In a culture that values privacy and prefers to keep personal matters “behind closed doors”, love hotels have boomed in Japan since their inception in the late 60’s. Ranging from sleazy motel-style accommodation to expensive high-class suites, rooms are typically booked by the hour, though overnight stays are available for couples looking to make a night of it. Given the salacious nature of the industry, many love hotels go by some rather interesting names. Take a look at some of the most bizarre.
Benkyo Heya (Study Hall)
While one could argue there is some degree of learning going on here, this hotel in Osaka is a far cry from the study hall you remember from high school. Benkyo Heya might be a good choice for younger couples who still live at home and want to tell their parents they’re going to study hall without lying.
Yes We Can
The former US president’s campaign slogan was an inspiration to many, but this is likely not what Barack Obama had in mind when he said, “yes we can”. Still, the love hotel sign delivers a positive message to potential lovers by assuring them that they, in fact, can.
Remember in Super Mario Bros. 3 when Mario could gain the ability to fly simply by donning a raccoon suit? Of course you do. What most people don’t know is that Mario’s costume did not turn him into a raccoon, but a tanuki. Tanuki are legendary creatures of Japanese folklore known for two things: the ability to shapeshift, and having enormous testicles.
Yancha na Koneko (Naughty Kitten)
In case the name doesn’t make it obvious enough, this is not a family-friendly establishment.
Neither is this.
Mochi is a traditional Japanese food made by pounding rice with a giant hammer. Typically served during the New Year’s Day celebration and often given as a souvenir, it is one of the most celebrated traditional foods in the country. The first Mochitsuki, or “mochi-pounding ceremony” is said to have taken place around 300BC when the kami (ancient spirits worshipped in the Shinto religion) descended to Earth. Today, the annual mochitsuki ceremony draws tourists from across the globe who come to see the time honored tradition that has been treasured by the Japanese for thousands of years. To “pound mochi” is also slang for having sex.
Is nothing sacred anymore? This love hotel in Miyazaki city sounds more like a children’s theme park than a place of copulation. For those who are wondering, the answer is yes – the hotel is Christmas themed and looks like something from the North Pole.
Not to be confused with the northern region of a massive continent known as Africa, this love hotel can be found in the Kita ward of Osaka city.
Possibly the most honestly named hotel on the planet, Sarigenaku (literally “nonchalantly, in a casual manner”) has no qualms about reminding guests exactly what they are there for. It’s always better to be honest than leave a date with false hopes.
Banana and Donut