Archive for the ‘capsule hotel’ Tag

A second capsule hotel experience: No JETs or pure to make it half as fun

they don\'t have my size

Random Observation/Comment #20: Just bow, nod, and say “hai” if anyone talks to you…

There would be no reversing tonight. It would be as quiet as you’d expect from a capsule with no door (or a curtain as a door). Instead of sleeping at 4AM, as in my previous experience here, I slept around midnight after visiting all of the hotel’s accommodations again. I sat in the massage chairs, watched some TV, played some video games, and tried to read some manga to pass the time. The onsen is actually really nice considering it’s a capsule hotel onsen. They had an American newspaper (but I didn’t bother because it wasn’t the wallstreet journal).

I wonder how the market is doing anyway. Maybe the escape from America was also a small escape from the financial life. It had been too big of an obsession to try and predict the stock ticker depending on our current events. It would mostly be with gadgets and new releases or leaks of information about next generation technology, but my predictions were mostly correct. It’s too bad I don’t even condone legalized, socially acceptable gambling. Even though the stock market truly does make it possible to give companies that go public a large share of money to further develop more advances, I never really liked the idea of gambling. If you’re smart enough, you could make a lot of money from the 80% of anxious people who want to be another “I got rich from the stock market” statistic. It’s like they think they’re missing out on a piece of the pie if they don’t get involved with this beast. To be honest, they are the ones that are helping the small investors who actually have a background and know what they’re doing make money. Thank you for buying shares in completely useless companies with a team of really good salesmen.

It doesn’t take a lot of time to make the predictions for larger breakthroughs, but you have to keep up with the latest news every second of the day if you want to notice the small changes in the market. The key is to think like your peer investors and the investors with the most money. These entrepreneurs make things happen. There’s nothing wrong with being a frontrunner here. Next time you read the paper or see the fresh internet breaking news, just pull up Yahoo!Finance and see if the companies that are involved in these transactions are actually pulling the weight you expect. As you can imagine, it drains a lot of time from internet usage and directly causes the carpel tunnel, RSI, blurry vision, tearing eyes, and hunched back. Imagine how bad these side effects would be if I actually cared enough to put all of my effort into predicting the next trends. Ah, and I digress.

I noticed a few more things in the capsule hotel that I overlooked at my last stay. The TV there was separated into four different channels. These channels were baseball, soccer, wrestling, and porn; as expected from a mainly male dominant atmosphere. The porn was nothing hardcore, or even softcore (actually I wouldn’t even go far enough to give it a core rating). It was just a cute Japanese girl with large breasts in PJs reading magazines and painting her toenails. There was some soft music in the background which was relaxing, but sometimes these clips would be interrupted by an impromptu interview or quiz with the girl that would involve an abundance of giggling. Maybe the cuteness factor is being exploited here, but I don’t really understand how this show gets viewers. Perhaps the old guys that watch it can’t get hard anyway, so they just do it to remember their youth? It would be a good way to sell products that she’s using on the side, but all the tags were peeled off and the swimsuits or other tight clothing line didn’t show any indication of having a brand. Mystery desu.

The night was uneventful – no capsule dragons, beasts, or lions were there to bother me. I slept well and moved on to my next adventure in DEN DEN town…

~See Lemons Survive Another Night

Why would you pay to live in a morgue?

college heaven

Random Observation/Comment #12: I’m not allowed to try on shirts at some of the stores. It’s probably because Americans sweat blood, violence, and motor oil, while Japanese tend to sweat haikus and flower arrangements.

The Capsule Hotel: I’ve heard so many horror stories, which is why I feared for my life in the beginning. However, the place that I stayed near Dotonbori gave me a wonderful first impression. I was not really in the capsule for most of the night, nor was I that sober during my time sleeping in the capsule, but the amount of things you can do in the hotel for the price you pay is actually quite the bargain. Not only was the capsule much larger than I had imagined, but there was also a very lengthy list of accommodations for the random business traveler or JET (Japanese Exchange Teacher) on a weekend.

I don’t think any of the websites actually prepare you for what to expect, so let me try to explain how the capsule hotel industry has tried to gain your trust in a peaceful stay. The automatic first thought about this industry exudes a certain coolness factor to the college graduate traveling around and living life. But I could imagine it as a horrifying weekend for the parents to hear their son (and hopefully not daughter) say “I think it’s a good idea to stay at a capsule hotel… Oh, safety? I don’t know. I think they have some safety or something around here.” I did the grown-up thing and just left my parents an email after already deciding for my own and paying for the night. Revolution! The time difference really didn’t give them much input into my decision-making process, but I’m sure they would have reinforced my initial doubts and made it harder for me (and waste 2 more minutes of my time weighing choices) to eventually decide on staying. Thank you for understanding.

