Why are there Xmas-themed love hotels

You can see Santa on top of one from parts of Enoshima beach, which makes for a rather bizarre sunbathing experience.

I’ve always assumed it’s because Xmas day is the chief day for romantic meals and love hotel trips in Japan, even more so than Valentine’s Day (which is mainly taken up with distributing giri choko to your colleagues). According to Japanzine, however, it’s because there’s something pervy about Santa:

Santa’s Xmas Shame

The thing I really learned from that article is that they are all part of one chain, so the alternative explanation is that it was a random business decision and that there’s nothing cultural going on at all.

More on Japanese Xmas:

Japanese Xmas explained

or click on the category below for more posts on the topic.

Photo stolen from here.

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Why do the Japanese have their names outside their houses?

This one puzzled me for a while, because most Japanese didn’t strike me as the kinds of people who’d want every stranger passing in the street to know their names and where they live (especially if there name is Gomi like someone in my street!) It turns out the reason is because several houses in the same street/ block have the exact same postal address and so the only way post and guests can reach the right one is by reading your name outside. This is also why post that is addressed to you sometimes doesn’t get there if you don’t stick your name outside (and JPLT refuse to send you anything if it isn’t) or c/o someone whose name is there, although all these things are less true for flats (apaato, mansion, coopo etc) as it has a distinctive building name and then an individual room number.

Getting back to my original query on why the Japanese would be happy to have that system, despite seeming to be very private at times, privacy is not a Japanese system (hence the use of the borrowed English word in Japanese), and certainly not privacy from your neighbours!

The Japanese street and home (non) numbering system is explained someone else on this blog somewhere- one of the pages perhaps??

Why is “Heights” the part of the name of so many buildings that are neither high rise nor on a hill?

The author of Angry White Pyjamas asks this question in the book.

Like the (originally German) word Heim, for some reason it came to be g general word for something halfway between an apaato (アパート, from a shortening of “apartment”, a wooden, usually two storey set of rabbit hutches) and manshon (マンション, from mansion, a usually high rise concrete block of flats, sometimes translated as “condo”), for example a two storey apartment building with thin concrete walls. The Mori company is guilty of something similar with the more recent of their “…Hills” developments, which have lost all connection to slopes. In the same way, I’m guessing one company started abusing the word “Heights” and it caught on.

Gaijin stat of the day