Feature image courtesy of: https://kathrynwarmstrong.files.wordpress.com/2015/04/tokyo-at-night.jpg
Written on the 10.05.15 at 22:34 (+9 GMT)
Flight CA183 flew into Tokyo Haneda at 21:40 (+9 GMT). Immediately your eyes are drawn to the sea of vibrant neon lighting on the runway: green, blues, six types of red and twelve types of everything else. The skies were clear as we began to make our decent towards Tokyo Haneda; I’d finally arrived after sixteen hours and a near (but albeit fruitfully anecdotal) miss transit at Beijing international.
What struck me about Japanese customs was the level of bureaucracy: it would have been far easier to visit a Vogon poetry recital. Thankfully though, immigration was uneventful and within 15 minutes of landing, I’d finally entered Japan!
MyStays Haneda was about 5 minutes by Shuttle Bus. Whilst waiting for the 10:40 shuttle, I struck up conversation in (basic) Japanese with two security guards who asked me where I was from, to which I replied “Igirisu kara kimashita”- I’m from England. This really made me smile; after three months of practice, it gave me such as sense of satisfaction to converse like this.
Enroute to the hotel, I struck up conversation with an American couple from Utah and a Canadian Girl who’d just spent the last 10 days in Seoul. It was reassuring to see others travelling alone too!
The hotel room was an absolute blessing.
The first thing you notice as you open the door is a small partition in the flooring, separating the entrance, a laminate floor, and the rest of the carpeted room. As I made my way in, I was presented with two pairs of thick cotton PJ’s and two pairs of slippers; sat on top of them was a card which read:
“These sanitary slippers are for your exclusive use!”
Paranoid about getting foot germs everywhere, I inserted my feet into a pair of comfortable brown, leather slippers and began to skate around the room humming to Bolero. With a comfortable double bed, tucked into the alcove behind the en-suite, it came with a TV, air conditioning unit, a faux leather chair with red cushions and a few pieces of mass produced hotel art.
The second thing that struck me was how unnecessarily futuristic the toilet was. My model doesn’t speak or make toast surprisingly, but there about the only things it doesn’t do.
The toilet itself was rather unassuming- it was the panel on the wall was where the magic happens. It give ladies and gentleman the opportunity to clean themselves using a ‘bidet’, or as Wikipedia gently puts it:
“A bidet is a plumbing fixture or type of sink intended for washing the genitalia, perineum, inner buttocks, and anus of the human body, and is typically installed in a bathroom. Lower-cost add-ons combining a toilet seat and “electronic bidet” are becoming increasingly popular as well.”
Note the ‘electronic’ element in the above description. Not only can one clean oneself at a touch of a button, but you can adjust the pressure of the bidet jets. One word of advice: don’t be cocky- don’t mess with the default settings.
Abrasive doesn’t it cut it ladies and gentleman…well actually it kind of did.