日本での一年間

March 14, 2012

Staying at a Capsule Hotel

Visiting Tokyo is not cheap. A cheap room barely larger than a closet in a business hotel might cost $6oUSD, depending on what part of town you stay in.

One option for visiting on the cheap is to stay at a capsule hotel. It’s a bit difficult to plan because few capsule hotels have English websites. Also, many capsule hotels do not allow women. The number of places that allow women is on the rise but still accounts for only a fraction of capsule hotels.

I stayed at a capsule hotel in the Asakusa neighborhood of Tokyo for a few nights in November. The hotel had a women only floor.It was not the most glamorous place to stay, but at 2,200 yen (~$28USD) a night, it was cheaper than most other accommodations.

Front desk of the hotel. I had to check in every night and check out every morning. They did not allow me to leave my luggage in the capsule, even though I was staying in the same place. Check-out was 9:30 am. An alarm went off at 9 am every morning and then someone would come onto the PA system to inform us that we must leave within the next 30 minutes.

Inside the capsule. Just enough room to crawl around and have my suitcase sit next to my futon while I sleep. They provide linens and a yukata (summer kimono).

See more pictures after the jump.

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June 2, 2011

Afternoon Tea at the Peninsula Hotel

Anyone who knows me knows that I love tea. It is far and away my favorite thing to drink. Whenever I’m in the office, I always have my over sized Chicago Botanic Garden mug (a gift from some friends. Thanks friends!) filled with some kind of tea next to me. Usually I drink bancha (a type of green tea) or assam tea (a type of black tea) because those are the teas I can plunder from the snack corner of the office.

So when my friend in Hong Kong suggested going to the Peninsula hotel for their Afternoon Tea Service, I ignored her follow-up of “but it’s a bit pricey” and insisted that we go. We showed up on Sunday afternoon around 4 and got in the back of a long line. It was a holiday weekend and I guess we weren’t the only people with the idea that it might be nice to have some tea.

Tea drinkers drinking tea.

This is the queue as it was when we were about to be seated. The line had actually gotten shorter since we arrived, possibly because it was getting close to the end of the tea service at that time.

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