Solo Trip in Tokyo [Day 1] (Rikkyo University, Ikebukuro, Capsule Experience)

Monday, 20 February 2017

So after the YKRF Forum, we all parted ways and I had actually booked my flight back 2 days later to go on a little adventure by myself. My friends had decided to travel together in different groups so we went our separate ways. I stuck with the Malaysian girl who was studying in Rikkyo University since we were heading the same way on the train and then she decided to bring me around her school and then the where I was planning to stay since she didn't have much to do. Boy was I thankful. Japan is extremely difficult to get around if you do not know Japanese, and it was difficult to talk to the people there as well since many of them do not know or understand English (or maybe the ones I talked to didn't...)

So anyhow, seeing as I spent 5 days in Keio University, I had wanted to have a look at what Yonsei's sister school, Rikkyo University, looked like and therefore decided to head over to take some photos. It's all about the architecture within Tokyo that I was really curious about, and how different it would've been from Seoul that made me decide to have an extra 2 days out and about in the heat.

Rikkyo University was beautiful, with red bricks, green creeper plants and colonial-esque buildings that complimented well with the skyline. There were many outdoor gardens, complete with a chapel that looks like those in movies. It was just breathtaking and even though Yonsei looks extremely advanced, I sometimes wished that it looked a little more vintage (like those in Korea University, but of course still with the high-tech facilities within).

After such a long week during the forum, we decided not to stay out too late and Yu Shan brought me to Ikebukuro and then headed off home (which was near the station). For me, I wanted to try out the famous capsule hotels of Tokyo. Decided not to go to the downtown party area and stuck to Ikebukuro. 

Checked into Ikebukuro Plaza, one of the better ranked capsule hotels through research online. It was expensive, considering all places in Tokyo, compared to guesthouses in Korea where you get the entire room instead of just a hole. When you enter, it feels like a spahouse or a jimjjilbang in Korea. There are places to put your shoes and you have to leave your luggages with the reception counter.

Ikebukuro Plaza Capsule Hotel & Spa
2 Chome-12-3 Ikebukuro, Toshima-ku, Tokyo-to 170-0014, Japan
Roughly $50/night
Around 10 minute walk from Ikebukuro Station

Apparently no tattoos allowed... oops!

The thing is, I have tattoos. On the inner side of my two arms and also one on my back, which you can read more about here. Anyway, what I did was I kept my towel on my back and my arms to my side at all times. In the bath, I sat at the far corner so that people were not able to see me. It's just any usual spahouse, there were places where you can soak in different temperatures, and then a shower area where you sit and just wash yourself. Soap and shampoo is provided so you do not have to worry. After I was done, I just placed my towel on my back again and walked out. I dry off and change really fast so that nobody would find out about it lest I get kicked out. 

I guess the reason why they wouldn't allow tattoos would be that the yakuza or triads were (or maybe still are) a big deal here in Japan and legend said that when a triad member entered the bathhouse everyone else exits. If you do not, you'd have to face the consequences of being beaten up or even killed. I guess that's why they restrict people with tattoos from entering or using the premises. 

The place is equipped with sinks, a laundromat, vending machines for drinks/food and areas for you to talk on the phone, do your work, and use the internet. You get a cubicle, or a "capsule" to yourself fully equipped with television, pillow, blanket and the shade can even be drawn for some privacy. Okay, one of the reasons I was in Japan was also to be playing Pokemon Go (since it's not available in Korea). So Ikebukuro has this area that's a 5 minute walk from the station where it was ALWAYS lured. I've deleted the screenshot within Pokemon Go, or else I'd be able to show you. Definitely a place worth going to if you wanna check out Pokemon Go in Japan. Headed there and saw this scene:

Stayed there for a good hour just catching pokemon, spinning pokestops and walking around, admiring the place and how people were so committed to the game that they brought floormats, drinks and snacks to play while chatting with their friends. Headed back to the capsule and called it a night, since it was gonna be a long day the next day travelling around!

Home for the night

Good night and stay tuned for the next day!

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