Love Hotels: An Inside Look at Japan's Sexual Playgrounds

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About This Site
My book, Love hotels: An Inside Look at Japan's Sexual Playgrounds, takes you behind the scenes of Japan's wildest sexual spaces, with detailed descriptions of the best hotels, interviews with owners and designers, and bizarre stories of love, sex, and crime, along with the incredible history of how this fascinating institution evolved. Contains dozens of photos of the best love hotels in Japan. This 185-page book is available in both .pdf and printed form.
Click here for more information and free sample pages.
Love Hotels
Sure, Zen gardens, sushi and the Sony Walkman are great, but the greatest Japanese invention of all time has to be the love hotel. In the concrete wasteland of the modern Japanese city, the love hotel stands out as a refreshingly off-the-wall escape from conformity, a monument to hedonism, and a libertine's paradise. Nearly every foreigner in Japan has a love hotel story to tell and number of Japanese people who were conceived in one must be enormous.
The love hotel is all about two things, privacy and fantasy. Although gaudy facades and kinky rooms may have you thinking that they’re the Japanese equivalent of sleazy no-tell motels on the edge of town in America, love hotels are about far more than just illicit sex. In a country known for its tiny rooms, close quarters, and general lack of privacy, you’re just as likely to run into Mr. and Mrs. Suzuki getting away from their kids as you are to encounter a young couple that met at the local karaoke parlor. Walls in Japan can be paper thin (literally), most Japanese parents sleep with their children until well into elementary school, children often live with their families until they get married in their late 20s or early 30s, and the Japanese concept of wa (harmony) means that people go to great lengths to avoid inconveniencing friends, neighbors or family, so having an anonymous place for a romantic escape can be a godsend.
Japan's love hotels are kinky, high-tech sexual spaces where couples live out their fantasies in pirate ship rooms, Playboy grottos, princess' bedchambers, or S&M dungeons. Whether your fantasy involves making love in an eighteenth century canopy bed, pinning your partner in a wrestling ring, or going down in a Titanic state room, there is a love hotel out there with a theme room for you.
To get an idea of where the traditional love hotel is coming from in terms of style, picture an over-the-top Niagara Falls-style honeymoon suite all done up with heart-shaped beds, cupid paintings and a sense of décor that makes a velour Elvis painting look positively understated. But honeymoon suites are just the tip of the sexual iceberg. Open the door to another room and you'll find a sexual playground filled from floor to ceiling with anything from Mickey Mouse memorabilia, to a boxing ring bed, glow in the dark jelly-fish, or a Marquis de Sade sex dungeon.
And if that honeymoon hotel had grown an exterior that turned the building into something resembling the palace at Versailles or a samurai castle, you'd have some idea of where the love hotel is coming from architecturally. Love hotel neighborhoods are surreal, neon dreamscapes, with dozens of buildings trying to out-gaudy one another, creating an ever-escalating flamboyance-race.The love hotel is a sexual theme park, and its principal function is not lodging, but rather providing a space for the sharing of intimate moments. Everyone from young couples in their 20s to salary men with prostitutes, to married couples getting away from their kids rent rooms by the hour or the night in order to escape from the crowds and conformity of modern Japan. Japan's love hotels are said to receive more than two million visitors a day and do over 3 trillion yen (about 30 billion dollars) in business every year. Ubiquitous in Japan, their gaudy neon signs are visible from nearly every major train station and highway off-ramp in the nation.

Classic Hotel: Angelo Baiser
KINKINESS: 5/5
STYLE: 3/5
ROMANCE: 2/5
RESERVATIONS: Yes
LOCATION: Osaka (Umeda)
No matter how kinky you are, no matter how perverse your pleasures, no matter how outlandish your sexual needs, the people at Angelo Baiser understand you, care about you, and want to help. And they have gone far above and beyond the call of duty in providing facilities that will help you to satisfy even the most deviant of fetishes. There’s a boxing ring bed, an Egyptian tomb, an S&M; torture chamber, and the Angelo Baiser is capable of accommodating not one, but two simultaneous orgies in their enormous party rooms. And then there are the room service catalogues. Peruse these mammoth volumes to find just the right pair of manacles, fetish uniform, or lotion. They also carry vibrators big enough to scare a porn star. Recommendation: The ‘Taisho Roman Heya’ is an incredible facility with an S&M; rickshaw, mini-sauna, Jacuzzi, and a 1920’s Japan theme.
<<A more detailed description, contact details, directions, and information on this and dozens of other hotels are available in both Love Hotels (book $17, or PDF $10), and the Japan Love Hotel Guide (PDF only, $5).>>.

