AsiaJapanTokyo

Lost and Helpless

Tokyo Travel Blog

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sumida river with the capsule hotel in the background
I went to the bank and took out several hundred dollars in yen and headed into Tokyo.  It should have taken me an hour and a half to get there, but it took closer to 3 hours.  Damn i was confused.  For the life of me, i could not figure out the train system.  I managed to get on all the right trains, but it took serious brain power.  It should not be this hard.  As it turns out, it is not hard at all once you understand that the above ground train and below ground train are totally separate and each have their own maps. 

The confusion did not end there.  I was unable to book hostels online because they appeared full, however, i have been able to get a room when the internet said it was full.
the capsule hotel
  Most of the hostels seemed to center around Asakusa.  With this in mind, i picked out a hostel from the internet, printed out the map, and was headed in that direction.  The problem with that bright idea, was that the map was a pile of crap.  I wandered aimlessly for awhile until i spotted some white people walking down the street.  So i followed them and they took me to one of the hostels.  When i told the reception i wanted a room for the night and did not have a reservation they laughed at me.  Apparently, this little move does not work in Japan.  I asked for directions to a cheap hotel and they told me about the capsule hotel nearby. 

Luckily, the capsule hotel had availability, but yet again was very confused as to how it all worked.
the row of capsules
  This is what i figured out.  Before doing anything you must remove your shoes and place them in a locker, remove the house slippers, and hand the front desk the key.  Then you purchase a capsule through a vending machine and hand the ticket to the front desk.  They then give you a towel, shorts and a shirt, along with a locker key.  Which if is lost is 10,000 yen.  That is one damn expensive key.  The locker key will have your floor and capsule number on it.

The shower is quite different as well.  It is just an open room with 4 shower heads in front of 4 low stools.  The custom is to squat bare ass on the stool, lather up with soap, fill up a large bowl with water and use this to rinse off.  Since i am not too keen on share butt germs with strangers, i generally stood up or squatted down.
my capsule
  What is cool about this shower room, is that it has a sauna.  I practically used that everyday to sweat out the toxins from the day before.

I met 2 Swedish brothers in the lobby and we went to Akihabara.  Akihabara is known as electric town or the electric district.  It is here you can find anything electronic.  Stefan and Fredric were looking for something and i just tagged along.  I had my first curry experience at a noodle shop.  Again, here you purchase your desired meal at a vending machine based on pictures.  I was not sure exactly what i was getting, but it looked harmless enough.  I purchased a combination of soba noodles and cheese curry with rice.  I thought it was meat, and the noodles came with tempura fritters, which got completely soggy in the soup, not a good thing.

After dinner we bar hopped in the area, and realized how expensive it really is in Tokyo.  Each bar had a table charge ranging from 300 to 500 yen, and the beers ranged from 600 to 1,000 yen.  Broke and sober we bargained with a few taxis until we found one for 3000 yen.
jktweed says:
Grief, reading this I'm getting even more apprehensive about visiting Tokyo next year. How did you find staying in the capsule? Comfy or claustrophobic?
Posted on: Oct 21, 2009
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sumida river with the capsule hote…
sumida river with the capsule hot…
the capsule hotel
the capsule hotel
the row of capsules
the row of capsules
my capsule
my capsule
the mandatory shoes
the mandatory shoes
the non-mandatory shorts
the non-mandatory shorts
the view from the balcony
the view from the balcony
view
view
view
view
my first curry/soba experience...y…
my first curry/soba experience...…
Akihabara
Akihabara
first expensive bar
first expensive bar
the cheapest beer on the menu, aro…
the cheapest beer on the menu, ar…
the third bar
the third bar
Tokyo
photo by: maka77