A beginners guide to Japanese Love Hotels
What are Love Hotels ?
In a country where privacy is at a premium, Love Hotels are hotels that provide a discreet place where couples can enjoy a night or even just an hour or two to do what couples do.How much are the room rates ?
Of course there are various room rates, but generally prices start from 2500 yen (approx. $25) for a cheap hotel for 2 hours in the afternoon up to 20,000 plus ($200) for an all night stay at a high end themed room. Typical prices are around $60 dollars for 2 hours and $150 dollars for an overnight stay.
How can I find a Love Hotel ?
Wherever you are in a major city in Japan, you are rarely more than 10 minutes walk from a Love Hotel area. They are easy to spot. a gaudy neon sign with the word ‘Hotel’ is your first pointer. The entrances display a sign with the room rates, with prices for ‘rest’ (2 hours) or stay (all night). A fountain feature and opaque glass tiles are also a dead give away.
Once you have entered the lobby you will find a lit panel displaying pictures and rates of available rooms. Each picture has 2 buttons under it. One button for rest and one for stay. Once you have pushed the button of the room and rate of your choice, you will be handed a key fob or printed slip of paper with the room number through a slot at the desk opposite the panel. The onus is on discretion, so the most you will see of a staff member is their hand through a slot. You then take the elevator to your floor, where you will find your room number helpfully flashing above the door.
At first glance, the mid-range rooms appear no different to regular hotels. However, at closer inspection you will find subtle differences. The mini bar will probably not include refreshments. Instead it is a vending machine stocked with various oils and sex toys for your pleasure. By the bed you will find a box of tissues and a complimentary condom. I do recommend though that you bring your own condoms. They are too small for the average Western man (another reason Japan is a great place for Western men).
You will often find a strategically placed mirror by the bed. The rooms are usually quite small, but the Jacuzzi bath is bigger than the average hotel. There is no such thing as a non-smoking room. They even provide a complimentary lighter. Don’t take it home though if you are ‘playing away’. A lighter with a Love Hotel logo is a bit of a give away.
If you decide to slash out for a themed hotel, you will enter something more akin to an adult playroom than a hotel room. Casino themed rooms with revolving beds shaped like roulette wheels, rooms that resemble train carriages….You name it, there is a hotel room somewhere that has it!
Leaving the hotel
So your time allotment is at an end and it’s time to leave. How do you pay? There are typically two ways to pay. Many rooms nowadays have an electronic panel. Push the check-out button and an electronic voice (of course female) will instruct you to enter the amount into the slot. Credit cards are also accepted. If your room doesn’t have an electric panel, proceed to the desk and pay to the hands through the slot.
Enjoy your stay!