My wonderfully, intelligent husband, who is a little bit naïve (and that’s why I love him all the more) has started working and spending quite a bit of time in the Far East. This post is all about how he accidentally stayed in a LOVE hotel in Japan WITHOUT ME.
What is a LOVE hotel!!??
Love hotels (ラブホテル) offer rooms for short periods of time. The main purpose of love hotels is to provide people with a room to spend some undisturbed time together.
Love hotels are found all over Japan, and they can usually be recognized because of their strange looks and signs advertising “rest” and “stay” rates. In large cities there are love hotel districts, such as Tokyo’s Love Hotel Hill in Shibuya.
Typically you can rent a room for a minimum of one to three hours during the day, called a “rest”, or for the whole night, called a “stay”.
Are these things common?
There are an estimated 37,000 love hotels in Japan and they generate £25 BILLION of revenue per year.
In 2014, it was estimated that 1.4 million people (2% of Japan’s population back then) visited one EVERY DAY!! So yes they’re common and yes they’re popular!
How do LOVE hotels work?
Discretion is a love hotel’s most important commodity. Some hotels go so far as to feature secret entrances, covered garages and disposable license plate covers.
Guests are never asked for any personal information or identification upon checking in and make cash-only transactions with clerks stationed behind opaque screens to guarantee anonymity.
Other hotels have sophisticated automated systems where you’re shown a panel of photos of available rooms and features. You push a button to make a room selection which triggers a trail of lights that leads directly to the room. Very futuristic!
What about the rooms?
The rooms are equipped according to their purpose or theme. Room quality can range from high-class penthouse suites to something you might expect from dark and dingy roadside motel. In other words, you get what you pay for.
Most rooms will feature a large double bed, a television offering erotic programs and a bathroom. Some love hotels are themed and may come equipped with items such as costumes and bondage gear.
How does a LOVE hotel differ from a typical hotel?
Some rooms look downright scary with torture champers, clamps and whips whilst others elude a feeling of serenity with half a jungle of foliage in them.
They’re certainly very different from the white, modern and minimalist hotel rooms we’ve come to expect in the UK. Some may also feature:
- Soundproof rooms
- Wipe clean furniture
- Safety boxes with lube and condoms
Why did he stay in one?
He was visiting Japan with a male Chinese, work colleague who organises his business trips for him. They turned up one night and booked two rooms. Rich didn’t realise it wasn’t typical to pay in Japan through a revolving window with no contact with the cashier… He didn’t question that it was the ONLY time he’d stayed in a hotel where they hadn’t asked for his passport.
He thought his wipe clean room with its safety box next to the bed and abundance of mirrors was a little strange but the bed was comfortable and he slept well lol. I guess he didn’t check out the TV with its erotic channels hah!
When did he finally twig?
This is the kind of alarming thing, he didn’t!!
At breakfast the next morning he asked his colleague if he thought his room too was a little strange upon which he replied
Oh yes, I always stay in LOVE hotels when I come to Japan. They're so much better than ordinary hotels.....
At which point Rich almost choked on his breakfast!
What more could you possibly want?!
What more could you possibly want than a hour in a Jurassic Park or Hello Kitty themed room?!
Abroad in Japan made this video explaining everything you need to know about LOVE HOTELS.
But he’s not the only one…
So it turns out, it might be quite a regular thing.
Upon doing some research I came across a Brit who had accidentally stayed in a LOVE hotel in Mexico. She wrote
My last trip to Mexico I accidentally booked a sex hotel. I felt perfectly safe there and it was actually pretty nice and had a jacuzzi (why I booked it)... It said it was for Japanese businessmen and when I rolled up it had a sign for rooms with stripper poles... And there was a sex chair in the room too...
On a recent trip to Chile, my husband arrived in a tiny empty town called Puerto Aysen. After wandering for a bit and having one restaurant literally lock its gates in front of us, we popped into the next place we saw open. It seemed quite dark and looked like a bar, and was empty except for a couple of locals inside who stared agape at us. We guessed tourists don't usually frequent the place but anyway asked desperately for any food and got 'bistec a la pobre' - steak, fries and an egg. It was hot and filling and good and we went to our hotel happy. Only to find out next morning from our hotel owner that the place we visited is actually a brothel. And absolutely no women go there unless they are well, working.The owner and her staff gathered round to tell us all the local stories about the place, as well as ask us what it was like, because they'd never seen the inside. Oh well, we got a good meal and a good story out of it.
And that’s how my wonderful husband, accidentally stayed in a love hotel, in Japan, WITHOUT me!
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Typically we blog about adventurous, family travel and NOT excursions to love hotels. Check out what we’ve been up to below.