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Geishas, Pumpkin Lattes, and Chicken Hearts.

I lied in my last post, unless “really soon” means two months later? I’m so sorry about that… Let’s get to it anyway.  Why do I keep naming my posts in threes? Well, it’s just so interesting right? I think so at least. When I last left my posts about Kyoto, I had went to the Golden Temple, ate some yummy ramen, and explored Kyoto Station. Well now I was ready to head off into Gion, arguably one of the most famous regions of Kyoto. fb_img_1451365497396.jpgGion is famous for being one of the main areas where geishas live and work. Though the geishas of today are not like those of the past, they are still women who are performance artists. It is not very likely that you will find a geisha or maiko (geisha in training) wandering around Gion. If you’re lucky enough to see one (like I was!) they’ll be rushing around, hoping not to be spotted and swarmed by tourists. It’s kind of scary to be followed around, like some sort of semi-celebrity, so I don’t blame them for running. I was lucky enough to catch a glimpse of a beautifully dressed girl in a blue kimono. She nodded at me and I at her, and she scurried down an alley before anyone else saw her. Probably one of the coolest experiences of my trip, though it was fleeting.fb_img_1451365500702.jpg
Gion had a wonderfully old school charm to it. Old wooden buildings, small shops. I wandered through the streets happily, after downing a sweet caramel pumpkin latte from Tully’s.
Which was probably tastier than a pumpkin spice latte, I haven’t had one in years now so I’ll compare this fall… I looked through the shops in Gion, buying some konpetti and the traditional Kyoto cookies made from cinnamon called yatsuhashi/bridge cookies (that are amazing!). I just enjoyed being a tourist. I loved Kyoto and how it felt being there, I did everything I wanted to do and then just sat down and people watched for a bit. I was on the edge of the Kamo River, watching the sun go down under a willow tree. The buildings lit up and I felt like I was in a fantasy world. It seems to cheesy to write something like that but I really did feel content with my life.

fb_img_1451365517448.jpgI wasn’t just waiting for nothing though, a friend from highschool was working in Kyoto and she agreed to meet with me for dinner. She took me to Fushimi Inari and we saw all the cool torii gates, as well as some cute cats and a tiny lizard. It was an interesting experience because it was night-time and the area is not brightly lit but it was still cool. We saw many shrines and small foxes. I would’ve liked to eat some kitsune udon while I was there but I’ll save that for next time I’m in Kyoto…

fb_img_1451365554621.jpgWe finished up at Fushimi Inari and then headed to an Izakaya for dinner. Izakaya are Japanese bars, but are kind of like a snack and alcohol bar. It was all fairly inexpensive for several drinks, a delicious cabbage dish (that was refillable and free!) and many fried foods. I had stuffed peppers, chicken skewers, and even chicken hearts. Not my favourite thing but when in Japan… Haha. We settled up the bill and hurried back to Kyoto station so I could make my train back to Osaka on time. A short ride later i was back in Osaka and I hit the motherlode of kitkats in the station. I figured they’d be good gifts to bring home and also it was going to be my last time in Japan for a long time so I might as well spend the money I had.

I saw lots of people in Halloween costumes too which was nice, people in Japan love Halloween! It was refreshing to see a country love a holiday that much. After rushing to the subway, I made the last train back to Doubutsuen-mae, and then back to my hotel.fb_img_1451365535906.jpg

I was thankful for a lovely solo trip and I enjoyed spending my last bit of yen on things in Japan. I know I’ll be back in Japan one day but since I don’t know when that will be, I can reflect and know that I did enjoy exactly what I wanted to.
So ends my trip posts. I haven’t been on any trips since being home, and I’ve been home nearly six months. I’m itching to go somewhere new, and I hope you’ll stick around for it.

Coming next are some posts from home and I hope you’ll enjoy them too. Thanks for sticking with me!

Until next time,
B.

