JUST IN: Tokyo Breathing Room

September 12, 2008 at 8:41 am

This week I’m taking off for Tokyo. It’s my annual trip to visit friends, eat like a sumo wrestler, and shop, shop, shop. I’m there for only a few days so I plan to wake up early, jump on a commuter JR train to Shibuya, jog three miles to Omotesando’s Kiddy Land, cross 40 minutes through town to Akihabara, then circle back 20 miles to Shinjuku — and that’s before lunch.

Tokyo is a lot like New York. You’re oftentimes relegated to public transportation and your bed is never around for a nap. So what you do is trudge through the city morning-to-night, shopping bags digging into your arms, until you finally collapse from exhaustion. Believe me, it’s great for losing weight — I lost five pounds in last year’s two-day shopping spree — but if you want to enjoy the city it’s a miserable way to go.

So I was excited to hear about ‘rental dressing rooms’ springing up across town. The brainchild of a company called COS-Pa, you pay between $5 to $7 for 30 minutes to sit down, wash your face and powder your nose. It’s originally designed for cosplay girls to spruce up before a night on the town, but I figure they wouldn’t mind me sneaking 40 winks, so as long as I pay them. Each room comes with all the necessary amenities: a mirror, tissues, electrical outlet, hair brushes, and an all-you-can-drink bar. Non-alcoholic, of course. Bobby pins, hair spray and nail polish are an added cost.

Japan’s heat gets pretty nasty during the summer. By mid-afternoon your shirt is drenched, your hair is frizzled beyond repair and your makeup has all but melted away. It’s hard to believe no one thought of rental rooms earlier. Well, that’s aside from love hotels, of course. And that’s a whole ‘nother kind of rental space. (^o<)

Himawari

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