I’m going to venture into a new part of the sex industry today by reviewing Love Merci, a sex toy shop in the heart of Tokyo‘s Akihabara district. I’ve talked about male sex toys on the site before, but I’ve never done an overview of an actual adult store.
While one cause is that I’ve been occupied with all sorts of other shops that offer actual sexual services, the main reason I have not yet reviewed a dildo depot is that I find many modern adult toy stores to be creepy or even depressing. Love Merci is a clear exception, offering a wide variety of toys and other adult items in a large and vibrant shop standing several stories high.
Love Merci is easy to find. It’s located next to the massive Sega shop right on the main strip. It’s only a few minutes by foot from the Akihabara train station. While the area is famous for its otaku shops and maid cafes there’s also quite a bit of commercial sex service around.
Once one enters the Love Merci building they’ll be immediately confronted by walls of merchandise. The ground floor contains a lot of fun novelty products along with a huge arrays of costumes that could be used for anything from fetish play to props in actual plays. It’s not unusual to run into “regular” tourists here who are either stopping in out of curiosity or boredom or shopping for the latest in French maid fashion. On one memorable visit I ran into a group of modestly dressed women wearing head scarfs. They were purchasing costumes with the help of a Japanese-speaking guide.
A stairway runs up and down the side of the Love Merci shop. The various floors in the building offer different products.
Fittingly the basement is the place for fetish and S&M gear. While Japanese people commonly describe themselves as either “S” or “M” according to whether they like to take an active or passive role in bed, the stuff in the basement of Love Merci is the real deal. This is what Westerners would recognize as S&M materials. Along with whips, chains and Japanese bondage ropes, one can also find an assortment of gigantic Godzilla-sized dildos of various color.
The second floor of the shop contains dildos and vibrators of a more mainstream variety. And I do mean variety. With each floor being roughly the size of a Tokyo 7 Eleven you can imagine how many different products are on display. Everything from the famous Japanese Hitachi and rabbit vibrators to real stick cock duplications are on offer. It’s not uncommon to see couples or even solo gals here shopping for their next marital aid.
Love Merci’s top two floors are off limits to women all together however. This is very clearly indicated in the stairway and on a few signs. Apparently this is meant to allow male perverts to pursue their pocket pussies in peace.
The third floor is home to all sorts of artificial orifices specially designed for boned up guys to bang out. Everything from ona holes (including the now-famous Tenga) to hip and even mouth toys are available here. Some are really intricate or absurd depending on your outlook, including a replica ass and pussy with its own panties to pull aside and “virgin” holes that emit a red fluid the first time they are penetrated. There’s also a full line of lubrication available and a pretty good selection of Japanese porn DVDs for anyone who still buys the those.
The top floor is for the guys who are willing to shell out more than a few dollars to pursue their pleasures. The fourth floor is home to the fuck dolls. These dolls come in various sizes and qualities ranging from the inflatable (which are still much better than those crappy inflatables sold in the States) to complete full-sized replicas of adult women that could easily rival the Real Doll in quality. In case things weren’t odd enough there’s even an aisle of clothes available to dress up the dolls.
Luckily for the guy who may be a bit shy taking a “my older step sister” rubber fuck hole with “real vaginal fluid-like” lube down the stairs and to the main floor to purchase, Love Merci has set up check out counters on each floor. The top two are staffed with men at all times. The first and second floors are sometimes staffed by women at least one of whom is drop dead gorgeous. The counters are set up sort of like boxes which minimizes the amount of face-to-face time a customer has to spend with their cashier. Conceivably one could purchase a life size love doll here without so much as making eye contact with anyone.
Both cash and credit care accepted at Love Merci and the prices are actually pretty reasonable. One can browse the shop’s extensive website to get a taste of what’s available but the only way to get the full experience is to visit in person. There’s no real way to duplicate the experience of giving a “floor model” pair of silicone boobies designed for tit fucking a squeeze online, even if one does have the latest in smart phone technology.
Japan has a larger sex toy industry than anywhere else that I know of. While it’s easy to pick up an array of dildos and vibrators in the United States, the selection of artificial pussies and sex dolls is rather limited. Sure there are some out there but it really can’t compare to what exists in Japan. That makes sense since the sex toy industry in Japan generates some 10 billion US dollars annually.
Photography isn’t allowed in most of Love Merci. It is however permitted in the staircase which is home to numerous sexual displays. During one visit I was able to capture a wall of plaster pussy casts with the ages of their owners listed below each to give you an idea of how entertaining the place can even for sightseers who may not be in the market for a new plastic pussy.
It’s also a good place to pick up sex-industry related books and magazines for free. All sorts of free publications are piled up in the staircase on the ground floor and they are absolutely free for the taking. None are written in English but they can still provide a bit of info and a lot of eye candy.
As one of the better adult toy stores I’ve seen in my travels I feel Love Merci deserves a higher than average score. Of course I have to take into account exactly what kind of store it is. It has it’s place but it certainly isn’t better than something like a five star men’s sauna in Macau. Taking everything into account I give Love Merci three-and-half-stars. It’s worth a visit.
Those who are unable to shop at Love Merci in person can find a lot of similar products online at shops like Kanojo Toys, Toy Demon and J-List, though the prices are generally higher than what they would be in Japan.
Love Merci, 1 Chome-2-7 Sotokanda, Akihabara, Tokyo, Japan. Open seven days a week from 10 am to 10 pm. Phone: Phone: 03-5297-6685. Website: http://www.akibalovemerci.com/ Map on website.