Tokyo is also the most expensive city in the world for 2010. Even New York is way, way down at the No. 29 slot this year.
Not that Tokyo ever gets off that list.
Be that as it may, Japan is also home to things dear to the snot-nosed otoko no ko living in my heart : anime, robots, sushi, tech, gaisen, Japanese schoolgirls, gareon, ninjas, bukkake.
Well, maybe not bukkake.
At any rate, I was in for a few surprises.
I understand Tokyo is one of the most crowded cities in the world and the real-estate values are astronomical. From the outside, the hotel looked decent enough :
Lookin' good, so far.
Inside, though, it was a different story altogether.
I wasn't expecting a suite at the Plaza, but the moment I laid eyes on my accomodations, I wanted to cry.
I'm not kidding.
I desperately, seriously wanted to cry.
I've been to many hotel rooms all over the world and this, by far, was the most cramped of accomodations I've ever had the misfortune of having. Even Hong Kong - another bustling, overcrowded metropolis - had larger rooms than... this:
Bakayaro! Where's the rest of the room?!?!
Then again, I did say I wanted to check out Tokyo's Capsule Hotels. I just didn't know I would be in one so similar.
Whatever disappointments I had in my room, the toilet more than made up for. Sure, it was a study in maximizing space:
Japanese efficiency on display.
But the toilet itself - ah, heaven.
All toilets should be Toto. The seat was heated, and it featured a delightful choice between a bidet and a spray, with variable water pressure settings.
Toto, we ain't in Kansai no more.
Needless to say, I spent more time on the throne than necessary during my entire stay.
And if ever I become President, bidets shall be mandatory in all commodes.
The airconditioning was another puzzlement. It had started to rain shortly after we checked-in and so the outside temperature was getting chillier. Out of habit, I turned the A/C on to high and presently felt like I was in the sauna. This being Tokyo, things simply cannot be out-of-order, so I perused the hotel info card and discovered that the A/C adjusted automatically to the outside temperature.
Meaning, if it was cold outside, the A/C would become a heater.
Ah, so desu ka.
Therefore, the A/C stayed off permanently, and I enjoyed nice naps in my nippy Nippon nook.
Now, my first order of the day upon arriving in a new and unfamiliar city is to figure out the subway routes. And while we were staying in Shinagawa (which is probably Japanese for "the middle of nowhere"), fortunately the rail station was just a short walk from the hotel.
Hit the road, Jack.
So off I trudged in the cold, joining the throng of salarymen and office ladies, trying to make heads and tails of the labyrinthine rail and subway routes.
A slight headache and feeling three degrees stupider later, I gave up and decided to try again in the morning.
I knew I should've studied kanji.
First day and I was already bothered and bewildered.
But not quite yet bewitched.