This past week I’ve been running, enjoying the pain associated with running (and by ‘enjoying’ I mean coping with) and angsting over hotels in Tokyo.
I’ve got an upcoming business trip to Japan and I’m hoping to stay there for a week after the business stuff is done and stock up on my all-important Japan supplies. My supply situation is very, very dire at the moment – I am almost out of make-up and I’ve had no kit kats in funky flavours or prawn crackers for months. Serious with a capital ‘s’.
I enjoy angsting over hotel rooms almost as much as I love looking at house floor plans (I’ve got a bit of a fetish for looking at floor plans for some reason. That’s why if I had my life over, I think I’d be an architect.) I get particularly excited when I find a hotel that has floor plans of the rooms on their website…mmm…and some of them even have that delightful 360° panorama thing that makes visualising all that more exciting.
Apparently there are 2120 hotels and other places to stay in Tokyo according to the 2011 records of the Tokyo metropolitan government. Looking through their data, you can pretty much find out everything down to the most common shoe size of the residents of the 23 wards of Tokyo. Some might call the fact that the government knows just about everything about its citizens a bit eerie and big brotherish, but as a result I think they are able to plan their infrastructure and services in a much more structured manner.
In Australia we barely know our population (and it’s more of an estimate than anything). Sure we have a rough census every 4 years or so on which I could report my religion as Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster if I so wished, but there is no central ‘database’ per se. We are a mash of states that don’t share information and under privacy rules, most government departments are not able to share information with other departments. I suppose that’s a good thing if you don’t want to be found, but it must make it very hard to know what people need and where it is needed. It also means that anytime you want to do something, you’ve got to have five million types of ID to prove who you are and where you live. In Japan, your handy Jyuuminhyou (Resident’s Registration) or ARC (Alien Registration Card) will do the job in a snap (and you can even get a copy of your Jyuuminhyou from 7-11, how’s that for convenience?!?)
And speaking of Tokyo -just for the record -Tokyo is not a city, it’s an area, kind of like a province or state. Within Tokyo there are 23 central wards, 26 outer cities, 5 towns, 8 villages and 35 or so islands that stretch 1200kms into the pacific ocean. So if you say you’re going to Tokyo you could be going to this:
So, my hotel situation…I’m considering the factors such as proximity to 100 yen shops, Starbucks, train station, supermarket, convenience stores, karaoke boxes and post office as well as the price, square footage, existence of bathtub, age of hotel and the type of bed. Yes, I am that anal. I guess I don’t go places all that often, so when I do go somewhere, I want it to be good. At least, that’s how I’m justifying my anal tendencies in my head.
In running news, this time in three weeks, I will have finished my race. Hallelujah, I’ll be glad when it’s done… I’ve got two more weeks of long-distance training and then I’m tapering the week before to be fresh for the run. I ran 19.45kms in 2hr 10mins yesterday so I won’t be breaking any speed records, but it looks like I’m on track to finish the 21kms in under 2 1/2 hrs. I’ve just got to make a decision about what I’ll be wearing and I think I won’t be able to do that until I know what the weather will be like. In the unlikely event of rain, I’ve also purchased myself a waterproof running jacket with a hood and it can be folded up into a pouch and tied around my waist. I’m very impressed by these type of running gadgets… that I have to buy on the internet from foreign countries because shopping in Australia is expensive and it sucks. I priced a similar jacket here for $200. Online from the UK I paid $42. And they wonder why people don’t want to visit Australia.
/rant part 2
Well, I think I’m all ranted out for now. I still have hotels to angst over and kit kats to dream about so farewell.