This trip to Japan is going to be different than the last one. Last time, I was here the entire time, which was definitely one of the coolest things I’ve ever been able to do, and we experienced so much. With those experiences went a lot of money, too! We still came home with a nice chunk of change but it could have been a lot more if I hadn’t gone to Toyko so many times. Going into Tokyo is like going into Seattle… you go and by the end of the day, you have no idea how you ended up spending so much money! This trip is far less exciting because I only get to come out for short periods of time, we’re spending so much time apart, we miss our cats & this trip is really about the money. We wouldn’t be putting ourselves through all of this, and Rob wouldn’t come out here on his own, if it wasn’t all about the money! There won’t be as many fun day trips to talk about because the money for those will be in our savings accounts instead. Part of me feels like I’m squandering another opportunity to hang out in Japan but the other part of me is just remembering the end game in all of this.
Also, the novelty of the trains has really worn off since we went back home. Before, I was willing to invest endless hours of my life to those trains to get to Tokyo. I’m still willing to do that to a point but not as often. Many parts of Tokyo can take up to an hour and half and I was all for it before. I’ve done it so many times now that I mostly just find it exhausting. I hate saying that, though, because I love going into Tokyo!! One of these days, I woud like to visit Tokyo on a vacation so we can enjoy all it has to offer without the long train rides.
Anyway, this is where we’re living.
Last time we were in Japan, we stayed at New Hotel Yokosuka, just outside the Honch and near the main gate to the naval base. This time, we are at Hello, Lodge, which is a little bit farther out. It’s still very much in the city but not so much a part of “Little America,” so there was a lot less English writing around us! The nice thing is that we aren’t staying on the street lined with bars and crawling with drunk sailors. There are no “massagi” girls on this side of town so Rob doesn’t get propositioned as he walks down the street so that’s nice. We are surrounded by apartments and more of a business district, being near the elementary school, the post office and city council office. Below are pictures of the streets and apartments around us.
The streets and sidewalks are still clean!
This is us.
While it’s a nicer area, it’s also a more incovenient area. It’ farther for Rob to walk each day to and from work. Not by much but still farther. It’s about a 10 minute walk to get to Alibaba, which isn’t far but isn’t the same as being right across the street! Sometimes I wouldn’t even get dressed before running downstairs and across the street to get an Egyptian sandwich. Not I have to walk several blocks to get one. It’s probably a good 15 or 20 minutes to get to Lotus Indian House but fortunately, Gorkha Palace is right up the street and owned by the same people, so I still have easy access to Indian food! We loved the 7/11 next to our hotel last time; they were right next to us, open 24 hours and had so many options! Now we have to walk farther to get to a less cool 7/11 if we want to shop there. There’s a tiny convenience store across the street from us, Tryangle, but they are a poor man’s version of what we’re used. There’s nothing wrong with it… it’s just less variety and all of the “convenient” stores close around 7pm.
I used to shop at Aeon for groceries but that place closed right before we came home in April, so I switched the market located below the More’s City mall on Blue Street. Now, it’s a little bit more of a walk! All of it is still doable but just not as nearby. We are located right next to the Port of Yokosuka, where the seafood is so fresh, some of it is still alive. They don’t have the same selection as the other stores but they work for seafood, some meats and certain kinds of produce.
We have key cards and it’s kind’ve cool because you can’t get in the building without scanning this key card. I like it because that means no one who doesn’t belong in the building can get inside. There are several locations for Hello, Lodge, but they only have one “front desk” between them. The front desk we refer to ins’t even in our building so it’s nice to have that extra safety measure when entering the hotel.
Don’t worry… if you forget your key card, you have a back up key in your own personal box.
When you come inside, you get on this little elevator that’s only big enough for two or maybe three people. We are only on the second floor, right above the entrance. When you look straigh ahead out the window, you look directly at the parking lot across the street. If you look to the right, you get the really exciting view of the convenient store. However, if you look to the left, you get a view of the Yokouka Port Market and Tokyo Bay. That direction is a little nicer!
Christmas is not really a religious holiday over here but it is celebrated as a time of giving and something to be enjoyed. A lot of the businesses have their decorations up, including our hotel!
You will also notice hand sanitizer as well.
This room is smaller than what we had last time. Before we came over here in January, we were told to expect very small rooms, as this was the norm here. We were pleasantly surprised by the size of our room because we saw some that were much smaller! I wouldn’t say this room is significantly smaller than our other room, but the other room had an open floorplan. This room has walls separating the rooms so each room feels really tiny.
The kitchen counter area is a little smaller. Like last time, there’s only one burner but this time, it’s a gas burner. I’ve never used a gas burner until now. I don’t mind it but I can’t help but think this is a fire waiting to happen, with all the drinking these shipyard employees come over here and do before going back to their rooms. Anyway, they only gave him one of everything; one glass, one fork, one plate, etc., so we made a quick trip to the 100 yen store to fix this! We are happy about the size of the fridge. Previously, we had a mini fridge. This fridge isn’t quite the normal depth of your average fridge but it’s normal height so there’s a decent amount of space.
We sleep on a queen bed at home and we had a queen bed at the New Yo, so the difference with this double bed is very noticeable! Rob really doesn’t like these pillows. The television stand is just low enough that you can’t easily watch TV while you lay in bed, and Rob is not a fan of this either. I kinda get it, though… this room is so small that there isn’t many places for two people to sit comfortably to watch a show.
We have been fortunate concerning our entertainment options this time around. Last trip, our only options were Netflix & Japanese television. Netflix has a million options so this totally sufficed but there were a couple of shows we follow that we couldn’t get the new episodes of (at the time, Game of Thrones & Shameless) because we didn’t have access to Hulu or HBO or anything else along those lines. This time, we have an American VPN so we’ve been able to watch all our normal programming!
We have tiny desk! Our other desk was a huge, wrap around one that served all of our purposed! Here, we have two little tables and a very small desk area. It’s taking a little mmore creativity to make things work here for two people. I don’t know if we were just fortunate to get the bigger room at the New Yo because Rob has a guest or if we simply lucked out.
This time, we have a lot less storage space, which consists of only two closets. At the New Hotel Yokosuka, we had so much storage space we couldn’t even use it all.
Our deck is much smaller than our other one too. This doesn’t impact us too much because neither place provides patio furniture, plus it’s winter, so we aren’t spending much time on the deck anyway.
I think our other bathroom was a little bigger but they’re comparable.
THIS hotel has a washer and dryer IN the room, as opposed to going to a different floor to use the communal washer & dryer. This is nice & convenient! The downside is that the quality of these machines isn’t awesome and you have to run your clothes through the dryer about four times before they’re dry so doing a load of laundry takes forever. Needless to say, Rob is happy I’m here to do laundry for him!
Overall, I think we both prefer the New Hotel Yokosuka to this location of Hello, Lodge. It’s nice to be in a quieter area than before but that’s the only thing we find more appealing about this place. I don’t have any real complaints though. It gets the job done, it’s temporary & it’s paid for!