I’ll admit it was inane, but I insisted on finding a bookstore in order to find a common Japanese phrase book, so we found one before heading off anywhere else. Turns out, Japanese bookstores don’t sell those. They do have books for learning other languages though, including a lot of neat Chinese-Japanese books, an appropriate souvineur for this trip. At the bookstore, I attempted to ask for help finding books and happened to ask the right lady, who also spoke some Chinese (not that common in Japan). Score! At that point, I was very glad to be able to communicate in both English and Chinese.
I found us a capsule hotel for the night, which was going to be super exciting because I was looking forward to attempting to communicate with the hotel counter person with Japanese translations that I copied down from Google Translate. To my disappointment but perhaps for the better, we stayed in a pretty touristy area of Tokyo, so the hotel counter people all spoke a bit of English. The hotel experience was great though. We stayed in a “capsule dorm,” a room of 8 capsules and 8 lockers. The capsules reminded me of kennels that pet owners use to store and transport their dog. It was roughly the same shape and make, but person-sized. There was a curtain on the side that you could push aside and crawl in. The capsule is exactly enough room for 1 standard-sized Asian with some additional room to roll around, and it came equipped with a lamp, alarm clock, radio, TV, etc. The efficient space utilization was cool to see.