In most places in the world there are hotel rooms (or quite often, seedy motel rooms) that can be rented by the hour by amorous couples. But the Japanese are experts in this field. Hundreds of years ago, they set up inns or tearooms that offered discreet accommodation for couples. And that continues to this day.
Known as ‘love hotels’ they offer the ultimate in discretion. For example, you don’t have the embarrassment of booking your room at a reception desk – you simply choose your room and pay for it using an automated console. It’s likely that you’ll never see a member of the hotel staff.
It’s thought that at least 1.4 million Japanese visit a love hotel every day and that rooms are used around three times a day. Although renting a room for a couple of hours is cheaper than an overnight stay, it’s thought that this is a 20 billion dollar industry – annually.
As soon as a couple have left their room, a team of cleaners enter and swiftly ensure that it is ready for the next occupants. Some of these hotels are pretty seedy, others are luxurious. See the video below – it shows a love hotel room with is own private pool.
These hotels may sometimes have vending machines offering sex toys and other suitable ‘equipment’. Evidently those couples with ‘unusual tastes’ are catered for at some establishments. And of course, some are frequented by working girls with their clients.
Sometimes though, due to poor housing conditions, married couples use these hotels as they offer an opportunity for them to ‘spend time together’ out of earshot and view of their kids. Love hotels are, of course, popular for those conducting illicit affairs too.
Love hotels have discreet entrances and many have few, if any windows. Even the parking lots are discreet so that your parked car won’t give the game away if it’s seen.
In recent years though, their popularity has been waning. More and more of these hotels are being transformed into hostels for budget travellers. However, if you’re looking for a novel stay and at the same time spice up your love life now is the time to go as these hotels might not be around for much longer!
Love hotels were at their most popular in the middle of the last century. For those who appreciate the decor from that time, these are now seen as vintage. However it’s estimated that the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo will see the demise of many of these retro interiors.
It’s thought that they will be converted into more traditional accommodation for the thousands of travellers they expect to host during the games.
You can see a vintage love hotel in the video below. It shows the Hotel Fuki in Osaka. (The name of the hotel is not a typo).
3 Chome-7-11 Higashinodamachi,