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  • Zeke C. Cooper

I feel like I'm being watched......

File this in the "WHY do these things exist?!" category.


A hotel in Japan will give you an amazing rate for a nights stay. Believe it or not, you can stay at a interesting 10-room Boutique Hotel in Japan for $1! Yep, you read that right, for less than most items on a McDonald's menu, you can have a nice night away. But, there's a catch.....and a big "NO THANKS" from us. I do give the hotelier props for trying a new way to increase revenues. See below for more.


From USA Today:


Stay in a Japanese hotel room for $1 per night — as long as you're OK being livestreamed

By: David Oliver


Want to stay in a hotel room for $1 per night? A hotel in Japan will let you do that — as long as you make your room available for a 24-hour livestream.


The Asahi Ryokan 10-room hotel in Fukuoka, which has been around for more than 30 years, is trying a new strategy to boost revenue, according to owner Tetsuya Inoue. Inoue inherited the hotel from his grandmother about a year ago and is now billing it as the "One Dollar Hotel."


His goal is to make the hotel run from YouTube advertising income and not accommodation fees. He is aware of the challenge ahead: "I started this project just three weeks ago, so even I don't know whether it can be profitable," he told USA TODAY.


To answer some questions you definitely have:

  • The $1 stay does include taxes and fees.

  • A camera is usually located on the table in the room.

  • The microphone in the room is normally switched off but can be turned on if guests agree.

  • There is no camera in the common bathrooms, which are outside of the room where people can undress/change.

  • The maximum stay is five days.


Since the project is so new and doesn't have many takers, Inoue is broadcasting his home on the hotel's YouTube channel in the meantime. At least one British YouTuber has stayed in the room. Travelers can make reservations here.


Viewers could watch Inoue on Wednesday, typing on his computer with a white board next to him. "The guest cancelled tonight," read a message on the white board with a sad face. He also stretched and tousled his hair.


"It is so strange and funny that you can watch I'm replying on YouTube, Inoue told USA TODAY.


One commenter in the live chat accompanying the video wrote, "Hi, i just came here after reading an article about you on polish website :) cool idea with the 'big brother' room." ​"Sorry about your cancellation," another commenter wrote.


The channel has almost 2,800 subscribers.


At least Inoue is upfront about the camera use. Hidden cameras have become a scary prospect for some travelers during hotel and vacation rentals stays.


Make sure you check a vacation rental listing carefully for any mention of a nanny cam in the living room before you make a reservation. If you do find one in your vacation rental, leave immediately and report it to the company.


If you encounter a hidden camera in a hotel room, immediately ask for a room change. 


Contributing: Caroline Morse Teel, Smarter Travel

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