Bleak Scenes

Abandoned places, lesser-known attractions, and assorted oddities

Hotel Queen


The Hotel Queen was a love hotel near Lake Tama, in the far western side of Tokyo. Many love hotels were built along the same stretch of road, but the business isn't what it used to be, and they've failed one by one. The ruins of the Hotel Arisu stand about a kilometre up the road, and the Hotel Akasaka once stood nearby, but unfortunately it was demolished before I had a chance to explore it.

Michael John Grist explored the Hotel Queen in 2010 and documented his visit here. The place has featured on various other websites over the years. I got around to visiting it myself in December 2015.

I caught a train to the nearest railway station and proceeded on foot. The last few hundred metres were along a trail through the woods, which took me to the back of the hotel. It was surrounded by a concrete wall topped with barbed wire, but a side gate had been broken open and never repaired, so I had no trouble getting in.

The accommodation at the Hotel Queen consisted of separate single storey cottages. There were no carports, just a parking space in front of each cottage.

A sign above the entrance advertised the prices for a 3 hour "rest" or an overnight stay as "from 3,500 yen" and "from 5,000 yen" respectively. Another sign in the car park clarified that the 3,500 yen price was only for 7:00 AM to midday.

The years since 2010 had not been kind to the Hotel Queen. Being easily accessible and close to a heavily populated area, it has inevitably attracted the attention of vandals. The car park was now strewn with the broken remains of furniture and equipment.

While I was exploring, I was surprised to see a man and two women, all foreigners, enter the car park, pulling a large suitcase on wheels. They were equally surprised to see me. It turned out that the man was a fellow photographer, and they'd come to do a model shoot with the ruins of the hotel as a backdrop. The photographer and I later became friends, and explored a few other ruins together. You can see some of his work here.

A two storey building near the entrance contained the hotel's office and kitchen. Several bedrooms upstairs probably provided accommodation for the manager or managers.

The building was in good condition when Michael John Grist photographed it in 2010, but unfortunately it had been thoroughly trashed since then.

The cottages were still locked when Michael John Grist made his visit. Fortunately they were all wide open by the time I arrived, but unfortunately vandals had preceded me, and done extensive damage.

The rooms were typical of what I've seen at numerous other love hotels - comfortable but unremarkable. There were no rotating beds or other interesting features.

A notice in some of the rooms advertised that the hotel had once been looking for part-time workers aged from about 20 to 60, at a pay rate of 800 to 900 yen per hour. Another notice announced that the checkout time had changed from 10:00 AM to midday. I wondered if this was a desperate attempt to attract repeat customers when most of the rooms were empty anyway.

The office building would have provided pretty good accommodation by Japanese standards, so I was surprised to see a separate single storey house in a corner of the car park. I can only guess that multiple households lived on the property, perhaps different generations of the same family.

Many possessions had been left behind. I even found a framed photograph, dated October 20, 1986, lying on the ground outside.