Fancy an Affair?

Notes on Japan: 7

There are outlets in some of the major Japanese cities, called Alibi shops. These are purveyors of apparently innocent goods. They comprise the full range of city souvenirs – from any destination but the one in which you may be shopping! In Kyoto, for example, you can buy chocolates, mugs, paper flowers and fans branded with the insignias of Osaka, Tokyo or Hiroshima. The shops flourish for the obvious purpose – to support illicit philandering and provide concrete proof that you were where you said you were.

In the land of exquisite manners, even an affair can be aesthetically arranged and packaged in a deliciously duplicitous wrapping.

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