Dogenzaka: Guide to Exploring Love Hotels in Shibuya 

If you’re looking for a unique experience during your trip to Japan, love hotels might just be the perfect option. While love hotels are most often used by couples, you can also go by yourself if you want to experience a more hidden side of Japan. Now, visiting love hotels is quickly becoming a popular activity for tourists!

Love hotels are a common sight in Japan – especially in Shibuya. From themed rooms to private Jacuzzis, love hotels in Shibuya provide a one-of-a-kind experience that is sure to leave a lasting impression. This area is known for its wide variety and selection of love hotels; in fact, there are so many love hotels along one street that it is known as Love Hotel Hill (or 道玄坂 dougenzaka)! But, what is a love hotel exactly? How does it work? And, which ones should you visit with your loved one in Shibuya? Whether you’re celebrating a special occasion or simply looking to stay the night for the experience, join us as we dive into the world of love hotels in Shibuya.

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What are love hotels?

Love hotels (or ラブホ, rabuho) are hotels specifically created to give couples some private time together. Love hotels are typically rented by the hour, making them a popular choice for couples looking for a short-term stay. They are also known for their unique and often themed rooms, which can range from romantic to quirky.

Many young couples in Japan live with their parents until they get married, making it difficult for them to find a private space to spend time together. Love hotels provide a solution to this problem by offering a discreet and comfortable environment for couples to enjoy each other’s company. In addition to the issue of parents, many Japanese apartments are quite small with thin walls, so they aren’t ideal places to have a romantic evening.

Many love hotels also have different themes, so it’s a fun way to spend the night, even if you’re traveling alone or with friends. These aspects, combined with the relative affordability and privacy, are what make love hotels so popular.

You can usually find them in or next to red-light districts, so there’s an overall mature feeling to the area.

How do You Book a Love Hotel in Shibuya?

Many times, you don’t need a reservation for a love hotel. (This makes it easier for impromptu visits.) Once you’re in the right area, you can simply wander the street and look at the signs; many love hotels will have a heart symbol outside, so you can instantly know you’ve found what you’re looking for. You can see pictures of the rooms as well, so you can choose a hotel that looks interesting to you. Many rooms have features that make them stand out from a regular hotel; you can find rooms with things such as saunas, mirrored ceilings, hot tubs, or even game consoles!

Next, you’ll need to decide how long you want to stay. If you know you’ll need the room for just a little bit, you can rent by the hour! But, if you want to take a little longer, you can also rent a room for the whole night like a regular hotel. You’ll see two different rates posted outside – the hourly rate and the nightly rate. (Sometimes, you’ll see “rest” and “stay” rates, but these are the same as hourly and nightly.) This is another good way to determine if the hotel is a love hotel! The nightly rates are usually similar to regular hotels in the area, so you don’t have to worry about spending a fortune (unless it’s a very high-end place).

Now it’s time to check-in. Since privacy and anonymity are an important part of staying discreet, you usually won’t see the desk attendant – and they won’t see you. Nowadays, you can simply book your stay through a touch screen or by telephone at the front. But, if you need to, you can find the attendant hidden behind a heavy curtain or screen at the desk. There’s usually a small opening that they use to interact with you (mostly handling payments), so they never see your face.

And that’s it! You can now head up to your chosen room and enjoy all it has to offer.

So, that’s what love hotels are and how they work. But, which one should you choose? While love hotels can be found in all major cities, the ones in Shibuya, Tokyo tend to be exceptionally good; they range from fancy to quirky! As mentioned before, they even have a whole street named for them! Then, where do you go to Shibuya?

Popular Love Hotels in Shibuy: Love Hotel Hill

Sweets Hotel: for those with a sweet tooth

Ever want to spend a night somewhere that makes your mouth water? Sweets Hotel is the place for you! Actually two hotels right next to each other, one is candy-themed while the other is chocolate-themed! As with many love hotels, different rooms have different features, so each room is unique; rooms can include such sugary features as doughnut pillows, faux chocolate baths, or even a carousel! The hotels also have free open-air baths and karaoke rooms that are open 24 hours. If all this makes you hungry, no worries – you can also get free cakes or chocolates depending on which hotel you go to! These hotels are a perfect way to indulge in some sweet fun.

