Not only do you get a 500 yen per night discount, but it promises to be one of the more emotional check-ins you’ll ever experience.
Losing one’s hair is never an easy process; superficial appearances aside, its a symbol of your aging and ultimate mortality. While many have risen above it and learned to carry their exposed scalps with pride, others try to mask the deficiency or pray for the next miracle regrowth product (which is a little over a year away by my count).
And then we have the Kitakyushu Hotel Plaza (a.k.a. Hotel Tetora Kyushu) which wants to tell customers that not only is it okay to be bald or balding, but you are actually among their preferred guests. And as a result they will give anyone a 500 yen (US$4.80) discount per night if the front desk staff judges them to be balding.
Image: Kitakyushu Hotel Plaza
This isn’t meant to be some uplifting gesture of realizing one’s true inner beauty, however. Kitakyushu Hotel Plaza admits that the scheme was conceived after the president heard complaints from the cleaning staff about too much hair in the drains.
Although reasonable at first glance, it would seem that in some cases balding people would be in the process of losing their hair and thus leave more behind after a shower. Added to that, in the case of many bald men, the hair doesn’t exactly go away. It just kind of migrates to another part of the body.
Nevertheless, Kitakyushu Hotel Plaza have been pressing on with this campaign for about two years now as well as other hotels by the Tetora Group and they even have a bald mascot in their lobby as well as merchandise!
But its not just any mascot, its based on the Hotel chain’s president Koji Miura who also appreciates the aerodynamics of a smooth head while running marathons.
Reaction to the promotion has been largely curious with a touch of offense.
“Does the staff carefully inspect the top of your head?”
“Cool, I don’t have any hair.”
“I like discounts, but I don’t know if my pride is worth 500 yen.”
“Do monks count too?”
“I think that’s kind of rude for a hotel to do. What if they gave discounts to women they felt were fat or ugly?”
In the end, just as how everyone handles baldness in a different way, so too will they react to this campaign. Some will gladly take the lower rate for something that is obvious to the world while others will feel 500 yen isn’t worth having someone tell them to their face they are bald and dispelling all doubt.
I was going to joke about this being a great place for the Blue Man Group to stay when touring in Japan, but I just discovered that those guys actually have hair under all that make-up… Posers!
Hotel Plaza Kitakyushu / ホテルテトラ北九州
Address: Fukuoka-ken, Kitakyushu-shi, Kokurakita-ku, Kaji-cho 1-9-8