Spending our time untethering the mind, getting the fidgets out, exploring the in-between ideas, and learning kintsugi.

Tokyo: Shibuya’s love hotels

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Love hotels of Shibuya

Love hotels of Shibuya

Shibuya is the little cousin of Times Square. A cacophony of lights and crowds. It is hard to tell that abutting Shibuya are the side streets of Love Hotel hill, where the cacophony ceases – no restaurants, no pachinko parlors, no bars, no shops, and no soliciting. Just the pink and green blinking lights offering comfortable ‘Rest’ and ‘Stay’. ‘Rest’ is a euphemism for a couple of hours of romantic encounter and ‘Stay’ indicates the entire night’s rates.

Most hotels display sample pictures of their rooms in their lobbies or right outside, so you need not worry about an embarassing encounter with another human being while trying to figure out if the place was worth a ‘Rest’ or a ‘Stay’. The reception areas are dimly lit and personal interactions with hotel workers are reduced to a minimum. There are touch-screens displaying pictures of rooms and indicating which ones are un-occupied. These rooms are usually cheaper than regular hotels and according to legend, are fixed with conveniences ranging from PSPs to vending machines and some risqué gadgetry.

Contrary to what most non-Japanese may think, Love Hotels aren’t necessarily meant for prostitutes. If you were a thirty-something with a spouse or significant other and lived in a small one-room apartment in Tokyo with your parents, you too would count these hotels as a necessity of city life. Even for a tourist, a night at a Love Hotel in Shibuya may be cheaper, fancier, and more interesting than the regular hotel accommodation in Tokyo.

Here are some more photos …

Shibuya1 Shibuya2 Shibuya3

Written by Ankur

September 15, 2009 at 12:30 pm

Posted in Japan, Tokyo

Tagged with , ,

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