Japan is relatively safe and Japanese police are said to be reliable, but there are some cases which have not been solved yet. One of these cases is the TEPCO OL murder case (東電OL殺人事件).
Yasuko Watanabe (渡邊泰子) was a 39 year old woman who worked at Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO, 東京電力). Her father also worked at TEPCO, and after graduating Keio University she started working there. While she had a bright and diligent career, she had another side. She prostituted in Shibuya Maruyamacho after working every day. She sometimes prostituted for only 1000 yen, even in a car park. She also worked at a call girl service in Gotanda. Then, she was killed by someone in 1997. A Nepalese, Govinda Prasad Mainali, was arrested on a suspicion of this murder case, but now he is said not to have been the real criminal. There are many mysteries. Who is the killer? Why was she killed? Why did she prostitute? There are many novels or movies based on this case. How about exploring the scenes and thinking about this case?
You can see the 109 building after passing Shibuya scramble crossing from Shibuya Station (渋谷駅). At this building, she made up and got dressed for the night. This 109 building sells clothes for young girls, and these fashion are called 109 kei or gyaru kei. You can see many fashionable young girls there.
When you go west, there is Shibuya Maruyamacho. Shibuya Maruyamacho (渋谷円山町) used to be hanamachi (花街, geisha district). There were many high grade restaurants called ryotei (料亭) where people enjoyed entertainment with geishas. After WWII, many people who were from Gifu Prefecture bought ryotei and turned them into love hotels. They came from Shirakawa village, Gifu, because their village was submerged after the building of a dam. Then, Maruyamacho became popular for love hotels.
There are still remnants of hanamachi in Maruyamacho. The restaurant Oden Kappo Hide (おでん割烹ひで) served traditional Japanese dishes, and provides entertainment with geishas.
Suzume No Oyado (すずめの御宿) used to be a geisha house, and was rebuilt as a okonomiyaki and monja restaurant.
There is a Dogenzaka Jizo statue next to ryotei Sancho (三長). Near this Jizo statue, Yasuko Watanabe was said to tout and prostitute.
After this case, many people have come and prayed at this Jizo statue, and people put red lipstick on the statue.
Near Shinsen Station (神泉駅), there is the place where her body was found. The Kijuso (喜寿荘) apartment is an old two-story apartment, and she was found strangled in room 101. Govinda had a room key and he had also had relations with her, so he was arrested. However there were discrepancies in the case, Govinda found innocent, and he went back to Nepal.
Now, let’s leave Shibuya and go to Gotanda (五反田). She worked at a call girl service (デリバリーヘルス, delivery health in Japanese) in Gotanda.
Gotanda is famous for call girl services specialized in S&M. She also worked for an S&M call girl service on holidays.
In front of Gotanda Station, there are many love hotels. She might have used these hotels.
This case was reported scandalously that the murdered hooker was an elite member of society. People guess that she was stressed or that she had a mental disease. However, nobody knows the truth. After all, nobody knows the real criminal, or what she was thinking.
[How to go] Near Shibuya Station (渋谷駅) and Gotanda Station (五反田駅)
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