Shichijo-shinchi (七条新地)

Shichijo-shinchi was once a brothel in Shimogyo Ward, Kyoto City and today it continues its business under its new name, "Gojo Rakuen."

It was said that Shichijo-shinchi brothel was originally a chaya (teahouse) of boiled foods founded on the land reclaimed from the riverside fields in the middle of the Edo period. It flourished as the biggest brothel in Kyoto during the later Edo period and the Meiji period, and in the Taisho period it owned rows of three-storey buildings. The largest number of women working in Shichijo-shinchi were prostitutes and a small number of geisha girls were there, but in the early Showa period, there were no geisha girls.

After the World War II, Shichijo-shinchi was designated as the red-light district and closed down in 1958 when Anti-Prostitution Law took effect. Shichijo-shinchi then changed its name to "Gojo Rakuen" and has been an entertainment house specializing geisha girls.
(However, they still do their original business on some occasions.)

[Original Japanese]