I don’t usually stay in capsule hotels, but this might lure me back

I take a very dim view of objectionable fanservice, so this recently reported promotional campaign involving one of my favourite anime series will remain firmly in the “wait-and-see” category until more information becomes available. That said, if the final result is all in good taste, I’d be tempted to break away from my routine use of business-level hotels whilst holidaying in Japan (at least for one night or two) just for the chance to share in the experience.

After all, I’ve already stayed with this particular capsule hotel chain (albeit in another branch) so I have a half-decent idea of what to expect, facilities wise.

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I’ve been to Japan more than a dozen times. William’s been there once. And he still gets to try the hot springs before I do.

In my defence, I’ve never been particularly interested in onsen bathing (not enough to actually take a dip, anyway). But there you are.

Are you a Japanese museum featuring obscure subject matter that’s looking to raise visitor numbers and get rid of unsold past-exhibition catalogues? Here’s something worth looking into…

…because it’s a fact of life that people will visit something they’ve seen or heard about in a game.

And, as it turns out, they’ll buy the old stuff in your museum shop, too.

My brother’s been bugging me to get him one of these – and it’s not the new iPhone.

No, I’m talking about this.

And today, thanks to a brief note on the official site, I’ve learned that he’ll have to wait until next year to get one. (Assuming I manage to seize one of these from a store in Japan before they run out … again.)

Oh, happy solitude

Not everyone will view the trend described in this recent Japan Times article as positive, but I certainly think it’s an encouraging development.

After all, it’s no mystery – at least to those who know me – why I dine out at Ichiran so frequently whenever I holiday in Japan. (Here’s a review I wrote of one particular Ichiran branch; note that the seating arrangements described there are standard across their branches.) They’ve got delicious Hakata-style ramen, true enough. But more than that, the individual booth seats allow me to enjoy my meal in near-complete privacy, without having to look at another human being … or worry about anyone else looking at me.

As an incurably anti-social traveller, the prospect of being able to limit my interactions with the rest of humanity to the barest minimum is welcome news indeed. (^_^)

Darn it. One day too late.

My next holiday in Japan is supposed to begin on 30 September. One day too late, it seems, for me to experience this limited-time-only themed restaurant bus.

Not that I would’ve altered my bookings even if I’d known about it in advance, but still … darn it.

(Incidentally, I still haven’t seen the film, nor do I really plan to. But I’m still enough of an anime enthusiast to appreciate special events like this.)

Six years to the day.

On the morning of 22 November 2016, I switched on the TV and allowed the morning news to play in the background whilst I got ready for another day of sightseeing. Suddenly, normal broadcasting was interrupted and warnings began to flash, with reports coming in thick and fast of a major earthquake that had just taken place off the coast of Fukushima Prefecture. Despite the fact that I was a very great distance west of where it struck – at that point in my journey I was staying in Matsuyama, on the island of Shikoku – the urgent warnings raised uncomfortable thoughts about an earlier event, far worse than the present one. What I found most chilling of all was the message delivered by the newsreaders as the tsunami warnings were broadcast: Isoide nigete kudasai.

Three words, spoken calmly yet with uncompromising firmness, over and over and over again.

Remember and pray, even as one looks to the future with hope.