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Feb 22 2014

Random Japan

AFP explores Japan’s love hotels, teaches you all you need to know

   Philip Kendall

In a recent video shared via YouTube, the AFP News Agency takes a look at the weird and wonderful world of Japan’s love hotels. Around for more than 100 years now, these curious and undeniably Japanese locations are used by everyone from sex-starved couples who live with their families to cheeky travellers looking for a cheap place to crash.

Check out the video for info on everything from how to check in to what you can find inside your room.

One of the best things about love hotels, particularly for the notoriously shy Japanese, is their respect for guests’ privacy. Sure, you may be spotted leaving the hotel in the morning or after a couple of hours of mid-afternoon grown-up fun, but more often than not you’ll never see another soul during your visit. There are even hotels outside of the city that have curtains to draw across the front of your car in the parking lot in order to hide your registration plate from view.

STATS

333

Number of goodbye letters written by kamikaze pilots that officials in Minami-Kyushu have recommended for inclusion in the UNESCO Memory of the World registry

2.61 million

Number of Japanese deer living in Hokkaido in 2011, according to the environment ministry

25 million

Projected population of the deer in 2025

NEWS FROM THE STICKS

Officials from cities that are renowned for their ume (plum) trees held a summit in Tokyo to figure out what to do about a disease called plum pox virus, which has become an “epidemic.”

Researchers at Kinki University and a maker of men’s hair-care products have found that “broccoli sprouts help hair growth.”

A research firm says sales of skin-whitening products dropped just 0.7 percent last year, despite revelations that cosmetics manufactured by Kanebo Corp. caused 10,000 women to suffer blotching on their skin.

Authorities in Hiroshima announced a plan to earthquake-proof the city’s iconic Atomic Bomb Dome.

Kiki Seen

Flying Away

I Denai Saying

What I Said

Secret Bar Sues

Over Not Being Secret

Why do Japanese people wear surgical masks? It’s not always for health reasons

By Casey Baseel

LIFESTYLE FEB. 22, 2014 – 06:25AM JST

TOKYO –

The number of people you’ll see in Japan wearing surgical masks is pretty surprising. Sure, Japan is a hard working society, and the spread of productivity-sapping sickness is always a concern at schools and workplaces, but that doesn’t seem like reason enough for the proliferation of facial coverings that sometimes has Tokyo offices looking more like an operating room.

Health concerns are only part of the equation, though, as recent studies have revealed multiple reasons people in Japan wear masks that have nothing to do with hygiene.