So, after properly informing your parents, friends, and loved ones of your stay without them making a big difference in your decision, this particular capsule hotel simply requires your name and passport number to register. I think they want you to put your American address just in case you get eaten by the capsule monsters. This warning is, of course, outlined in the Japanese contract that you sign with blood (just kidding, the contract is in English and it tells you the checkout time and such). With your payment for the night comes the designated capsule space and corresponding locker space. Your shoes are taken off and put into a locked set of lockers in the front of the building. This key is kept by the front desk so your shoes are not imprisoned along with yourself in the hotel while you try and break the locker open with everyday items like a mop and a coat hanger (that didn’t happen at all). When you leave, you return the locker key and receive the shoe locker key of which you leave in behind. This just means that the only thing you need is that receipt to get your locker stuff and claim your “bed.”

The locker comes with a set of shrunken PJs and a safe space to keep all of your valuables. Of course there are no pockets in these shrunken PJs, so I risk the chance of losing my wallet in my left hand, more than the locker key around my neck. Unless you don’t mind the walk, I would suggest just not buying anything while you’re in the place anyway. Although, I did find the few coins I took out to be useful in purchasing beer from the vending machine. Yes, I know. Don’t we all want beer dispensed from a vending machine at our whim? It’s stationed right next to the instant noodles, so any college graduate (we have stomach-linings evolved to support consistent supplies of beer and instant noodles) can basically live in front of that vending machine forever (as long as they keep refilling both).

Other attractions in this basement include a set of sports channels on LCD TVs, lounging chairs with full lounging features, massage chair (100 yen for 10 minutes), massage service (3000 yen for 30 minutes), manga library with full series (yay for Love Hina), pachinko machine (for the addict), video game area (also for the addict), sauna, onsen, and late night cafeterias. I think if you have a good imagination, this sounds like an executive stay at the Belagio, but really these attractions are all cramped into the basement and second floor. They’ve optimized nicely and put in what I consider to be the essentials of a fun stay.

This capsule hotel has found the balance of exceeding the expectations of any initial false assumptions of a capsule hotel without overly impressing me to suspect that they’re trying to cover-up for something worse, like the capsule vampires. Now I know these capsule werewolves may sound scary, but they’re all a huge myth. Sure, your capsule may feel “safer” with a “door,” or even a “lock,” instead of that questionable straw flap, but not to worry – it is common knowledge that capsule dragons can’t fit their wings through the opening. Perhaps to ward off such capsule demons, you can hit them with the pillow filled with small beads or carry a large metal pipe, but I highly doubt this is necessary (the pillow is hard enough to do damage). If this fails and the capsule gnome still charges with blind rage, you may be able to subdue the capsule beast with 10 minutes of television for 100 yen. Don’t worry, the little air conditioning vent will keep both of you cool with recycled air in the confined space.

So you ask, “What about the girls?” Well they have their own capsule space, away from the giant capsule amoebas with the other girls. There’s a rumor (that I just started) that all of their capsules are pink and covered in stickers and stuffed animals (only the kind with animals in other animal costumes).

The only bad thing I can say about this hotel (besides the whole part where you live in a capsule), is that you can hear absolutely every little echo, rustle of sheets, snoring, sleep talking, moaning, 4AM sex, etc. (it wasn’t me). The light sleepers and claustrophobic are not advised to stay here. They would definitely lie awake thinking about those capsule ninjas. And if there’s anything I’m sure of, I know that capsule zerg feed off of these fleeting thoughts. When you’ve been targeted, the capsule orcs will keep you awake all night. The only solution is alcohol. Drink lots of alcohol. FACT.

Anyway, I have digressed. I thought the whole capsule hotel would be filled with English speaking tourists, but the majority of faces were Japanese and they looked more like salesmen than travelers. I could be completely wrong, and I didn’t bother asking them in my broken Japanese where they were from like some weirdo, so please take the previous comment with that in mind. It’s not like they came with their families or they were taking pictures of the different capsules for a story like I was. Another possibility is that they were just dropping off their things and going out to drink until 4AM like I did. However, I doubt this applies to the middle-aged Japanese guys I saw because they seemed comfortable and settled in the little bathrobes by 10PM. No matter the purpose, it’s a good choice to spend 2700 yen a night for all the manga, TV, and an open overnight sauna. My night/morning did not include these additions, but…

~See Lemons Excited for the Next Adventure

P.S. Capsule creatures are fictional… except for the ninjas. Beware of the ninjas. 😀 – this was immensely fun to write. The part two will be posted tomorrow.

I live to tell the tale of a ridiculous night

please report back to your quarters

Random Observation/Comment #7: Japanese people work hard and play hard.

There is so much to write about, but I do not have the time to write it right now (right?)  This will be explained in some wiser words a little later.  It was quite the relaxing day.

I’m alive! So no worries.  The pictures of this place are sweet.  I basically just googled capsule hotel and stayed at the first place near Osaka.  Time for breakfast.

~See Lemons Meeting New Friends