The Day of Pain

Saturday the 13th of April was, without a doubt, the absolute worst day of our holiday.

It was painful. It was frustrating. It was boring. It was exhausting. We missed out on visiting Womb: the second-best nightclub in the world that has the world’s largest mirror ball. 

Angry sad face JaPlanning travel blogger Japan Tokyo

Fucking bummer man

Yep, Saturday the 13th of April was a shitty shitty day. It started out innocently enough though.

Breakfast: the ultimate betrayer

We dragged ourselves out of bed early excited to try our included breakfast at Hotel Sardonyx. We were almost instantly disappointed by the breakfast selection (Toast, Pancakes or a Hot Dog) and then even more disappointed by the food itself.

At least the coffee was good.

totoro coffee latte art JaPlanning Japan travel ghibli

It’s a minor personal goal of mine to receive a Totoro coffee

Despite the earliness of the day, and the fact I hadn’t walked anywhere, my ankle was hurting a lot. I knew I needed to find a bandage to strap it and an icepack to reduce the swelling.

As Mon and I were discussing where and how to find a pharmacy (or even how to ask about one) another mini-disaster was set in motion. While enduring her rubbery breakfast, Monique accidentally bit the teflon backing clean off one of her cheek piercings.

If they’d been established piercings it wouldn’t have been so bad, but they were quite fresh, about two weeks old. They needed to remain pierced to stay open and having to touch them meant a higher risk of infection. 

Now we had three problems:

  1. We had to find a pharmacy (we hadn’t seen any around)
  2. We had to find a piercer and helpfully;
  3. I was increasingly unable to walk anywhere

To add to our woes, we spoke little to no Japanese, and were unable to access wifi to help us find these places around Ueno. Oh and for the record? Piercings aren’t a common thing in Japan so our chances of just happening upon a piercer were extremely slim.

At one point Monique actually tried to super glue the teflon backing back onto her mangled piercing. It lasted all of two seconds and, according to her, hurt like hell.

piercing teflon bitten off japan travel woes

I’m cringing even looking at this.

Plan of Attack

We decided to scout around for a piercer (and a pharmacy) after having very little luck trying to explain our problems to the desk attendants. We had a general idea of where we were going but nothing concrete.

At first I thought my foot would be ok, I was trying to walk slowly and stretch it out, but by the time we reached the Shitamachi Museum the dull ache in my ankle transformed into a sharp, shooting pain that went all the way up my leg.

I caught my breath and tried to breathe deeply. It hurt so much I thought I was going to throw up which wasn’t at the top of my to-do list! At this point I was kicking myself for not considering medical supplies more carefully.

On top of all this it was becoming painfully obvious that people were really staring at us. We were stared at a lot because we both had piercings, but now that Monique had an empty bar sticking through her cheek that was encrusted with blood, we got even more looks.

It’s funny, you don’t realise how stressful being stared at is, until it’s happening.

Retreat, Retreat!

I managed to make it back to Sardonyx without being sick (although it was close!) and Monique decided that she’d have to venture into Ueno alone to find a piercer. I finally managed to get wifi so I was able to tell the receptionist what was wrong with me.

The woman at Sardonyx provided me with an icepack (that I’m forever grateful for) and Monique left to fix her face. By now it was already late afternoon and Mon was gone for several hours. She eventually returned with a new cheek bar after a mammoth effort finding a little piercing shop that was tucked away in the Ameyoko Markets.

Ameyoko Ueno Japan markets bazaar Tokyo JaPlanning

Tucked behind where again?

By this point we’d given up on the idea of Womb, as disappointing as that was. I had something bigger on my mind: visiting Studio Ghibli that was booked for the very next day. While I was willing to get Womb go, I wasn’t willing to let Ghibli go.

Plan of Attack: Take Two

After a ‘completely nutritious’ dinner of random snacks from Family Mart, I suggested that I hobble out into the Ameyoko Market to try to find a bandage and new shoes. A bit of research had changed my opinion of my ‘trusty’ Docs and I wanted to find shoes that didn’t enclose my ankle and that had sole support.

Aka: sports shoes.

Finally, the universe gave us a break, and I found a pharmacy (with pressure bandages) and a shoe store quickly and easily. I bought the first pair of shoes that a) fit me and b) were comfortable and retreated back to our hotel room for more ankle icing.

By complete luck the shoes I chose turned out to be fucking awesome. They needed no breaking in, were exceptionally comfortable and, wearing them, my ankle gave me no more trouble.


Puma Shoes Japan Aoyama Markets Ueno JaPlanning Travel


We ended our terrible day with The Simpsons and a truckload of Ghana Chocolate.

Time to lick our chocolately, chocolately wounds.

Next post: Our Loss, Your Gain: Club Womb.

Until next time,

Kally & Mon.

Image Credits:

[Feature Image Credit: Jazz Advice]

[Image Credit (1): Captionite]

[Image Credit (2): Kawaiicase]

[Image Credit (3): Wikitravel]

What was your worst day travelling? Let us know in the comments!

8 thoughts on “The Day of Pain

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  7. hi! your day sounded awful. hope it improved there on out. chanced upon your blog after a quick tokyo + piercing google search.

    as you mentioned, piercings aren’t all common so i was wondering if the store Mon visited in Ueno sold nice body jewellery? I’m trying to find nice, delicate looking labrets or barbells with semi-precious stones or filigree engravings or whatever.. and just wondering if the shop she visited carried them?

    • Hi there,

      I asked Monqiue and she said she wasnt paying a whole heap of attention to the jewellery in the store but that they had a really wide range, so there’s a pretty good chance there might be what you’re after in there 🙂

      Have fun in JPN! I am teh jellyz

      – Kally

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