The Origins of Love Hotels, Shibuya, Shinjuku and beyond

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Are you looking for accommodations in Japan? If so then one of the most popular options is love hotels. These are standard hotels except gusts pay per hour and usually up to 2 hours. Love hotels often include perks like adult channels, sex toys, and adult costumes. The items can be purchased through the telephone to maintain the customer’s privacy.

The love hotels in Japan have become big business and an interesting part of Japan’s culture. It’s an option you should consider if you visit the country. The prices are somewhat low, but the hotels are very clean and include lots of features.

Many people stay in the hotels because hotels in Japan are often crowded and little privacy. Another cultural issue is it’s uncommon for unmarried couples to cohabit before they tie the knot. So this gives them the chance to have some time alone. Love hotels are especially a good option in the winter. The reason is there’s usually little insulation or quality bathtubs in Japanese apartments. So during the cold winter months, a love hotel is a better option if you want some quality time with your lover.

How did the hotels get started? Today you can find several in Tokyo wards like Shibuya and Shinjuku. Some historians argue that in the past Japan had open attitudes regarding sex. However, the 1600s shoguns made it a requirement for some kinds of establishments to only operate in one area in Kyoto that its red light district was later modeled after. This allowed the samurai to stay discrete while following their code for public behavior.

It’s believed that at first men visited geishas at teahouses and could get extra services if they wanted. However, that changed to special places and soba (buckwheat) shops. Then during the Meiji Restoration era, there was a popular idea that translates into “good wives, wise mothers.”

However, a major event was in the mid-1920s US-style hotels started to show up in Japan. They included “enshuku” places where one person could rent one room for one hour. The hotels were different from standard hotels since they contained exotic rooms with locking doors and double beds. The “enshuku” and bathhouses then became places for couples to meet outside their homes until the late 1960s.

How about love hotels specifically? They first started to appear during the 1970s. “The Meguro Emperor” was one of the first ones in the country. They often had Western/Disneyland themes. Then hotels with names like “Paradiso” “Aphrodite” and “Casablanca” started to appear in Tokyo.

Many of these establishments benefited from companies that maintained “entertainment budgets.” This provided workers with a budget for things like bars, restaurants, and nightclubs. A concept began in Japan that men were required to work hard to support their family, but they were also required to meet their social obligations with coworkers.

Today the social environment has changed. Workers don’t get funds for after-hour recreation, and the salaries of many men aren’t enough for the activities. However, it’s now more common for young people to walk and hold hands.

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