A love hotel is a type of short-stay hotel found in Japan and around the world operated primarily for the purpose of allowing guests privacy for sexual activities. The name originates from "Hotel Love" in Osaka, which was built in 1968 and had a rotating sign. Love hotels offer a room rate for a "rest" (休憩, kyūkei) as well as for an overnight stay. The period of a "rest" varies, typically ranging from one to three hours. These hotels may be used for prostitution, although they are sometimes used by budget-travelers sharing accommodation. Entrances are discreet, and interaction with staff is minimized. Rooms are often selected from a panel of buttons, and the bill may be settled by pneumatic tube, automatic cash machine, or paying an unseen staff member behind a pane of frosted glass. Parking lots will often be concealed and windows will be few, so as to maximize privacy. The history of love hotels (ラブホテル, rabu hoteru) can be traced back to the 17th century. The introduction of the automobile in the 1960s brought with it the "motel" and further spread the concept. Japanese housing trends at the time were characterized by small homes with sleeping areas being used as common areas during the day and, as a result, little opportunity for parents to engage privately in intercourse. Married couples therefore began to frequent love hotels.
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