Secretive about dating
Deaths now outpace births, marriage is plummeting, and young people aren’t having sex.The media are calling it sekkusu shinai shokogun, or “celibacy syndrome”—an alarming trend that has the Japanese government funnelling tax dollars into speed dating and matchmaking services over fears of an impending economic collapse.But in a neon-lit pocket of Tokyo’s Shibuya district, BDSM equipment, mirrored ceilings, vibrating beds, and condom vending machines paint a different reality.Welcome to Love Hotel Hill, where Japan's sex industry is flourishing.True to their moniker, pay-by-the-hour love hotels cater to Japan’s sexually active crowd, and increasingly, tourists.It’s estimated that more than half of sex in Japan occurs in love hotels—a multibillion-dollar business that accounts for a quarter of Japan’s sex industry.There are more than 30,000 love hotels in the country, and hundreds in Tokyo alone.With increasing life expectancies, the rising age of marriage, and high population density, multigenerational households are ubiquitous.
Patrons can make cash-only transactions with clerks stationed behind opaque screens to guarantee anonymity. The customer is shown a panel of photos of available rooms and features.
They push a button to make their selection, which triggers a trail of lights that leads them directly to the room.