I’m in Osaka. I’ve been here several times now, and I always stay at the same (very comfortable) hotel. But, horrors, it was fully booked this time, so I had to choose somewhere else – always a bit of a gamble when booking online.
Anyway, I’m feeling a bit duped. I’ve stayed in small rooms in Japan before, but this is ridiculous! It’s bigger than a capsule hotel (though not by much), but when you book a capsule hotel, you know what you’re getting: basically a tube in which to sleep. Done.
I think a room this size should come with a luggage warning: “Please be advised not to travel with anything bulkier than a ziplock bag,” or some such thing. When your room is so small that the only place to open your suitcase is on your bed, you have to be really organized. You have to think beyond what you need right now, and consider anything you’ll need for the next 24 hours as well, because you won’t be hauling that sucker up onto the bed to dig through it for every little thing, then re-packing all the things you just disturbed before zipping it up and leveraging it back down to the floor, where the only place with space enough for it to stand upright is blocking the bathroom door.
Then you need to find a place to put the things you’ve got out, so you put them on the chair. Of course, when you go to sit down, you have to move them to the slip of a desk, but that means stacking them on top of your computer. If you want to use your computer, however, your things get moved to the bed again, or perhaps on top of the minibar fridge against which your knees seem to knock every three and a half minutes.
Did I say sit down? That’s a bit tricky, as you can’t actually pull the chair all the way out before it hits the bed. You kind of have to pull it as far as it will go, tip it slightly, then slide your legs in sideways (knocking your knees on the fridge again, damn it), before your butt makes it onto the seat.
Taking a shower is a similar struggle, not to mention having to pee with the door open because if it’s closed you bang your knees on it when you sit down. (Only partway open, of course, due to the suitcase in the way on the other side.) I measured the bathroom, and if I stretch one arm out with my fingertips touching one wall, the other shoulder is almost grazing the opposite wall. That, squared. The sink overhangs part of the (half-size) bathtub, but is cleverly disguised by the shower curtain; thus, a typical shower experience goes like this:
1) Reach for the shampoo and hit your head on the shoulder-level shower nozzle.
2) Jerk back, hitting your elbow on the handrail on the opposite wall.
3) Overcompensate, driving your hip into that sneaky little sink.
4) Rinse. Repeat.
I feel like Gandalf in Bilbo’s home at Bag End – not imposing and powerful, but oversized and really clumsy.
There is an upside to a room this size, however: if you’re lying in bed and you realize that you forgot your water bottle on the desk or your cell phone (for your morning alarm) on top of that bloody fridge, you don’t have to get up – you can reach absolutely everything right from where you are! Finding the positives…finding the positives…
Also, and I have to say this is a first for me, the room came fully equipped with a book of manga! Cool! If only I could read it.
But perhaps the best feature of this room is that the bathroom amenities have sweet, inspirational sayings printed on the packaging – uplifting thoughts for when you’re sitting there with the door partially open, nursing your sore hip and bruised knees. Phrases like this one on the toothbrush: “Life is full of trials and tribulations. A man of strong will delights in adversity.”
My personal favourite, though, was clearly written with someone like my son in mind, and is printed on the body sponge: “Create your own wind and ride upon it.”
And on that note, my friends, I’m checking out. Of this lovely hotel, that is, and heading home. The pace of posts is likely to slow…
Oh, but I have one more photo to share, this one of an elevator door. At first I thought, “What on earth is up and/or falling out of her skirt?!” But then I started to wonder: Maybe she’s just created her own wind and is riding upon it…?