Friday, Jan. 22, 2010

Find a Whole Lotta Love

Like many things in Japan, a private room with a bit of atmosphere is available at the push of a button. Couples looking for a "rest" of 2 to 3 hours or an overnight stay at one of the country's 30,000 love hotels can choose themes that range from Hello Kitty S&M and mountain lodges to high school–classroom and subway-car chic. Select the mood of your choice by button or touchscreen, grab the key from the anonymous clerk at a rate of anywhere from $50 to $250, and step into the bizarre. Fluorescent wall paintings at Shinjuku's Hotel Chez Moi transform rooms into underwater caves or spaceships as music plays from the "body-sonic" bed. Don't forget to take your point-rewards card.

— By Coco Masters