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Keitai’s ring, ‘no vacancy’ signs glisten, in Tokyo’s winter wonderland

A love hotel in Ebisu, Tokyo
A love hotel in Ebisu, Tokyo

“I was surprised — from early afternoon there wasn’t a room to be had anywhere,” the man in his 40s, who works in his company’s sales department, tells Nikkan Gendai (Dec. 20). “You walk down the back street in Kabukicho with all the love hotels, and most of them are fully booked, even though it’s just 2:00 p.m. Makes you wonder who the heck’s using them…”

And mysteriously, the busiest hotels of all appear to be the most decrepit.

“The secret of their high occupancy rate is because the hotels have tied up with deri heru (delivery health) businesses,” says “pink” writer Kazuo Kajiyama in referring to out-call sex services. “To reduce their charges, the deri heru operators work out a special deal with the hotels that let their customers use the rooms for around 3,000 yen. Normally the charge would be 5,000 yen or so.

“A lot of these hotels are pretty run down, so they wouldn’t be getting much business otherwise.”

The system used in Shinjuku is apparently also being applied in Ikebukuro, Maruyamacho in Shibuya, Gotanda and other parts of Tokyo.

“The core clientele appear to be salarymen in their 30s and 40s,” says Kajiyama. “They meet up with the sex workers on the street and enter the hotels, hand in hand. Lots of them carry valises, so I suppose they’re grabbing a quickie between sales calls to customers.

“It’s also fairly common to see well-attired men in their 50s entering hotels with flashy-looking females in their 20s,” he adds.

Source: “Hiruma kara rabu hoteru manshitsu no nazo,” Nikkan Gendai (Dec. 20, page 7)