The Real Life Heartbreak Hotel
Today's incredible story comes courtesy of two bloggers, Anglo-American Michael John Grist and Canadian Mike's Blender, both of whom have lived in Japan and on a trip together, made an amazing discovery deep in the Japanese countryside.
Most people have probably heard about the unique element of Japan's built environment known colloquially as love hotels. These short stay hotels are furnished in a style that could kindly be deemed lurid and chintzy, and they're always pay-by-the-hour. In short, they exist for one purpose and one purpose alone and I doubt I need to elucidate further. But the Pearl Love Hotel takes this curious phenomenon to a whole new level. It's actually a vintage love hotel, abandoned and left to disintegrate and decompose under a forest of twisting vines, deep in the Japanese countryside.
The two men found the Pearl on a back road in Tochigiul when it was already well into its journey of becoming one with the natural surroundings. There was also evidence of squatters having used the motel as shelter after its abandonment.
Many of the rooms are still somewhat intact and the details astound. The 2-story executive suite, which boasts red flock wallpaper and a circular quilted, mirrored love nest, remains essentially undisturbed.
The explorers believe the hotel is about 20 to 30 years old and was originally built in a time when love hotels didn't have the karaoke bars and vibrating chairs that Japanese (and Chinese) patrons are used to enjoying in modern times. But the most puzzling query is also the most basic: what happened here? Why was the Pearl abandoned? The answer is probably simple economics – but that doesn't change the fact that through its abandonment, the Pearl has become part of a creepy, surreal, and magical world that is the ultimate fate of all structures in the manmade environment.
Bravo to Michael John Grist and Mike's Blender for an incredible find and an amazing post. Check out their video, too.