Love hotels can be found in most areas of Tokyo with larger concentrations in Ikebukuro, Roppongi, Shinjuku and Shibuya.
The seedy Dogenzaka area (aka 'Love Hotel Hill'), up the hill from the Hachiko statue at JR Shibuya Station on the Yamanote Line, has a particular well-known collection of love hotels.
All told there are over 35,000 love hotels in Japan. Here are a few examples of love hotels from Roppongi, Tokyo, which are more discreet in style than the garish exteriors of many love hotels in Shibuya.
A good introduction to the brash interior design and decor of Japan's love hotels is Love Hotels - The Hidden Fantasy Rooms of Japan with photographs by Misty Keasler.
Love hotels are also known as "boutique hotels","fashion hotels" or even "romance hotels". Colloquially the term in Japanese is ラブホ (rabuho).
The most recent forerunners of love hotels were tsurekomi yado or tsurekomi yado (lit. bring in inn), which grew up as family-run, short-term houses of prostitution in Tokyo after World War II. These establishments fell foul of the law in 1958 when prostitution was made illegal in Japan.
Love Hotels in Osaka
Buy Japan Mandala
Books on Japanese Art and Design
Japan Love Hotel Tokyo architecture
Wednesday, March 07, 2007