General Japan

Photos: Super cheap hotel in Osaka – 800 yen ($8) per night

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    cheap hotel osaka

    A Japanese 2channel user recently posted some photo highlighting his experience staying at Osaka’s Hotel Diamond, which offers some of the cheapest rates in Japan.

    800 yen hotel

    The receipt, stamped by a hotel staff person, shows that it did indeed cost a mere 800 yen for a single night’s stay.

    hotel diamond osaka room

    The room is simple, and while not super clean, doesn’t look too terrible, especially when you consider the price.

    welfare consultation

    A sign on the hotel room tells guests that the those who are having trouble making ends-meet can go to the front desk for some advice. Presumably the hotel staff can provide some information about applying for government assistance of finding work.

    Such cheap hotels exist in certain areas of Osaka and Tokyo, and primarily cater to people who are in desperate circumstances. Hotel Diamond is located in Osaka’s Nishinari ward, an area known for its large number of day laborers and homeless people. A lot of the guests at the hotel are probably living from day to day on temporary jobs.

    The photos in this post don’t look so bad, but some guests have had bad experiences with the hotel in question. A google search revealed that one non-Japanese YouTuber thought the Hotel Diamond was “The Scariest Hostel in Japan”:

    Reviews on Booking.com also provide some details:

    Rooms are the size of closets with just enough space to lay two very thin mattresses on the floor. You can literally reach out and touch the walls. Very limited space beyond the two mattresses and around 1m squared to put your bags. Advertised are TV and bar fridge but they may as well not be there - Dirty linen and questionable whether rooms are cleaned regularly - Smoking smell throughout the establishment but better on the higher floors - It was very difficult to get a decent night sleep on the thin mattresses and the sandbag pillows. I spent the night tossing and turning and did not get a good night’s sleep - Located in a somewhat ‘dodgy’ suburb of Osaka, with lots of homeless around on the streets. It’s meant to be ‘dangerous’ by Osaka standards, although this is laughable when compared to Western dangerous suburbs. I’ve stayed in this suburb 3 times now without an issue.” – Ashleigh from Australia

    The hotel is as advertised. The accommodations are as you imagine them for the price. There are lots of cockroaches, mosquitos, poorly maintained bathrooms, and so on. It is extremely uncomfortable during the summer. I suggest spending a little bit more to gain a significant amount of comfort.“- Dustin from America

    A traveler from Uruguay provided a more simple review. For the positives, he listed “the price.” For the negatives: “The rest. The cheapest part is horrible!!”

    1 comment - What do you think?  Posted by James - February 22, 2014 at 11:01 am

    Categories: General Japan

    Hundreds of people remain stranded in snowed-in trains after Valentine’s Day blizzard hits Kanto region

    Yamanashi Snow

    For the second week in a row, a large snow storm hit the Kanto region of Japan. For most Tokyoites, life is returning back to normal. Snow doesn’t block the roads in the city, and a lot of the snow from Friday and Saturday is already melted.

    Yamanashi from the air

    (An aerial view of Yamanashi – click to view full photo)

    However, in nearby Yamanashi prefecture, things are much more serious. As opposed to the 27 centimeters of snow that fell in Tokyo, Yamanashi got about 114 centimeters (45 inches), and it has completely crippled the prefecture’s transportation system and left convenience store shelves bare.

    empy shelves

    According to news reports today(the 17th), hundreds of people remain stranded inside trains on the Chuo line. JR is apparently distributing emergency food, so they have been able to eat something since Valentine’s Day.

    Members of the Ground Self-Defense Forces have been deployed with shovels and snow-clearing equipment to clear roads and rescue people whose cars were stranded on snowy roads. It seems that it will be at least a few more days before life is back to normal in Yamanashi…

    Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by James - February 17, 2014 at 9:32 am

    Categories: General Japan

    Photos: Two trains collide on Toyoko Line

    Tokyo Yokohama train collision toyoko line

    Last night, two trains collided on one of Tokyo and Yokohama’s major train lines:

    At around 12:30 a.m., a train on the Tokyu Toyoko line linking Tokyo and Yokohama bumped into another train that was standing at Motosumiyoshi Station after overrunning the stop line by about 30 meters.

    Here are some photos of the aftermath (via 2channel and twitter):

    toyoko line

    Train collision in Tokyo

    Tokyo train crash

    Tokyo line crash

    Toyoko line crash

    crushed train

    And a photo of the bent floor inside the train car, posted by an Instragram user

    inside the train

    The cause of the accident is still being investigated. Luckily, nobody was seriously injured.

    Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by James - February 15, 2014 at 12:59 pm

    Categories: General Japan

    Japanese cars can get special Olympic edition license plates


    Vehicle registration plates in Japan are pretty bland. The numbers are usually printed on a white or yellow plate, with no decorations. However, now that Japan will be hosting the 2020 games, change is coming! For the first time ever, Japan will allow special license plates.

    The plates will feature an image of Mt. Fuji, together with a cherry blossom mark and the Olympic logo.

    As with similar license plates in other countries, they will cost a bit extra, but the money will go to a good cause:

    Car owners will be able to receive the special colorful license plates for issuance fees and donations of several hundred yen according to government sources. The issuance of the special license plates, which may feature such designs as Mt. Fuji, a Tokyo Olympic logo, or cherry blossoms—things that symbolize Japan—will last until 2020.

    The donations will be reserved in a fund, which will be used to improve the nation’s traffic services as the Tokyo Games approach, the sources explained. Specifically, the fund will subsidize projects for bus and taxi companies to introduce barrier-free vehicles.

    The plates will be available next year. Hopefully, this will lead to all kinds of cool plate designs.

    2 comments - What do you think?  Posted by James - February 4, 2014 at 10:33 am

    Categories: General Japan

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