For Valentine’s Day, I got the boyfriend Love Hotels: The Hidden Fantasy Rooms of Japan (ha, romantic right?). I’ve been having a blast leafing through it, making plans for a future trip, and it’s well worth a read.
Love hotels, if you’re wondering, are hotels that will rent for a short block of time. As many young Japanese live with their parents into their 20s, privacy can be hard to come by, making sex at home extremely awkward and feeding demand for love hotels (though young couples certainly aren’t the only people who find love hotels convenient). The weird, playful, and downright kinky themed rooms featured in the book aren’t exactly the norm; many love hotel rooms might offer snacks and entertainment like video games, yet don’t differ markedly from normal hotel rooms in their decor. But of course the crazy ones are the most fascinating!
Years ago, during our trip to Japan, the boyfriend and I made sure to set aside time for an afternoon at Love Hotel Hill in Shibuya. Beyond, ahem, the obvious, it was a fun experience perusing the ad boards with photos of available rooms and picking one out. We didn’t find anything too wild, and settled on a very 80s room with a glow in the dark triangle shaped headboard and high tech light control button console built in alongside the bed.
A huge number of the photographs in Love Hotels are from Osaka hotels, skyrocketing the city to the top of my must-see list when we return. Before you label me a deviant (though honestly, it wouldn’t bother me much), feast your eyes on the wacky glory of the Google image search results and tell me you wouldn’t want to visit…regardless of what you end up doing in the room.
(Photos my own and via Misty Keasler)