A love hotel from the early 1980s
History
Love spaces that could be rented by the hour date back to the age of the samurai. During the Edo period (1603-1867), Japan’s famous tea houses (chaya), had a less-reputable sibling called a deai chaya, where men could take a geisha or courtesan for an illicit rendezvous. Located in pleasure quarters like Tokyo’s Yoshiwara or Kyoto’s Shimabara, these ‘tea houses’ served a lot more sake than tea, and were far removed from the demure, elegant establishments where geisha entertain salary men today. They were at the heart of the fabled ukiyo, a ‘floating world’ that was physically manifested through bars, brothels, and courtesans, existed spiritually in books, poems and paintings, and was represented psychologically in a hedonistic, epicurean ‘live for today’ attitude. The literal translation of deai chaya is ‘a tea house for meeting,’ and the term itself is a poetic one that was originally used in literature. Deai means ‘encounter’ or ‘meeting,’ but often has connotations of romance or sex. These were the places where many of the scenes in famous ukiyo-e ‘pictures of the floating world’ took place. They flourished in Japan until the Meiji Period (1868-1912), when the government cracked down on prostitution due to pressure from the West.
After the disappearance of the deai chaya, however, it did not take long before an institution sprung up to replace them. Called machiai , they first appeared in the late 1870s in Tokyo' s Ueno district. Used by both prostitute s and very occasionally by ordinary couples, these rendezvous spots appeared to be normal restaurants, but using the private rooms upstairs was a precondition of eating or drinking there. By 1926, there were more than 3000 of them in Tokyo alone. Outside Tokyo, it was more common to use an inn that allowed prostitutes, called a kaseki. A third option for couples seeking to be alone was, astoundingly, the soba-ya, or noodle shop. What do noodles and sex have in common? Well, nothing except that they're both extremely popular, and how noodle shops turned into trysting places is a mystery. Many restaurants in Japan offered rooms for sleeping, though, so using soba-ya for sex is not perhaps as strange as it first sounds. After WWII, love hotels morphed again into tsurekomi yado and then in the 60s, they turned into moteru, roadside inns similar to American motels, except that they were used exclusvely for sex. The moteru was where the love hotel took on its classic form, with sexy beds and mirrors (click here and here for excerpts from Love Hotels about beds and mirrors.)
Motels vanished quite suddenly in 1972, due to a public outcry against the murders and prostitution that had become associated with them. A law was passed prohibiting ‘one-car one-garage’ hotels, and it was time for another evolution.
The first modern love hotels opened up in Osaka, a city known for its entrepreneurial spirit, lively people, and gaudy sensibilities. Osaka has more neon per square meter than any other city in Japan, and the people are known for their love of bright colors and their aggressive business style. Love hotels became very Osakan in their designs, and quickly spread throughout the country.
The rooms that most people imagine when they hear the word "love hotel" come from the 1970s and 80s. These neon sex palaces reflected the sensibilities of Japan's bubble economy and the newfound sexual freedom of the children of the postwar generation.

CLASSIC HOTEL - Bali An Hotel and Resort
KINKINESS: 1/5
ROMANCE: 5/5
STYLE: 5/5
RESERVATIONS: Yes
LOCATION: Tokyo (Shinjuku)
It’s in the Kabukicho love hotel area and it rents rooms by the hour so it’s definitely a love hotel, but it sure doesn’t feel like one. The Bali An has a garden, a bar, and pool tables and massage chairs in the lobby. The theme is Island living, and the Balinese décor features traditional artwork and canopy beds.
<<A more detailed description, contact details, directions, and information on this and dozens of other hotels are available in both Love Hotels (book $17, or PDF $10), and the Japan Love Hotel Guide (PDF only, $5).>>.

