The Capsule ExperienceSeptember 12, 2017 in Japan ⋅ ⛅ 25 °C
So I want to go from Matsumoto to Hokkaido. Rather than flying (which would be waaay too convenient) I've decided from the get go to take a bullet train to Sapporo, which is the Hokkaido major city.
So I drive to Nagano, weather isn't great again, and drop off the car to the Toyota rental place there. Now I wheel my megaluggage to the train station (which is fortunately not far) and buy a shinkansen (bullet train) ticket to Tokyo via a vending machine. So far so good. It takes around 90 minutes to travel between Nagano and Tokyo. The leg room is surprisingly spacious in the seats, and there are no issues in reclining them. While it will always be quicker to fly, it is more convenient and comfortable to travel by shinkansen.
Tokyo Station is huge as it services metro lines, shinkansen lines and regular JR (train) lines. I find the east exit as I want to drop my megaluggage at the Nishonbashi Bay Hotel. This gives me a couple of hours to wander around. It's good to be back in Tokyo! I haven't been around this area before so I walk to Chiyoda Park, which houses the Imperial Palace. Whilst that is off limits, it is free to walk through the East Gardens. They are substantial in their own right and deserve more time than I can give.
Back at the hotel, I check in and am given a locker key and a floor card for pod 510. The locker isn't that big so my megaluggage will stay in storage on the 2nd floor. There is a guest lounge on the 2nd floor as well with a TV, powerpoints and the ubiquitous vending machines.
I go out to eat at a local English-style pub called the Rose and Crown. I can sit at the bar and eat a meal there, which is tres convenient. I order the roast beef as it comes with vegetables (something I crave) and drink a couple of ginger highballs. The pub fills up while I'm there, mostly local workers letting off steam after work.
Back at the hotel, the time eventually comes to take to the capsule. I'm conveniently 😣 on the top tier so I have to scale a ladder in and out. The capsule itself is reasonably spacious and has fan and light controls. It also has a light shade that pulls down and locks into place. While it is reasonably sound proof, you do hear people coming in and out of the capsule area. I think this is the reason that I wake up from time to time (and not the feeling that the walls are closing in). It's one of the things you try once, it only cost 57AUD and it's a valid stopover option.Read more