|Sex, death and sky tree|
Love hotels - they aren't all Hello Kitty theme rooms but they sure are a lot of fun. I've known a few people who've said they never saw a love hotel on their visit to Japan but they probably didn't know what to look for.
In a country where kids often live at home until they are married - an a home with very thin walls at that - love hotels are an essential. For the adult kids and the even more adult parents.
Love hotels are a dangerous temptation for me. It's not like I'd go to a love hotel every time a guy asked me but if they are in that grey area of yes/no/maybe, the thought of exploring another love hotel might just push me over the edge.
How to find a love hotel:
In Tokyo, there are certain districts that known for their love hotels. Love Hotel Hill in Shibuya is the most famous but the area with the highest number of love hotels is Uguisudani (near Ueno). I'm not sure if that's because it's close to the former Yoshiwara pleasure district or some other reason.
Despite the seediness and the feeling that some dodgy business is happening around you, you don't get hassled.
Outside of the main areas, it's easy to spot love hotels. They are the places that offer rates for a "short rest" or a "long rest". Tip: avoid guys who go for the short rest! They often have weird, cutesy English names too.
What to expect:
I've never done the financial transaction side of things, so I can't tell you how that works. A lot of places have a board with pictures of the room so you can select which one you want. Some places are automated but others have human staff.
Several of the places I've been to have a twee waiting room for ladies while you wait, with lace curtains to protect your privacy.
The rooms themselves can vary greatly. One place I went to offered a room with grand piano. There are places set up with medical or BDSM themes and then just plain rooms. Mostly the rooms are very spacious (I did go to one with a room the size of a broom closet). You might get a karaoke machine or other entertainment in your room. Skip the porn channel though. Japanese porn is bad -- and all the good bits are pixelated.
Most love hotels give you a huge array of toiletries to use. Much more than you'd get in your standard hotel room. Full skin care ranges for men and women as well as shampoos and other goodies.
Naturally, all rooms have a bathroom. Japanese people tend to be fastidious about showering before and after sex plus bathrooms can be fun!
Love hotel facts:
Saturday afternoons are prime time for love hotels. You might have to wait for a room unless you have a booking. Yes, you can book ahead! It makes sense when you think about it. Teenagers can tell their parents they are studying with friends, married couples can say they are going out shopping and get away from their kids and in-laws, cheaters can claim work or hobby time.
Love hotels have point cards. You can get awesome rewards like electronic appliances (of the home, not sexual, kind) and other goods. Some love hotels have discount times or days when you use them or give you a coupon to get a discount if you return. Apparently some even have "lucky" rooms where you can get extra points.
|Seedy love hotel room - I wanted the premium room with the grand piano!|
You can order in food or take your own snacks and drinks.
Most love hotels have security cameras pointed at the doors (not inside the room but in the corridor). If you are with someone you don't know well, make sure you get them recorded on the camera for your own safety. Also, if they see your partner leave the room alone, they will call the room to make sure you are okay. There really isn't much reason to leave the room mid-visit. Most hotels, as mentioned above, will bring food, drinks, even cigarettes or more condoms to your room. Of course, it's important to be careful and protect your own safety.
Love hotel districts tend to have really awesome yakitori stands. I'm not sure why. Maybe people need to have some protein to regain their strength after a full-on bonking session.
Love hotels aren't seen as particularly seedy or shameful in Japan. It's a normal part of life and a lot more considerate than subjecting your family, housemates or neighbours to the noise of a loud session of hawt sex.
|"Lingerie" vending machine. Not, I think, one of the infamous used knicker machines, but just for a change of underwear before you head back to the office. I might be wrong though...|
Have you ever been to a love hotel? Would you like to visit one?