Chapter 7:

Tokyo: Chapter 3

The Kimochi Warui Diary

The next morning, in front of the hotel, a bright, white light poured in from over the tops of the buildings. Our first day in glorious Nippon was ahead of us. And with Jotaro as my audience, I jammed my finger into the sky:Bookmark here

“As long as we have a strong resolve, nothing on this trip can stop us from reaching our goals, not even Katou Yasunori! We have the courage to arrive with nothing but backpacks, and without even a hotel reservation to our name… We’ll show the gods of Japan our resolve, and we’ll defy all probability!”Bookmark here

Jotaro’s facial expression was the same as always, but his deathly purple aura was much smaller than yesterday. Does it reset every morning?Bookmark here

That’s when I explained to Jotaro that our next goal was to find the Tokyo Central Youth Hostel. There, we would find a haven for tourists and foreigners. Bookmark here

“It’s all according to my plan,” I said.Bookmark here

But actually, I had only spent a few minutes looking up nearby hotels the night before. The actual place we chose to stay didn’t matter—we just needed to find somewhere we could stay, use the WiFi, and come up with a real plan overnight!Bookmark here

“But first,” I said to Jotaro. “Allow me to show you something incredible that I found on the map yesterday.”Bookmark here

We walked down the street and, right around the corner, there it was:Bookmark here

7-ElevenBookmark here

Here in Japan, they called it something different, but there was no mistaking the orange and red “7” in the name. Inside the Japanese 7-Eleven was unlike anything we had seen back home. Bookmark here

In the states, you’d almost never willingly buy food from one. The best they had to offer was far from ideal:Bookmark here

Fruit and yogurt cups, sandwiches comprised almost entirely of bread, a plastic pack of two rubbery eggs, various microwave burritos… Bookmark here

But at Japan’s 7-Eleven, it couldn’t be more different. Bookmark here

There were three times as many refrigerators, and they were stocked top to bottom with meals that almost looked handcrafted. Rice balls, sushi, beef and chicken bento boxes, delicate and adorable little egg sandwiches, noodle bowls, pork cutlets, tempura… I could go on.Bookmark here

Even Jotaro’s stoic demeanor was broken by this marvelous sight. Bookmark here

“For real? This is on a whole other level…”Bookmark here

“Just think… We could eat all of our meals here if we had to!”Bookmark here

We loaded up on food—only spending about $10 each—and decided that would be our breakfast. Bookmark here

With our stomachs full and provisions in our packs, we made off down the street for the Tokyo Central Youth Hostel!Bookmark here

Bookmark here

Two hours later, we still hadn’t found the Tokyo Central Youth Hostel. Bookmark here

Plus, without WiFi, I had no way to access my GPS in real-time—we were guiding ourselves purely with a screenshot I took of the map.Bookmark here

We walked up and down the same main street, circling around the hostel but never quite understanding where it was.Bookmark here

Along the way, we happened to pass a Japanese girl dressed in a full French-maid getup. She also wore cat ears, a tail, and big fuzzy paws on her hands. And in between those paws were a stack of flyers. Bookmark here

I had avoided her attention each time we passed, but this time, she caught sight of me. With a glint in her eye, she leapt out from her position and pounced.Bookmark here

“Nya!”Bookmark here

But in the process, she dropped the entire stack of flyers. Bookmark here

She got on all fours to try and pick them up, but it was futile—her paws had no opposable thumbs.Bookmark here

Jotaro and I stopped and helped to pick them up.Bookmark here

“Nya~” she meowed at us. “Thank you so much!” Bookmark here

“No problem… Wait, you know English?” Now that I got a good look at her, she didn’t look fully Japanese. Maybe that had something to do with it.Bookmark here

“Of course I do, nya~!” She raised her paws up to her face and jumped in the air. “Hey, now that you’re here, you two should come to the café!”Bookmark here

That’s when I looked at the flyer for the first time. As her attire had suggested, the flyers were advertising a maid café. Bookmark here

Jotaro took the flyer from me and gave it a closer look. He cocked his head toward me, speaking directly to me only:Bookmark here

“Maid café. What the hell is this?”Bookmark here

“Nya~!?” The maid girl nearly dropped her flyers again. “You’ve never been to a maid café? It’s a magical place where you can eat delicious sweets while lovely maid girls like me, Neko-chan, entertain you with our moé moé love powers!” Bookmark here

Jotaro showed no expression. Then he looked at me again:Bookmark here

“Should we just keep walking, or…?”Bookmark here

“H-hey, don’t ignore me, nya~!”Bookmark here

Naturally, I had heard of maid cafes from anime. But even I knew the reality of a maid café would be way different than what they showed in the cartoons. I was a bit curious, to say the least, but I couldn’t imagine going to one with Jotaro…Bookmark here

“Maybe next time,” I said. “Right now, we’re trying to find the Tokyo Central Youth Hostel. Know where we can find it?”Bookmark here

Neko-chan placed an oversized paw on her chin. The kitty tail attached to her backside seemed to wiggle on its own, and it curved up like a question mark.Bookmark here

“Hmmm… Nya! That’s right! It’s a popular spot nearby where many of our foreign customers stay.”Bookmark here

“That must be it! Can you tell us where it is?”Bookmark here

A smirk formed across Neko-chan’s face. Suddenly, her eyes became sharp in a way very befitting of her cat attire. Bookmark here

“Nya~, well, I’ve never been there… but I’m sure one of the maids inside the cafe knows where it’s at… Maybe if you come in for a bit…”Bookmark here

Neko-chan… How quickly you became an adversary. Maybe there’s some way we could—Bookmark here

“Okay,” Jotaro said. “Let’s go ask inside.”Bookmark here

“Yayyyy!” Neko-chan bounced on her heels and skipped away toward the entrance of a non-descript building. “Right this way, masters!”Bookmark here

Jotaro looked to me again. “Masters…?”Bookmark here

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