Looking to spice up your love life? You might consider a trip to Japan, where pay-by-the-hour love hotels are trending up.
My friend Wendy sent me an article from National Geographic, which says there are more than 30,000 “love hotels” in the country, and hundreds in Tokyo alone. By contrast, there are only three similar-concept hotels in Chicago. (Sybaris Northbrook, Downers Grove, and Frankfort.)
The Japanese version offers themed rooms ranging from Disneyland to BDSM* dungeons with a smattering of fantasies and fetishes between. Some come with vibrators, rental costumes (cartoon characters to super heroes), spa tubs for two, rotating beds, stripper poles, whips, chains and/or karaoke machines, as you prefer. Condoms are complimentary.
Higher-end hotels feature secret entrance, covered garages and disposable license plate covers, according to National Geographic, which reports that some hotels are so discrete you never have to deal with a desk clerk. Customers are shown a panel of photos of available rooms and features. They push a button to indicate their preference and are guided to their rooms by a trail of lights.
On the lower end of the spectrum, discretion is replaced with a sense of humor. Tokyocheapo.com cites some of the kitschier names for love hotels: Hotel Casa Nova, Hotel Adore, Ramses Club and Hotel Ring My Bell.
In high-density Japan, multi-generational apartments are the norm, and translucent shoji screens are often the only thing that separates young marrieds from in-laws and children. Privacy is a rare commodity. It’s not surprising, then, that the majority of customers at love hotels are married or dating couples.
Interested in trying it out? Booking.com lists 36 love hotels in Tokyo, along with reviews from satisfied customers. Rentals on the high end are $280 per night, about a third less for 2- to 3-hour stays. Not for you? Use one of the share buttons below to tell a friend.
*Bondage, Discipline, Sadomasochism. I had to look it up.