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.

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.)

Travel expands one’s horizons … and one’s vocabulary

Hyouka_12_22

Holidaying in Japan can be quite the educational exercise, and it often requires no more than switching on the telly and tuning into the morning news. (A good habit to have whilst getting dressed for another day of sightseeing, if only to learn what the weather will be like.) In the course of the viewing, one tends to pick up certain words that keep being repeated due to their increased relevance at a particular moment in time.

For example, I was in the country during the 2014 Winter Olympics, and the pervasive coverage of Japan’s performance in Sochi led me to learn a new word: senshu (選手), in this context used as an occupational honorific after competing athletes’ names (e.g., Hanyū-senshu). A rather severe raft of snowstorms also took place during that period, frequent news reports of which added another word to my arsenal: ōyuki (大雪), referring to heavy snow.

I’ve just returned from my 12th holiday in Japan, accompanied not merely by bags of socially obligatory omiyage and a rather bad head cold probably caught from a fellow commuter on the train somewhere, but by yet another fresh item for my linguistic catalogue: jikidaitōryō (次期大統領), meaning “president-elect”.

I don’t think I need even mention the chap whose dominance of news reports during my stay has drilled this new word into my head. (^_^)

I wonder if they’d let him ride THIS train

So Darkness Inoue wasn’t allowed to board the shinkansen. Sad.

Perhaps he should have a go at this train instead.

One more for the Tōhoku sightseeing list

I’m heading south and west for my next visit to Japan, but I’ve already begun to sketch out future plans for the north-east – a region I’ve only been to a couple of times in the last few years. I’ll see if I can squeeze in this rather interesting-looking manga museum, which until today I didn’t even know existed (and probably never would have if I hadn’t come across an article about it in the Asahi Shimbun).