Last month my friends and I became ghostbusters.
Our first mission sent us into the “Mysterious Apartment”, a dilapidated apartment said to be haunted by an Evil Spirit. Several had gone missing inside over the years. According to the laminated newspaper article, their bodies were never found.
We were introduced to our fellow team members upon arrival, and our team leader explained the rules. We had only an hour to solve the mystery, after that the Evil Spirit would claim our souls for eternity.
With the clock ticking, we set to work…
This is my harrowing story of survival against the forces of Darkness in the Urban Legend Escape Room in Asakusa…
That day we arrived early to Asakusa Station. After leaving the ticket gates and going up the stairs, we were greeted by a view of the Tokyo Sky Tree. It was an clear day, the kind you reserve for sunshine and picnics in a park. Not the kind you’d suspect of masking a a dark secret.
Tokyo Sky Tree On That Perfect Day
The “Mysterious Apartment” is near Sensoji Temple
Good Ghostbusting requires coffee. I like my coffee like I like my Evil Spirits, weakened by milk and sugar.
Ready for our showdown with the EVIL, we crossed the river.
You can see this building from the Mysterious Apartment.
Now I am sworn to silence by the Supernatural Investigators’ Sacred Oath of “Don’t Spoil It For Others” on how we did it. However, I can tell you what I experienced that day we faced the EVIL.
When we arrived, the head of our team had us store all our belongings in lockers, including cell phones and cameras. They led us up a narrow, rickety staircase that groaned under our steps into the rundown kitchen of the “Mysterious Apartment”.
Not being fluent in English, the Head Investigator used a cheat sheet to read the rules in English to our group, struggling with words like “ritual” and “serial” and “disappeared”. My team mates helped him with a few words to his relief.
The room had signs that said “No Entry” to places we were not allowed to enter or tamper with. Our time started and we had sixty minutes to complete the mission.
We thought we’d just be solving puzzles, but we were wrong. In the Urban Legend the Evil Spirit will pop out from time to time. When you hear the sound of chains rattling, you have to rush into the marked “Safe Zones” and hide. My favored spot was the Futon Closet. The spirit would press the doors inward and bang against them while I crouched inside. Only when the sound of chains stopped could we leave and continue our investigations.
It was thrilling.
We were given two walkie-talkies because sometimes solving clues meant separating our group. I got charged with crawling around in a pitch-dark room for clues. No sooner did I get the last clue than the Evil Spirit jumped out at me. My friend and I bolted down the hall, past the kitchen, and into the bedroom where I leapt into the safety of my futon closet like any brave Ghostbuster would.
With only one minute to spare (not kidding) we banished the EVIL back to hell and survived. Our team got a photo-op afterwards with a little “We Escaped” sign. Despite goofing up one part of the instructions, we came out alive. Our souls saved for another day of Ghostbusting.
My friends and I had a blast and plan to do another Escape Room in the spring. After all, we’re a group of sleuths who love puzzling solving. No Evil Spirit can drag us to hell.
After saying goodbye to our fellow survivors, we headed to back to the station.
We went to Shiodome to see the Christmas Illuminations (more on that in a separate post). Near Shiodome Station is a Taco Bell. I’ve never been that impressed by their food, but neither of us had eaten one in Japan. One in our group had never eaten at one period.
It was… Taco Bellish.
Neither of us would probably do it again. I wouldn’t say it was bad (it was yummy), just that it didn’t knock our socks off or anything.
Our reward for ghostbusting and banishing the darkness.
We live to fight another day and try another Escape Room.