Friday, April 19, 2013

My First Time in a Capsule Hotel

Since coming to Japan, I have had the opportunity to live on my own and experience things I would not have experienced back at home. Besides my cooking problems, I have been able to live in various places such as a Japanese person's home, hostel, capsule hotel, business hotel, and I had to stay up all night at Shinjuku because I missed my night bus from Tokyo to Akita. In addition, recently I had to go the hospital because I got a Q-tip stuck in my ear and I was unable to remove it by myself. Experiencing some of these experiences has not been fun, but I feel that these experiences have allowed me to grow up as a person. I think that by studying abroad I have met so many different people, and I have seen so many things that I will be looking forward to traveling again.

I think my Spring Break was fun, but compared to one of my friends, I do not think that I did anything too extreme. After I got back to Akita International University (AIU), one of my friends told me that in order to save money, she hitchhiked a lot at Okinawa. In addition, she brought a tent with her so she was able to camp at Okinawa for about five days. I thought she was crazy, but I guess because Okinawa is supposed to be safer than Japan, hitchhiking at Okinawa may not be too dangerous.

Below are pictures from one of the business hotels I stayed at. Usually these hotels cost about 5000 yen per night, but the hotel fee includes a free breakfast. In addition, some of the business hotels I stayed at provided me a free set of pajamas, toiletries, and free Internet. Besides the free Internet, I was able to have my own room at the business hotel separate from my parents when I was traveling with them. At Tokyo, I had to share a room with my parents, and I was unable to use the Internet for free because the hotel bill was too expensive.

Breakfast from a Business Hotel

At Okayama, I stayed at a capsule hotel when I was traveling by myself during spring break. The capsule hotel was very narrow and compared to the hostels, I was unable to charge my electronics or use the Internet in my unit. I stayed in the capsule hotel for only two days, but I had enough room in my unit that I did not feel too cramped.

Inside of my unit

On the day that I was supposed to leave to return to Akita from Tokyo by night bus, I missed my night bus. I found out that I was at the wrong bus stop ten minutes before the bus was supposed to leave at Tokyo Station. Unfortunately because Tokyo Station is a big station there is a lot of bus stops, and the correct bus stop for the night bus I was supposed to take was on the opposite side of where I was at the train station.

After missing the bus, I rode the train station from Tokyo to Shinjuku because I remember reading that there were a lot of Internet Cafes in Shinjuku. I decided that I needed to take the bullet train from Tokyo to Shinjuku, but I thought it was best for me to find some place to stay.

At Shinjuku, I was unable to find some place to stay, so I decided to stay up all night until morning. I was afraid of sleeping on the streets of Shinjuku because I did not want the police to arrest me for sleeping on the streets and I was afraid of being attacked by someone while I slept outside.

I stayed close to the train station, but I tried to move to several different locations near Shinjuku Station. Usually during that night, I studied my Japanese, and I played games on my iPad. While studying, I  noticed several taxis pass by me, and I saw this old lady collapse inside of a telephone booth while waiting for the ambulance to help her.

Eventually it got closer to morning, and the train station opened. Once the train station opened, I bought a ticket for the bullet train from Tokyo to Akita. After returning to AIU, I met my new roommate, and because of him, I was able to get my bicycle fixed. Compared to my last roommate, my new roommate is from Nagoya, Japan.
Hanging around with my new roommate

View from Akita Airport

It is nice to see the sunset again