You have to insert your keychain/keyholder (the long, thin
part) into a slot which should be close to the door as you enter your
room in order for any of the lights in your room to function.
There is Internet available in every room. You must,
bring your own laptop and LAN cable. If you forget or do not have a LAN
cable, there is a small number of LAN cables available
at the KKC front desk.
Payments can be made in cash, or by VISA or Mastercard. Payments are
made when you check out of the KKC.
International telephone calls
International telephone cards can be purchased at vending
machines in the ground-floor lobby of the KKC (next to the cafeteria).
It may be cheaper to call from your
room, or perhaps from the payphone in the lobby -- it depends on the
country you're calling. Please read the instructions posted next to the
vending machine for details.
Public telephones are located across the hall from the
again in the ground-floor lobby.
Getting some exercise
There is a no-frills "Gymnasium" on the second
floor (go up the stairs which are past the ground-floor lobby and
sitting area) for the use of any KKC guest. This is
NOT a ``fitness centre'' in the North American sense; it's just a
with some ping-pong tables (if you want to play ping pong, you can ask
for raquets and balls at the front desk) and a volleyball net.
NOTE: In Japan, it's customary to
change shoes when entering a gymnasium (to keep the floor clean and
unscratched). There are gym shoes available for guest use right next to
There is also a tennis court at the KKC for
We will try to arrange for participants to have the option
working out at a fitness centre close to the university.
Laundry at the KKC is free of charge, but you need your own
detergent, or else (probably easier) purchase small packets of it at
the KKC front desk. An iron and ironing board are both available,
although the instructions for the irons (not completely
straightforward, in my experience) are in Japanese. Also note: ironing
boards in Japan are often just that -- boards, no legs. You just lay
them on a flat surface while using them. For the washer and dryer,
instructions in English are hanging on laminated cards along the wall.
Washers and dryers
in Japan are NOTHING like what they are in (say) North
America. They are tiny, low-voltage affairs. DO NOT
assume that, for instance, you can throw in a pair of jeans and
expect it to be dry within 30 or 45 minutes. It is going to be hot,
humid, and rainy; you'll never get them dry at the tiny dryers at
If you are ``touristing around'' Japan for a while and will definitely
need to do some serious amount of
laundry, then my personal suggestion is to do as the
Japanese do, and
take a few hours some afternoon and go to a
professional laundromat. These places have huge, professional-grade
dryers that really WILL dry your laundry. You should give yourself at
least a few hours to do your laundry. Bring a book. (The point is, that Japan
is so lacking in space, that most Japanese just don't have any room in their
apartments to have a large washer or dryer. Many Japanese go to
these laundromats to do their own laundry as well.)
Women's and men's laundry rooms at the KKC are
different, so please bear that in mind and make sure you're in the
right laundry room.
Out of consideration for others, guests are required to finish their laundry by
Final note: the sign says you must be in the laundry room
run your laundry, though how they would enforce this, I don't know.
allergies and other serious dietary restrictions
If you (or any guest who will accompany you) have a
serious food allergy or an otherwise serious dietary restriction,
please please PLEASE let us know beforehand and we
will, to the extent possible, make arrangements with the kitchen staff
of KKC. Unfortunately, the kitchen staff
generally don't speak English; however,
we will prepare a note for
you can show to the kitchen staff so they can guide you to the
appropriate dishes. (They will have been warned beforehand that you
will be requiring their help.)
If you let us know your dietary restrictions and they are such
that we and/or the KKC cafeteria
staff cannot accomodate your needs, we will let you know this in
advance so that you can, at the least, plan ahead.
Lounge and Cafe
The ground floor of the KKC has a large lounge and cafe area.
The cafe is not open 24 hours, but is open for parts of the afternoon
and evening for light snacks and drinks. The lounge is also equipped
with a large-screen television (so you can avail yourself of Japanese
popular culture) and has several newspapers (including at least one in
Alcoholic beverages such as
Asahi and Heineken beer and some
sakes are available 24/7 at the vending machines at the back of the KKC
cafeteria. You do not need to consume this in the cafeteria, of course:
take them out to the lounge or lobby or upstairs to your rooms, as you
Hot water on each floor
If you wish to take advantage of the green tea that is
available in your rooms, there is hot water available in the
hallway of each floor, so you can go fill up your teapot.
Except perhaps for its size (which is much smaller than most
Western hotels), the KKC rooms have more or less the same amenities as usual
Western hotels. Shampoo, conditioner, and towels are available. There
will be a small closet, desk, phone, and small TV. There is a radio system
built into a wall beside your bed. (Speaking of radio, yes, there
is an English-language radio station in Japan.)
Baths and showers
The Japanese love baths, which they take every
evening, and taking showers is not part of the custom. As such,
will not find a North American-style
shower head (affixed to the wall)
in the bathing area, although there will
be a hand-held shower. The bathtub will be deep and narrow by North
American standards; you are meant to fill it high with hot water and
sit, chin-deep, in aforementioned hot water -- and relax. Enjoy.
An additional bath-related custom in Japan, and hence in
hotels, is to change into a ``yukata'' -- a light cotton kimono-type
garment -- after an evening bath. (To be fair, the custom is less and
less followed in private homes these days, but it still lingers in the
hotels, where they provide you with one.) That's why you'll find
a yukata (that's what it is) on your bed when you enter your room.