This Japanese Hotel Only Costs $1 a Night — but They'll Livestream You Sleeping Online

Circular window in empty ryokan room in Japan
Photo: Sellwell / Getty Images

If privacy isn’t an issue, you can stay in a Japanese hotel for practically free.

Tetsuya Inoue is 27 years old and runs the Asahi Ryokan, owned by his grandmother. When he began running the hotel, he was investigating ways to bring in new travelers and perhaps stir up some more attention.

When a British traveler came through and livestreamed much of his stay to his followers, Inoue had an idea: What if he set up a livestream of his own?

"This is a very old ryokan and I was looking into a new business model," Inoue told CNN. "Our hotel is on the cheaper side, so we need some added value, something special that everyone will talk about."

Now, travelers staying at the Asahi Ryokan can opt for room 8 if they want the world to watch their hotel stay. In exchange for participating in the ryokan’s scheme, travelers get an enticing rate. The room costs less than $1 (¥100) per night.

Guests who stay in room 8 will find their actions broadcast to the world online. There are a few privacy measures. The bathroom is located off-camera and the feed is video only, so guests will have privacy in their phone calls and conversations.

While the ryokan currently loses money on room 8, once the idea gets popular enough, they will be able to broadcast ads on the livestream and start turning the creative idea into a profitable venture.

And if you don’t mind sleeping on camera before thousands of strangers, you have a very affordable way to visit the Japanese city of Fukuoka, which is growing more popular with tourists every year.

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