With its hot meal vending machines, super-smart toilets and Green Tea Kit Kat, Japan is light years ahead of the world. They are clearly innovative geniuses, but we think they might have taken things a little too far when it comes to their rental industry. It turns out everything — literally everything — is for rent in Japan. Let’s take a look at some of the weirdest things you can borrow if you’re willing to pony up the cash:
1. Why date when you can rent?
Why spend years trying to find someone you connect with, go on dates with and eventually settle down with when you can just rent a GF/BF for a day? If you’re looking for a female companion (that you can’t have sex with), Moedate‘s got you covered. After paying a cover fee of $20, you get to choose from a variety of women. Next you need to decide how long you want your date to be. Three hours? That’s $135.27. Need more time? Five hours will set you back $195.39. Bonus: if you want to extend the date, each hour you go over will cost around $40. Oh and Moedate doesn’t actually plan your date activities, it’s up to you. Pick the spots you want to visit with your “date,” but beware… You pay for these activities too. At this point it might be easier (and ore cost affective) to just join a dating site!
As for those of you who want male attention without all the strings (and sex) attached you can turn to “host clubs.” Here, men love you. They’ll never ask you about work and how old you are. They’ll entertain and serve you in ways you never imagined and, of course, serve you what seems like an endless supply of drinks. Your first time there will set you back between $20 and $40, but once you become a regular the prices start to jump. Popular men at Players Club Dios in Japan can make an upwards of $60,000 a month. How crazy is that?
2. Robot receptionists are so in right now
If you think robots are going to take over the world and become our overlords, remember that they’ll start with Japan first. (That country is overrun by them!) Wakamaru, a robot that was “born to live with human beings,” can be rented by companies who want to add a robotic feel to their front desk. It’ll greet customers with any phrase you want and its cute yellow exterior will disarm even the most staunch critics. While pricing is negotiable, back in 2007, they cost over $1,200 a day to rent. We’re guessing the price has gone way up now since the updated version can also make presentations too.
3. White boys are so cool
This is just like number one, but specializing in Caucasian men up for rent.
They’ll dote on you, serve you tea and delicious treats and (best of all) call you princess. And who wouldn’t like that, right?
4. “Coffin” apartments aren’t for the squeamish
As you know, Japan is just a small cluster of islands that’s strapped for space. Their cities are packed to the brim, so is it any wonder that people are willing to rent out coffin-like apartments (that are just 1.6 meters long) to stay in? They’re basically stacked on top each other and totally look like lockers rather than, you know, actual apartments. Want one? They cost just over $500 a month (including heat and electricity and *gasp* a window).
5. “Own” a pet for a fleeting moment
Having a pet is a big responsibility, but you can push all those aside by just renting one. To hang with a kitty or two, you can visit a cat cafe where you’ll be able to pet and feed plenty of felines for less than $15 — cat snacks cost extra, of course. If you’re more of a dog person, don’t worry. There are plenty of dog-by-the-hour rentals available too — just don’t get too attached.
6. It’s your life you can cry if you want to
If you just need to have a good cry, one hotel in Tokyo was made for you. For just $100 a night you can rent out a “cry” room and your family and co-workers will be none the wiser. The room comes complete with luxury tissues, makeup remover, a steam eye mask, comic books and emotional movies (like Forrest Gump). The rooms are only available to women so fellas, stay out!
7. Family for rent,
only 25 cents
Do you hate your parents? Does Uncle Billy annoy the crap out of you? Now you can just replace them. There are plenty of Japanese agencies offering family members for rent. Add bridesmaids to your wedding party, a partner during parent-teacher meetings and grandkids to your home. You know what’s even crazier, this isn’t a new thing. Back in 1992(!), a Tokyo company called Japan Efficiency Corp. rented family members for over $1,000. There’s even a movie that touches on this touchy rent-a-family industry.
8. Dolls need lovin’ too
Do we really need to explain this one? All right, fine. “Love” dolls are a thing in Japan and if you can’t buy one for yourself (they are crazy expensive), you can just rent one. A visit to a love doll brothel sets you back $60 for a 30 minute rental.
You get to pick what your doll looks like (sorry, only female dolls are available) and the genitals of the dolls are removable so each time a new person rents one, a new clean part is attached. If you want to be more discreet, some companies also deliver the doll to your home. Oh boy.