If you are a foreigner the first answer should be – for the experience. But of course there are plenty of other valid reasons to book a Tokyo Love Hotel.
They are cutely decorated each with different interesting themes like churches, subway metros, Italian style, traditional Japanese and so many more. They’re also cheaper than normal hotels of the same standard, excluding the capsule hotels. For the couples looking for a passionate type they are well sound proof so you don’t disturb your neighbors. We don’t recommend honeymooners to stay in a Ryokan. The thin walls you know. Some hotels have sex toys for purchase. Movies on DVD can be rented usually at the reception. And sometimes you get free toys! And I mean ducks, dolphins and other small cute toys.
What to expect in this type of hotels
We have been testing some of the rooms in these “cute hotels” in Tokyo and here’s our opinion. All the rooms feature a good if not awesome sound system with an intimidating light and sound console by the bed. Intimidating since neither myself or any Japanese know how to turn off all the lights before touching all the buttons. Furniture is usually of good quality but a little out of fashion. One has to understand that the economical boom happened in Japan in the 80s. Back then so many people had lots of money to spend on all kinds of fun activities and hotels were full most of the time. So more of these establishments of this kind have been built in that era. Hence the slightly or grossly outdated decor and music Enka music channels! All the rooms I’ve rented had a nice bath tub and a open shower next to them. And some rooms even feature a huge mirror on the ceiling right above the bed. It’s worth booking even if only for that.
Where to find them
There are lots of love hotels in Tokyo but the biggest concentration of “pink” can be found in Shinjuku, Shibuya Love Hotel Hill and Ueno with Okachimachi are some of the top spots. These areas are easy to reach by train on Yamanote Line. For visitors located near Yokohama’s harbor and Chinatown we recommend the hotels there. Yokohama lodges tends to have larger rooms and better equipped. Our favorite love hotels are in Yokohama but that’s about 40 minutes away from Tokyo city center.
Shinjuku Love Hotels
Shinjuku is one of the biggest transportation hubs in Asia and the world. Nearby, just 1 minute walk from the station there is mighty and naughty Kabukicho red light and entertainment neighborhood. This is a place for everything but not really a tourist attraction. You will find hundreds of bars and restaurants around and of course the famed host clubs for guys but also for girls. Hordes of “sexy” Japanese guy hosts looking like Bon Jovi will stop girls on the street pulling them into their clubs. Rooms in Kabukicho are modern but size tends to be smallest in this list. It is easy to find them. Head up on the small streets behind the restaurants and you will see well lit price lists outside the hotel entrance. Prices for the night range but normally revolve around 8000 to 12000 yen.
Shibuya Love Hill (Dogenzaka)
Shibuya is a top spot for restaurants. It has everything more and slightly better quality when compared to Shinjuku. However we think that Shinjuku’s Kabukicho is still number one for nightlife and adult entertainment. There are more foreign tourists drinking and having fun late at night. Walk over to the Love Hotel Hill in Shibuya to rent a room and spend the night. CLICK HERE to see Google Map for the Dogenzaka location. Prices here are comparable to Shinjuku.
Near Ueno Park and Nippori Textile Street
Ueno and Nippori are part of the old Tokyo and not as busy or trendy as the locations above. It would make sense if hotels were cheaper. However we found that actually prices are the same or higher than Shibuya or Shinjuku but the quality of the rooms lower. However there are some cheaper options walking towards the Okachimachi train station.
Akihabara Hotels near Electric City and maid cafes
If you walk from Ueno you can make it to this part of the city in half an hour or less. It is only one train station away from Okachimachi and 2 stations from Ueno on the Yamanote/Circle Line. Akihabara is the hard-core gamers Wonderland. But also a vibrant night life with the maid cafés being the predominant attractions. Visitors can also find massage and ear cleaning services here. There are pink hotels nearby and we would like to point to some have been decorated to look in old traditional Japanese style.
How to rent a love hotel room
All hotels have a room panel located near the entrance. The available rooms would be lit and feature a photo and the rate. To reserve it just push the button corresponding to it and pay at the reception. Usually you don’t have to talk to anyone at the reception. The clerk sits behind a glass unable to see you. Certain hotels have a payments system that lets you pay when inside the room via credit card.
There are 2 types of room reservations and prices:
Rest – the room can be reserved during the day and evening usually for 4 hours. Prices vary widely from 3500 yen to 6000 yen or more depending on the quality, availability.
Stay – the room can be reserved for the night from 10 or 11 PM to 10 or 11 AM. Prices anywhere from 7000 yen to 12000 yen or more.
No bookings online for most of these places. You do have to walk in and sometimes queue in line and wait for the room to be vacated. Try to be at the hotel a little before 10 PM. Saturday nights are always the busiest!