Remote Control Hell At The Traditional Inn

On Tuesday I arrived at a fabulous onsen in Tateshima, expecting to simmer in their hot spring, gaze at splendid autumn leaves in luxurious quietude, and stuff myself with regional specialties, but when I got to my room I found…this.


I mean, what the heckin’ heck? Five remotes to control a tatami-floored room at a traditional Japanese inn?

Fortunately, they were (mostly) labeled, so I could decipher that (from left to right) they variously controlled 1) the sound system, 2) some equipment that shall forever remain a mystery, 3) the room lights, 4) the air conditioner/heater, 5) the TV.

The room lights thingie actually turned out to be useful, because whoever installed the light switches used some sort of ninja invisibility spell on them and I would have had to sleep in the glaring fluorescence all night if I hadn’t had the magic wand.

When not randomly pushing buttons to see what they do, Jonelle Patrick writes novels set in Tokyo

When Detective Kenji Nakamura’s phone rings with the news that his mother’s death wasn’t an accident, his life begins to unravel…read more