Bleak Scenes

Abandoned places, lesser-known attractions, and assorted oddities

Motel Akatsuki


The Motel Akatsuki was down a lane on the edge of the Isehara Love Hotel District, next door to the Hotel Skylove. The most notable thing about the Akatsuki was its diminutive size. Six room love hotels are not uncommon, but this was the only establishment that I've ever seen with only five.

The motel building was in two sections, connected only by a service corridor. The five guest rooms were in a single storey structure on the left, as seen from the car park entrance. The office and manager's accommodation were in a two storey section on the right.

There were no carports, or even covered parking spaces. The guests would have had to park in the open in front of their rooms, which would have been problematic for those who wished to be discrete.

The car park was now covered in fallen leaves, and completely blocked by large bushes and small trees. Some old appliances and assorted garbage had been dumped near the entrance. The motel's sign was gone, so I only learned its name when I found an old electricity bill in the office.

The motel's boiler room was in a shed at the entrance end of the car park.

A sign outside each room listed prices of 4,000 yen for a "rest" or 6,000 yen to stay overnight.

The rooms all had the same layout, with a small sitting room at the front, a narrow bed at the rear, and a bathroom and toilet to one side. They were rather small and basic, and the décor was bland and uninteresting. The accommodation would have been adequate if nothing better were available, but with many superior alternatives nearby there's no mystery about why the Akatsuki failed. Being hidden down a lane behind the larger Hotel Skylove can't have helped.

Most of the furniture and equipment had been left behind when the motel was abandoned. This is common practice in Japan because second-hand goods have almost no value.

The roof was collapsing in places, allowing rainwater to enter the rooms and cause extensive decay. The rooms were all in terrible condition, but some were worse than others. The Akatsuki had suffered some vandalism, but somewhat less than the Skylove. The inevitable scrap metal hunters had helped themselves to the bathroom fittings.

A corridor behind the guest rooms connected them to the office. This would have been for staff use only, since the guests entered their rooms directly from the car park through the front doors.

The office overlooked the entrance to the car park. The office equipment, and even some documents, had been abandoned along with the building. I noticed a 1987 calendar on the wall, and an electricity bill from the same year. Somewhat contradicting this evidence, I also found a warranty card for a television set dated August 24, 1990. In any case, the motel has clearly been abandoned for decades.

The manager's accommodation wouldn't have been bad by Japanese standards. The office, kitchen, and bathroom were downstairs, and a couple of bedrooms were upstairs. The place was now a filthy shambles.