The new face of love hotels
In 1985, a new law called the Fuuzoku Eigyou Tou no Kisei Ooyobi Gyoumu no Tekiseika Tou ni Kansuru Houritsu (Law Regulating Businesses Affecting Public Morals), popularly known as the Shin Fuuei Hou (New Public Morals Act) was passed by the government. Hotels which have "facilities not required for the basic purposes of guest lodging" are now categorized as "sex-related businesses." Formost hotels, that generally means no more revolving beds, vibrating chairs, or mirrors larger than one square meter. The hotels have kept up their gaudy facades, but except for the red light districts, the insides are much plainer now. The New Public Morals Act came about in large part because the Japanese government was embarrassed by the amount of foreign media coverage that Japan's sex trade and child pornography were receiving so they cracked down on both.
 Regulating love hotels probably seemed like a good idea to the politicians of the time, but sometimes, things don't quite work out exactly as people plan them. In fact, the New Public Morals Act had the opposite effect of what its drafters intended. A lot of sex businesses were affected when the law was passed, and the number of officially designated love hotels declined from about 11,000 in 1985 to 6710 in the year 2003. That does not, however, mean that the love hotel is by any means a dying institution. In fact, their number has tripled in the three decades since the New Public Morals Act was passed. 
As the traditional love hotel fades away, it is quickly being replaced with new, extra-legal hotels. These are technically classified as regular hotels, but their clientele is almost entirely made of people who are using the hotel as a place to have sex. In order to be classified as a regular hotel, the building must meet a number of strict criteria. It must have a large lobby, a restaurant, and at least half of its rooms must be singles. In addition, the owner must register as a traditional hotel, implying that his business will not be connected with anything influencing public morals.
 How do they get around the law? Well, it takes some doing. They have to build restaurants in the basements that nobody uses, expand the lobbies, put in front desks that no one ever stands behind, and construct a lot of single rooms that are filled with the cheapest furniture and fixtures that they can find, and rent them out very cheaply or use them for storage.  The good news is that once they've passed their initial inspection, they can put in sex-related facilities, because the police almost never visit.
Love hotels have gone upscale, lost some of their sleazy associations, and the decors have become more tasteful, but the bad news is that in an effort to clean up their image, they got rid of a lot of the exciting theme rooms. Although they still exist, its getting harder and harder to find places with bumper cars and disco lights. The image of love hotels has changed so much that a lot of times it's the woman who invites the man to the hotel. Fashion hotels are getting written up in magazines like Kansai Weekly, and Date Pia, respectable publications that cater to young office workers, especially women. Visit a Kinokuniya and you will see a selection of "Fashion Hotel" and "Boutique Hotel" guidebooks obviously designed to appeal to the sensibilities of the Japanese female. Love hotel owners say that people have stopped pulling their hats down over their head or staring at the ground when they walked into the lobby.
The archetypal love hotel in the year 2008 is a European-themed estab-lishment with rooms done up in soft pastel colors, which offers extensive selections of perfume and toiletries, and is filled with feminine touches like flowers and doilies. Overtly sexual items such as vibrators have been replaced with more innocent-looking "massagers,' and vibrating beds have been replaced with massage chairs. Sex-toy vending machines are now installed in cupboards, and new, non-sex-related facilities have been introduced. Love hotels have become places to enjoy watching DVDs on wide-screen TVs, to sing along with karaoke machines, and to enjoy Jacuzzis with lovers.
The word service was on the lips of every love hotel manager that I interviewed while writing my book, and they are all trying to outdo each other in terms of providing services and free gifts to the customers. Gang Snowman in Minami Osaka serves complimentary soft ice cream cones to every guest and if you stay the night at nearby Belles Des Belles, you'll get a free breakfast the next day. Many hotels have slot machines and tanning beds, and other hotels give out Hello Kitty bedside clocks or cute pajamas as souvenirs to repeat customers. Bathrooms are fully stocked with a selection of makeup and toiletries that far surpasses what you'll find in a regular hotel, and there are even a small number of love hotels that take reservations now. Most hotels also have member's cards that let frequent users get a discount Love hotels have also become much cleaner. The obaasan (elderly lady) we saw cleaning the spanking horse in one hotel's S&M; room used enough disinfectant and elbow grease to make a mama-chari (push bike) from the bottom of the Dotonbori River shine.

CLASSIC HOTEL - Maria Theresia
ROMANCE: 5/5
KINKINESS: 2/5
STYLE: 5/5
RESERVATIONS: Yes
LOCATION: Osaka (Namba)
The Maria Theresia hotel in Namba is one of the foremost innovators in the new wave of love hotels that sells romance rather than sex. Rooms are large, comfortable, spacious, and bright, combining design elements ranging from the 18th to 21st centuries - canopy beds and chandeliers exist side-by-side with wide screen televisions, and neither looks out of place. The bathrooms are huge, spotlessly clean, and most are equipped with jet baths and a wide selection of high quality toiletries. Skin care and aroma therapy sets are also available from room service, as are bathing oils and flower baths.
<<A more detailed description, contact details, directions, and information on this and dozens of other hotels are available in both Love Hotels (book $17, or PDF $10), and the Japan Love Hotel Guide (PDF only, $5).>>.

