This is the part two of Stippy.com’s Love Hotel in Japan series, showcasing the best, weirdest, and more interesting love hotels in Japan. Part one was the introduction to the series, and from today onwards, we will be introducing a different love hotel, and delving deep inside with our cameras and camcorders to show you the darker underbelly of Japanese culture.
First up, is the famous Casa Di Due in Shibuya, Tokyo. (See the video of the Casa Di Due near the bottom of the article. It really captures the disco like atmosphere – from the flashy lights on the outside, the crazy waiting room and lit-up hallways, right into the actual room, and the bed of joy!)
The love hotel is an icon of Japanese culture, the thought of which warms the hearts (and loins), of both Japanese and foreigners alike.
The Casa Di Due is without a doubt one of the most colourful love hotels in Shibuya’s Dogenzaka area. For those in the know, Dogenzaka is the road that curves up the hill from Shibuya’s Hachiko meeting area. The streets get seedier and darker with every block walked, and right up the top, where you think the shops are just ending opens a whole new world – the Shibuya Love Hotel Town.
Unlike many other establishments, the Casa Di Due front is bright and inviting, with large menus and price boards out on the road. It definitely stands out from the pack. And as we were to find out, it had an amazing range of things to do, even if the rooms were small, and the building much less stable that it looked!
Upon entering the building, there is a large, pink waiting lounge, with a number of mannequins wearing various costumes. It was a Saturday night, and to stay for the night, you have to check in from either 10pm or 12am. The Casa is one of the few that let you in from 10pm. Most hotels in Shibuya were surprisingly full at this time, but perhaps due to its slightly obscure location off the main drag, there were a couple of rooms open. The decor of the entrance, the signs suggesting free costume rental, free PlayStation 3 rental (wow!), and a full room service-type menu were very intriguing!
After about 5 seconds of deliberation, we pressed the button on the lit up selection board of rooms, reserving the one that was to become our love pad for the night, paid cash at the waist-high window, received a key, and headed upstairs (carefully avoiding eye-contact with other couples who were on their way out, after enjoying their “rest” together during the day). The elevator had flashy lights, and was covered in posters explaining the benefits of becoming a member of the Casa (more free toy rentals, no membership fee, etc). Arriving at the 3rd floor, the hallway was very trippy – pitch black except for vertical lines of small bright lights (shown in the video clip below). This place was becoming an experience already!
The room itself was much smaller than it looked on the front board. The most striking feature was the massive plasma tv! At at least 42 inches, two of them probably wouldn’t have fit sideways in the room. The room itself was very clean and tidy, although like all Japanese hotels (and many companies), the air conditioner was on winter settings so it was about 28 degrees and stinking hot! As a hot-blooded gaijin, the first thing I had to do was turn that right down!
This hotel obviously prides itself on its service, fun things to do, and variety. Having a plasma tv half the size of the room, and a free PlayStation 3 rental service, I was straight on the phone to the front desk. I dialed 9, the receptionist picked up (from inside her waist high window), and put me through to the rental service. I asked for a PlayStation, and she said “which number?”. Apparently each game (and other toy) has a number so could I please find that and call back. Sitting next to the bed were 2 massive folders of instructions, game machines and game lists (PlayStation 2 and 3, Nintendo WII, Game Cube etc), DVD list (Hollywood movies, lots of anime movies, classic music, and also a number of Japanese adult DVDs), menus of costumes for rent, and a comprehensive food menu. Such a wide selection of things to do!
So I excitedly rang back to get a PlayStation, recalling that I had gawked longly at one at the Bic Camera at the bottom of Dogenzaka on the way up, but was shocked and dismayed to hear that all the PlayStations had been rented! There wouldn’t be any back until the morning. I was definitely not impressed, and felt ripped off as that was one of the major attractions. I began to wonder if maybe they only had one, and used that to lure people in, with first in at 10.01pm, first served. At about that time, the building started to creak and shake from above, and I surmised that the couple directly above were not the ones with the PlayStation. The building itself was surprisingly NOT sound proof, and NOT so stable. The beds were also quite old, very creaky, and not entirely comfortable.
Another issue was room service delivery. Every time you order anything, say hypothetically a high-school girl uniform, and someone delivers it to your room, opening the door and facing that person definitely takes away any anonymity you may have had. (Although reception has a number of security cameras, so there is really none from the beginning.) But not entirely ideal for easily embarrassed people.
The Casa Di Due really outdid themselves on the food selection! This above picture is only one page of about 10. Food ranged from Japanese to Western, as well as Chinese and South East Asian dishes. It also included a full range of drinks, with pints of beer reasonable priced at 530 yen. I assume that the microwave on the bedside table was for reheating some of this food?!
Next to the bed, and below the TV was both a fridge with a mini-bar, and also a vending machine selling various adult toys. This was fairly annoying as it emitted a dodgy pink glow, which didn’t turn off all night.
Anyway, its time for the video, this is just slapped together quickly while we were in the hotel (we had more important things to do than videoing!) but, hopefully this should give a good picture of what the inside of the “Casa” was like.
Enjoy “Casa di Due”:
QuickTime is required for this video, in order to view in full H.264 Quality.
All in all, it was a fun experience, and there was lots to do, although the PlayStation incident was somewhat grating. The cost was around 14,000 yen, which is not bad for a Saturday night, right in the middle of Shibuya. They lost points on size, the actual building itself, and the bed. But they gained points from pure effort in trying to make the place interesting and fun, and for the wide variety of toys and food. A generous 6.5/10.
Casa Di Due: