Love hotels (ラブホテル, also known as boutique or fashion hotels) are hotels that offer double rooms for short periods of time. Typically you can rent a room for a minimum of one to three hours during the day, called a "rest", or for the whole night, called a "stay", which usually starts after 10 pm. As the name suggests, the main purpose of love hotels is to provide couples with a room to spend some undisturbed time together.
The rooms are equipped according to their purpose with large double beds, a television offering erotic programs, a nice bathroom, etc. Some love hotels are themed and may come properly equipped or with items such as costumes available to rent or buy.
Love hotels are found all over Japan, and they can usually be recognized because of their strange looks and signs advertising "rest" and "stay" rates. In large cities there are love hotel districts, such as Tokyo's Love Hotel Hill in Shibuya, where many different hotels can be found together. In smaller cities they are often found near major roads on the city outskirts.
A stay overnight costs around 8000 yen. The room fee for a rest during the day is usually a little bit lower (3000 to 7000 yen), while on weekends, the prices can be much higher. The reception at a love hotel is very anonymous. The guests usually choose a room on a board by pressing a button and then pay at a little window where the receptionist behind cannot be seen.