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.
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.
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.
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.
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).
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.
It’ll probably have a ridiculous name
Most love hotels have the strangest names, like ‘Tow Moon’ or ‘Cassandra’.
Or it’ll get right to the point
Some places are simply called ‘Hotel’: that’s Japanese functionality for you.
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.
And so will the toilet
Another peculiarity of Japan–but you need a PhD in Bathroom Mechanics when you need to go.
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.
There’s in-room entertainment
Some love hotel rooms come with a karaoke machine, massage chairs, alien porn …
You can have good, clean fun
In the bath. And watch something less clean while you’re at it.
Things can be above-board
Most foreigners stay in a love hotel purely for the experience–it doesn’t have to be gross.
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.