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Friday, October 21, 2016

Japan's "Automated" Love Hotels

Above, an Osaka love hotel's price menu. Photo by Armand Vaquer.

Many (or most) Japanophiles are familiar with the Japanese love hotels.

They are usually found in different districts in major Japanese cities. We "stumbled" upon a cluster of them in the Dotonbori section of Osaka last year when we made a wrong turn.

The Huffington Post has an article on "automated" love hotels that, according to the article, are being noticed by foreign visitors.

They wrote:
Pop quiz: What does the term “automated love hotel” conjure in your imagination?
a) A place to have sex with robots
b) A hotel that eliminates the “check-in/check-out of shame” by automating the “front desk”
c) A place where two complete strangers can meet and fall in love automatically
d) All of the above, maybe

If you were in Japan, you would know the answer, instinctively. You would know that “love hotels,” automated or not, are, for the locals, by-the-hour hookup hubs, originally intended to provide respite for harried married couples that want more than a rice paper screen between them and their offspring when making noisy love. Or at least that is how the origin of the love hotel is described in polite society. 
Given the famously tight quarters of Japanese homes, it’s not surprising that a relatively sexually liberated culture would provide recreational havens for folks caught up in the critically important function of parenting, right? Plop the kids down in front of the computer, lock the front door and scoot down to the love hotel for an hour. What a concept! 
Here in the good ol’ U.S. of A., we are apt to refer to such establishments as “no-tell motels,” and very few provide hourly rates. But the U.S., compared to Japan, is still relatively puritanical, despite the increasing prevalence of more liberal attitudes toward sex.
Love hotels, obviously, are also used in the "cash and carry" (as referred to by J. R. Ewing) business of escorts and call girls.

To read more, go here.

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