A hotel in Japan is making headlines for offering a $1 per night stay, but there's a big catch that's straight out of the 1990's Jim Carrey film The Truman Show. Guests must agree to allow their every moment in the room to be live streamed to the world.
A Washington Post story this week began as follows: "The voyeurs around the world logged onto a YouTube stream Wednesday, hoping to see a random hotel guest scurry about their room. Instead, the viewers were greeted with an empty manager’s chair and a whiteboard registering mutual disappointment: The guest canceled tonight..."
"Guests purchase a $1 hotel stay. But there’s a catch. They have to appear on a constant live-stream from inside their room, as long as they don’t have sex," the WaPo profile of what's become known as 'Room No.8' in the Asahi Ryokan hotel in Fukuoka in western Japan details.
"Peeking Camera in Hotel Room: In exchange for being able to stay at a low price, guest’s room is broadcasted live on YouTube for 24 hours," the hotel's YouTube channel describes.
The millennial creator and hotel operator behind the concept, 27-year-old Tetsuya Inoue, is hoping to create a buzz and to add revenue through social media streaming sites. His YouTube channel is called One Dollar Hotel and has gained about 9,000 subscribers since going live this week.
"Young people nowadays don't care much about the privacy," he said in an interview. "Some of them say it's OK to be [watched] for just one day."
The stream is a mere video feed without audio, so sound is not recorded, giving patrons privacy in their phone calls and conversations — nor is there a video in or near the bathroom, and the feed is completely black in the darkness of night with the lights off. Guests are allowed to flip the lights off at any time.
Thus far the few guest videos which are online each show some eight hours of darkness for each day recorded, with the person either sleeping or out of the room.
Normal rooms rates are about $27 a night, Inoue has indicated, with only Room 8 carrying the live-stream $1 deal.
One local Japanese news source pointed out that guests are not required to “give a performance or really do anything that makes for compelling viewing” during their stay.
However, assuming the frenzy to stay in the "Peeking Camera" room takes off, it's only a matter of time before some adventurous and internet fame-seeking couple breaks the 'no sex' rule and does the deed for all of YouTube to behold.
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Here's the Asahi Ryokan hotel Room No. 8 LIVE FEED: