Around two dozen people shuffle about the dark interior of Alzar, a recently opened nightclub on the eighth floor of a building in Osaka's Chuo Ward that also features a capsule hotel and sauna. Most hover near the concrete wall, watching a European DJ play house music. A group orders Champagne, taking swigs straight from the bottle before one of them stumbles out onto the dancefloor to a chorus of laughs.
It's a small crowd for a Friday night. Alzar only opened last month, but Katsuhiro Nakano, CEO of Alzar's parent company, New Japan, sees this place as a new opportunity for the city's many electronic music artists and fans.
"I think for the majority of people in Osaka, clubs still seem scary," he says. "You have to deal with nanpa (guys trying to pick up girls) and it's just annoying. I want to change their minds."