Bleak Scenes

Abandoned places, lesser-known attractions, and assorted oddities

Hotel Cosmo


The Hotel Cosmo is a ruined love hotel by a quiet road near the town of Obihiro, Hokkaido. About half its rooms were of an unusual, spaceship-themed design, which I've never seen anywhere else. These consisted of individual steel structures, with a garage on the ground floor, and the room contained entirely inside a large tubular capsule, which was mounted on top. The tubes were decorated with little tails, in a half-hearted attempt to resemble science fiction style spaceships. The term "capsule love hotel" came to mind. The other rooms were in a single building of typical Hokkaido love hotel design - two storeys, with garages on the ground floor and rooms above.

I visited twice while touring Hokkaido in 2014. The first time it was raining heavily, and the area was swarming with hungry mosquitoes. I got some exterior photos, but the conditions were so miserable that I soon gave up. I visited again six days later when the weather was more favourable.

Capsule Interior

The "spaceship" capsule rooms were in such a deplorable condition that it was unpleasant just to be inside them. I entered what appeared to be the best preserved one, and photographed it as best I could, using my LED panels for illumination. There was only a single small window at each end, so it was too dark for ambient light photography. The interior was cramped and filthy, and the floor was wobbly, so the job more challenging than usual.

I didn't notice any spaceship-themed decorations inside the rooms, just typical, slightly gaudy love hotel décor. The rooms would have been cosy when they were new, and perfectly adequate for their intended purpose. However, they were probably the most cramped rooms that I've ever seen in a love hotel. A building of a more conventional design could have fitted much larger rooms within the available space.

Perhaps the use of capsules was simply an attempt to save on construction costs, and the spaceship decorations were just an afterthought. The capsules and their garages were presumably prefabricated, and could have been quickly assembled on site. In any case, the idea apparently failed to catch on. I imagine that the novelty soon wore off, and couples preferred to stay in larger rooms. Science fiction and space flight fetishists are probably a small market, and the spaceship styling wouldn't have been realistic enough to satisfy them anyway.

Burnt Out Capsule

One of the capsules had been gutted by fire. The capsules were lined with some kind of foam insulation which looked highly flammable. It must have burned fiercely, completely destroying the interior. The steel tube, with its protective covering of paint burnt off, had rusted through in places.


The forecourt was heavily overgrown, with some garbage strewn around.

Office and Boiler Room

The office was damp and rotting, with the floor collapsing in places. There was a pneumatic tube system, which connected the office and the rooms. Such systems are still used in some love hotels to pay the bills, or send small items to the rooms. There were a few rooms behind the office, where the proprietor may have lived. When I entered one of these, I inadvertently disturbed a bat, which fluttered around the room a few times before escaping. A broken door led through to the boiler room.