Weekend in Tokyo II: Night at a Capsule Hotel, Bunad, backpack and 17. mai - Vikingess Voyages

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Weekend in Tokyo II: Night at a Capsule Hotel, Bunad, backpack and 17. mai

After a long Saturday in Tokyo, it was finally time to get some sleep, and I had pre-booked the night at a Capsule Hotel in Asakusa near the Kaminari-mon.
Finding a Capsule Hotel was actually harder than I would have thought, because most of them are only usable by men. But after spending quite some time searching I found one called Hotel Asakusa & Capsule (ホテル浅草&カプセル) that had rooms for women in addition to the ones for men. I found it through Rakuten travels, and the (student)price was 1800 yen for a night. (Arriving there I found out that the price actually is 2200 yen unless you book the room in advance;))
The Capsules are like small boxes, and at first I was a bit skeptical looking at the tiny entrance to my room: I had to crawl on all fours to get in.

Looks more like a prison than a hotel. My room was number 518, and the entrance was almost the same size as my backpack..
But inside the size of the room was a lot better than what I had imagined, and it even had a small locker and a TV (though it was 100 yen/hour to use it).
My bunad and my hotel room.
The small locker and the entrance to my capsule-room.
In addition to the room, you also get access to a common bathroom and a room that has an onsen (温泉is the Japanese word for hot spring, but of course these ones don't have real onsen water though).

Me by the entrance to the capsule I slept in.
Anyway, check-out time was 09:30 so I had to get up a little earlier than what I would have liked. Getting ready for the events at the embassy later the day I got all dressed up in my bunad (Norwegian folk costume) and hit the road.
I had a lot of time to kill, and since the famous Kaminari-mon was right by my Capsule Hotel I decided to take a walk over there for some sightseeing.
The famous Kaminari-mon 雷門
..and a close-up.
I guess I must have looked a bit strange walking around in Tokyo in my bunad, but on the other hand, after seeing what some people actually wear in Harajuku I think you need a lot more to surprise the Japanese people. It still was kind of fun.
I spent some time walking around in the area before changing direction and heading for the embassy down in the Hiro-o area of Tokyo.

I walked around all day in my bunad, which was kind of hot in the warm weather.  Here by the Tokyo Sky Tree (under construction)
At the embassy everything was ready for a fun celebration.
The only thing out of the normal was that usually there are normally some parades being held where people are carrying Norwegian flags while singing songs and marching in the streets, but due to the earthquake in Sendai in March the 17. mai-committee had decided that the arrangement would be a little bit quieter this year than usual. In other words, there weren’t any parades this year. We still had a really good time though; with Norwegian pølse i lompe, waffles, buffet with Norwegian food and cakes for dessert. And of course, some speeches and some traditional 17. mai songs like the national anthem Ja vi elsker.

The 17. mai committee giving a short speech
..And not to mention pølse i brød/lompe, which is a must when celebrating 17. mai.
Another picture of my bunad. The design of this one is typical for my hometown Bergen. 
Kids organizing their lottery tickets
And a second buffet: this time for cakes! :)
A picture of the King and Queen of Norway
Outside the embassy
Tokyo Station by night
 After a nice and busy weekend, it was time to go back to Kyoto again. I took the underground to Tokyo Station and spent the rest of the evening doing pretty much nothing, waiting for the night bus to take me home to Kyoto.

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Thank you for reading! Please feel free to leave any comments or questions below
- Anette

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About Anette
Anette came to Japan as an exchange student in 2010, met the love of her life and got stuck. From her base in Tokyo she writes about her experiences as a full-time worker in Tokyo and about her travels in Japan and abroad. She's a free-spirited adventurer who enjoys both the great outdoors and her urban lifestyle.

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  1. The capsule hotel where you stayed has bigger size than the one which I stayed in. However, I had pleasant time staying in capsule hotel, they offer affordable price and we have our own private space to sleep.

    I like your Bunad, and I didn't know if Bergen offers such a great design. Lastly, the Norwegian buffet looks amazing!

  2. i feel so bad that i couldnt join this event!
    The training center of my company is located at Hiroo, and I had been there until 20th of April!
    but I'm in Fukuoka now and i'll go back to Tokyo on 25th May...

  3. ååh, bergensbunad <3 og så har du belte, det har eg og! Deilig å se at noen på min alder har det og går med det, e ikke så ofte eg ser det =)

  4. Edwin: I was really surprised by the size of my hotel room, I feared it would be much smaller than it was:P..
    Norway has a lot of different types of bunad depending on where in the county you come from. You should come to Norway during Mai, then you can join the festival on the 17th and see a lot of different bunad styles:D haha..

    Maho: ohh, too bad you couldn't join then.. It was fun! If I get into the master degree I've applied for I'll be here next May as well, so we could go together then if you have the opportunity;). Hope you're enjoying your work btw!!

    Aina: jepp, fikk hele settet til konfen! Bergensbunaden er jo den fineste da, hihi:D når du sier det så, jeg vet heller ikke om så mange på vår alder med belte.. Hmm.. Hvordan var 17. mai der hjemme da? :)


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A modern day shield-maiden who loves to explore the unbeaten paths of the world. From her base in Tokyo, Anette takes on both rural and urban challenges, and goes by the motto "No challenge too big, no adventure too small"!
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