Brugge (Bruges in French) is the capital and largest city of the province of West Flanders, in Belgium's northwest. Its name is likely to have been derived from an Old Dutch word for "bridges," and according to Wikipedia, its canals have earned it the nickname "Venice of the North."
Brugge is also the name of a super deluxe love hotel located in Kashiwa City, Chiba, Prefecture, about midway between Narita Airport and central Tokyo.
Describing Brugge's interior as "resembling Buckingham Palace," Friday (June 21) enthusiastically touts the hotel with the headline, "Love hotel overwhelmed by foreign guests."
The lead reads, "Soon after leaving the unrelenting raucous clatter of metals, a huge building looms out of the local industrial zone. It's a Western-style love hotel that is much beloved by denizens of Chiba. Upon stepping inside, one feels transported to Europe. It has entranced not only the local residents, but also foreigners. We brought in our camera to shoot its luxurious interior."
What follows are five monochrome shots of the lobby, corridor, guest room, pool and garden.
Clearly visitors to Brugge, irrespective of nationality, go out of their way cavort on its hot sheets, attracted if for no other reason than its opulent fixtures. The hand-carved table set in the lobby, imported from Europe, set the operator back 10 million yen. Extra outlays were also devoted to the building's exterior, created with much effort by Italian craftsmen brought to Japan. The overall costs for the five-story building are reported as 3.6 billion yen.
The hotel's website also introduces the offered amenities, which, depending on the room, include video on demand with over 1,000 channels, free wi-fi, 3-D surround audio, a Sony VR (virtual reality) room, Jacuzzi baths, bath tubs with carved table legs featuring "ball and claw" feet, overhead showers and a special outdoor pool with private access on an appointment basis.
"Over the past year, I began noticing the number of foreign guests were increasing," the hotel's director, Takeharu Hayamizu, tells the magazine. "Recently we've been getting people not only from China and other Asian countries, but also from the Middle East. Our staff members only speak Japanese, so we purchased a Poketalk (interpreting device)."
Accessibility for foreigners is no problem, since in addition to Kashiwa's relative proximity to Narita airport, the Tsukuba Express trains that run from the tourist meccas of Akihabara and Asakusa provide convenient transport in about 30 minutes. In addition, according to Hayamizu, it has become possible to reserve rooms via the web using such sites as Booking.com and Hotels.com.
Normally reservations extend as far as one year in advance, but in anticipation of high demand during next year's Olympic and Paralympic games, the hotel is accepting reservations through September 2020.
"We already received a reservation from Belgium, for six nights from July 23," Hayamizu is quoted as saying.
On weekends Brugge claims its rooms are typically booked solid, and through astute timing of room turnovers, it manages to welcome as many as 100 couples. Depending on the class of room and length of stay, the prices are reasonable, starting as low as 4,600 yen for a six-hour sojourn.
Brugge is located just off the Joban Expressway, or can be reached by a short taxi ride from Kashiwanoha-campus or Kashitanaka stations on the Tsukuba Express line.
As his hotel's photogenic charms are further disseminated via Instagram and other SNSs, Hayamizu is optimistic that Brugge is likely to pick up overflow from the high demand for accommodations during next summer's games.© Japan Today