25th to 30th August 2005

1. Objective 2. Planning 3. Places & People 4. Practices & Preferences 5. In Conclusion 6. What's Next



Hostel tends to bring back the memory of my study days, i.e. complete freedom with a lot of spare time :) This hostel is perhaps very new and it is very well-equipped. You will see a lot of young people everywhere which makes you envy of them all the most.

Each room is shared by 6 people of the same sexes on 3 double-deckle beds with 6 respective cabinets as well as a balcony. By the way, private room is also available at a higher rental rate.

Since it is built for students, it has an ideal learning environment like study room, tv lounge, dining hall, washing room, kitchen, vending machine, phone booth, bicycle rental and public bath.

From the horses mouth, longer stays is usually not possible...


Motel are dorminary rooms which are shared by many people of any sexes on as many double-deckle beds as possible with given each a small locker. And you do understand why it is cheaper :)

You will encounter people from many different countries in motel. And i believe some Japanese actually stay in to avoid travelling.

There ain't much useful work you can do in this environment. And you are encouraged to stay as long as you want, if you don't mind.

Train Network

There is no need to understand how the train network operates. But if you can, that's a plus. Most importantly, is knowing how to use it.

A train network is used the same way as SBS and TIB bus network in Singapore except for one thing, you need to use the correct exit. A correct exit will be a correct entrance to where you wanna be =)

A train station is like a bus stop. And sometimes you may need to walk from one bus stop to another nearby bus stop for a transfer. Similarly, in train network, walking from one station to another requires the use of an correct exit from the initial train station.

And when you walk to a nearby bus stop, you may not be taking bus of the same company. It is also the same for train transfer too.

What is more comprehensive in train network is that you have sufficient information to determine the shortest transfer path.

In Japan, it is a common phenomenon to determine the options to shortest paths by the use of mobile phone with GPRS capability. This is how they showed me the way when i checked with them.

Due to many repeated usage within a short period of time, i am now able to utilize the train network just like Singapore's East-West Line and North-East Line, with the understanding that in Japan there are ten to twenty times more lines than us and simplistic naming consisting of North, South, East and West just ain't applicable.

And we had the opportunity of physically getting to a nail polish shop with an address from internet given by Realm's girlfriend. We now appreciate and understand how local address works as well :)

Oh yah, we took bus too, for twice! Strangely as it may seem to you, we entered by the back door and exit at the front door where the payment is made. There is absolutely no issuance of bus ticket.

Convenience Store

Personally, i like the concept of convenience store. For people who tends to work late like myself, i like strolling out late at night alone and get myself a drink, relax, and enjoy the silence. Even if i need to cycle, which i used to when i was staying in Orchard; but now i don't have to because there is a 7-11 opposite my flat, haha =D

In Japan, convenience stores are just a bus stop distance apart. If you were to count on them for direction, you will never get it right.

This is interesting. What you can find in Japan's convenience store and not in Singapore one is a corner which marks 18 and above. That's where you can look out for exclusive comics and magazines ;)


I tried taking a picture at the entrance but was spotted by the security... This is a gambling arcade with rows and rows of slot machines, some use coin as token while others use solid sphere.

Despite my disinterest in these extremely noisy machines, almost every pachinko i came across is full house or close to full house! I bet you have yet to come across very serious players with their tokens line up in pails or baskets on the floor. All pachinkos have toilets.

Perhaps i should invest and experience the pachinko culture...

For Guys Only

Just like ladies who have their exclusive whole body slimming service, guys in Japan have their own entertainment services too.

And i had the privilege to examine one of such services as part of my "study". It's a library of AV DVD with immediate room facility for viewing. In any "library" as such, there are easily 10 to 20 thousands titles on display and selection of which could post the first big problem because only the spine of the "books" are exposed.

The second big problem, to some, is knowing fasting forward. Five titles are allowed to be brought into the room and within that one hour, it is absolutely ok to exchange as many titles as you wish.

It may seem unacceptable for you but to me, LOVE and SEX are two separate entities; though there could be temporal overlapping but in the long run, they are standalone. In this ground, both man and woman shall live within the confinement of their own conscience.

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An exceptionally well-built hostel found in a stadium, $2950.


One of the mixed dormitory rooms found in a motel, $2100.


An illustration of just one company's train distribution network.


A sign showing an exit to two companies' respective lines.


One of the most commonly seen convenience store in Japan.


Array of slot machines are found in such entertainment centre.


AV library cum private room rental on hourly basis for guys.