Travel Vision: What’s the catch with $1 Japanese hotel stays?

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A Japanese hotel owner has a radical plan to combat low occupancy by offering guests ridiculously low rom rates in exchange for a pervy proposition.

The owner of the Asahi Ryokan in Fukuoka City is offering $1 stays in exchange for live-streams of your stay.

A ryokan is a traditional Japanese inn typically featuring tatami-matted rooms, communal baths and other public areas where you can wear kimonos and commune with the owner.

The owner, Inoue Tetsuya, reportedly inherited from his grandmother, but has had minimal interest from prospective tourists.

To change that, he’s giving guests the option to stay for as little as 100 yen, so long as they agree to live stream their stay on YouTube, on the ryokan’s ‘One Dollar Hotel’ page.

“The purpose of One Dollar Hotel … I want to run our hotel operated by ads revenue, not accommodation fee,” said Mr Inoue.

“This is a very old ryokan and I was looking into a new business model. Our hotel is on the cheaper side, so we need some added value, something special that everyone will talk about.”

He has already had four guests hot for the offer. While there is a limit to what the hotel will allow to be live streamed, Mr Inoue says “young people nowadays don’t care much about the privacy, adding that “some of them say it’s okay to be [watched] for just one day”.

It seems Mr Inoue is not concerned with privacy either, as on days when the room is vacant, he hosts live streams of his own private room instead.

The video-only feed means no conversations can be heard and bathrooms are out of visual range. Lewd acts are also banned; guests can turn the lights off whenever they wish.

It’s a rather creepy way to get a $1 hotel stay. Here’s how it works.

How far would you go for a budget hotel stay?

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Written by Leon Della Bosca

Leon Della Bosca is a voracious reader who loves words. You'll often find him spending time in galleries, writing, designing, painting, drawing, or photographing and documenting street art. He has a publishing and graphic design background and loves movies and music, but then, who doesn’t?

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