#181 - Sleepover in Japan
"Nine Hours" Sleeping Pods?
In January, Don and I had an 11-hour layover in Tokyo. I grabbed an airport pamphlet with a photo of "sleeping pods" and I got giddy. I have heard of these crazy capsules that you can rent for sleeping purposes! I was game for the ultimate adventure!
But, at 6 am in the quiet airport, it was hard to find an English speaking employee. I showed the pamphlet to couple different people and we followed a few pointing fingers. The odd-pod hotel, called "Nine Hours" was just outside the terminal, but we finally gave up. We didn't have the proper paperwork that allowed us to leave.
Dayrooms & Showers!
I moped, until I found the next best thing! The sign on the white tile wall read, Dayrooms & Showers! This meant we could have sort of a hotel adventure after all!
It wasn't really bedtime. It was dawn, when our flight from Thailand landed in Tokyo. But we were tired and when you fly internationally you can make your own rules. You can have a beer at 7 am or snore up a storm, at 10 am.
We also had the excuse of needing to be rested for the 14-hour flight to Houston, ahead of us.
In We Go
After a quick study of the shower & sleep symbols on the glass, we headed inside, to check out the airport's odd napping hotel. The lobby area was sleek and clean and oh so quiet!
The woman at the desk communicated in a near whisper. They had no double rooms available, but she could set us up with 2, adjoining single rooms.
We followed the woman, past the shiny, curved wall and up the stairs.
She pointed out the door to the restroom, since all the rooms with toilets were taken. We memorized the rules. No food. No smoking. Please Keep Quiet.
I found the whole thing so amusing. I was pretty sure I wouldn't be able to sleep. There was a hanger and desk with mirror.
There was a shower that reminded me of cozy cruise ship showers. The bed looked like it could have been made up by an army private, but it was neat as a pin and pretty comfy.
Quiet & Odd
There was very little to take pictures of, so I snapped a photo, showing how the rooms adjoined. Don wasn't able to dodge the camera, so now I have sort of a weird picture of our napping space, with Don unbuttoning his shirt.
Sometimes I can't sleep when it's too quiet, but I was very happy that we could hear no sounds, anywhere. I didn't want any reminders that there were people napping around us. The whole idea of napping in a bed at the airport, was odd.
Phone and Slippers
We each had a phone in our room, which was handy since we asked for a wake up call. There were slippers available, but I had no desire to slide my feet into those.
I crawled into my little bed and slept just a while... which was good, since the wake up call never came.
I figured I should get the shower experience, since we paid for it. Don paid me back for taking his photo...
We left our little napping rooms after 3 hours, of which I slept maybe 45 minutes. About $90. for this Notable Night Adventure.
Relaxing after Resting
By 11 am, we felt rejuvenated after our 3 hours of quiet... but we still had about 7 hours to kill.
Luckily we had some United Club passes that we were able to put to good use. Bloody Marys, sushi, newspaper and lots of room to spread out until our flight departed at sunset!
I guess our Notable Night wasn't during Tokyo's nighttime. But surely, it was night, somewhere!
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My New Year's Resolution for 2014 was to start documenting some of the memorable overnights I've had in some very odd and curious motels and hotels. Like the adventures in my Dining Blog, I have learned to enjoy the surprises that happen when you step out of the comfort zone, far away from the well-known chains.
I began with a few entries recalling my very first home away from home memories from my youth. Then, I started sharing about some of the quirky and unforgettable motels, hotels and inns that my husband and I have discovered in recent years.
The best part about this challenge was making some lists with Don and getting on the road in search of new overnight adventures. I gave myself a 2-year goal to write up 90 stories and the goal was met. Now we just keep on adding!