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Love Hotels Do Brisk Business in Japan

Young and in love (or lust?) with no place to knock boots? If you have extra cash and live in Japan, there are a multitude of love hotels available for trysting — even a Titanic themed hotel for those who believe their love will go on.

There are about 25,000 love hotels in Japan and even in a bad economy, business is booming. They offer rooms by the hour, with underground parks and entrances and screens to shield visitors’ license plates if they so wish. Yes, love hotels can be places for illicit meetings with prostitutes or adulterers, but more often than not, they offer Japanese couples who may be living in close quarters with their families a place they can go for some private we time.

Yuichi Ito, a twenty-something living with his parents, explains why he frequents them: "My family is my Dad and my Mom, and I have two younger brothers. But we only have four rooms, so it is a very crowded house."


With typical Japanese whimsy, love hotels are often themed — couples can dress up as nurses and doctors, play with bondage toys, or stay in rooms that look like classrooms or trains.

Foreign investors are looking to swoop in on the love hotel action, especially since big Japanese corporations find them too seedy to be associated with. British businessman Steve Mansfield already runs six of them — and wants to run more. Rebranding them is in order, though. He refers to them as "leisure hotels."

Image Source: Getty
Join The Conversation
dikke-kus dikke-kus 8 years
Japanese culture fascinates me and so do these love hotels. Its almost a dichotomy that these illicit affairs take place in hotels that marks them as a cheater, yet they go there. Instead of condemning the activity, they market and brand the whole thing and make money from it.
Autumns_Elegy Autumns_Elegy 8 years
I wish they had these where I lived. :(
Talldiva45 Talldiva45 8 years
I guess bc it's so congested and all - I can't judge bc I don't live and haven't been there. A jealous toast to whoever invested in/brainstormed this!
staple-salad staple-salad 8 years
Rather old news, but if I ever get to go to Japan with my boyfriend, I definitely want to check one out. They sound fun.
Ac2366 Ac2366 8 years
lovememe, it's getting old already.
SeaAre86 SeaAre86 8 years
In Japan, you do pretty much need them for the privacy. The walls are paper thin....even the ones between apartments! When I lived there, I went and stayed in one with my boyfriend for fun. It was certainly interesting! They've been around forever, though... So yeah, I'll have the join "this is old news" crowd. :/
Pistil Pistil 8 years
Maybe it's more convenient, but you don't need a special hotel for that.
cherryblossom cherryblossom 8 years
really though, this is severely old news to me aswell.
Violence Violence 8 years
*yawn* ~ is this really 'news'?
margokhal margokhal 8 years
I've heard about these! The very first viewbook I received about Japan and Japanese culture had a short section on love hotels. I do want to go to Japan and see what they look like! There are some crazy themes I've heard of...Hello Kitty, spaceships, etc. But it's a good idea when everything around you is so close together. Very brisk business; that British investor is probably a very rich man.
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