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Osaka love hotels cut rates to bone

Shukan Jitsuwa Nov. 7

A strange phenomena is emerging in Osaka: Low-end love hotels in the city’s numerous entertainment areas are slashing prices amid an escalating price war, reports Shukan Jitsuwa (Nov. 7).

The weekly magazine says that those taking advantage of the price falls are not just couples but also salarymen from outside the city.

“Nowadays, cheap love hotels are found in the center of Osaka, in such places as Umeda, Namba and Juso,” says a writer covering the fuzoku (or adult-entertainment) trade. “With prices starting at 4,000 yen, hotels with clean rooms are attracting young couples and middle-aged persons engaging in extramarital affairs. There is also no shortage of salarymen who have missed the last train and are renting rooms solo.”

As to salarymen, the magazine says that many who arrive in Osaka on business trips are skipping conventional inns and choosing love hotels, which is fueling the drop in prices.

In the Juso district, hotel San Patchi typically rents rooms on weekdays at an overnight rate of 3,800 yen. However, it is now offering one room (specifically #212, which is referred to as the “lucky room”) for 380 yen any day of the week.

Juso is known for its down market nature, says an adult-entertainment employee in the district. “The area has a reputation for it. Possibly, this (380 yen) is the lowest in all of Osaka.”

As to the reason for the start of the price war, the magazine cites the stiffening of measures against the “delivery health” out-call sex trade.

“There was a time when a lot of hotels charged between 2,000 and 3,000 yen for 60 minutes,” says the aforementioned employee, in referring to short-term stays. “But regulation has gotten strict. Now, they are accommodating the salarymen flooding in (from outside the city).”

Shukan Jitsuwa says Osaka’s entrepreneurial spirit is alive and well. (A.T.)

Source: “Saiyasunu ha 380en! Shucho kyaku ga sato suru Naniwa no rabuho shosen,” Shukan Jitsuwa (Nov. 7, page 51)