Across the street from one of the busiest train stations in Tokyo, the Shinagawa Prince Hotel is in a bustling complex filled with restaurants, sports facilities and entertainment options like a dolphin show.
Step into the lobby of its east tower, though, and it’s a different world. The only formal greeting guests receive is from Softbank Corp.’s robot, Pepper. They’re given written instructions on their rooms and stay.
That’s because the new arrivals all have one thing in common: they’re infected with the coronavirus. In Japan, some COVID-19 patients get a hotel booking — and can enroll in clinical trials during their stay — with their positive test results.