Unmistakable for its exterior splashed with illustrations of colorful flowers, a bright pink bus glows at a Shibuya park one December evening, its dazzling design standing out as the darkness of the night sets in.
Set up nearby are three pink tents. Once inside, visitors are greeted with everything from hot meals to manga, as well as an array of daily necessities — clothes, toothbrushes, menstrual products and even condoms — which guests at this makeshift "bus cafe" are welcome to take home for free.
The visitors to Tsubomi Cafe are, for the most part, teenage girls who are often hesitant to return to homes where poverty or abusive situations are an issue. For them, wandering around the streets at night is often inevitable, even though that means they are at risk of attracting unwanted attention from men trying to sexually exploit them.