Getting some training

Trip Start Sep 05, 2005
Trip End Ongoing

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Where I stayed
Hotel Cabinas

Flag of Japan  ,
Thursday, September 8, 2005

Awoken rudely from the land of nod by my alarm at 6:30am in order to get the Shinkansen (bullet train) across Japan to the island of Kyushu in the west. After a quick shower I felt refreshed and headed out to get some breakfast at 7:30. Headed across to Denny`s over the road for a full on English breakfast of scrambled egg, some sort of bacon and a smoked sausage. There was also some lettuce and a couple of slices of thick bread. Best of all was the pot of tea which was fantastic. One thing I found rather weird was the amount of people drinking alcohol! The people behind us polished off a bottle of red wine and I saw someone getting a pint of lager. This is at 7:30am! The people behind also ordered a meal and didn`t touch it at all, perhaps it was the wine.....

Went back to the hotel and collected our bags before heading to the station for the 9:36 Shinkansen to Okeyama. Got lost at Ueno trying to figure out which subway to take to get to Tokyo station and ended up missing the train. Exchanged our train pass for a ticket outside and went to find a suitable train to take.

So instead we boarded the 10:06 headed to Shin-Osaka, we would have needed to change at Osaka or Okeyama on the way anyway. This train took just under 3 hours. It did pass Mt. Fuji on the way but the only cloud in the sky decided to plonk itself directly in front of it as we rode passed! Rather annoying!

Today was easily the hottest so far, into the 30`s and very humid. It was fine on the train but walking around the stations with our bags was torture. Stopped in Osaka for a few minutes to change train to continue our journey. Grabbed a sandwich and a triangular rice thing to eat on the train.

We boarded the Kodama Shinkansen headed for Hiroshima. This stopped absolutely everywhere and took another couple of hours. Tried to eat my rice thing but couldn`t figure it out. Wasn`t too good anyway and the seaweed style paper on the outside smelled horrible. Sandwich was much better.

Once we arrived in Hiroshima we had to grab one last train to Fukuoka. This was once more a Kodoma train stopping everywhere. Finally pulled into the station at 6pm and it was dark and we had nowhere to stay. Overall the train journey wasn`t too bad. The views were pretty good and you get to see that Japan isn`t really the high rise country that Tokyo would have you believe. Around Hiroshima the houses were pretty sparse and there was a lot of greenery.

Once at Fukuoka Station (confusingly called Hakata) we set about trying to find somewhere to sleep for the night. to make things easier we stashed our big bags in a locker and proceeded to walk around looking for hotels. We caught the subway to Tenjin as we thought we would have a good chance there. Tenjin is a lively entertainment district but it proved impossible to find anything there.

We ended up walking for 2 hours trying to find somewhere. Almost in desperation we headed back towards the station and spotted salvation, the Hotel Cabinas! I had originally want to stay here so was pretty happy to say the least! The Cabinas was a capsule hotel and I wanted to stay in at least one during my time in Japan.

On entering we hand to remove our shoes and place them in a locker. I got an individual room for the bargain price of 4500 yen (22 quid). For this you got a room in what is very close to a luxury hotel. The individual rooms had a wardrobe, writing desk and capsule bed complete with tv, radio and air-con.

The hotel also had a restaurant, massage room, spa, sauna and communal bath.... Think i`ll ignore that in an all male hotel thank you.

Heading back to the station we had a quick bite to eat in Starbucks before grabbing our bags, and a couple of cans of Asahi, and returned to the hotel for some journal writing. Checking the channels on the tv there were about 10, pretty much all showing baseball and a couple of scrambled adult channels I was knackered so fell asleep quickly for my first decent sleep.
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