Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Tokyo Love Hotel

With most Japanese families living in compact houses with rice paper walls, love hotels are a great way for couples to get some privacy. They are also a must for any tourist itinerary.

Ill advisedly we had ditched the guide book that told us how to get to where all the love hotels were, so based on my vague recollection we went to Shinjuku, wandered around with our heavy bags looking and tried not to get the shits with each other too badly. Eventually we found a book store and consulted a guide book in the English section which was tucked away on the seventh floor. It told us Love Hotel Hill was actually in Shibuya. Bugger!

After getting lost in Shibuya for a while we saw a lit up Pac-man above the road which we recognised from some dude’s blog. Eventually we started coming across heaps of love hotels, with their signs outside advising the prices for a “rest” or for a stay.

Sadly, we couldn’t find any over the top Hello Kitty themed rooms. Most were quite tame really. We walked through a Caribbean themed place but sadly the pictures of the rooms didn’t show any pirates, hammocks or mermaids.

Another place did however look pretty impressive. It was done in a Venetian theme and the room we selected had a big archway and a projected gondola scene on the wall. Unfortunately when we went to the window to pay, the woman behind the counter started yelling things in Japanese at us. I couldn’t translate exactly what she meant but the gist of it seemed to be “get the hell out of here you clueless fools”.

By then we were pretty much willing to stay anywhere, so at the next place we entered we just picked the flashest looking room available and hoped the woman behind the counter wouldn’t scream at us. The room was 9800 yen for a stay however for some reason the woman decided to give it to us for 8500 (around $120 AUD). Score. She also gave us a big remote control and then yelled at us when we tried to go up the stairs instead of the elevator.

The place was totally pimped out. Full marble, big flat screen, stereo system, karaoke and best of all, a spa bath with another TV above it. Sadly I couldn’t really work out the remote control all that well so we didn’t get to sing any karaoke duets like “Islands in the Stream” or “Love lifts us up where we belong”.

Another disappointing aspect of the experience was the porn. It started off fairly standard but then a show came on which involved creepy looking Japanese guys picking up girls off the street and then filming them while having sex. One particularly disturbing episode involved the back of a limo, two guys and a girl being forced to give head. It was very wrong and it totally ruined my spa bath.

Once you go inside the room you can’t leave so we stocked up on beer and snacks beforehand. There was a beer vending thing in the fridge but it looked complex and may have involved phoning reception. After pressing lots of buttons I managed to get the mood lighting going but changing the volume on the TV was beyond me. Still, it was by far the most awesome room we had in Japan and far cheaper than most standard tatami hotel rooms.

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