Sandwiched as we are between Valentine’s Day and White Day (here in Japan, at least) it seems as good a time as any to further facilitate feelings of love and lust by opening the doors to Japan’s default location for doing that which your mom and dad told you never to do: love hotels / ラブホテル.
There are plenty of blogs, mad photos, and intros out there about love hotels. What we want to do here is find out how much money you’re going to need to get in, do what needs to be done, and get out, and hopefully avoid knowing glances from people in the street, Oh yea! We know what you just did, you!!
How much does it cost?: A quick breakdown
Love hotels usually offer two rates:
Rest / 休憩 / kyuukei - stays for (usually) 2-3 hours
Stay / 宿泊 / shukuhaku - overnight stays. Check is likely to be after 10 - 11 pm
Keep an eye out for Service Time / サービスタイム - stays that fit into off peak hours of the day. Here you’ll find the best deals, financially.
Most establishment over 延長時期 / enchou jikan / extension time - 30 mins maybe around 1,000 yen.
Readers of Japanese, or those able to navigate a Japanese website, would do well to take a peek at カップルズ / Couples - information on dates and hotels.
For 5 years now, カップルズ have been conducting their COUPLES HOTEL AWARD, where best locations according to user reviews/experience are selected. The award covers Kanto, Kansai, Tokai, and Kyushu. Expect hotels here to be, at their best, palatial in style (if a little bit tacky). Some of these establishments go beyond the bare necessity of bed and bath(however fancy), spreading into spas and other facilities. They all have that love hotel link of having shuttered windows!
The COUPLES HOTEL AWARD 2016 will give us a good idea of prices at the upper echelons of the love hotel scene. We’ve selected 2-3 from each of the major urban areas.
Name / location / rest (yen)/ stay (yen) / homepage (some of which are 18 yrs + only, there will be a warning on the top page)
Hotel Aqua Oasis (ホテルアクアオアシス) / Suginami-ku / 4,900-14,200 / 10,000-23,500/ web
Hotel Ailu (ホテルアイル) / Toshima-ku / 6,300-8,500 / 11,000-15,300 / web
Hotel St. Moritz (ホテルサンモリッツ) / Taito-ku / 4,400 - 7,900 / 7,000 - 13,500 / web
Water Hotel CC (ウォーター ホテル シーシー) / Chuo-ku / 3,800-9,200 / 8,800-23,000 / web
Hotel Diga Diga Doo (ディガ・ディガ・ドゥ) / Kita-ku / from 3,200 / from 6,680 / web
Hotel Atlantis (アトランティス) / Tennōji-ku / 3,490-7,990 / 7,900-22,900 / web
Hotel Luxe (ホテルリュクス) / Higashi-ku / from 5,500 / from 7,900 / web
Amusement Hotel Jazz (アミューズメント ホテル ジャズ) / Chū-ku / 4,700-9,700 / 7,500-12,600 / web
Hotel Vert (ホテル ヴェール) / Higashi-ku / 4,200-6,900 / 6,900-12,800 / web
Hotel Nest (ホテルネスト) / Hakata-ku / 5,650-6,790 / 11,310-14,140 / web
Hotel Palm Gate (ホテルパームゲート) / Chuo-ku / 3,900-10,00 / 6,180-26,600 / web
The above rooms range from the sleek (if a little bland) to the palatial (if a little gaudy).
A lot of information you’ll find from blogs/travel sites tends to focus on those love hotels that offer rooms of a certifiably bonkers flavor. Perfectly understandable. The problem is, this can lead to disappointment. A lot of love hotels, neigh, the majority, can be little more than trumped up business hotels with free porn (and no windows). But the buildings, however, may look like a Hollywood studio set, from the outside.
One of the stalwarts of the themed-room scene, though, must surely be Hotel Geihinkan in Kawasaki. Yes, rooms here start from the drab, but go up to the, well, pictures speak louder than words in this case; check out their website below.
Hotel Geihinkan (迎賓館) / Kawasaki / 2,500-9,450 / 7,500-15,750 / web
One of the more, shall we say, special interest places we’ve found must be in Tokyo:
Fashion Hotel Alpha-In / Minato-ku / from 9,290 / up to 32,170 / web (definitely not to everyone’s taste)
The bottom end of the love hotel scene can be a squalid affair; rooms that’ll remind you of the worst university diggs, with mouldy carpets, and cigarette burns in the bed sheets. In fact, when it comes down to the business end of things (and we mean that literally, as in where ‘work’ is done) look out for signs saying レンタルルーム / Rental Room. We’ve no idea how these things work, but don’t see any reason why they couldn’t be used by the hobbyist (as well as professionals). How much ... ?
Here you might be able to rent a room for as short as 20 min (~ 1,000 yen) going up to 5 hours for ~ 4,000 yen.
So, whilst we may have ended things on an unsavory note, the love hotel trist is nothing to be shy about in Japan. In fact, it’s a massive business (love hotels, we mean) and they’re practically as common as muck (You can even book them on some major hotel booking websites). And let’s not forget, the love hotel doesn’t have to be about, err, that! It can also provide a reasonably cheap lodging option to get a good night’s sleep.
If you’d like to chip an answer the question; How much does it cost to stay in a love hotel in Japan? we’d LOVE to hear from you.
Images (cropped to fit)