Sunday, April 4, 2010

Dogenzaka, aka Love Hotel Hill

Everyone who's been to Tokyo has probably heard about "love hotels," where couples can rent rooms by the hour for a "rest" or for a whole night, called a "stay." In some areas you find a concentration of these specialty hotels, like in Shibuya's Dogenzaka area. There is something kind of peaceful and almost charming in a kitschy way about this love hotel district created for trysts. You step out of the stream of consumer madness in mid-Shibuya and suddenly find yourself in quiet back streets lined with accommodations offering respite or a promise of a brief fantasy getaway for lovers who need space, privacy or secrecy. 

Japanese love hotels can range from the bizarre to more generic, or even catering to a more female aesthetic, i.e., to appeal to the "Office Ladies" and their guys.  Overall, though, these hotels are clean, comfortable, even spacious, offering all the amenities to be found in your standard hotel and more. (Or so I've heard, anyway...hehe.)

I roamed the love hotel streets and took just a few snapshots, above. You can learn a lot more about these funky hotels on the Quirky Japan site, here. Their detailed article talks about how many of the cheesier (and sometimes more fun) theme hotels are disappearing as the clientele has changed (becoming more female) and the industry has tried to clean up its image.


  1. I find the creativity of the Japanese in setting up these "love hotels" amazing. They pretty much covered every customer type available. I would love to see the inside of some of their bizarre "love hotels".

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