Aside

we stayed at ueno new izu hotel in tokyo, just a couple of blocks walk from the tokyo metro station and the keisei line. we were not able to easily find our way out of the station on the day we arrived, but due to the kindness of strangers (who led the way and walked us into the hotel lobby), we made it in time to meet my parents’ good friends.
we chose a japanese style room which offered the basics we needed for the next 3 nights: futon mattress on tatami mats, low table and chair with a bento box where the tea cups are kept, a hot water kettle, a tv, a small closet, and a full bathroom. the only view from the sliding window was the wall of the next door building, but we only came back to our room to sleep anyway.
i realized after this trip that all i require in a room is cleanliness, tissues and a hot water kettle.