Japan, you may be aware, has some things that we don't really have here in the ol U.S. of A.
One of those things is the Love Hotel, a $40 billion industry that comprises exactly what you think it does: pay-by-the-hour guesthouses for all manner of illicit rendezvous.
Obviously you should check one out (for science) next time you head to the Land of the Rising Sun. Until then, check out the video above for a peek inside Sendai's Hotelion, care of YouTuber cmbroad44 (aka "Abroad in Japan").
Here are the broad ... strokes.
As the host explains in the video, many Japanese couples live in multi-generational homes with "walls made of paper."
There are no windows.
Exhibitionists, move along.
You pay as you go.
Renting a room is typically charged by the hour and you pay as you go. The hotels also tend to offer massive discounts to keep you there (read: $51/hour, but just $127 for 16 consecutive hours). They also try to entice visitors into longer stays with cheap food, drinks and movies.
There are "extra-special" amenities.
In lieu of a minibar, try massage oils, condoms, eyemasks and a vibrator.
Discretion is paramount.
Vistors communicate with staff via slats and hidden windows. When you pay, you do so via an electronic machine on the wall.
The soap is unscented.
So your two o'clock meeting won't know where you, ahem, came from.
They have weird dimensions.
Vaguely true stereotypes aside (the average Japanese male is just 5'6"), what's up with those low ceilings? Seems like that feature would severely limit positional creativity.
They have weird costumes.
Reusable costumes. That you can rent. How adorably eco-conscious and not-at-all disgusting.
Yes, you can order an escort.
Or, "Delivery Health," as the magazine directories call them.
The history of bizarre and — depending on your proclivities — offputting fantasies that have been realized in this room is a long and unthinkable one.
So basically it's just like every other hotel room.