Our reporter Yuichiro Wasai visited a love hotel in Paris, France to see how they differed from Japanese ones, and left emotionally scarred.

One famous feature of Japan is its plethora of love hotels. These are special lodgings with the main purpose of going for a brief romantic rendezvous. However, it is also not uncommon to just use a love hotel by yourself as a place to stay and rest up for a bit in a habit known as okyukei.

An okyukei is just what Yuichiro had in mind when he stumbled across an actual love hotel in Paris, France while on a trip. The building’s exterior was already markedly different from Japanese love hotels. It was much less discrete with “Love Hotel” prominently written in large letters above the entrance.

Thinking this would be a unique experience he walked in to see about rates. Little did he know how truly unique an experience he was in for.

Upon entering the love hotel, Yuichiro found himself surrounded by shelves and shelves of adult toys in a variety of rod and hole based shapes and rainbow of colors. There were also all kinds of ropes and enema kits to suit anyone’s specific needs.

“So, this is the country that gave us the Marquis de Sade,” thought Yuichiro when he was startled by a sudden “Monsieur!” from behind. Looking back he saw a woman in a white coat beckoning him.

He didn’t know her name, but Yuichiro thought she looked like an “Edwarda,” a very stylish woman in her thirties or forties. He asked her if he could get a room, but she informed him that rooms are only for couples, but there were “special packages” for single guests as well.

This was the first of many occasions that Yuichiro sensed danger.

▼ The first floor of the love hotel sold adult toys. The second floor had rooms for couples to use, and the basement was for single guests.

The two conversed in English, which Yuichiro can manage for shopping and other basic travel situations. However, some of the language Edwarda was throwing his way was too advanced. There were plans such as the F-something, S-something, and A-something for 400 to 800 euros (US$443-$887).

Yuichiro wasn’t sure what those were and Edwarda kept gesturing to her mouth, crotch, and butt while listing them off. He mentioned that he saw “massage” written on the sign outside, and she told him it costs 200 euros ($222).

Yuichiro: “But I don’t have that much.”

Edwarda: “Do you have a credit card? We accept Visa and Mastercard.”

Yuichiro: [lying] “No, I left it at my hotel.”

Edwarda: “I see… Well it’s a good thing you came today, because we’re having a special sale! A massage is only 100 euros!”

Yuichiro accepted and they went to pay in advance. He also asked if he could take pictures of his room. Edwarda said yes but no photos of his masseuse.

Edwarda: “Okay, that’ll be 300 euros, please.”

Yuichiro: “Wha? No. I’m just getting a massage.”

Edwarda: “Really? That’s weird because our staff are really great. People usually get the s-plan.”

Yuichiro: “No thank you, just a normal massage please.”

Edwarda: “I…see… Well, that will be 100 Euros. Just a moment and we’ll head downstairs.”

They walked back to the front of the love hotel and Yuichiro was surprised to see a receptionist working there. Japanese love hotels are usually run by machine to facilitate clandestine romantic encounters, but he figured French people weren’t hung up on stuff like that.

Once payment was made, Edwarda led him to a small gap in between shelves of sex toys. They slowly went into the basement which had black lights and eerily cheery symphonic music playing like something from a Studio Ghibli film. Suddenly, he heard a sound echo through the corridor.

Strange voice: “Aaaaaaahh AaaAAAAaaaaah AH!”

It reminded Yuichiro of the opening to the “Immigrant Song” by Led Zeppelin. As the two made their way into the corridor, Yuichiro heard other shouts of “oh yes” and creaking beds. Oddly enough, it all seemed to be in time with the piped-in music that was playing.

Edwarda stopped in front of one of the many doors lining the hallway and opened it. Yuichiro wasted no time getting some shots of a French love hotel room.

Edwarda told him to wait a moment and his masseuse would be down shortly. Yuichiro sat on the bed and was unsettled when he noticed that he was surrounded by mirrors. However, what he saw next terrified him to the core.

It was a credit card reader! Yuichiro had already paid, which could only mean that they intended to bilk extra payments out of him during his massage. Panic gripped his heart when suddenly he heard a knock at the door. He sat in silence hopping the person would just go away.

