Kobe Love Hotel Employees Arrested for Lending Wii

February 2, 2011

Employees of the Kobe love hotel “Swing” were arrested in a recent police sting for lending Wii and PlayStation 3 to customers. Yes, they let guests of the hotel use their Wiis for entertainment without permission of copyright holders of games such as Mario Cart and BioHazard 5.

With all that may or may not go on at love hotels, this seems to be a very funny way to bring up charges. One possible scenario is that it is simply a way to get into the books and get a look at the money trail for this particular organization. It is also possible that this is the only offense for which proof could be established for now.

Looking at the homepage for the Hotel Swing, it encourages families to stay in addition to couples, offers non-smoking rooms, and allows guests to come and go (a rarity in love hotel or fashion hotel style accomodations). It even has 31 parking spaces available despite being in downtown Kobe, not far from Harborland. The page currently does not list the availability of video games, but mentions video on demand services, and some dvd rentals.

It is not uncommon for love hotels to provide video games and fun distractions for couples who stay. I’m not sure if we’ll ever hear a follow up of the story, but it is a rare case of a Japanese hotel being targeted in this way. Swing has a sister hotel called Clio, also in Kobe. It remains to be seen if there is more to this take down than free use of “Mario”.