Hotel Chapel Christmas
The whole building is eye-wateringly bright, and resplendent with Christmas bells, trees and glow-in-the-dark Santas.
For the westerner, Christmas is all about family, food and sometimes church. Not so in Japan. For the Japanese, Christmas is fun and sexy. So what better way to celebrate Christmas than by visiting a Christmas-themed love hotel room?
Hotel Chapel Christmas is a Japanese love hotel that’s based on – you guessed it – Christmas. (In Japan, a love motel is a place where couples can rent rooms by the hour.) For an overview of these quirky Japanese establishments, see Love Hotels.
Hidden away in the backstreets of Osaka, you’d be forgiven for thinking this bright green and pink love hotel is some sort of children’s play centre or a circus school. But it’s actually a very adult place where couples come to rent rooms by the hour.
Once you’ve made it past the smiling Santa at the door, there is a cosy reception area decorated with a giant, twinkling Christmas tree. There is also a bright panel of photos, covered with plastic holly wreaths, that shows all the Chapel Christmas hotel rooms. If the room photo is lit up, it means it’s available. Press the lit picture, and the elevator will light up and Christmas carols start to play.
The elevator (of course – it’s Japanese) knows which floor to take you to, and once there, twinkling Christmas lights flow like arrows to direct you to the right room. Just in case you’re not sure, there is a Christmas wreath above your door with Santa’s face on it. This lights up to show you’ve found the right place, and aren’t about to walk in on another couple having sex.
Inside the rooms, there are rubber slippers with ‘Hotel Chapel Christmas’ emblazoned on them in gold letters. In Japan, it’s customary to take your shoes off when you go into homes, restaurants and even police stations. Love hotels are no exception.
The rooms are decorated with, of course, more Christmas wreaths, baubles, bells and so on, and the decor is a festive red and green.
The rooms come in different sizes, but most have the standard love hotel fare of a Jacuzzi bathtub and big, luxury bed. Japan is a very clean culture, and couples will generally bath before having sex.
Hotel Chapel Christmas also offers a massaging chair, and a large TV with games console and surround sound.
Open the cabinet under the TV to discover Hotel Chapel Christmas mugs, which you can purchase as a souvenir of your stay. (You can also purchase Hotel Chapel Christmas-themed watches and jewellery, and get a loyalty card which stores up points and discounts.) You’ll also find karaoke microphones for that post-sex singing session so popular in Japan.
Fancy a drink? There’s an electric mini bar containing beer, oolong tea and green tea. You can also make yourself a cup of hot tea with the mugs and kettle provided.
Forgotten the sex toys? A cabinet is supplied for purchasing lubricant, vibrators and the like. Open the door, remove an item and the cost will be automatically added to your room tab.
Santa hopes you enjoyed your stay at the Hotel Chapel Christmas. You’ll certainly never look at Christmas in the same way again!
This article and the accompanying photographs are by Susanna Quinn, author of Glass Geishas. Unmissable Japan would like to thank Susanna for her generous contribution to this website.