Coco Bali: for those wanting a jungle retreat

Sometimes, we just want to escape the city and head into some nature. At Coco Bali, you can experience relaxing Indonesian nature without even having to leave Tokyo! This small but stylish hotel offers guests a chance to sleep in rooms filled with stone animal statues, jungle plants, and themed music4.It also offers free video-on-demand services, a large variety of free shampoos and conditioners, and free medicine (especially for hangovers). Coco Bali is budget-friendly as well! So, you can forget backpacking into the remote wilderness – this hotel has everything you need for a unique experience!

Hotel Sulata: for those looking for a classy time

One aspect of hotels that many enjoy is the chance to feel pampered. Hotel Sulata can give you this feeling and more! Their rooms are both elegant and colorful, with some rooms having designer brick walls and stylish floral motifs; all of the bathrooms even contain spacious tubs with a mounted TV. They also offer a wide variety of amenities that are sure to impress: a free welcome drink and dessert, video-on-demand services, free breakfast for guests that stay all night (unusual for love hotels!), free parking, and a translation service for foreigners! Hotel Sulata is definitely the place to stay when treating yourself to the finer things in life.

Hotel Lotus: for those who need to relax

After the hustle and bustle of the day, sometimes all we want to do is unwind in peace. With rooms filled with sleek wood décor and delicate backlighting, Hotel Lotus is the ideal place to recharge! Hotel Lotus seeks to provide relaxation while also showcasing Japan’s culture; this means that they offer such services as yukata and traditional costume rentals, outdoor baths with garden views, and karaoke rooms. Some rooms have also tatami flooring and traditional baths made from Japanese cypress wood (which contains aromatic and insect-repelling oils) for a more old-fashioned experience. Of course, there are also rooms with more modern elements, such as darts, planetariums, manga libraries, beer and shochu taps, and even a water bed! With such a wide variety of options, you will be sure to find something to unwind with at Hotel Lotus!

Hotel Two-Way: for those that want to party

Finally, we have Hotel Two-Way. Many love hotels that offer spaces to host parties, but Hotel Two-Way takes it up another notch! Their party rooms come equipped with karaoke, and you can order food and drinks directly from the hotel. Many love hotels are also becoming popular spots for girls’ nights out and sleepovers; Hotel Two-Way offers a discount plan just for those wanting women-only parties! Aside from this amazing feature, the rooms at this hotel are spacious with plenty of mood lighting. In total, this is a great place to party at all times of the night with all of your favorite people. 

Places to visit near Shibuya Love Hotels

The cluster of love hotels in Shibuya, which earned its nickname Love Hotel Hills, is located in Dogenzaka — just a 3-minute walk from Shibuya Station! In fact, the way to Dogenzaka is one of the branches you’ll take as you cross Shibuya Crossing (check out our Shibuya guide here).

Some of the most popular places to visit near Shibuya love hotels include the Shibuya Crossing, Yoyogi Park, and the Meiji Jingu Shrine. These attractions offer a great way to explore the city and spend quality time with your significant other.

Check out other Shibuya-related articles:


Whether you are looking for somewhere private to end date night or just looking for a fun place to stay, love hotels can be a great option! They are often the same or cheaper than a regular hotel, have many unique features, and are quickly becoming an important part of modern Japanese culture. So, even if you aren’t a young Japanese person looking for a discreet place, staying at a love hotel is a great way to see the hidden side of Japan!

Additionally, we here at Coto Academy are opening a new branch right in Shibuya! If visiting a loved hotel doesn’t sound like fun to you, why not practice your Japanese instead? You can learn more about our convenient new location here!

Contact us to learn Japanese in Tokyo or Yokohama! Get a free level check and consultation!

What is a love hotel?

A love hotel is a type of hotel in Japan that offers short-term accommodations primarily for couples looking for privacy and intimacy. These hotels are designed to provide a discreet and romantic atmosphere, often featuring themed rooms, luxurious amenities, and unique services.

Are love hotels only for couples?

Love hotels are primarily designed for couples seeking privacy, but they are also open to individuals or friends who need a place to stay. However, keep in mind that some love hotels may have policies regarding the number of guests or room occupancy.

What are the rates for love hotels in Tokyo?

The rates for love hotels in Tokyo can vary depending on factors such as location, room type, amenities, and the time of day. Generally, rates are calculated on a per-hour basis, with a minimum stay of a few hours. Prices can range from around 3,000 to 15,000 yen or more for a short stay, while overnight stays may cost between 10,000 and 25,000 yen.

How discreet are love hotels in Tokyo?

Many love hotels have discrete check-in processes, often using automated machines or minimal contact with staff.

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