On the outside Lastel hotel looks like any other hotel in Yokohama, Japan. It's who stays there that surprises most.  

The 18 rooms in Hisayoshi Teramura's Lastel hotel house the refrigerated coffins of the departed.

The demand for corpse hotels is booming in an either wise stagnant Japanese market.

The death rate in Japan has increased to about 1 in 100 each year, according to CIA records. This death rate is similar to that of Cote d'Ivoire or Rwanda, but for a much different reason. The Japanese population is rapidly aging, with a median age of 45 and the fifth highest life expectancy in the world at 82 years.

Businessmen are taking advantage of this graying market by creating these hotels, as there is often a long waiting time -- in some cities up to four days -- to get a loved one into a crematorium.

Otherwise people have to keep the bodies at home where there isn't much space, Teramura told Reuters.

Teramura, 71, already in the funeral and grave business, decided to open Lastel hotel last year. He charges 12,000 Yen (about $157) a night for the departed guests.

The hotel stores the bodies in refrigerated coffins, and then delivers them through automatic hatches when family members and friends come to pay their respects.

Owning a corpse hotel in Japan is relatively easy. Unlike the United States where funeral operators have a mandatory three years of funeral education, in Japan there's no license qualifications.

Yano Research Institute of Tokyo predicts that the funeral industry will be worth 1.96 trillion yen (25.55 billion dollars) by 2015.