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0

Kyoto

On one of my last weekends in Busan I decided to step out of the country. I really don’t know when I’ll head over to Asia again and I needed to strike this one city off my bucket list before I left.
Kyoto has been on my list of places to go for almost ten years. One of my best friends went on an exchange to Japan in the tenth grade and they had went on a field trip to Kyoto. When I opened the email and saw Kinkakuji I knew I had to go. It was one of first times a picture took my breath away… So I decided to treat myself to a trip to Osaka.

fb_img_1451365380797.jpgI had a long weekend at the beginning of October so I took a few days to myself and then flew out of Gimhae in the afternoon on Saturday. Each flight with Air Busan required me to board the plane by staircase, and there’s something glamorous about that for some reason, no matter who is shoving you… I loved flying Air Busan because the staff was friendly, the snacks were good, and the flights were painless. Immigration getting in to Osaka was easy too. I was feeling good getting into KIX. I decided to take a risk with WiFi this time going to Osaka.

Now usually when I go to Japan I rent a WiFi router from SoftBank. I have had no issues with it and it’s fairly inexpensive. Since I was only going to be there two days, I decided to try one of the free WiFi apps they advertised in the terminal. This was a blessing and a curse. Blessing: I didn’t spend $40 on a router, nor did I have a temporary charge of $400 on my card (they do this for security purposes). It also allowed me to enjoy being alone and the sights and sounds of a beautiful place. Why did I enjoy it so much?? The curse: it rarely worked. It was as if I had to stand in one foot and hop up and down to keep a signal. It didn’t cost me anything but it also did not benefit me too much. I was okay on my own but if you need a constant connection, you should not use the app TravelJapan Free WiFi. Yes it was free but it was not convenient in Osaka or Kyoto. Maybe it’d be better in Tokyo but I really had a hard time. Luckily I planned ahead and wrote down the important directions.

My hotel in Osaka was sort of traditional. It was a hostel type building but I slept on a tatami floor. I had a tiny room to myself, perfect for me, and it was quiet and relatively clean. It was kind of old, but the staff was really friendly and helpful. I stayed in a place called Backpackers Hotel Toyo. It has a great location in Osaka, only 2-3 stops from the Dotonbori/Namba area and also located near Shin-Imamiya station on the JR Line. The hotel was super close to the Dobutsuen-mae subway station. Lots of conbinis around and I even saw people with Donki bags but I didn’t have enough time to scour my area of town.

After finding my hotel, I dropped all my stuff off and headed back out. fb_img_1451365415554.jpgTaking an afternoon flight only allowed me a few hours in Osaka, but I made the most of them. I left my hotel just before 8pm and was in Namba, lost and confused, just after 8:15. After wandering around and shopping, I found my way to the familiar Shinsaibashi area. I grabbed a few tsum tsums for my collection (limited edition Halloween ones!!) and then spent far too much money at Donki. I can’t say enough good things about Donki. It’s my favourite store in Japan.

After I was all shopped out, I headed back to my hotel not before stopping at Family mart. Japan is obsessed with Halloween and I was excited to grab a bunch of goodies while I was there. I tried lots of pumpkin flavoured things… It had started to rain so I hurried back to my hotel and settled in for the night.

Conbini food in Japan is amazing and I was so happy be reunited with my ebi mayo rolls. Mmmm.

fb_img_1451365386668.jpgNext post I’ll detail my day trip to Kyoto, which was amazing in itself. Chicken hearts, creepy foxes, little lizards, and the Golden temple await you!

Thanks for your patience and happy new year!!! I hope your holidays were amazing and please look forward to some new posts for the new year!

Until next time,
B

 

Here’s a Kyoto teaser pic…fb_img_1451365465476.jpg

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Day five: Tokyo talk, too-sweet pork, and Tomorrowland.

My FINAL day in Tokyo started really early! I was up at 7am and out of my hotel by 7:30. I love travel days because they require little-to-no makeup and super comfy clothes. The train to the airport went super quickly, and before I knew it I was on my 30 minute trek to gate 99. I think I finished it in less than 30 minutes, but I shopped a lot on the way so I kind wpid-img_20150802_112558.jpgof lost track of time. Airports in Japan can be the best places to get kitkats or other Japanese specialties, and they’re only a little more expensive than they’d be in town. I purchased some Black Thunder chocolates for my coworkers, and a few other things. I also went into the Victoria’s Secret in the terminal (and then ran back out after looking at the prices). Once I was finally at my gate, I had some time to chat with my boyfriend, preparing for his own trip soon to visit me! And I really took some time to absorb what had happened.

