It's business time: Japan's love hotels break the mood

It's business time: Japan's love hotels break the mood

Japan's love hotel industry is proving that when the going gets tough, the tough are, well, going at it

When times are tough -- and we're talking financial here -- some have suggested shifting your money into liquor stores (owning, not spending) and the entertainment industry around cinemas, video games, DVDs and the like.

In Japan, which is experiencing its deepest recession since World War II, there is another stalwart industry -- the country's love hotels.

They've hardly missed a beat -- well at least that seems the PR spin -- and are attracting the eye of international investors. PR exaggeration, or hard facts? CNN's Morgan Neill went (solo) to find out more in the above video.

Indeed, the industry was once the preserve of "mom-and-pop" family owners, and of course, gangsters using the properties to launder money. Now though, the demand for outlandishly themed love hotels has waned. Sayonara, revolving beds and Graceland influences. Instead, love hotels -- or "fashion hotels" as they are also branded -- have become serious competition to Tokyo's five-star luxury giants.

CNN Partner Hotels


Cycling around the world
Taking the long way home on two wheels is going to be tough. We're here to smooth the ride


Hello Kitty Chinese Cuisine dim sum
What happens when you merge possibly the two best things on Earth? Hello Kitty dim sum


American Southwest photo
A photo pro explains how to capture some of America's most famous landmarks while dealing the summer travel crowds