The world of Japanese love hotels is a fascinating topic for non-Japanese audiences. While a facility to release your inner kink or just meet up for a romantic getaway may seem that strange to most people, the sheer volume of them (Japan has well over 30,000--four of which are across the street from my office) and normality with which they are treated with can be somewhat jarring. Moreover, many of the themed hotels and utilities for facilitating sex they sport are so detailed that one can't help but see a surreal underworld of sexual fantasy. Their existence, however, does have a reasonably explained function.

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Source: Misty Keasler

Many housing situations in Japan are short on space, and so a lack of intimacy can be a problem. Living with one's parents is also not totally unusual, even post university, so they provide getaways to explore fantasies, which explains hotels of the themed variety.

In many of these hotels you can expect automated paying systems that track you based on the time you spend there (and sometimes don't let you out until you've paid!), as well as rooms equipped with vending machines to dispense not just consumable goods, but sex toys as well.

It's not easy to get inside without actually going for their intended purpose, but photographer Misty Keasler has provided us a look into some of the themed rooms at love hotels, which range from cutesy, to elaborate, to even dark. These photos come from her beautiful series, Love Hotels: The Hidden Fantasy Rooms of Japan.

Classroom Fantasy.

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Source: Misty Keasler

'Tis the Season!

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Source: Misty Keasler

A train? This could get bumpy.

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Source: Misty Keasler

Pretty self-explanatory--oh hey, dat wallpaper tho.

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Source: Misty Keasler

We're willing to bet that fridge isn't just for drinks.

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Source: Misty Keasler

That fan isn't period!

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Source: Misty Keasler

Hopefully this plays music to set the mood.

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Source: Misty Keasler

If you run into somebody you know, hide behind the tree.

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Source: Misty Keasler

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Source: Misty Keasler

Subtle.

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Source: Misty Keasler

Just so you don't get lonely in the bathtub.

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Source: Misty Keasler

Medical! That picture really ties the room together.

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Source: Misty Keasler

Sail the seven seas!

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Source: Misty Keasler

Hopefully you wouldn't describe your experience as "Frosty."

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Source: Misty Keasler

Gotta stay warm!

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Source: Misty Keasler

'Ol reliable.

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Source: Misty Keasler

Hello...Kitty!

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Source: Misty Keasler

Winter wonderland.

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Source: Misty Keasler

If only the cake were real!

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Source: Misty Keasler

S&M/Insane Asylum/Art Gallery--take your pick!

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Source: Misty Keasler


By - grape Japan editorial staff.