One of the good things about Japan that we quickly noticed when we arrived is it’s efficiency – something one appreciates after a 17+ hour journey. Being here for the very first time and without knowing a lick of Japanese (aside from arigato and sayonara) it was a great blessing to make it out of customs and on to our bus without a hitch. The limo bus was on-time and, in about an hour and a half, we got dropped off in our neighborhood, Shibuya, three blocks from our hotel.

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The Tokyu Inn Hotel –
It was about 9:30pm by the time we checked in and we were pretty beat. The hotel is right in the center of Shibuya City Center (see pic above. Remember those scenes of Tokyo where masses of people cross the intersections? That’s Shibuya City Center). Our room is very small and the bathroom is even smaller. Imagine one of those restrooms in an airplane. Now attach a mini-tub with a shower to it and that’s our bathroom without a hint of exaggeration. In the 90 degree heat and humidity outside, we’re just glad to be in a clean room with air-conditioning.

 

When we finally settle in and are ready to go to bed, we find something missing – light switches. Then we realize we have to take the room key out of a slot to turn off the lights. No problem. But once we do that, we find out that this turns off ALL the power in the room, including the air conditioning! So we now have to make a decision we didn’t think we’d have to make – sleep with the bright lights on or go to bed in the sweltering heat? We try to sleep with the lights on but we can’t. We take the key out of the slot and hope sleep comes before we start suffering from the heat. For me, sleep comes quickly but is interrupted every hour or so with me flipping over my pillow to feel its slight but fleeting coolness and trying to hypnotize myself with thoughts like “you’re on a beach and the cold wave is about to splash you. Just wait for it…”

(mo)