First and foremost I would like to advise that this post will not be suitable for persons under 18, anyone of a sensitive nature and also my parents!!
The airport in Tokyo isn’t actually in Tokyo. It’s in Narita which is about an hour away. We thought we would be clever and book a hotel in Narita so we didn’t have as far to travel on the morning of our flight. This was our first mistake. Tokyo is very well connected and if we had stayed at our hostel another night we would have had a five minute walk to the tram and then got the train straight to the airport. Although geographically nearer, we had a forty minute walk with our heavy backpacks to get to the train station. So although the train was only ten minutes, it was a much more gruelling journey.
The second and most obvious mistake was that we booked a love hotel. Which is a sex hotel – there wasn’t much emphasis on love here! We had discovered this fact a few days before staying. We had booked everything in advance in Japan, including this hotel. On the Agoda app there is no mention whatsoever of it being a love hotel other than in the small print which nobody reads. (I might start doing so in future) We thought it might be fun to stay in a weird themed hotel and chose this one as it was a Christmas theme. We were excited about having a second Christmas and even bought cheap presents for each other from a 100 Yen shop.
Andrew did some research and the oddest thing is that Japanese people think Christmas is a sexy time. What in the hell is that about? It’s so odd to put these two things together. But there are two main traditions for the Japanese at Christmas. Firstly they have sex on Christmas eve and secondly they eat KFC. Honestly – Google it!! Love hotels in Japan are a big thing because couples who are dating can’t have relations until they are married. And even when they are married they often live with family and the walls are paper thin. So they come to these kind of hotels to “attend to their needs”.
So we arrived quite late on (so we thought) at about half 6pm. At reception a lady scurried out and said we couldn’t check in until 7pm. We thought that was weird. Then realised that people hired it by the hour in the day. I was really wishing I had a blue light so I could check that the room had been properly cleaned! Or maybe I would be better off not knowing!
We sat in the waiting room until we were allowed to check in. It was the strangest waiting room I have ever been in. Three couches sat facing the walls with their backs to each other. This is clearly for privacy for the couples, but it felt icky, especially surrounded by christmas trees and Santa with his overflowing sack.
The room was actually really nice. There was a huge bed and the biggest bath ever! Plus lots of products to use – shampoos, conditioners, body lotions etc. I did have to read everything very carefully – I didn’t want to end up with lube in my hair.
You couldn’t escape from the fact it was clearly a love hotel. Just flicking through the channels you went straight from BBC news to porn. The room service menu was hidden in the magazine rack nestled between porn magazines and lingerie catalogues . There were two vending machines – one was for drinks. I looked excitedly in the other, thinking it might be food. It wasn’t food. It was a vending machine for vibrators. Never in my life have my poor innocent eyes seen anything like it!
There was a hair dryer and even a hair styling blower for volume which I was excited about. I’d had “backpacker hair” for the past three months! Nearer the bed was another box, about the same size as a GHD box. I wondered if it could be straighteners. My hair hadn’t been straight since January! I opened it and was faced with a giant wand style vibrator. It was packaged in a plastic bag which said “sanitised”. So… a communal vibrator. Umm OK then. (In it’s defence it did come with a giant condom-thing which you are to put over it for hygiene. A toy sack – in a Christmas hotel)
We settled in for the night and we soon came to the conclusion that the people upstairs didn’t like the way their room was laid out. They were definitely moving furniture. It wasn’t anything else as it went on for far too long. Also later there were some shouts of glee from another room. It was nice to know that someone else was just as excited about the hair products as I was.
So overall – I would recommend this hotel although more for the experience of trying out an odd Japanese custom rather than for the convenience of the airport. If you would like to nosey at it – it’s here – http://www.chapel-hotel.co.jp/chiba/h05/ But be warned, if you stay here, I don’t think you’ll ever look at Santa in the eye again!