Walking through Kabukichō, a densely packed red-light district in Tokyo, one sometime spots 58-year-old Li Xiaomu, eager to point tourists to a good time. Born in the city of Changsha, Hunan province, Li moved to Tokyo in 1988 to study fashion design. To support himself, he found work as a cleaner in Kabukichō. When he realized that he could earn tips and commissions “just for pointing” tourists to places that “tickle their fancy,” Li became an annainin, or “tour guide.” Since then, his charm and his love of Kabukichō have made him a well-known figure in the district.


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