Rest or Stay
If you've never been to a love hotel before, there are three prices. The first is for a "rest". In Osaka, the "rest" price is usually for one hour. In Tokyo, it's usually for two or three. (While some Osakans make ridiculous claims about wanting to only pay for the room as long as they are using it, obviously, the real reason is that sexual stamina of Osakans is inferior to that of Tokyoites). The more expensive price is for an overnight "stay". Unfortunately, you can't usually check in until nine or ten pm. If you want to check in before that, you will have to pay for an extension, usually 1000-2000 yen per half-hour, which can really add up. The third price is "Service Time" or "Free Time". Service time is offered during the day, and the price of a rest is deeply discounted. Free time is a sort of "Sex hoo dai" (All-you-can-screw) where you can stay as long as you want for a fixed price. Love hotels always seem to end up costing more than you expect. There is usually a mysterious 10 percent"service charge" and also 10 percent surcharges if you are staying on a Friday or Saturday night or national holiday. Count on the final price being about 20 percent more than what is listed on the room board if you are staying on a weekend and be careful to check whether you're paying by the hour or not. You can save a lot of money by getting a member's card (just make sure you have a different one for each of your girlfriends or boyfriends) or by staying on weekdays or in the afternoon. If you pick up a magazine like Date Pia, it will have a lot of information and pictures of various hotels and they also offer a selection of discount coupons (usually about 10 percent).
There are still a few hotels where a grey, liver-spotted hand reaches out through the curtains to take your money when you enter, but most hotels have gone high-tech and have automated the payment system. After you choose your room at the display board in the lobby (just push the button of the room you want) you'll be given a paper card with the room number on it. When you're ready to leave, you put this card in the slot of the control panel near the door and push the "会計" (total) button. Your room charges will be automatically added up and you put your money into another slot in the panel. At hotels using this system, you are often locked into your room until you pay.

CLASSIC HOTELS

Gang Snowman’s (Now Kamen Ka-nibaru)
KINKINESS: 5/5
ROMANCE 2/5
STYLE: 2/5
RESERVATIONS: Yes
Make one trip to Gang Snowman’s, and you’ll never, ever accuse Japanese people of being uncreative or unimaginative again. The theme of this truly strange hotel is Yakuza Snowmen, and every room has obviously been created with a great amount of TLC. There are interesting little touches everywhere, like the little igloos in the lobby where couples can sit and wait for a room to become available, a cool snowman shaped TV, and free ice cream bars in the lobby. The artwork is truly amazing, especially the black light pictures of Snowmen in flying convertibles, flying through space or getting ready for a gangland hit with icy machine guns in their hands. Like all hotels in the Plaza Angelo Group, Snowman’s specializes in S&M; rooms, with a wide variety of things to hold on or be tied to.
<<A more detailed description, contact details, directions, and information on this and dozens of other hotels are available in both Love Hotels (book $17, or PDF $10), and the Japan Love Hotel Guide (PDF only, $5).>>.

Adonis
KINKINESS: 5/5
ROMANCE: 1/5
STYLE: 1/5
RESERVATIONS: No
LOCATION: Osaka (Uehonmachi)
The infamous Hello Kitty S&M; room is all done up in pink and white, with Hello Kitty memorabilia from floor to ceiling. There's even a working Hello Kitty piano if you're in the mood for some music. So far so good. But then you notice the manacles hanging from the ceiling. And that there are chains attached to the cute-looking piano, so maybe it wasn't intended for music after all. And the giant stuffed Hello Kitty in the corner which has been transformed into an S&M; nightmare. You can't help but ask yourself, "Who would rent this room?" Is it Hello Kitty aficionados? The candle wax on the bed frame and the brownish red stains on one of the handcuffs tell a different story. This is very much a counter-culture room. An iconoclastic, anti-cute, subversive sexual facility. It would take a very dark sense of humor indeed to think that putting barbed wire stockings and a ball gag on Hello Kitty would make people laugh. This room sounds funny when you hear about it, but this room is kind of creepy.
<<A more detailed description, contact details, directions, and information on this and dozens of other hotels are available in both Love Hotels (book $17, or PDF $10), and the Japan Love Hotel Guide (PDF only, $5).>>.

