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:
“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!”
Jotaro’s facial expression was the same as always, but his deathly purple aura was much smaller than yesterday. Does it reset every morning?
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.
“It’s all according to my plan,” I said.
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!
“But first,” I said to Jotaro. “Allow me to show you something incredible that I found on the map yesterday.”
We walked down the street and, right around the corner, there it was:
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.
In the states, you’d almost never willingly buy food from one. The best they had to offer was far from ideal:
Fruit and yogurt cups, sandwiches comprised almost entirely of bread, a plastic pack of two rubbery eggs, various microwave burritos…
But at Japan’s 7-Eleven, it couldn’t be more different.
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.
Even Jotaro’s stoic demeanor was broken by this marvelous sight.
“For real? This is on a whole other level…”
“Just think… We could eat all of our meals here if we had to!”
We loaded up on food—only spending about $10 each—and decided that would be our breakfast.
With our stomachs full and provisions in our packs, we made off down the street for the Tokyo Central Youth Hostel!
Two hours later, we still hadn’t found the Tokyo Central Youth Hostel.
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.
We walked up and down the same main street, circling around the hostel but never quite understanding where it was.
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.
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.
But in the process, she dropped the entire stack of flyers.
She got on all fours to try and pick them up, but it was futile—her paws had no opposable thumbs.
Jotaro and I stopped and helped to pick them up.
“Nya~” she meowed at us. “Thank you so much!”
“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.
“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!”
That’s when I looked at the flyer for the first time. As her attire had suggested, the flyers were advertising a maid café.
Jotaro took the flyer from me and gave it a closer look. He cocked his head toward me, speaking directly to me only:
“Maid café. What the hell is this?”
“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!”
Jotaro showed no expression. Then he looked at me again:
“Should we just keep walking, or…?”
“H-hey, don’t ignore me, nya~!”
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…
“Maybe next time,” I said. “Right now, we’re trying to find the Tokyo Central Youth Hostel. Know where we can find it?”
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.
“Hmmm… Nya! That’s right! It’s a popular spot nearby where many of our foreign customers stay.”
“That must be it! Can you tell us where it is?”
A smirk formed across Neko-chan’s face. Suddenly, her eyes became sharp in a way very befitting of her cat attire.
“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…”
Neko-chan… How quickly you became an adversary. Maybe there’s some way we could—
“Okay,” Jotaro said. “Let’s go ask inside.”
“Yayyyy!” Neko-chan bounced on her heels and skipped away toward the entrance of a non-descript building. “Right this way, masters!”
Jotaro looked to me again. “Masters…?”