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» There is a sign on the door of the Capsule Inn Tajima near Ueno Station in Tokyo discouraging tattooed patrons from making use of the baths or overnight capsules. This is aimed at Yakuza, organised crime figures, who once had leverage over urban businesses but whose influence has waned somewhat in recent years, even in the entertainment districts where they used to thrive.
» Twenty or even 10 years ago, Western budget travellers would descend on the country, spending tens of thousands of baht on flights and then, to the bemusement of Thais, proceed to travel in third-class train carriages or buses to rudimentary guest houses on the beach or upcountry that cost 40 baht a night, where they showered out of buckets and shared dormitories with strangers.
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