P&A; Plaza
KINKINESS: 2/5
ROMANCE 4/5
STYLE: 5/5
RESERVATIONS: No
LOCATION: Tokyo (Shibuya)
Shibuya's most well-known love hotel is a superbly-designed, high-concept facility with a wide variety of interesting and unusual rooms. There are stylish, transparent-glass swimming pools, party-rooms for four to fifteen people, a planetarium, two "fitness suites" where exercise enthusiasts can add some spice to their workout routines, and for Hugh Hefner wanna-be's there's a Playboy Grotto-style room with a cave bath. The "Morocco Style VIP Rooms' on the 8th floor with their mosaics, Persian carpets, and Middle-Eastern feel are great, but a little pricey at 10-15,000 yen for a rest and 20-30,000 for a stay. Nature lovers will want to try out the "Green Wall Room' with it's wall of plants covering a neon-lit wall and two massage chairs facing a giant projection screen television (10,000 yen for a rest and 20,000 for a stay).
<<A more detailed description, contact details, directions, and information on this and dozens of other hotels are available in both Love Hotels (book $17, or PDF $10), and the Japan Love Hotel Guide (PDF only, $5).>>.

Alpha-In
KINKINESS: 6/5
ROMANCE: 1/5
STYLE: 3/5
RESERVATIONS: No
LOCATION: Tokyo (Roppongi)
This is a hard-core S&M; hotel with professional equipment for serious fetishists. Every single room has suspension systems, bondage horses, crosses, gynecological examination tables, stocks, open toilets, or sex swings. A lot of Japan’s amateur S&M; videos are shot here (at a cost of 100,000 yen for 5 hours) and when you see the incredible assortment of rooms, with themes like ‘the swapping style,’ ‘the medical style,’ ‘Japanese style,’ ‘Chinese style,’ ‘the shame style,’ ‘the cave style,’ and ‘the mirror style,’ you’ll understand why this place is so expensive. The cheapest ‘beginner’ room is 9,600 for a rest and 15,600 for a stay. The most expensive room is a giant swapping facility with roof pulleys, two crosses, an open toilet, bondage horse, cage, stocks, and much more that costs 16,600 for a rest and 31,000 for a stay.
<<A more detailed description, contact details, directions, and information on this and dozens of other hotels are available in both Love Hotels (book $17, or PDF $10), and the Japan Love Hotel Guide (PDF only, $5).>>.

Beat Wave
ROMANCE: 4/5
KINKINESS: 3/5
STYLE: 4/5
RESERVATIONS: Yes
LOCATION: Tokyo (Shibuya)
Beat Wave, one of the most popular love hotels on the Dogenzaka slope in Shibuya, is a quirky, cozy, love nest designed to appeal to twenty-somethings. The theme here is music - everything from folk to pops to rock - and you could find yourself in a room decorated with anything from images of soul singers to Kiss.
<<A more detailed description, contact details, directions, and information on this and dozens of other hotels are available in both Love Hotels (book $17, or PDF $10), and the Japan Love Hotel Guide (PDF only, $5).>>.

Little Chapel Christmas
KINKINESS: 2/5
ROMANCE: 4/5
STYLE: 3/5
RESERVATIONS: No
LOCATION: Osaka (Umeda, Namba)
Here’s your chance to slip something in her stocking. It's Christmas every day at the Little Chapel Christmas in Nihonbashi. This hotel with its cute rooms and less emphasis on sexy decor is part of the trend in which love hotels try to appeal to females who want a romantic night out with their boyfriends. The outside of the building is a thousand times gaudier than the most over-the-top Christmas light display in North America, and there is a piano playing Santa Claus at the entrance. The rooms are much more tastefully designed than those of the traditional love hotel, with old-fashioned canopy beds, tasteful flower arrangements, and European-pension-type theme rooms.
<<A more detailed description, contact details, directions, and information on this and dozens of other hotels are available in both Love Hotels (book $17, or PDF $10), and the Japan Love Hotel Guide (PDF only, $5).>>.

