Love Hotels – Intimacy By The Hour

Small houses with thin walls, extended families living together, and a general modesty combine to make romance difficult for young Japanese lovers חדרים לפי שעה. But it creates a unique and considerable economic niche: the Love Hotel. These rent-by-the-hour hotels offer couples a cherished opportunity for intimacy that sure beats making out in the car or worse – going without!

Love hotels are conveniently located near a train station or clustered as a group off the highway just outside of town. Older establishments are easily identified by unusual and even gaudy themes (pyramids, spaceships, castles, etc.) with lots of neon lights and color. Recently, the industry has begun to practice discretion in architecture as well as in customer service, resulting in buildings that resemble more reputable hotels or perhaps even not resembling a hotel at all.

Love hotels take great pains to offer a unique “room” experience. While rates may seem reasonable ($10-$20 an hour) the amenities are designed to extend the visit beyond just a “quickie”. Extra large beds, fine linen, techno-toilets and baths, and extravagant decor are the norm. For example, an anime theme might include costumes for role playing, a safari theme might include a waterfall and a stuffed tiger, and a Hollywood theme might include a green screen and karaoke.

Rates can vary by room and are based on a standard “length of rest” — typically one to three hours. Rates may be lower during the daytime, but leaving the hotel forfeits access to the room.

Love hotel logistics heed the need for guest discretion as well as indulgence. Entrances are hidden behind curtains or a maze of short walls, and check in is usually automated. Patrons choose a room from a picture menu (the ones that are not illuminated are occupied) and may even be provided with a license plate cover to further protect anonymity. Paying by credit card is possible these days (though not nearly as commonplace in Japan as it is in the US), but it is not unusual to pay with cash via pneumatic tube or to a pair of hands behind a pane of frosted glass. Alas, it is possible that some patrons are married, but not to each other.

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