The Akasaka Love Hotel Haikyo reminds us of the importance of that old adage: ‘location location location’. Situated at the far end of a strip of Love Hotels on the lake’s ring road, it’s clear this place suffered for lack of passing traffic. Now its forecourt and parking lot are bouldered with rotten 80’s styled furniture, burnt-out cars, and avalanches of mounded pillows. Inside, its gaudy rooms still sing of forbidden pleasures, the walls plastered with bright helios, lurking cheetahs, and naked Bathsheba’s, though I doubt any lusty couples have joined in their bawdy chorus for some time.
Cheetahs slinking on the walls, video-game parlor styled TV facing an air-hockey bed, great clashing wavy zebra lines on the ceiling.
I should start off with a quick explanation of what Love Hotels are, and how they generally function. In a country with little space, high rents, and low starting salaries, many young people continue to live in the family home well into their 30’s. Combine this with staid traditional values and the parents desire to only meet their offspring’s romantic partner at the wedding ceremony, and you’ve got a sure-fire recipe for sexual frustration.
Love Hotels function as an affordable escape valve for that rising pressure, offering short ‘rests’ of four hours as well as all-night stays. Love Hotels could be equated with cheap roadside motels in American movies where the married man goes to conduct his affair. They’re like that, but can be found anywhere, from the bustle of city centre red light districts to the rustic romanticism of forested lake-sides. And wherever they go, they take their jingly jangly glamor with them, coming in a wide variety of fantasy fulfillment bizarely decked out love pens.
I went to this one a few weeks ago on my bike, barely scraping by under the deadline for my ride back and to work- the ride there being 30km when I thought it was only 20km. I had about an hour to check it out, but that was plenty as the place only had about 6 rooms, only 3 of them worth taking shots of.
The fence had been cut open and I easily hopped through, waded over the garbage in the forecourt, and went straight on into the first room:
The Cheetah Room.
Cheetahs (Tigers?) and headboard.
After snapping a few photos in here, I moved across the hall to:
The Helios Room.
Vibrant blood-orange wall-paper, nuclear-proton-pulse orange ceiling paper, and chiffon yellow bed, complete with headboard mirrors.
Helios and headboard and golden spike.
Zooming protons fly overhead.
And one more, because I like the colors so much.
After that I ducked out, went down the hall a few steps, and was immediately struck by the interior door of:
The Bathsheba Room.
A room of extreme sin.
Dark naked seraphim dance on the walls around a Bacchanalic golden chariot bed.
One of them is wearing a pheasant.
A beautiful contrast with the candy-stripe ceiling.
Beyond the rooms was some of the usual wreckage, including a room filled with trash but for a curiously-placed copy of the the Star Wars A New Hope soundtrack on vinyl.
This wall-smashing is fairly recent, compare to almost the same shot on Tokyo Times but for the vandalism (a tip of the hat to Lee at Tokyo Times for putting me onto the location of this haikyo- cheers Lee).
After that I hopped on my bike and raced home, just in time to shower, change, and get off to work.
Entry – Very easy, through the cut-open fence.
Highlights – First time to lay eyes on the Bathsheba Room wall-paper, I was smitten!
RUINS / HAIKYO
You can see all MJG’s Ruins / Haikyo explorations here:
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