Denny’s in Japan


Anyone that has ever been to America will know Denny’s. It’s the home of free coffee refills, French Toast, and my all-time favourite diner meal “The Grand Slam”. It’s something that comes up whenever my family and I talk about the times we went to the US of A. Every morning before we walked the strip in Vegas, before we went to the parks in Florida, before we chilled out poolside or relaxed on the beach we would all go to Denny’s. I’m quite thankful I’m not American or I don’t think you would ever get me out of the place, I would probably weigh three hundred pounds.

So imagine my sheer delight when cruising down some random street in Japan I happen to come across the all too famous sign.
The realization that I now live in a country that has Denny’s hit me hard, I knew exactly what I was going to do.
I was going storm in there! Grab a seat! No need to look at the menu because I know what I want!
I want a Grand Sla- there is no Grand Slam, why is there no Grand Slam!? Where is the Grand Slam?

But of course this is Denny’s Japan, there is no Grand Slam here, and that would make sense. Japan isn’t a country affected by rampant obesity, and the thought of one meal with sausages, bacon, eggs, pancakes, hash browns, toast and a side of French Toast with syrup just doesn’t fit with the Japanese way of eating. There is pasta (made with noodles), burgers without the buns and an egg on top (optional extra), and Ramen. In fact, the most American thing on this menu is the club sandwich CALLED THE AMERICAN CLUB!

d1be7f69-dbd6-4334-8622-6378639860acNever the less like a pioneer in a strange new world I did my best to work around this strange menu and ended up just getting THE AMERICAN! With fried potato (Fries). I’ll be a bit more courageous next time I promised myself.
But then I noticed “The Drinks Bar”. Unlimited drinks! Hot and cold! It has one of those Five Guys machines, the one with every soft drink you could think of. Coke, Sprite, orange juice… if you want a coke zero with a splash of lime? You got it! Sprite with mango? No problem! Regular coke with cherry? Right here!

Looking around there are people just chilling. People who have erected offices at their tables. Laptops, workbooks, folders, people having meetings in the corner of the smoking section, large groups just sitting around drinking. And then it occurs to me, people must just use this place as a workspace with unlimited drinks. It’s what I would do so that’s what I did! I am currently writing this blog one month into my journey sat in a Denny’s. The chilled out atmosphere, the food, the unlimited drinks, I can honestly say that this is now my safe space in Japan.

The Millennials Shibuya

The Millennials shibuya is a luxurious capsule hotel in the heart of Shibuya. It’s about a five minutes walk from the Shibuya station.20180927_100247

When you walk in you will be greeted by a single elevator. You take the elevator to the fourth floor and check in at reception/common area. There is a Roomba (automatic vac) cleaning the place, tables with TVs in them, a free to use Mac computer and a printer/scanner just around the corner. In the communal kitchen, there are free to use tabletop ovens, a fridge, an ice machine, two sinks, dishwasher and a top of the range coffee machine with an unlimited supply of coffee, iced coffee, hot cocoa, latte, cappuccino and hot water to make tea.

Upon check-in, the very nice English speaking team will then hand you your amenities bag complete with a big towel, face towel, and slippers (complimentary of course). They will then tell you free beer is between seven and eight. You will also receive a small wash bag with toothbrush, toothpaste, cotton set (cotton pads, cotton buds), a packet of tissues and in my case because it was my birthday, a free bag of crispy salted bread nibbles (a lifesaver in the middle of the night when I got peckish). You also receive an iPod unique to your Pod which controls the electric bed, lights, fan, and turns on/off the projector. It is essential to keep the iPod on your person as it has an NFC chip on the back that allows you to take the elevator to your floor. Just tap the back of your phone on the NFC tag, choose your floor and away you go.


There are 5 floors one of which is female only. Each floor has its own shower room and separate unisex toilets and of course this being Japan (and one of the most high tech hotels I have ever stayed in), the toilet is something out of Star Trek. It lifts automatically as you enter the cubical, flushes automatically when you stand up and the lid closes as you exit. Seat warmer, bidet, full flush, eco flush, mid-flush, seriously this toilet has more sensors than a NASA built satellite. All floors are non-smoking but there is a smoking terrace on floor 3, as well as a relaxation area/conference room with a small private study/meeting room and a line of couches that overlook the street below.

The whole interior has a cold black and grey metallic look even though on closer inspection the walls are fabric and the carpet is very soft to walk on. The whole place has a very clean feel to it like it is constantly being vacuumed and polished despite never actually seeing a cleaner or a maid at any point of my stay. The modern/futuristic look really suits the idea of the hotel perfectly.

The Pod

Your room is a pod. When the bed is in couch mode there are roughly five inches of space between the foot of the bed and the entrance which is a curtain/projector screen. The bed flattens to take up the whole room and even though the door is essentially a drop down screen when closed, it gives you a real sense of privacy from the rest of the Pods. At this point I have stayed in a few places in Japan and I can honestly say The Millennials Shibuya bed was the most comfortable bed I have slept in so far! It was a far cry from the usual folded 4 layers of cardboard the Japanese seem to like. I was able to elevate and lower the bed to suit my comfort level. The lights can be dimmed to suit the mood and you are able to use the projector to either plug in an HDMI or just Chrome Cast YouTube, Netflix or Amazon Prime. There is also an option for Apple TV but I didn’t quite figure out how it worked. I wasn’t too bothered by this as I had a few episodes of Better Call Saul to catch up on. On the wall, there are more than enough power outlets to supply your six devices! Four power outlets and two USB plugs, a headphone jack and a second remote to pick which projector option you want.

Breakfast is served between 7:30- 9:30am and checkout is at 10am but can be extended for an extra 1000 yen.
The food served are pastries and of course an unlimited supply of hot drinks. Checkout could not have been easier, hand back the stuff you received at check-in and that’s it, all checked out.

