Day 29: To Yokkaichi and Tokyo

I left my host family's house a little before 7:00 yesterday morning, carrying my 20+ pound backpack, a 50-ish pound suitcase, and another smaller 20-25 pound suitcase.  I carried all that luggage up and down at least a couple dozen flights of stairs, because that's how the Japanese train system is organized.  After three separate train rides, totaling about 3.5 hours, I made it to my friend's middle-of-nowhere station, too small to even bother staffing with anyone.  You toss your tickets in the bin when you get off the train, rather than actually having anything check them.  It's interesting.

My friend showed up to take me to his house a few minutes later, so I dropped off my stuff and relaxed for a little while before we went out for lunch and looked around the area briefly.  After a couple hours, we went to the bus station with a much lighter load to find a bus to Tokyo.  There wasn't one.  So we instead went to the train station, took the train to Nagoya, and from there found a bus to Tokyo.  We ended up arriving around 10:20 at Tokyo station, where we walked to Otemachi station and then rode to Kinshicho station, where our capsule hotel is located.  I have a couple pictures, but our particular establishment has got to be on the lower end of the capsule hotel scale.  It was roughly $30-35 a night, and you get a locker about 6 feet tall, 8 inches wide, and 1 foot deep for your stuff; access to the public bath/shower; and a bed to sleep in in a box roughly 6 feet long and 4 foot wide/tall.  It has a TV and radio included in the capsule, but I didn't use them.  There also wasn't a door on it, just a curtain you could pull down.

After checking in, we wandered around the area for a couple hours just seeing what was here.  There's a park nearby, nice and green, with a couple playgrounds for the kids and a baseball field, and we could see the Tokyo Sky Tree from just about anywhere.  It's also kind of a seedy neighborhood, so there were the less desirable types of people around, especially considering we were out around 11pm-1:30am, but we didn't have any problems, and there were enough people around to be safe.  Although it was actually a lot emptier than I thought it would be considering it's the biggest city in the world.  The train station in particular looked deserted when we first went in.

Eventually, around 2:00, we went to bed for the night.  This morning we got up at 9 and haven't done much so far, besides use the public bath.  Not something I exactly wanted to do, but also not something I had much of a choice about.  Either I do that or I start the day feeling even more disgusting than I went to bed feeling last night.

I have a few pictures that I'll post later when I get the chance.  It looks like our plan is that my friend will head back to his house this afternoon, and I'll stay another night.  If I can manage, I plan to just stay out all night and save money.  If not, I always have the option of coming back to this hotel at any point.  24-hour check-in.  Now we're off to Akihabara and wherever else we decide to go.

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