But they did not and he stared in terror as the doorknob slowly turned, and when the door creaked open he heard a peppy “bonjour!”

“Maradona…” thought Yuichiro. Of course it wasn’t the actual Diego Maradona but a woman who bore an uncanny resemblance to the Argentine soccer legend. And she wasn’t Maradona in his prime either, she was more like Maradona the coach.

She sat down next to Yuichiro on the bed which gave him a momentary thrill. This was certainly the closest he has ever been to sports history. That excitement was short-lived, however, as Maradona suddenly kissed him.

Yuichiro recoiled and looked back at El 10 who was sitting lips puckered and waiting for his return kiss.

At a loss, he simply looked at the floor. Maradona crept up and whispered in his ear, “Relax.”

This, of course, had the opposite effect.

Maradona: “Today is your lucky day!”

Yuichiro: “?”

Maradona: “Because today is a very very special day. The s-plan is only 50 euros.”

Yuichiro: “Nooooooo.”

Maradona: “Oh, sweetie.”

And so the massage began. Maradona gestured for Yuichiro to remove all his clothes, but he kept his pants on. He knew if he took off his pants he would only be inviting some funny business and all of the added charges that came along with it. No, he would keep his pants on at all costs.

Maradona prepared some lotions and began working on Yuichiro’s arms and neck. Considering the extreme tension he was going through, the massage actually was kind of nice. The Cosmic Kite turned out to be a decent masseuse after all. There was a little more stroking that usual, but not bad.

Then, Maradona stopped and looked a little troubled. She pointed at his belt buckle and began rubbing her wrist. He knew that she was trying to get him to remove it because it was hurting her, but he wasn’t born yesterday. He knew Maradona was taking a dive, and refused to award her a free kick.

She reluctantly continued the massage occasionally flicking at his belt but Yuichiro didn’t budge. Then things turned ugly. Flashing a sinister smile Maradona forcibly went for the pants and pulled them off. Yuichiro still had his underwear though, and vowed to keep those on at all costs.

He gripped the waist band with both hands in an act of defiance which seemed to work. Maradona withdrew her attack but began to change tactics. Continuing the massage, she started blowing hard onto his underwear, much like one might into an old NES cartridge.

Yuichiro understood what was happening. Rather than violence Maradona was attempting to get him in the mood for some additional charges. Luckily there wasn’t anything remotely arousing about what she was doing and Yuichiro held his ground. After a final “fuuuuuu” Maradona just sat there dejectedly like a young boy whose Ninja Gaiden game still wouldn’t load.

Then she said “excuse me” and left. Yuichiro quickly went for his clothes. He was still oiled up from the massage and the fabric clung to his skin, but he didn’t care. This nightmare was about to finally end.

However, then things got really weird…

Maradona returned with Edwarda. The two were topless and wheeled in a television set with an adult video playing on it. They began dancing and told Yuichiro that this was “dancing minutes” where each minute of topless dancing would be an additional charge and since there were two of them, it would cost double.

It was then that Yuichiro’s panic turned to fury. He began to recall his training in aikido as his hands tensed up, muscles swelling. Japanese fighting spirit was about to erupt in this basement of a Parisian love hotel!

He raised both of his hands in the direction of the women and struck them together…once, then twice…faster and faster.

In other words, he applauded Maradona and Edwarda for their lovely dance with a big buffoonish smile on his face. You see, in many Japanese martial arts students are taught to use their opponent’s own force against them and that is exactly what he did. Instead of raising a stink and trying to fight them, he embraced their efforts with a polite compliment which also indirectly showed that he saw no sexual stimulation from what they were doing.

And it worked! Caught completely off guard, the women initially looked shocked but suddenly both of them smiled warmly. Yuichiro seized the moment and got up saying, “Well, thank you for showing me a great dance. I’d better go now.” He then walked past them, up the stairs, out the door and off to a much-needed shower.

And so, in conclusion: Yes, French love hotels are very different from Japanese love hotels.

Original article by Yuichiro Wasai
Illustrations by Shoko Inaba
Photos by RocketNews24
[ Read in Japanese ]