New: Love Hotel Listings in English

Readers in Japan will know that a “love hotel” is a place that couples can visit for some discreet nookie, and pay for the room by the hour. The rooms come equipped with fun things like jacuzzis, karaoke machines, playstations, as well as all manner of weird sexual paraphenalia that you might want to make use of.
The hotels are easy to spot- they’re painted in garish colours, with flashing lights, and enormous, grinning, cartoon-character statues. It’s a wonder that people get planning permission for these jaw-dropping eyesores. They look like something out of Walt Disney’s wet dream!

In Japan, people are often inexplicably content to live with their parents until they’re about fifty, so they need a place to go if they want to get down to some hanky panky without Mum strolling in with a cup of tea. Love hotels cater for these folk. They are also havens for married men and women having illicit affairs- some rooms even have tape recorders with noises from bowling alleys that you can play in the background when you phone your spouse, so you can pretend that you’re having an innocent, after-work party at the bowling alley with your colleagues.

For such sleazy, uninhibited places, love hotels have some pretty archaic rules. Apparently, while cheating on your wife/husband is perfectly fine, being gay isn’t- same sex couples are not usually allowed in. You can’t get in on your own either, in case you decide to kill yourself. (Personally, I’d hope most people would choose a more poignant and poetic location to top themselves than a room full of dildos and Mickey Mouse wallpaper.)
Still, strange things can happen in a love hotel. I once read a story in the newspaper about a couple who found the week-old dead body of a prostitute under the mattress they had just been frolicking on. If anything’s guaranteed to kill a romantic mood, it’s discovering a rotting corpse!

Now, some considerate person has made a website in English, called Japan Love Hotels, which features a big directory of love hotels throughout Japan for the discerning customer. They even have maps in both Japanese and English. You can choose from a variety of weird, themed love hotels, with all kinds of bizarre novelty rooms (although, most people, when someone has spontaneously agreed to go to bed with them, are not going to waste time quibbling about wallpaper.)

The hotels have some unusual names, too. Here are a few listed on the site: “Hotel Mickey Cookies”, “Adventure Hotel Chapel Coconuts”, “Hotel Vanilla Resort”, “Hotel Movie Movie”, “Hotel Dolphin Resort”, “Amusement Hotel I’m”, “Hotel Tropicana “The Oh””, and the utterly insane “Hotel Magical Little Pumpkin” (pictured below.)

A personal favourite of mine is the demented chain of Christmas-themed love hotels, “Hotel Chapel Christmas”, where Christmas becomes Triple-X-mas. The owners have missed the message of Christmas by several thousand light years- at these places, it’s Christmas all year round, and you can get your rocks off surrounded by lit-up trees and leering Santa Claus statues.
Santa won’t be bringing any presents to the naughty boys and girls who get freaky in the “Hotel Chapel Christmas.” Ho ho ho! (that’s “ho” in the hip-hop sense of the word.)

Check out Japan Love Hotels here.

60 Responses to New: Love Hotel Listings in English

  1. Woeful says:

    I’ve heard of these places but I had no idea that they are so garish!

  2. roaf says:

    They’re everywhere, too!
    I went to look at an apartment a couple of months ago, and the view from the balcony was a massive love hotel called Hotel Pussycat or something. The neon sign was about three feet from my face when I stood on the balcony.

  3. heidi says:

    I live way out in the country and have not seen any of the loudly obnoxious love motels. or if i have, did not realize it at the time. There is one a little out of town that looks like a regular old motel that was converted into a pink castle. The ones closest to me look like a regular hotel, and thats what I thought they were untill I went there. I really want to go to a themed one!! i dont even have to do anything in it, i just want to use the waterslide that goes into the tub!!!
    Now from my understanding and experience, they set them us so that no one sees you. You pull into a parking space, cover your license plate and go to the room designated to that parking space. You pay by kiosk in the room so you never see an employee. Im not sure who would stop you from goin in as a same sex couple or by yourself. What if you went in as a group of 3 or more?? Think they charge extra??!! HaHa!!!
    I have also been told that it is much cheeper to stay in a love motel as opose to a business hotel, and the aminities are better.

  4. roaf says:

    Thanks Heidi. I’ve only been to a couple of places in the city, not by car, but you do only see the staff’s hands, so it’s very discreet.
    They are cheaper than hotels (I guess because the service isn’t so great) and the facilities are generally great,
    Whenever I’ve been in a car in Japan, in the outskirts of cities, I’ve seen hundreds of the crazy, outlandish places. I think someone recently published a photo-book of them.
    I wish I’d thought of that!

  5. Jeff says:

    Haha… Is that your own Xmas pic? I know that place!

  6. […] (as seen by a westerner – the “gaijin” of the title) could be so interesting? I especially like the entry on “love hotels” for trysting couples, particularly the Hotel Chapel Christmas pictured above.  Print This […]

  7. […] wackiest country in the world is Japan. Recently a good friend of mine pass in this article from gaijintonic which shows some of the greatest love hotel theme in Japan. I suggest you read the interesting […]

  8. […] Christians would say that the inexplicable Japanese seasonal customs of pigging out on KFC and banging each others brains out in love hotels, were not in the true spirit of […]

  9. kornferry says:

    The chapel christmas hotel interior does not match the exterior, see the inside photos here

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