Provence no Machi ni
KINKINESS: 1/5
ROMANCE: 4/5
STYLE: 4/5
RESERVATIONS: No
LOCATION: Osaka (Namba, Sakurabashi)
Voulez vous couchez avec moi? These popular love hotels in the Namba and Sakurabashi love hotel districts of Osaka have a French theme based on Peter Mayle's best-selling novel, A Year in Provence. At 9000 yen per night for a stay, a year in ‘Provence’ would cost a mere 3,285,000 yen. These very cozy hotels have small but comfortable beds, and are so tastefully decorated, you might think you were in a French pension if the rooms had windows. They also offer free breakfasts and a drink bar with over 20 different items to select from.
<<A more detailed description, contact details, directions, and information on this and dozens of other hotels are available in both
Love Hotels (book $17, or PDF $10), and the Japan Love Hotel Guide (PDF only, $5).>>.

Hotel Loire
KINKINESS: 5/5
ROMANCE 2/5
STYLE: 2/5
RESERVATIONS: No
LOCATION: Osaka (Matsubara)
The Loire is the archetypal Japanese love hotel, a gaudy monument to hedonism with dozens of kinky rooms and a charmingly anachronistic 1990s bubble kitsch sensibility. It’s a 30-minute subway ride from downtown Osaka, and then there’s a long 20-minute hike from the station, but for connoisseurs of love hotels, it’s definitely worth the trip. This incredible hotel has rooms more bizarre than you could ever imagine (unless of course you’re the designer of the Kitty S&M; room at Adnis). Its most famous sex space is room #306, a sexual playground made up of three areas. The first is decorated as a doctor’s office with a sexy examining chair that faces a wall covered from floor to ceiling with mirrors. The second is a replica of a subway where you can grope or be groped while strap-hanging in a subway car room that plays the sounds of a moving train. The main bedroom has a black light aquarium scene on its walls that appears when you turn out the lights.
<<A more detailed description, contact details, directions, and information on this and dozens of other hotels are available in both Love Hotels (book $17, or PDF $10), and the Japan Love Hotel Guide (PDF only, $5).>>.

Tijuana Inn
KINKINESS: 4/5
ROMANCE: 2/5
STYLE: 2/5
RESERVATIONS: No
LOCATION: Tokyo (Ikebukuro)
Despite the name, it has absolutely nothing to do with Mexico. The Ti-juana Inn is part of a chain whose first branch had a Mexican theme, but at the Ikebukuro hotel, all the rooms are themed around movies, books, or anime. Here are a few of the rooms: Winnie the Pooh, Mickey and Minnie, Aladdin, Cinderella, the Hustler, Lupin III (Japanese anime), the Cotton Club, the Little Prince, Peter Pan, the Titanic, Armageddon, 2010: A Space Odyssey, American Graffiti.


<<A more detailed description, contact details, directions, and information on this and dozens of other hotels are available in both Love Hotels (book $17, or PDF $10), and the Japan Love Hotel Guide (PDF only, $5).>>.

Meguro Kurabu Sekitei (a.k.a. The Meguro Emperor, The Gallery Hotel)
KINKINESS: 1/5
ROMANCE: 1/5
STYLE: 3/5
RESERVATIONS: No
LOCATION: Tokyo (Meguro)
The Meguro Emperor is, quite simply, the most famous love hotel of all time. Built in 1973, it was the Cadillac of love hotels. Designed by the famous architect Kurosaka Yasuhisa, it was a monument to 1970s kitsch, and its fairy tale castle exterior became something of a tourist attraction. The hotel’s 30 rooms featured a gondola, playground slides, and all manner of vibrating, rotating, and gyrating beds. The glory days are gone, however, and it looks like an ordinary business hotel on the inside now.
<<A more detailed description, contact details, directions, and information on this and dozens of other hotels are available in both Love Hotels (book $17, or PDF $10), and the Japan Love Hotel Guide (PDF only, $5).>>.

Hyakuban
lOCATION: Osaka (Tennoji)
Although it no longer functions as a love hotel and has been converted to a Japanese restaurant, Hyakuban is a place where it’s still possible to experience what staying in tsurekomi yado must have been like during the 1920s. This beautiful old building has so much character that you’re instantly taken back in time to a simpler, more graceful time. Pull aside the sliding doors to reveal the elegant wooden bridge in the front hall, and walk past traditional wood carvings and wood block prints on your way to your own little room. They serve traditional Japanese foods like sukiyaki, shabu shabu, and chanko nabe. Although Hyakuban is showing its age, it’s well worth a visit.
<<A more detailed description, contact details, directions, and information on this and dozens of other hotels are available in both Love Hotels (book $17, or PDF $10), and the Japan Love Hotel Guide (PDF only, $5).>>.