20+ hours of travel later, touchdown in my hostel bed! Tokyo before 22! Life goal: satisfied.
After feeling super claustrophobic during the last two hours of the 14-hour flight I somehow got directions from a nice security person at the airport and made my way into downtown Tokyo.
After that I got into a taxi and sacrificed a lot of Google Maps data while trying to find HI Tokyo Central Youth Hostel near Iidabashi where I had booked a room for the night.
Even though the hostel was super close to the underground station, I wandered around for about half an hour trying to find it. Due to tired-ness (and Canadian-ness) it never occurred to me that maybe I should look… up.
It turned out I walked past my hostelfour or five times. It was on the 18th floor and I had been looking for it at ground level. Welcome to Tokyo.
A kind taxi driver helped me figure this out. With his white gloves he took the address I wrote down and the Google Maps on my iPhone. With no real English (and me no Japanese) he managed to drive me to the right building and tell me to go up. Communication is an amazing thing.
Even better? He didn’t charge me a cent. Super nice guy.
After checking in to my hostel, that’s when the real excitement started.
My first night in Japan and I already got to try one of these. The best feature of which is by far the heated seat option. I was too nervous to try the butt spray.
My hostel also didn’t have any western-style private showers, so I got to experience full-on public bathing the first night. Wow. Hi Japan, I’m Mel. Um… I guess you’ve seen me now? “Try and act casual,” said my brain, to which my other brain responded, “I’m not casually naked in public much. I think we’re going to have to practice this a few times.”