Love Hotels are one of those amusing and intriguing Japanese creations. This kind of hotel doesn't existe in the West and it seems Japanese people don't want to talk too much about them, even in their dramas. Are grouped under the term 'Love Hotel' accomodations for couples in which they can book a room for a few hours ('rest') or a whole night ('stay'). One can make his small business quietly with a girlfriend or mistress. This is perfect, for example, for young couples who still live with their parents, in a thick-walled house.
Renting a room: cost and duration
'Rest' or kyûkei usually lasts 1 to 3 hours. After 10PM, rates rise. 'Rest' takes on average between 3.000 and 5.000¥ (approximately 35 to 60$). 'Stay' the whole night will be charged between 7.000 and 15.000¥ (between 80 and 170$). Note that there are also cheaper rooms, but they rather serve in prostitution or in pornographic films for yakuza gangs.
Accessories in love hotels
Love hotels rooms usually have a decorative feature. This is also what differentiates them from traditional hotels (called 'business hotels') and capsule hotels. You can find a lot of themed love hotels: with an animated giant Hello Kitty above the bed, gothic or SM atmosphere, reconstruction of a gynecological practice, mirrors on the ceiling, Christmas spirit (which has a romantic connotation in Japan), Walt Disney inspired, 60s, 70s, heroic fantasy... As always with the Japanese, there's no limit to the imagination!
Every room has a bathroom, and more or less erotic accessories. It goes from the big LCD TV (with porn channels, erotic DVD or karaoke) to the fridge and the microwave. But it can also be a massage chair, sexy accessories and even a range of lubricants and body products, condoms of course, cigarettes, or costumes for cosplay. It depends on the room and your budget in additional accessories. You can also rent a camera to film... well, you know!
Love hotels locations
In Tokyo, there are several thousand love hotels. They are mostly found in neighborhoods such as Dogenzaka hill in Shibuya, in Shinjuku or Ikebukuro. Such hotels are usually located in the outskirts of towns or near highways. In a love hotel, the staff is limited and everything is organized so that they don't meet the consumer. Without a reception, everything is automated and couples choose their room on a screen among those available (see picture above). Needless to say, on Friday and Saturday nights, there will be only the less desirable rooms.
Here's an interesting link: Rabu Ho, which gives detailed information on a lot of love hotels in Japan.