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Love hotels & fugu restaurants

What do fugu and love hotels have in common?  I was struggling to find a direct link, but on the way home from dinner last night, I found a fugu restaurant located right next to one of the most gaudy love hotels in Shibuya.

Fugu

Fugu – globe fish – are highly poisonous if you eat the wrong part of them.  Chefs are meant to be licensed, but the fish are meant to be a real delicacy.  Every now and then, there’s a story about someone who wasn’t so lucky, including this one from late January about an apparently unlicensed restaurant in Yamagata Prefecture that left 7 people poisoned.  Sort of Russian roulette with your meals.

Casonova ClubLove hotels are not uncommon in Japan, especially in Dogenzaka district of Shibuya.  This one – the not so discreet Casanova Club – had a sign out front advertising a 2 hour “short time” for only around 2,000 yen.  Maybe times are tough for love hotels as well as multinational companies? (Prices are levied depending on whether you and your companion are going in for a “rest” – a few hours – or a “stay” – overnight.)  Before I’m accused of anything salacious, I was simply walking past on my way home from a local izakaya where I had dinner.

The juxtaposition of the fugu restaurant next to a love hotel made me think.  Maybe lovers of one can go and have a poisonous dalliance at the other – or is that the other way around?  Imagine the joint marketing opportunities.

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