Shopping and Sex Please, We're Japanese

Illustration for TIME by Yan Monchantre

The underground mall at Taipei's famous Hsing-tian Temple hosts an odd collection of closet-sized rooms. Inside, under sterile fluorescent lights, perch several young Japanese women on low wooden stools, patiently waiting to have their fortunes told. Each is spending $60-150 for a session lasting less than a half hour but they insist that the predictions and advice — details on marriage, future children and career advancement — are worth every penny. "The Chinese fortune tellers are more accurate," says one of the Japanese tourists. That's a reputation worth cultivating. According to one fortune teller, a third of his customers are Japanese....

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