Why You Should Stay In A Love Hotel In Japan

One of Japan’s many uniquely endearing characteristics is that it is home to thousands of hotels that cater purely for hook-ups. Also known as ‘love hotels’, this type of accommodation gets approximately 1.4 million visitors PER DAY. Why are love hotels so popular? Because Japanese people need private, anonymous spaces where they can get their rocks off (often just opting for a ‘short stay’ of an hour or two), as couples often live in cramped apartments, or they simply don’t have the time to get it on. Love hotels are the answer, and they came in all sorts of variations, from ostentatious pseudo castles to very plain, almost business-like set-ups. Needless to say, a stay in one of these hotels is an experience in itself.

Hello Kitty's darker side (Abroad in Japan / Flickr)

Hello Kitty goes bondage (Abroad in Japan / Flickr).

You can get your kink on

First and foremost, love hotels cater to fantasy–of the sexual kind. Some rooms can have rather innocuous and tame ‘love’ themes (cue rotating bed and jacuzzi en-suite), while others can be down right disturbing (cue cage and schoolgirl uniform). There is a staggering variety of perversion on offer. If you’re into that. 

Safety first (Paul Keller / Flickr).

Trust the Japanese to think, ahead (Paul Keller / Flickr).

Protection is provided

In case you do actually want to get freaky in a Japanese love hotel, complimentary condoms can always be found in the bedroom drawers. Because safety first.

Have yourself a merry little Christmas (Corpse Reviver / WikiCommons).

A Santa-themed love hotel: where Christmas is everyday of the year (Corpse Reviver / WikiCommons).

Your imagination is the only limit

That, and your credit card. A stay in a love hotel can be very expensive if you opt for all the bells and whistles. But it’ll give you something to brag about to your friends back home, as they definitely don’t make hotels like these elsewhere.

Just press play (Karl Baron / Flickr).

Just press play (Karl Baron / Flickr).

It’s anonymous

When you check into a love hotel, it’s a totally anonymous affair: there are touch screens outside–simply choose your room and rate, and pay (without needing to even interact with reception or hotel staff).

This is how not to do it (David Woo / Flickr).

This is how not to do it (David Woo / Flickr).

You can let your hair down

Staying in a love hotel allows you to be whoever you want to be–and have some fun in the process. Go wild.

King of my castle (Photocapy / Flickr).

Or it’ll look like a castle (Photocapy / Flickr).

It’ll probably have a ridiculous name

Most love hotels have the strangest names, like ‘Tow Moon’ or ‘Cassandra’.

It's a hotel, of love (Antonio Tajnelo / Flickr).

It’s a hotel, of love.  (Antonio Tajnelo / Flickr).

Or it’ll get right to the point

Some places are simply called ‘Hotel’: that’s Japanese functionality for you.

Ground control to Major Tomoko (Cory Doctorow / Flickr).

Ground control to Major Tomoko (Cory Doctorow / Flickr).

Your bed will come a control panel

Want to dim the lights? Make the bed vibrate? Change the wall display? You can do all this from the comfort of your headboard.

When ablutions go space-age (Rob Lee / Flickr).

When ablutions go space-age (Rob Lee / Flickr).

And so will the toilet

Another peculiarity of Japan–but you need a PhD in Bathroom Mechanics when you need to go. 

"Rest" or Stay - it's up to you (Antonio Tajuelo / Flickr)

“Rest” or Stay – it’s up to you.  And there’ll be Wi-Fi (Antonio Tajuelo / Flickr).

You can save money

If you don’t want to stay the night, you can use a love hotel for a cheap few hours’ “stay” or “rest” … or whatever. Or, you can stay in a cheaper hotel (with less perverse thrills and frills) for the night–much like a low-end business hotel. You just might hear very strange noises in the night.

Not this kind of entertainment. Hopefully (Meredith P. / Flickr).

Not this kind of entertainment. Hopefully (Meredith P. / Flickr).

There’s in-room entertainment

Some love hotel rooms come with a karaoke machine, massage chairs, alien porn …

When being dirty is ok (Meredith P. / Flickr)

Bathtime (Meredith P. / Flickr)

You can have good, clean fun

In the bath. And watch something less clean while you’re at it.

Innocent (Sweet Redbird / Flickr)

Innocent (Sweet Redbird / Flickr)

Things can be above-board

Most foreigners stay in a love hotel purely for the experience–it doesn’t have to be gross.

Love knows no bounds (Martin Abegglen / Flickr).

Love knows no bounds it would seem (Martin Abegglen / Flickr).

It’s a motel on ‘roids

Some love hotels are completely over the top and boggle the mind. A stay in one of these will leave you amazed, perplexed, and, ultimately, a little freaked out.

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