Wednesday, August 15th, 2001:

This is going to be a problem…

By Toronto time, I would have slept in until 4 in the afternoon, but here in Tokyo it’s only 5AM, and I need coffee!

Remembering my experience with Shenmue, I wandered down the hall to the vending machine. Tokyians (?) love their vending machines; when I went out to find some bottled water last night, the only place I could find it was in the hotel lobby. An entire room there is devoted to vending machines for snacks, drinks and cigarettes. My water was waiting for me in the biggest one; after putting some money into it what looked like the Canada Space Arm retrieved my beverage for me.

So back to this morning: The smaller vending machine at the end of my hallway had an aluminum can with coffee beans on it. No-brainer, right? Wrong. The tinned beverage was indeed coffee, and was thankfully free of any milk products (I take my coffee black, like my heart), but it was chilled.

Of course there’s a Starbucks in the shopping mall adjacent to the hotel. And of course I would consider it a moral failure to visit Starbucks on my first full day in Japan. How long do you think I’ll last before caving in? Start placing your bets…

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