Japanese Love Hotels
Peter Marlow’s images explore the empty rooms of love hotels that play host to the intimate moments of Kyoto inhabitants
Love hotels are a uniquely different Japanese tradition. In a country where homes are small and families stay together because of high living costs, love hotels originally began as a private refuge for young couples still living at home, but have since become an integrated part of Japan’s increasingly futuristic landscape. The hotels are usually located near motorway interchanges and rooms can be rented by the hour or by the night. Everything is provided to meet the needs of couples, from condoms to sex-toys, and the rooms, considerably large by Japanese standards, are lavishly decorated according to various themes and settings. Access is gained electronically by using a credit card, often from an underground car park, and secrecy is of the utmost importance. The process is completely devoid of any and all human contact, apart from that shared by the couples themselves.