Japanese love hotels are a way for young lovers to meet in the neutral ground of a room rented by the hour.
The Japanese are almost a species apart. A reserved, formal culture laden with hierarchy and rigid social expectations, when it comes to dating and sex they are in a world of their own. The unspoken becomes the obvious and the hidden desires become commonplace banalities.
The love hotels originated as a means for lovers to meet in crowded cities where they had no private space. Love hotels are a neutral ground, a place where intimacy can be risked without any consequences or risk. A couple turns up and often there’s no need to even confront a receptionist with the choice of rooms working on an automated system.
The rooms of the love hotels themselves may be set up with outlandish themes such as medieval castles, Arabic harems or futuristic spacecraft. Accessories like slot machines, computers, DVD screens, rotating beds, mirrors, sophisticated lighting and racks of sex toys and pornography are all part of what the Japanese pay for in the more expensive love hotels.