After leaving the airport, it took about 30 minutes by the express train to reach my destination, Tennoji station. It was one of those transfer stations with hoards of people walking in crisscrosses, appearing from every direction, making it impossible for you to stay still in one spot. The only way to really avoid the hectic motion was to plant yourself into one of the corners or the walls so people will not have to walk all over you.
I had no internet with me during this trip so I had to rely on my tourist map that I had received from the airport. I must admit it was one of the worst tourist maps where it was bulky and large, but it was uninformative and packed with ads. After misdirecting myself for a fair amount of time I had realized that my destination was another station away, but I was already on the move so I had to just walk the distance.
Upon arrival, I felt a sense of comfort, knowing that I had a place to stay and somewhere to drop my bags off of. The hotel itself was a humble place and surprisingly large with 6 stories of apartment space. There was a roof where you could dry your clothes and an impractically low ceiling room to play table tennis in, where the slightest upward motion will engrave your scalp onto the ceiling as additional decoration.
The front desk was very kind and informative, and upon arrival I received my room key and pass code for the entrance. There were no curfews so I was free to do whatever I wanted with my schedule. They had a common room, communal toilet on each floor, and a shared shower room space on the 1st floor. This was kind of a bummer because if you were located on the higher floors you had to walk up and down the stairs, due to the lack of elevators. This was fine for me, but for some it would have been a bit cumbersome.
The rooms were fairly small, but they were equipped with most of your daily necessities like your futon, blanket and electrical sockets. There was a fan for the summer time and the corridors were air conditioned. Some rooms had air conditioners and televisions if you were willing to pay a bit more. If you wanted to keep your futons and blankets clean you had to pretty much do your own laundry. I just took my stuff up to the roof for a quick dust off.
Bikes were available for rent, but the bike laws in Japan are pretty strict so I was kind of reluctant about riding the bike. I'm used to biking around and just parking it around a convenient area, but in Japan you have to find a parking space or else your bike can get confiscated. Of course, not everyone in Japan abides this law, but I just didn't feel confident on my first day in a foreign country.
The common room was an interesting space with many short term and long term travelers doing their own things from using the free wifi, computers, video games, television and cooking. It was easy to get into a random conversation with anyone and everyone had a familiar spirit with a sense of adventure.
After getting adjusted to the new living quarters, and an upgraded super map that I depended on with my life, I set off into the city with butterflies in my stomach.
The futons were surprisingly soft and fluffy.
I never used the fan and I kept my towel dry on my clothing rack. You can rent towels for 100 yen which is about a dollar.
My beautiful view.
The common room with its beanbags, sofas and tables.
I used the internet on these computers for additional trip planning. If you stuck around and conversed with the folks hanging around they would kindly inform you with suggestions and locations.
I played some Street Fighter 3 with a random guy from France. He was called Thierry and he was a big Neo Geo fan.
People would drink and eat here, and many of the long term travelers would actually be doing some work as they had part time jobs.
Many people were using this area to cook their food, especially during dinner time.
You can dry your clothes up here in the roof top.