I had visited one of my dream cities: Tokyo! I remember being 14 and dreaming of going to Tokyo. It was everything I imagined, as a child and as an adult. It was wonderful and confusing, frustrating and fantastic, and charming. I had a pretty good experience overall, and I got to do a lot of things on my list. Japan is a beautiful country, and I really enjoyed my time there. I’m looking forward to going back one last time before I leave Korea. I really want to go to Kyoto and see the golden temple. It’s a place that has been on my bucket list since I was 14. I was glad I got to experience it without my rose-tinted glasses on. Being in Osaka really put Japan into perspective. I expected Japan to be super easy for me, with my years of anime watching, one year of Japanese language studying, and a general positive travel attitude. It was not very easy in Osaka, and though I had a good time, I was frustrated a lot and felt kind of put-off. Being in Tokyo was a lot easier, it is a very accessible and super accommodating city. There’s a lot of English everywhere. And though there was a lot of English in Osaka, there was much more in Tokyo. I could appreciate Tokyo for things more because of my attachments I developed when I was younger, and I really did. One of the highlights was seeing Hachiko in person. Though it was in a sort of dirty, crowded area (right outside of Shibuya station) I was really happy. I’ve loved the story of Hachiko for many years and even wrote my Japanese speech on Hachiko and how I related it to my dog, Belle.

Traveling is such a great thing, and I know it is a passion for many people. I know that my future is sort of up in the air right now, but I’m enjoying this little bubble I’m in. I hope that travel continues to be a big part of my life.

wpid-img_20150802_113553.jpgOn the plane we were served a weirdly Japanese meal, with pork that was too sweet and delicious fish mixed with rice. There was also a yummy piece of mochi, so I was happy. I watched the first hour or so of Tomorrowland and I have no plans to finish it… Haha. As we touched down in Busan, I was thankful to be going back to my apartment. I spent a good amount of Sunday just hanging out in bed, and cleaning for my onslaught of company.

August has been a wonderful month, and it’s flew by. As September approaches, I’m in my tenth month of work! I’ve had jobs a lot longer before but I worked so hard to become a teacher, and now I’m almost done my first contract. I don’t know what the future holds, but for now I’m enjoying the fear (and excitement) of the unknown.

This series is nearly done! I have one more post planned and it’ll be up very soon! After that I’ll have some monthly recaps for you, and my final month in Busan bucket list!

I hope you’ve enjoyed my Tokyo-a-go-go series! I’ve really enjoyed writing it!

Until next time,
B.

This is a post in my Tokyo a go go series.
Find the main post here!
Go back to Day One!
See where I stayed in Tokyo.
Go to Day Three!
Check out my Tokyo Transit Tips!
Go to Day Four!
Check out my Robot Restaurant Review!
Check out my guide to Kitkats in Japan!

3

Best view in Tokyo: FOR FREE.

wpid-img_20150731_160239.jpgWhen I was Tokyo I saw two of the best views of the city: one during the night at Tokyo tower, and the other during the middle of a humid summer day in Shinjuku. The Tokyo Metropolitan Government building is right near Tochomae station, just outside of Shinjuku. If you go to Shinjuku station you’ll see signs pointing you towards it. It’s on the “other side” of Shinjuku, so opposite all the cool stuff like Godzilla and the Robot Restaurant. I detailed my version of events in my post of about Day 3 and Day 4. Shinjuku is a pretty cool area of Tokyo, it’s more chilled out than other areas, but I came to enjoy it in my time in Tokyo.

