13 Feb '14, 5am

Japan's 'love hotels' see business booming. PICTURES:

TOKYO (AFP) - From rooms kitted out like medical clinics where couples can play "doctors and nurses" to grottos where it is permanently Christmas, Japan's "love hotels" cater to almost every taste, offering a few hours of reasonably-priced privacy in a crowded country. And with the kind of occupancy rates that most hotels can only dream of, even during economic hard times, they are an almost recession-proof business, and a sector that is sure to see a bump over Valentine's Day. One weekday lunchtime at Two-Way, one of many love hotels in the lively Tokyo district of Shibuya, only two of the 34 rooms are vacant. "At this time of day it will be mostly couples having affairs," said Mr Masakatsu Tsunoda, who has been in the business for 15 years and has owned the place for five. "In the evening it will be mostly younger people." The concept of a love hotel is simple: Rooms can...

Full article: http://www.straitstimes.com/the-big-story/valentines-day-...

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