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Don’t leave home without it: Yes, love hotels accept plastic payment

Nikkan Gendai Mar. 25
Nikkan Gendai Mar. 25
“Recently there’s been an increase in customers who pay using credit cards,” writes Shoko Harano, pseudonym of a 36-year-old woman who works at the reception of a love hotel, and who contributes a regular column in Nikkan Gendai (March 25).

According to Harano, males account for about 80 percent of card users. Most of them are older (younger men almost always pay by cash), and typically before paying they will ask what name will appear on the monthly card billing.

Fortunately, it’s rare for love hotels in Japan to bill according to the same name on their outdoor sign. And that’s understandable; after all, who wants to have to explain to his wife a charge from the “Hot Springs Motel” or “Making Whoopie Inn”? In the case of Harano’s employer, for example, the name of a sports gym will appear. (“Honey, I was desperate for a workout and a sauna…”)

It’s also interesting, she writes, to see differences in the way genders present their cards. Men tend to yank the card from their wallet and flip it on the counter in a rather brusque manner; female patrons meticulously withdraw their card and pass it over politely. Ladies invariably accept the receipt too, slipping it into their wallets, as opposed to men who just grunt, “Iranai. Suteteoite” (I don’t need it, throw it away).

Likewise for signatures. Male patrons generally produce an indecipherable scribble.

“That’s fine by us, as long as well get the money,” says Harano. “But if they’re so worried about getting caught, it’s safer to pay cash — even if I do get a peep at their wallet’s contents.” (K.S.)

Source: “Ryokin wo kaado de harau dansei ga kamatte kiku koto wa,” Nikkan Gendai (Mar. 25, page 23)