The Tokyo Metropolitan Government building was a part of my changed opinion on Shinjuku. I really hated Shinjuku when I first got there because it was really wpid-img_20150731_162219.jpgconfusing, I was hangry, and I didn’t know what to expect. When I finally made it to the Government Building, it was like an oasis because it was nice and cool, and best of all, it was free. The building is basically like any government building but they open up the 44th and 45th floors for anyone and everyone to go and look at the city. The building basically houses a lot of the workers for the 23 wards of Tokyo, and most of the city. You can read more about it here. It’s a beautiful building and the observation desk is really cool.wpid-img_20150731_155824.jpg

You line up, go through a metal detector quickly and then you’re into the elevator up to the 45th floor. You can either go to the North or South observatory. We opted for the South observatory because it’s the one we came to first, haha. The elevator goes up the 45 floors super quickly, and though it would have been cool to see outside as you ascended, it was a closed in elevator. You can see so much of Tokyo outside the windows, and there was a lot of information in English, Chinese, Korean, and of course, Japanese posted. It showed you everything you could see out each window. On a clear day you can even see Mount Fuji.

wpid-img_20150731_160147.jpgThe observation deck is open daily from 8:00am – 6:45pm, making it possible to see a nice sunset. Any time would be good to go because it’s nice to escape what can sometimes be madness in Tokyo. It’s nice to just sit up there and watch the people go by. We spent nearly an hour up there, and it was totally worth it. I’d go back next time I’m Tokyo just because it’s one of the best things you can do for free. It’s a great thing you can do with a group of people or even by yourself (woo, solo travel!).

If you’re ever in Tokyo make sure you go to the Tokyo Metropolitan Government building!

Until next time,
B.
This is a post in my Tokyo a go go series.
Find the main post here!
Go back to Day One!
See where I stayed in Tokyo.
Go to Day Three!
Check out my Tokyo Transit Tips!
Go to Day Four!

6

Day four: Hentai, Humidity, Harajuku, and Godzilla.

IMG_20150801_215358On Saturday morning I woke up bright and early to get ready to go. Megan had conked out before midnight the night before, and she was still sleeping soundly when I left. I sent her a message to let her know where I was. I enjoyed my breakfast, and then started to wander around Akihabara. I had been through there before but only at night and only brieflywpid-img_20150801_105636.jpg. I took my time this morning seeing as Megan still showed no signs of replying to me. I went in and out of gift shops, looking at various things I could buy. I explored endless UFO catcher machines and arcades. It was really fun. I even went through every floor of the Animate store, a place I saw in a Youtube video. Akihabara has many things, and the Animate store had merchandise from just about every anime I’ve ever heard of, and many wpid-img_20150801_111056.jpgthat I hadn’t. Some merchandise including body pillows and lots of anime porn, aka hentai.

I used to be really into anime when I was in highschool. I collected plushies, watched only Japanese subtitled anime, got into J-dramas, etc, Even though that part of my life is somewhat in the past, I still appreciated and loved the things I saw. Akihabara would be like heaven for anime fans. During my time in the Animate store something really sad and personal happened, which I don’t really want to elaborate on too much right now, and I had to take some time to myself. I kind of put myself into a quiet area and tried to pick myself up. Thankfully I had some really good friends who talked to me and I was able to make the most of my last day. After wpid-img_20150801_140653.jpgfinishing in the animate store, I made my way to a convenience store where I was able to grab some limited edition Lotte Fits Super Mario Brother’s gum, and a weird coke float version of Calpis (a milky soda).

Megan got back to me,  and she was going through some stuff too. Saturday was not starting off too great. I was sure she was almost ready to go, so I picked up some things I had my eye on and then made my way back to our meeting point. We met up in the afternoon and made our way to Harajuku to go to Meiji Shrine.

