I had to wait a few days to get my visa to India, so I used them to familiarize myself with Tokyo. The first day, after much walking, I decided that, instead of sleeping outdoors, I’d sleep in a capsule.

The idea of ​​sleeping in one of those famous Japanese hotels could be an interesting experience (probably also economically interesting since they are at least three times cheaper than conventional hotels or ryokans, the traditional Japanese hotels). I paid in advance at the front counter, I got a key to open a locker where I could take off my backpack and the street clothes, and I pulled a folded yukata I found inside.

The key was also valid for the capsule, a niche in a top row, high enough to be able to sit inside, and whose only furniture was a television set into a corner. The bathing area has hot tubs (ofuro) separated for men and women.

One of these hotels, on the top floor of a tall building next to Sensoji Temple was particularly welcoming. From its round terrace you could see perfectly the precincts of the temple, the river area and some important buildings, among which stood the offices belonging to a well-known Japanese beer company, but not because of its height, but because of the huge poop above its entrance. The intent of the architect (a renowned European designer) to recreate a golden flame resulted in a colossal shit. An urban legend says that the employee who paid the bill for such a ‘monument’ considered committing hara-kiri.

During those mornings, I went out to the terrace to meditate facing the temple, whose view was much more inspiring than the mentioned building across the bridge.

I finally could pick up my passport with a valid visa for India for three months, and returned to Nagoya. As always, I bought the cheapest ticket, which meant having to spend a few days in Malaysia, but I was glad to have the opportunity to know a little better that corner of Southeast Asia.

Advertisements