1/12/2010

Japan Love Hotels Looks like a European Castle



love hotels in Japan (ラブホテル, rabu hoteru?) is a type of short-stay hotel found in Japan operated primarily for the purpose of allowing couples privacy to have sexual intercourse. Similar establishments also exist in other East Asian countries and regions such as South Korea, Singapore,Taiwan and Hong Kong. The same concept also exists in Central and South America, particularly in Guatemala, Chile, Mexico where they are called "autohotels", and in Argentina, often called "albergues transitorios" but also referred to as "telos" (after reversing the syllables of the word "hotel").

Love hotels can usually be identified using symbols such as hearts and the offer of a room rate for a "rest" (休憩, kyūkei?) as well as for an overnight stay. The period of a "rest" varies, typically ranging from one to three hours. Cheaper daytime off-peak rates are common. In general, reservations are not possible, leaving the hotel will forfeit access to the room, and overnight stay rates only become available after 10pm. These hotels may be used for prostitution or by budget-travellers sharing accommodation.

Entrances are discreet and interaction with staff is minimized, with rooms often selected from a panel of buttons and the bill settled by pneumatic tube, automatic cash machines, or a pair of hands behind a pane of frosted glass. Although cheaper hotels are often quite utilitarian, higher-end hotels may feature fanciful rooms decorated with anime characters, equipped with rotating beds, ceiling mirrors, or karaoke machines, strange lighting or styled similarly to dungeons, sometimes including S&M gear.

These hotels are typically either concentrated in city districts close to stations, near highways on the city outskirts, or in industrial districts. Love hotel architecture is sometimes garish, with buildings shaped like castles, boats or UFOs and lit with neon lighting. However, some more recent love hotels are very ordinary looking buildings, distinguished mainly by having small, covered, or even no windows.



Some love hotels have no windows.


A selection of available rooms.


Some love hotels have multiple complex entrances designed for the discretion of customers.


A love hotel sign in Shinjuku, Tokyo.

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