It was super hot in Tokyo during our entire time there, and Saturday afternoon was wpid-img_20150801_141356.jpgno exception. We made our way to Meiji shrine, walking through the big gardens and seeing many fish and turtles, and nearly missed the entire shrine. When we made it to the shrine, I made a contribution to the shrine, even doing the traditional clapping/offering. It was a fun experience. We were really lucky too because we got to see a wedding procession. I only took one photo because I felt that it was inappropriate, but many people were shooting pictures as if it were a movie. The group of people were small in
number, but the bride and groom looked beautiful. We ended our time at Meiji shrine by getting a fortune from the shrine maidens. It was pretty interesting but they are just full of general statements. I enjoyed my time though!wpid-img_20150801_152413.jpg

wpid-img_20150801_154643.jpgAfter finishing at Meiji shrine, we headed into the madness that was Harajuku. Our cooking instructor from Thursday warned us that Harajuku was very busy and often filled with people, but I was not prepared for the sheer volume of them! There were tourists from all over, many languages could be heard. People were looking in the many shops in Harajuku. We barely stopped in any because it was just so hectic. We did go to the Disney store (again haha), and Swimmer. I’m really sad that I didn’t get to go to Kiddyland, but that will have to be on my next trip to Tokyo. Megan and I were not enjoying our time, so we headed off the main street and found a tourist shop. I took some pictures with funny Harajuku glasses (that were impossible to see out of) and Megan sorted out our restaurant reservations for laterwpid-img_20150801_161553.jpgthat night.

It was after Harajuku that we headed back to Shinjuku. Starving, we looked for a ramen shop. I had some somewhat disappointing ramen when I was in Osaka before, but this time I was wpid-img_20150801_174131.jpgnowhere near disappointed. I was completely satisfied with the creamy delicious pork ramen. The noodles were thinner than I was used to but I still gobbled the entire thing. After the delicious dinner, we had wandered Shinjuku, I found a cool arcade (Japanese arcades are awesome) and then we finally found the good part of Shinjuku. Shinjuku station is the 7th largest transit station in the world. It was no wonder that we kept getting lost in it… When we finally made it to the other side of Shinjuku, we found Godzilla, the Don Quijote, and the Robot Restaurant.

Shinjuku is actually a pretty cool area. I was pleasantly surprised to find after our fail of a day on Friday. I didn’t think much of it until we got into the brightly lit night wpid-img_20150801_190840.jpgarea. I enjoyed my time in Shinjuku more than I imagined, and I was able to take in
a lot of the sights in my short time there. We had arrived just after 8, and we spent a bit of time waiting for Oliver. We all
met up just before 9 and finally made our way to the robot restaurant.

wpid-img_20150801_223004.jpgNow Robot Restaurant in Shinjuku deserves a post of its own, and if you read this before I make it, GO. Go there. It was one of the best things I saw in Tokyo. Read about my experience at the Robot Restaurant in Shinjuku here.

After the restaurant, we had to hurry to find the subway. Thankfully on the Shinjuku line we only had to ride one subway to a sister station to wpid-img_20150801_202032.jpgAkihabara. We nearly missed the last train but made it! It was a mad dash, literally. Shinjuku station is TOO big, haha. After getting back to the hotel, I packed my bags and made sure I was ready to go.

My final day in Tokyo was approaching, and unfortunately only one place was on my itinerary: Narita Airport.

That final day post will be up soon, thank you so much for reading!

Until next time,
B.

wpid-img_20150801_225008.jpgThis is a post in my Tokyo a go go series.
Find the main post here!
Go back to Day One!
See where I stayed in Tokyo.
Go to Day Three!
Check out my Tokyo Transit Tips!
Check out the best free view in Tokyo!
Check out my review of the Robot Restaurant!

2

Day two: Sushi rolls, Giant Robots, and a Stunned Pigeon.

day twoDay two was probably my favourite day in Tokyo. We headed out to Asakusa just before 10am, we had booked a sushi making class with Yoshimi from Tokyo Kitchen . She met us just outside the subway station at the famous Kaminarimon gate in Asakusa. I applauded her for wearing a stunning white kimono, especially on the humid summer day. We walked along the river to her apartment. She pointed out the cool landmarks on the way: the golden “flame”, the Asahi beer headquarters, and the cool river bus. We made it to her apartment, which was a beautiful airy little place with an awesome view of the river. We sat down and she gave us a lesson on Japanese cuisine, and then thoroughly explained what we’d be doing.

