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Tokyo troubles: What do love hotels do with their lost & found items?

Jitsuwa Taiho December
Jitsuwa Taiho December

“Oh damn, where’s my ____?! Sh*t, I must have left it at that…oh god, how can I possibly go back there and ask for it?! This is a f*cking disaster!!”

It seems that people who enter and leave love hotels have a lot of things on their minds. Like what will soon be transpiring after they get inside the room. Or not being spotted together.

And as a result of these and other distractions, they often leave personal belongings behind.

Jitsuwa Taiho takes up this topic in its December issue.

One of the first things the article points out is that it’s possible to enter, use, pay, and leave a love hotel without ever encountering hotel staff face to face. Which is also one of the reasons why people who leave things behind are understandably reluctant to attempt recovery.

The monthly magazine is told by 54-year-old Ms. T, employed by a hotel in Tokyo’s Ikebukuro district, that she has been holding onto a number of valuable articles, such as wristwatches and items of jewelry, awaiting the arrival of their owners.

Sometimes they do come to claim them.

“But adult sex toys like vibrators and so on are generally abandoned,” she says. “I guess the owners are too embarrassed to ask for them.”

On occasion, customers have also been known to leave behind a wallet bulging with banknotes.

“The biggest amount, to my own recollection, was about 500,000 yen,” T says. “But I’ve heard of a case at another hotel where an envelope containing 3 million yen was left behind. In a situation like that, we would not keep it, but turn it over to the police as quickly as possible. That’s because if it were to disappear while in our possession we’d probably be in for some real trouble.”

T says a hotel maid once found a digital camera in the room. Soon afterward, a man phoned the hotel, and asked if his camera had turned up.

When informed that it had, he nervously asked, “Did you look to see what was in it?”

“Oh no, we would never do that,” came the reply.

“Oh?” he replied. “It seems to me that any normal person would be curious and want to take a look. Now I have to tell my bride how the hotel staff reacted to the photos.”

Afterwards the same man remarked, “Normally people don’t usually leave stuff like that behind, do they?” He was referring to his marriage certificate, folded and stuffed into a plain brown envelope.

How on earth does one forget such an important document? The magazine says it would prefer to avoid going into detail on why the man had it with him in the first place — let alone why he forgot to take it with him.

Source: “E? Konna mono made rabuho wasuremono jijo!” Jitsuwa Taiho (December, page 166)