Inside Japan’s ‘Love Hotels’, There Are Glass Roofs and Slides

There’s a side to Tokyo that’s risky – and something I didn’t expect.

I had spent the day walking the streets of Shinjuku-ku, which is adorned with colorful neon street lights, endless buzzing bars, restaurants and karaoke rooms.

The Skyscraper District is also home to the Tokyo Metropolitan Building, which boasts popular observation deck To see the vast skyline of the city.

However, one thing it is also known for is Kabukicho which, unsurprisingly to me, is the largest red-light district in Tokyo.

After a lot of sightseeing that day, walking about 30,000 steps and stuffing myself with more ramen, I was ready to call it a day.

But then I stumbled upon a very bright road that piqued my interest. Above me was a red arch that could only mean one thing – I was about to enter X-rated territory.

emma going down the slide
The “Love Hotel” can be rented either by the hour or for the night.
YouTube/Tokidoki Traveler

This can be the perfect place for the whole family to spend the whole day. However, when the Moon has grown, a strong “adult” atmosphere remains.

As I progressed through the bright gate, I quickly gathered more of you, it became more and more risky with endless sex shops and hostess clubs.

I also noticed some are incomplete – men trying to lure you into entertainment venues, sex notwithstanding, which I’m guessing are strip clubs.

I was told that the general rule is that if someone is trying to invite you in from outside – don’t go. And if they do name a price, expect to pay three times that (at least). I had zero desire to go inside, so I kept walking.

i also vaguely remember told about something Called “love hotels” or “rabuho,” places where, you guessed it, are dedicated to the art of love-making — either by the hour or by the night.

Hotel Shinjuku
The hotels are popular with couples looking for privacy.
guestreservations.com

While red-light districts are quite common in major cities, one thing that took me by surprise were these love hotels.

Given that 37 million residents live in Tokyo, it’s no wonder they’re so popular among couples seeking some privacy.

“It’s a themed hotel where people usually go to have a sexy time,” TikTok user ‘konpeechan’ said in a statement. clip Explaining the popularity behind the hotels.

“Many people in Japan prefer to go to love hotels rather than have sex in their own place because the houses are all clustered together, there isn’t much space, the walls are very thin and it’s common courtesy to make noise. Let there be no complaints.”

However, they’re not just for locals – tourists can enjoy a love hotel too, even if they’re traveling alone and want to try something unusual.

I was curious to know how these hotels look as I heard some have water slides too.

I took another turn in the street and lo and behold I found myself surrounded by them.

I also noticed that it suddenly went chaotically, with barely a whisper or person in sight.

Anyhow, I was here to “investigate” so I continued my walk.

Hotels appear “normal” from the outside and advertisements show how they look from the inside.

I didn’t feel comfortable going inside one, but don’t worry, the advertised pictures give a good idea of ​​what you can expect.

Some were super fancy, and decked out with over-the-top furniture and unlike traditional hotels, they had a distinctive love heart symbol that identified them as love hotels.

They also used the word “rest” in their rate list displayed in front, which stands for “stay” for short trips or overnight use.

Japan, Tokyo: A Love Hotel near Uguisudani Station.
Kabukicho is the largest red-light district in Tokyo.
dpa/Picture Alliance via Getty Images

Some varied between $40 and $70 for two to four hours, while “stay” rates were nearly double that.

Basically, if a hotel has two prices listed outside, it’s a love hotel.

While you might be thinking, why not head to a hotel, that’s because love hotels not only allow you to stay for a few hours, but they also come with things like glass ceilings, jacuzzi tubs, and complimentary flavored condoms. Also provide a great experience.

Not only are these hotels set at prices comparable to regular or business hotels, they are usually packed with extravagant amenities.

In addition to those mentioned, some also have private saunas, karaoke set-ups, soundproof walls, game consoles and multiple pieces of furniture in the same room.

They are known to have a theme and even have a hotel called Hotel Sekitei that has a water slide inside, but it was located an hour away in Chiba.

while i may not have traveled all the way to check itLucky for us, Australian travel blogger Emma aka Tokidoki Traveler recorded a YouTube clip Giving viewers a glimpse of what’s inside.

“Just a heads up, it’s very difficult if you wish to see it. They don’t speak English, and you can’t reserve hotels, so you just have to turn up and hope there’s a slide room available.” ,” she said in her clip.

After entering one of the grand rooms with a friend, Emma noticed a glass door and was excited to discover that behind it was the start of a giant water slide.

“Wait that… is that slide?? Baap re baap. What a mess. This is epic,” she exclaimed.

After taking the stairs down the slide, the two were taken back by the disco lights and how heavy the slide was.

“People have probably done it on the slide…” she laughed. “It’s crazy, look how big it is.” “It’s really beautiful too.”

He then went on to a quick explanation of Japanese love hotels.

Hotel Shinjuku.
The hotels are set at comparable prices as compared to regular or business hotels.
guestreservations.com

“It’s a place where you go to do karma and business [but] Plus they’re funky hotels, with really nice baths and fun stuff.

“It’s a great time to spend with your friends and do whatever you want, have some drinks for a meal, sit in a big bathtub with some lights and bubbles and go down a slide.”

Emma and her friend spent $120 for four hours at the hotel.

“I think if you get a whole lot of water slides in the deal it’s great,” she said.

In 1968 the first modern love hotel opened in Osaka, named ‘Hotel Love’ – the name has become a universal term to represent a hotel where couples could go alone for a few hours.

There was another Disneyland-like facility called “The Meguro Emperor” – and soon hotels started opening around Tokyo with names like Casablanca, Sky Love, Venus, Paradiso, Aphrodite, and ‘Eros’ being the Greek God. Along was the Hotel Eros with a less discreet name. Of love.

However, the concept goes back to the Edo period of Japan in the 17th century, where inns and tea houses were built with separate entrances for those who came for more illegal purposes.

Today, there are reported to be 37,000 love hotels in Japan.

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