We got right into cooking and it was so much fun! We prepared a few dishes: summer cold tofu with tomatoes/onions, wpid-img_20150730_104242.jpgspinach with sesame, potato miso soup, and of course some beautiful mosaic sushi rolls. There was a lot of work put in, but it made our morning hunger all the more worth it. By the time we finished everything, I was starving. It’s a good thing everything we made was so delicious and fresh, and was so satisfying. Yoshimi was super helpful and handy, she took us through the steps slowly but surely. We made a few dishes: we started off my waking the rice, then starting the omelet for the inside of our sushi rolls, then we prepared the topping for the cold tofu and the dressing for he spinach. The dishes we made were: chilled tofu with a summer tomato/onion topping, spinach with sesame, potato miso soup, and some mosaic sushi rolls. It was time-consuming but honestly the time flew by! We were eating lunch just after noon, which was perfect timing. After lunch we talked for a bit and then Megan and I left to explore Asakusa.

wpid-img_20150730_131036.jpgAsakusa is a pretty neat area, Our class was on the river, so we could see the river boat/bus driving on by. We could also see the really cool shaped Asahi beer headquarters! It’s shaped like a glass of beer, foam included. Next to Asahi beer is the golden flame, which resembles a golden poop really, and Tokyo skytree. We were going to take the river bus to the next stop, but like with most public transit in Japan, it was too expensive. Our cooking instructor had mentioned “Seria” to me, after I said I loved Daiso, and I had made a stop there before we explored more of Asakusa. There was a lot of cool stuff in the department store, and Seira had a lot of really adorable things. I grabbed some Minnie Mouse utensils for my niece, some Mt. Fuji washi tape and notes, and a really cute set of elephant sticky notes. Stationary in Asia KILLS me, it’s so adorable. Seria is a good wpid-img_20150730_142327.jpgplace to go for souvenirs too because everything was 100Y, 108Y with tax.

After walking around the temple and gate area of Asakusa, we decided to make our way to Daiba station. This was a bit of a journey from Asakusa, but we made it. It had started to rain when we were on the subway and thankfully the station we were at allowed for a completely indoor transfer. By the time we made our way to Daiba, the rain had let up. The walk to Diver City Tokyo Mall was a gloomy one, but at least there was no rain. There was actually a summer J-pop concert going on, and I stood to watch it for a little bit from the walkway between the subway station and the mall.

wpid-img_20150730_192730.jpgDiver City Tokyo Mall is a HUGE indoor shopping area. There are about 8 floors, and each floor is filled with great stores. I had put this place on my list for two reasons: Old Navy and a Giant Gundam. I love Old Navy, probably 60% of my wardrobe is from there, and I was really excited to find a store in Japan. As we were walking into the mall, we noticed that people were really hesitant to go in the doors. Thinking it was just another tourist bottleneck, I tried to pick up the pace. Imagine my surprise when I realized that everyone was just avoiding a small pigeon who was sitting in the doors looking a little ruffled and a lot confused. Poor bird. Thankfully a mall staff member helped the little guy out and we were on our merry shopping way.

The next few hours were spent shopping happily, going through store after store. If you don’t know me, I can shop for hours. I love looking at new things, sometimes buying new things. I really like shopping. I purchased quite a few things, some clothing included, and a lot of souvenirs. We ended our shopping adventure with a trip to the Daiso on the 6th floor, and then chilled out for a bit before checking out the Gundam outside. The Gundam is  A HUGE model gundam, lit up outside the mall. A few times a day there are performances in the way that it might move a little, and at night they do a 15 minute anime screening. Also, during the day wpid-img_20150730_193514.jpgyou can walk under the Gundam. It was a pretty cool little aspect, and I enjoyed it whole-heartedly. After we took some pictures, we headed over to another mall so I could check out the Disney store. The Disney store in Japan is always a stop for me, it’s full of cute little things. Basically ever time I go to Japan, I buy some tsum-tsums. These are small stackable plushies that are super cheap and adorable. When I was in Osaka I picked up 5, and this time in Tokyo I picked up 3.

