Shinjuku

I like doing time-line blog posts so for our day in Shinjuku I am going to re-create our day for you, hour by hour, location by location.

11am – After some breakfast and some much needed re-hydration after the night before we left Asakusa and hopped on the Ginza and Maranouchi Lines towards Shinjuku-guoemmae.

11:30am- We had arrived at Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden. This beautiful garden in the middle of a shopping district was created for the Japanese Imperial Family. It includes traditional Japanese gardens and English and French inspired gardens aswell!

Entrance Fee ¥200

Opening Times 09:00am-16:00pm (not open on Mondays)

How much time to spend here? 2 hours.

Post Lunch!

1pm – From the Park you can walk about 1km to the Samurai museum. However on your way you are passing through one of the busiest shopping districts in the world. There are 2 ‘main’ department stores to look out for. Isetan and Bicqlo. Isetan is known as the best department store in Tokyo and Bicqlo is a hybrid of BIC camera and Uniqlo so you can shop for a combination of cameras and clothes.

Admission Free

How much time to spend here? 1 hour

Sign for Isent

2:30pm By now you will begin to understand what Shinjuku is all about, but stop just a second, lets squeeze in a bit of culture. In the heart of Shinjuku is the Samurai Museum. It is a small, detailed and concise museum with a wonderful collection of weapons, armour and information on the Samurais. Included in the ticket price is a free personalised tour, a Samurai showcase and a chance to try on traditional Samurai clothes. Note: during the Samurai performance the man swooshed the sword with so much power that a small information plaque fell off of the wall and hit a spectator on the head. Needless to say me and Georgia were in agony trying to hold back our laughter and occasionally gave it to the odd burst of restricted laughter.

Outside the Samurai Museum

turning Japanese, i think i’m turning Japanese i really think so

Samurai Performer

Admission ¥1800

Opening times – Everyday from 10:30am-9pm

How much time to spend here? 1 hour

3:30pm – Walk through Shinjuku, past the station and towards the business district, taking in the sights of urban Tokyo on the way.

My favourite building in Tokyo – The Mode Gakuen Cocoon Tower

Bycycles

Bus driving in Golden Hour

4:00pm The next stop is the Tokyo Metropoliton Government Main Building No.1 is a 243 metres tall, 48 storey wonder of modern architecture. The best part about it? Not only is it the third tallest building in Tokyo which means amazing sights can be seen from its North and South observatory decks but it is also absolutely FREE!

TMGB

What a view
Enjoying the moment

Admission Free

Opening times 09:30am-11pm

How much time to spend here? 1 hour

5pm – A 10 minute walk away from the TMGB is the West Exit Camera Town. A thriving metropolis of everything and anything to do with cameras. An ironically interesting place to take pictures this is also a perfect location to stop and get a coffee before the next part of the day.

Yodobashi West Exit Camera Town

Admission Free

How much time to spend here? 30 to 45 minutes.

6pm From here you can either make the 40 minute walk to Korea Town or get the JR line from Shinjuku to Shinjuku Okubo.

6:30pm Welcome to Korea town! This place is teeming with authentic Korean restaurants, Kareoke bars, hipster shops and more! I would recommend to get your dinner here as there are so many great option. If you do go, look out for ‘Dejingland’, we had the best Korean stew of our lives. It’s ingredients were tofu, mussels, prawns, egg yolk with a side dish of rice. Amazing.

All credit to Georgia for finding this place

The sun setting over Korea Town

How much time to spend here? 2 hours 
8:30pm This is an optional activity but something that was essential for me. One of my favourite films ever is Gasper Noes ‘Enter the Void’. As those of you who have watched it the film is set in Tokyo (and the realms of the eternal existence of conciousness). One of the most famous scenes in the film is when Oscar and Alex leave Oscars flat and walk through Shinjuku to the ‘Void Bar’ where Oscar meets his fate. I managed to track down the road they walked down and strolled down it myself, recognising everything. One of the most comical moments is that a police car drove slowly past us exactly as it happened in the film, unbelievable! At the end of the road we turned left and saw the remains of the ‘Void Bar’, a now converted 7/11. A special experience for me.

Where the Void Bar used to be

‘The Void’

9:30pm – It would be a sin for you to visit Tokyo and not go to Kabukicho. This area otherwise known as the red light district is a entertainment hub for party goers in Tokyo. Pubs, bars, Kareoke, robot cafes, nightclubs, stripclubs, arcades, XXX cinemas EVERYTHING is in Kabukicho. Just go.

Georgia Enjoying a Drink in ‘Kamikaze’, Kabukicho

I Love Kabukicho

Admission Free however a beer is on average ¥600, entrance to Robot Cafe ¥8000 and adult entertainment varies. Some bars are open until 8:00am.

11:30pm ~ late – A short walk away from Kabukicho is Golden Gai. This former red light district for American soldiers is a unique place to enjoy a beer. The bars that line the streets are absolutely with some bars only being able to fit 2 customers inside. However be careful here, because the bars are so small most make you pay a cover charge of typically ¥1000 per person for simply sitting down. A typical beer here is more expensive also at ¥800. After looking for ages we found one place that didn’t charge you anything but I don’t remember what it was called! Here is a picture of the outside though.

Mystery bar

This guy was hilarious.

I haven’t spoken much about my budget spending so here is a breakdown of my expenditure for the day.

Breakfast £4

Transport £12

Lunch £4

Entrance Fees £20

Dinner £10

Beer £25

Total £75


That’s it! Tomorrow is our last day in Tokyo, we will be visiting Chiyoda, Nihombashi and Ginza. Don’t forget to follow!

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