzzz

    I think the point you're trying to make is that he majority of damage doesn't manifest itself until later life. Well, that may be true but how many people want to spend any of their life, let alone years, crippled with emphysema, chronic heart disease or god forbid suffer a painful debilitating death from lung cancer?

    Most smoking-related disease, aside from cancer is due to a severe lack of vitamin C. The wrinkles, the torn ligaments, receding gums etc. is because a smoker's Vit C level is always lower than a non-smoker's, which throws a wrench in the works of collagen synthesis. Supplement vitamin C, as Ester-C, not the sour stuff and 80% of your problems will be taken care of. If you want to avoid lung cancer and emphysema, run. Steve McQueen smoked and had healthy lung function because he hadn't neglected his lungs, he ran 5 miles every day. Yes, he died young, but that's from asbestos exposure, mesothelioma... and running made it happen faster because the asbestos migrated to the outside of his lungs sooner than if he were a sedentary person.

    And by the way, a common drug, i forget which but it has to do with the cardiovascular system was found to prevent emphysema. I'll post the article when i find it. It's good news for us who are still young :)

    To say the 2nd hand smoke kills would be an exaggeration. It's a 1000 times more dilute than what i inhale, because it drifts away, smoke doesn't stand still. There's never enough carbon monoxide in SHS to cause a non-smoker's lungs to stop cleaning themselves and start accumulating tar. It's a big difference.

    Anyway, i wish them well, whoever got the idea to start this place.. good luck... wish they had a better name though...

  • 1

    SwissToni

    REMzzz, the US Centre for Disease Control estimates 3400 lung cancer deaths and 46000 heart disease deaths annually in the US attributable to secondhand smoke.

  • 0

    Wanda-kun

    IncenseAndPeppermintsJun. 16, 2012 - 03:41PM JST It might be possible to get tobacco without any of the junk in it, unlike with prepackaged cigarettes. If so, this idea is a plus.

    Yes! While it is a given that sucking smoking into one's lungs, be it tobacco, marijuana, wood, burning tires is not good for one's health, cigarette tobacco is especially pernicious. Both the tobacco and the paper, at least with commercially produced cigarettes, is processes with chemicals that assure that they both continue to burn even if no air is being drawn through the cigarette. Pipe tobacco and cigar tobacco are free of these chemicals. Stop smoking either one, and they quit burning. So while the tar in cigarettes is bad for you, I suspect that it's primarily the paper and the added chemicals that make commercially produced cigarettes especially bad if you're going to smoke anything on a regular basis.

  • -1

    REMzzz

    the US Centre for Disease Control estimates 3400 lung cancer deaths and 46000 heart disease deaths annually in the US attributable to secondhand smoke

    @SwissToni, it is all generated by a computer program. I don't remember then name of it but CDC and some other gov't agencies use it. It can be reasonably accurate for generating statistics if you plug in the right information, but if you input junk data it will produce junk data.

    Perhaps the data used in this case to produce the framework of this calculation comes from that EPA report from the early '90s which was taken to court over accuracy and and the court ruled that it was worthless. The studies were cherry-picked to produce favorable statistics, but half of that stuff is poorly designed studies or cases where the margin of error is so wide that you can't rely on such a small sample of the population.

    Furthermore, the methods for determining SHS exposure are all over the place and the determination, if any is made postmortem, when the person in question isn't able to give accurate information.

    So, if heart disease death rate is the same, for the sake of a study, and half of these people have a family member who smokes, regardless of whether they smoke indoors, with the exhaust fan on, or always outside, according to their methods of analysis it makes half of these deaths "tobacco deaths"...

    It's due to a system that is designed to grab the largest number of deaths, since the subject is so intangible and hard to measure.

    And, speaking of heart disease in smokers, it's in part the same thing as in those who over-consume coffee... the heart rate goes up and blood pressure goes up, it takes a toll on the heart after many years. SHS doesn't have enough nicotine to measurably raise a non-smoker's heart rate.

    The other factor that i mentioned above is the brittle blood vessels due to inadequate levels of Vit C. While cigarette smoke does neutralize Vit C, the same can be attributed to poor diet, and a non-smoker's Vit C levels are more dependent on food. All animals except us, monkeys and apes (the primates) produce their own Vit C. We have a defective gene, and out blood levels depend entirely on intake.

    So, as you see if we examine the mechanics of it, those 46,000 heart disease deaths "related to SHS" would happen anyway. Diet, exercise and blood "viscosity" are ignored in favor of one intangible factor that falls apart under examination.

    If a non-smoker inhales 1/300th of what a smoker inhales it doesn't automatically mean that one out of 300 non-smokers exposed would suffer from heart disease and cancer. As you know, dose makes the poison.

    An exposure level so low means the kidneys will remove it before you even realize, and it falls below the threshold where exposure levels are somehow meaningful and measurable, since it doesn't overwhelm the body's processes enough to shift the system off balance. To figure the statistics that way is straying into the realm of homeopathy, a medical philosophy that relies on the presence of certain herbs and ingredients, regardless of quantity. Not exactly a mainstream science, you know.

    So IMHO any impact the "shag bar" will have on the heart disease levels of non-smokers would be due to the greasy foods they may serve, or lack thereof. I'd love to see it in person rather than just sit here talking about CDC and the EPA...

  • -3

    almostshat

    And then she licks the paper, and you get to breathe in all her germs.. influenza? AIDS? herpes? Mmm, yummy

  • 0

    REMzzz

    The germs die a fiery death, as someone already said. You only breathe in bacteria if it's mixed in loosely with tobacco. If it's in the paper, it burns.

  • 0

    Patricia Yarrow

    Does this place have shag rugs?

  • 0

    REMzzz

    Does this place have shag rugs?

    I would hope not. That stuff is a real fire hazard. Can also hold a lot of gasoline in case of an arsonist attack on this establishment. I would assume they have either hardwood floors, vinyl tiles or epoxied cement...

  • 1

    monicaorticio

    That bar's name is confusing huh!..anyway,long time no s__g here..

  • 0

    Jonathan Hunt

    Let's filter through the comments here... sex joke, rant by a rabid anti-tobacco nazi, another sex joke, exasperated repsonse to the anti-tobacco rant by somebody who should know better, joke about catching disease from the spit, sex joke, same anti-tobacco rant just phrased differently and full of different incorrect data and exaggerated experiences, sex joke, ACTUAL COMMENT ABOUT THE STORY, some kind of Austin Powers joke, etc.

  • -1

    REMzzz

    ... and then a joke about catching a disease from a sex joke...

    Yea i know. Those rabid anti-smokers aren't about to stop any time soon with their inaccurate and nonsensical statistics..

  • 0

    Guza!

    ill take two shags and a shake please :P

  • 0

    Patrick Hagger

    hahaha europeans will be confused

  • 1

    HansNFranz

    The lengths at which many Japanese men go to get some kind of attention from women boggles the mind. If all that energy could somehow be channeled into fixing the Japanese economy or work on their looks so they'd be able to find a real partner, Japan's problems would be fixed overnight.

  • -1

    sandiegoluv

    How does some young girl slobbering on your future smoke refine smoking in Japan? If anything, it puts it back into the middle ages. And what if you think she is not cute at all? Do you still want her to slobber on your smoke? Utter nonsense. But I will give it credit for being a gimmick to make money the honest way? I wonder how much it would cost to get all of your smokes licked first. Some people who are kind of twisted would probably ask them to make a cartoon for them every week. Weird people. Just plain weird.

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