Bleak Scenes

Abandoned places, lesser-known attractions, and assorted oddities

Asahikawa Love Hotel District


While touring Hokkaido in 2014, I read about an abandoned love hotel called the Hotel Noukyou in the Town of Asahikawa, and decided to check it out. I soon discovered that it was located in a fair-sized love hotel district, with at least eight hotels scattered amongst houses, workshops, and other businesses. Five of the hotels had gone out of business, and two others looked like they wouldn't be in business much longer. I only managed to explore the interior of one of the hotels, the Noa, which you can see here.

Hotel Noukyou

The name Noukyou (農協), which means agricultural cooperative in Japanese, was presumably chosen due to the agrarian nature of the local economy. The second kanji character in the name obviously formed the basis for the hotel's enormous steel logo, which still advertised its presence to the surrounding area.

A few unwanted appliances had been left next to the hotel, but the object that immediately caught my eye was a rather disturbing armless mannequin. For reasons that I cannot fathom, someone had spattered it with gold paint, dressed it in a bikini, pink sunglasses, and a wig, and posed it in a corner.

The car park of the Noukyou contained a few piles of assorted rubbish, including a an old sign that once advertised the neighbouring Hotel Pearl Pierce.

A few of the garages had cars parked in them, and I noticed that a light above one of them was working, so obviously the building still had power. Although its days as a love hotel are over, the building is apparently not entirely abandoned. I guess the owner earns what he can by renting the garages out as parking spaces. Perhaps the rooms have also been re-purposed. I respect private property, and never explore a building unless I'm sure that it's been well and truly abandoned, so I made no attempt to enter.

Hotel Pearl Pierce

The The Pearl Pierce was still in business at the time of my visit, but looking a bit run down. I found a battered sign advertising the establishment lying in the car park of the Hotel Noukyou next door, which revealed that it opened in 1991.

The Unknown Hotel

This six room hotel had obviously been abandoned. The signs had been removed, so I couldn't even determine its name. I didn't find a way inside. I know nothing about it except what can be gleaned from the photographs.

Hotel Shiroi Koibito

The name Shiroi Koibito translates literally to "white lover". As the only hotel in the area that was well maintained and at least superficially prosperous, it looked out of place amongst its dead and dying neighbours.

Hotel North Sea Road

The kanji characters in "Hokkaido" (北海道) literally mean "north sea road", which presumably inspired this hotel's name. It was obviously not open for business, although some scaffolding out the front suggested the possibility that it was just undergoing renovations. However, it looked derelict, was surrounded by weeds, and I didn't see any evidence of recent work, so I suspect that it had closed its doors permanently.

Hotel Queen and Another Unknown Hotel

The Hotel Queen was still open, but it had definitely seen better days, and the bargain basement prices displayed on the sign by the entrance implied that it was struggling. A six hour stay between the hours of 8:00 and 18:00, or a two hour stay between 18:00 and 24:00, would cost a mere ¥2,000. An overnight stay from 23:00 to 10:00 would cost ¥2,500 on a week night or ¥3,500 on a weekend. With only six rooms, it must provide a modest income even at the best of times.

The Queen shared a gravel car park with another hotel, which was clearly abandoned. This hotel's neon sign was just a bare frame, so I couldn't even read its name.