Good points
1. Very clean, I didn’t once see any dirt, dust or anything out of place.
2. Very helpful, friendly team, extra bonus points for a multilingual team that couldn’t do enough for you.
3. Comfortable beds. I have found more often than not that Japanese beds can be on the hard side, ranging from wood panel to wood panel with a sheet, but The Millennials Shibuya have a real western style comfortable mattress.
4. Multiple chillout areas. A common room with a kitchen stocked with all the appliances one would need in a professional kitchen minus a Hob, and a relaxed quiet workroom on a separate floor. The smoking area accessible at all times.

Could be improved

1. No air-conditioning in pods. It was a particularly warm night, and even in full birthday suit mode still found that the internal air fan system did nothing to decrease the temperature of my Pod.

2. Breakfast is literally different kinds of pastries. Now don’t get me wrong, I am quite partial to a morning pastry but one wasn’t enough and more than one was too much. I still found myself going to get a proper breakfast afterward.

The Millennials Shibuya is definitely a place I will be staying at in the future. Capsule hotels are a more luxurious form of “roughing it” but I can honestly say The Millennials Shibuya rivals that of a four-star hotel, minus the room space.

Checkout The Millenials Shibuya with this link to get £15 off!

About me


My name is John Michael Milton
and found myself having a bit of a crisis.
I have worked, (although very interesting and fulfilling jobs) full time since I was 18.

My jobs have all been quite static, single location positions, and for years I have felt the walls steadily closing in around me.

Desperate for a change I scoured job and career change websites to find what it was I was itching for and then it hit me, what if I just move to another country? I can do that! I am a grown-up! It would also help me tick off that other thing I have always wanted to do and that is learning a new language. But where to go?

France or Spain? Maybe a bit too close to home though. Wouldn’t want those pesky parents to just show up at any time now, would I? And this isn’t a holiday, I’m taking this seriously. I am going to work and grow as a person, learn a new language and take on new challenges, experiences, and develop a whole new skill set. I want something completely different to what I am accustomed to.

Italy maybe? My boss a few years ago lived and worked in Italy and I will never, as long as I live, forget the conversation we had about it one dreary morning in Leeds. Opening up the shop I asked.

“so what was your favourite thing about Italy?”

And he said, without taking a second breath.

“My morning cigarette, accompanied by the best espresso that I have ever tasted, sitting on my veranda overlooking the landscape, feeling the cool breeze on my face and watching the sunrise, THAT, was the greatest experience of my life.”

He then looked up at the rain, took a sip of his Greggs latte, scowled in disgust, and then (looking at his pathetic undercooked Greggs bacon and sausage sandwich) sighed regrettably and said: “let’s get inside”.

He could speak fluent Italian after a year. Actually, you could say he was my first bit of inspiration, because this was the first instance that I started to think there are much bigger and better things out there, and I could do them.

But again Italy is still a bit close for my liking, plus, I know someone that has proved it can be done. I need something more challenging, something not so easily accomplished.
I had thought maybe Germany-somewhere to the east like Berlin, but, from what I found out the vast majority of people there speak English so not challenging enough!

Maybe a Middle Eastern country? (Quick look at the news), maybe NOT a Middle Eastern country.

Russia? Isn’t it cold there? I think I could go further anyway.

Finally, It came to Japan. Now I have always wanted to visit Asia and Japan was very high, if not the top spot on my list.

To me, Japan was just one of those places that you wish you could visit because it is so out there. The majority of people struggle to speak English. I thought I would have to learn the language to avoid starving! Also, judging from what I have seen online and on TV, the place is a total death trap! Tsunamis every year, monsoons every other month, earthquakes every other week, 111 active volcanoes, and 3 of which are apparently very long overdue to blow.  There are also places that are still uninhabitable by humans like parts of Fukushima due to radiation. Not to mention Kim Jong-Un fires a missile at it every time he has a paddy! And I’m thinking to my self, this is perfect!

A quick (not so quick) look online to find out what I need to do to get there and my plan starts to take shape.

So less than one year later with everything I need packed and ready to go (not including the cat) I applied for my visa, handed in my notice, canceled all my direct debits, and grabbed the cheapest flight out of the UK.

So why create a website? Well, I have been told a fair few times during my career that I should have a personal website and I always thought it would be a good professional addition to my business cards (when I finally get around to making some). It can be a place potential employers could do a bit of research on me, find out what it is I am really about, and what it is I have been up to. I know several people whose jobs rely on clicks, subscribers, followers, and re-tweets, and they all swear that the future of recruitment and employment will be through social media. If I want a career in marketing (which I do) I really need to market myself and focus on my social media, and the best way to self-promote would be to have a website.

With nothing really to talk about other than uploading a CV and writing a self-glorified statement about how amazing I am, I was a bit lost. I thought I would really struggle with content to put on my website. I mean sure, I could write about my life in Leeds but come on, who wants to hear about the time I accidentally ordered extra hot instead of medium at Nando’s, or the time I replaced all the black and white photos of my brother with black and white photos of Nicolas Cage and Jeff Goldblum in mum’s house.

It’s only now that I am in a foreign land, experiencing new and very different things that I find myself with an abundance of stories and things to talk about but no one to talk about them with. “I know!” I’ll do that thing everyone else tells me to do and write a blog and create a website! Two birds with one stone!

The goal of my blog is to help, inform, and tell a few stories along the way.

By all means, feel free to subscribe to my blog!  You can also check out my Instagram where I will be uploading pics of where I am and what I’m up to.

If you have any questions or suggestions for me, then please feel free to get in touch!


Good company in a journey makes the way seem shorter. — Izaak Walton