A Slight Intimate Encounter With A Japanese Love Hotel

Tammy Gowans

On the way back from Naha one day, my friend and I noticed one of the love motel billboards and it sparked an interesting conversation. I always assumed love motels were for those looking for extra-marital affairs because Japanese men are famous for their mistresses in the city with their wives holding the fort back home, wherever that may be.

As it turns out this is partially true. Many love motels have super private parking lots or at least wooden slats that can go in front of your license plate for privacy. The second group of people who are drawn to love motels are husbands and wives or boyfriends and girlfriends, and of course prositutes and their clients.

Since many people in Japan live in extended family situations, love motels are a way for couples to grab some space and private time for themselves without worrying about the kids or grandparents barging in. Another type of clientele are business men who rent out a room for themselves so they can enjoy, of all things, the lavish baths in each room.

Sure they probably go for the pornography as well but my friend says that the baths in love motels rival those in luxurious spas. Since I'm a bath junkie this peaked my interest and said I would have to go check one out sometime when my friend suggested that we go check one out since we had some time to kill. Now would be a good time to mention that the co-worker I was with was a female and a good friend so I figured this would be the perfect opportunity to get acquainted with a love motel.

We went to the RY Hotel in Ginowan. The parking wasn't all that private in this instance. No one could look in from the street but you had to walk by the other cars before going in the entrance. The first thing I noticed on the inside was the lack of staff. Actually she said they are fully staffed but they are behind the scenes and will offer assistance if needed.

Then on the right were wall-length waterfalls what fell into a rocky pool. The wall was lit with blue light and I would have been perfectly happy waiting in the lobby but we had to choose a room. On the left wall was a lit board with pictures of the 20 or so different rooms.

Some were basic with just a bed a television and a toilet/sink area. The more expensive ones had garden Jacuzzi tubs and a shower area. We choose one of those by pressing the button. Rooms that weren't lit up were in use.

After pushing a button, a receipt came out with just the room number on it. The rooms could be rented by the hour or for 7 hours at a tie with a discount rate. Our room was going for about Y4000 (USD $33.00) an hour or Y7000 (USD $58.00) for a "stay" or 7 hours.

For the stay you could only check in at 5:00 am, 12:00 pm, 7:00 pm or midnight. Prices are cheapest at 5:00 am and 12:00. The most expensive rate was from midnight to 7:00 am. Next as we went up the stairs to the room we passed by a waiting area. My friend said that if all rooms were taken or if ours was still being cleaned we would wait in there.

They serve a free drink and call you when your room is ready. This particular hotel, although right by Marine Corps bases had absolutely no English so I wouldn't feel too comfortable bring my husband because of the language barrier and the awkwardness of the whole situation.

There were two doors leading to our room. The first one had a computer - all in Japanese. You didn't have to do anything upon entering but it is where you pay at the end. In this tiny room you take your shoes off then go through the second door that leads to the room itself.

The room was pretty big, like a nice sized hotel room in the States. The decoration was kind of modern. The bed was worn as the middle slumped in. There was a 32-inch TV that had a couple English and Japanese channels, the Playboy channel and two or three Japanese porn channels.

To my surprise the TV also had a fully loaded karaoke machine and on the coffee table in front of the couch was a stack of karaoke magazines. So we sat down and belted out a few tunes. Okay I know - back to the porn. Pornography is regulated in Japan, which I found a little odd knowing that Japan has the horniest men on the face of the Earth. Basically you can only see boobs. The rest of the bits are pixilated. The sound is all there but the genitals are fuzzy.

I remember one of my co-workers telling me about this and he said you could get real porn off the black market that isn't pixilated or you can just grab torrents for free off of the Internet of course.

Between the main living room/bedroom was a wall that contained a vending machine full of condoms, vibrators and outfits to dress up in. One of the vibrators was the infamous rabbit - the official version and it was only going for about $40! One of the girls on Sex & the City bought one for $90 one time so I was shocked and almost bought one for myself. I mean COME ON I'm a woman and no woman can pass up a good bargain.

Since I was with my friend I kept my money in my wallet, that is until I saw the other vending machine on the other side of the room by the kitchen area. This vending machine had sodas, water, sandwiches and ramen. I think it had Orion beer too. I don't remember the prices, but I do remember that to purchase anything out of either of the vending machines all you had to do was open it up and grab what you want. The cost would be tallied up by that computer in the first room when you hit "done". Pretty cool!

On the coffee table was another remote that controlled the mood of the room. You could turn on different colored lights like red, blue or purple and make them as bright or as dim as you want. You could turn the clear lights off and just have colored ones on instead. It was pretty cool and would make for a fun party room.

On to the bathroom. It was a typical Japanese bathroom where the whole thing is a shower stall. Kind of like an RV where the toilet is the shower. The toilet was off to the side but the bathtub was amazing. It was raised and huge. Jets and all. I filled it up and when the jets started running a purple light came on in the tub. It was beautiful - I wanted to crawl in and totally skip out of work for the rest of the day.

For good measure I poured in the free mint bubble bath. There were other free samples on the tub: an onsen (Japanese hot bath) scent like pine bubble bath, something akin to Astroglide. At first I thought it was some kind of fun soap because there was a cartoon of a boy and a girl on the front soaping each other up in the shower but when I opened it it was slimy and I knew right away what it was. There was also a breast mask! This I brought home to try out and it was a cool paper towel like mask that you drape on your breasts to make them nice and firm. I don't know if it worked but it was fun and relaxing. Out by the sink was a full array of shampoos, conditioners, lotion, shaving gel, cologne, perfume and hair gel. There was also an expensive hair drier/curler in one thing hanging up on the wall. Everything smelled great and was luxurious.

We spent a half hour messing around and then we checked out using the computer. The total came to about $40.00. I guess you pay for the full hour whether you stay the whole time or not. I'm not sure if I would bring my husband there or not.

Japanese are meticulous when it comes to cleanliness but I can just imagine catching crabs or something up in there from being on the bed, or the couch for that matter. I will probably bring him eventually. Maybe I can hunt down one of the themed love motels. My boss said those are pretty cool with water themes, space themes, etc. To the untrained eye love motels look like any other hotel on the outside so I might have to enlist the help of a friend to recommend a good clean themed hotel. Still looking for that elusive used panty vending machine. Not that I would buy a pair, but I would take a picture for sure!

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