It was really ridiculous.
Just a day before we flew off, Reza and I contemplated whether or not to book a hotel near the airport to spend the first night, since we’re going to arrive late. Before we slept, we decided to gamble — to look for a hotel only when we arrive!
We were blinded by the offer we saw on a Japanese website of a hotel near the airport (it was only available on the Japanese site, sneaky eh?) According to the site, we’d be entitled to a room at a discount if we say the magic words — “Midnight Plan”.
I don’t know what made me so confident that we’d be getting a room.
After arriving the airport, we got on a shuttle bus to get to the hotel. While Reza was queueing for the reception, I was seated at the lobby, texting Asna, telling her I have to leave soon because we’re checking in. Optimistic!
While Reza talked to the receptionist to enquire about the Midnight Plan… I heard it:
Which basically meant that there was no room available.
That’s fine, I thought. Let’s go to another hotel — here’s one just beside this. Still optimistic!
We dragged our bags and went to the hotel next to the first. They’re run by the same company — the first hotel is called Toyoko Inn Haneda Kuko No.1 and the next hotel is called Toyoko Inn Haneda Kuko No.2 lol. Same chain hotel, run by different management.
Then I hear the receptionist say the same thing:
Then, I switched on Google Maps to see other hotels nearby. There was only one across the street. There were a few hotels with an available room, but they were kilometers away!
It was past midnight. We crossed the street to get some onigiri and drinks at the konbini (mini marts that open 24/7) and ate there. That was practically our dinner. After that we dragged our bags to the hotel that’s on the same street, some random hotel I found on Google Maps. We went up to the lobby, pushing our luck. But it was still full. WTF.
Then it hit us… it was a Saturday night — of course the hotels are expected to be full!!!
Reza came up with another option, he asked me whether I wanted to sleep at a karaoke place that was there, in front of us -_- I learned that you can have a karaoke room all to yourself until the next day by booking a room. He suggested that we sleep in the karaoke rooms — something I would’ve agreed upon, but it’s too expensive for a sleeping pad.
What else was there to do?
We hailed a black cab and went back to airport -_-‘ Returned to the arrival hall once more and booked our “beds”. There were many people who have already camped there, with their pillows and thick blankets.
There are shower rooms at one end of the arrival hall, but there’s a fee of ¥1,030 (slightly above RM30) for a 30-minute shower. Because we’re cheap, we just used the airport’s spacious multipurpose toilets to prep ourselves before we slept and to freshen up in the morning.
Woke up at 8:00AM, tired and with a slight body ache, but at least we saved a couple of hundreds.
What did I learn in this episode? Don’t leave it up to chance. If you really want a room, book it in advance!