Daiba is a pretty cool area of Tokyo because it’s on the bay. There’s also a part of it that looks strangely like New York city, it also has a Statue of Liberty and a very Brooklyn bridge-esque bridge.I took quite a few pictures here and it made a perfect backdrop for the night. Tokyo was still humid after the sun went down, but that didn’t stop my little photoshoot.wpid-img_20150730_200614.jpg

After journeying back to Akihabara, we stopped for dinner at Coco Ichibana. This is a popular Japanese curry chain. I had a cheese curry katsu, which is a pork cutlet in curry. It was really delicious and I’m glad there’s a Coco Ichibana in Busan haha.wpid-img_20150730_213505.jpg

We loaded up on snacks at the convenience store, and then made our way back to Grids so we could rest. Another somewhat successful day in Tokyo awaited us on Friday.

Until next time,
B.

This is a post in my Tokyo a go go series.
Find the main post here!
Go back to Day One!
See where I stayed in Tokyo.
Go to Day Three!

9

GRIDS hostel lounge Akihabara Review: AKA Best Capsule Hotel EVER.

wpid-img_20150801_101837.jpgWhen I first thought about going to Japan, I had the idea of staying in a capsule hotel. Capsule hotels started off as places for business men to crash for the night after a long day in the office. It started as the bare essentials: a bed, a shower, and a roof over your head. Now they’ve evolved into nice places to stay. I’m not going to lie, the capsule hotel I stayed at in Osaka was probably 30-40 years old, or at least it looked like it. It wasn’t dirty or anything, just old and outdated. The capsule hotel I stayed at in Akihabara blew it out of the water.

GRIDS hostel lounge is situated about 10 minutes from Akihabara station exit 1. I got very familiar with this walk in my time in Tokyo, and explored the small streets happily. There were several convenience stores, a nice little park, and even a cool owl restaurant (that we sadly didn’t get to go to 😦 ). The hotel is perched on the Kandawpid-img_20150801_101826.jpg river, in a sleek new building. I don’t know when it was built, but it had to have been within the last 5 years. There are 7 floors, including a spacious lobby area with a bar/restaurant. I only partook in the flavoured water they had out every day, but the staff were all very friendly and welcoming. Our rooms were on the 5th floor, the female only floor. The only floors I went on were the 5th, 7th, and 1st. The 7th floor had a common area with a huge fridge and freezer that was open to everyone. They also had a small kitchen type area that people could use.

Our floor was super clean and inviting. You tap your key card at the door, and then you put your shoes in the corresponding locker. You swap your shoes out for a pair of black pleather slippers and then you’re good to go. I went straight into the nicely air-conditioned pod room and found my bunk. Each day we had new sheets and towels laid out for us, and the friendliest cleaners were always smiling and warm to me. The pillow was a pellet filled/feather hybrid that was pretty comfortable, the blanket was plushy and just light enough for the summer. The pod had THREE outlets and a nice little light. This was great compared to the one in Osaka that only had 1 outlet for the whole pod. I slept 44797169comfortably the entire time I was there, aside from the time I hit my head on the roof of my bunk…

The bathroom area was kind of similar to an airport bathroom, but ten million times better. They had 4 individual shower stalls, one bath tub area, and then 6 bidet-equipped toilets. They also had a large vanity area with 6 sinks, hair dryers, and tissues at every mirror. It was sleek, comfortable, and clean. The open bath area in Osaka was fine, but this was so much better. The pressure on the showers was awesome, and the bathrooms even had lockers for all your stuff. During my time there I had no issues with theft or anything.à

All in all, this hotel was clean, modern, and super travel friendly. And for the most part, for a capsule hotel, it was really quiet too. Sometimes there’s a chance you may hear anything and everything everyone around you is doing and aside from some super organizing travelers and a couple for shouty Russian girls, I had no problems. The staff spoke English very well, were super helpful to my travel companion and myself when we needed anything, and it was just a great place to be. If I head back to Tokyo any time soon, I’ll be staying at Grids for sure.

I booked my trip with Booking.com, as per usual, and I had no problems.

Here’s the Booking link!

This is a post in my series called Tokyo a go go.
Here’s the main post.