Arriving in Tokyo
We landed in Tokyo at 3am following a short four-hour journey from Hong Kong. Nothing prepared us for Japan. I became accustomed to the multi-lingual Hong Kong, with almost all the signs also in English. Tokyo airport was our first stark realisation that things weren’t going to be quite so simple. After taking an hour to figure out how to leave the airport and get onto the bus to take us into the city, to where we would be staying in the heart of Shinjuku. We were finally on our way and the city was alive.
The bus from the airport, which you can book in the airport itself, cost roughly 1600 yen (roughly £13) each way. Though do be aware these only run at certain times, which for an early flight back to Hong Kong, meant we did indeed have to pay for a taxi the once! Take it with a pinch of salt, it’s all part of the experience.
Staying in Shinjuku
We stayed in the district of Shinjuku, one of the 23 wards which make up Tokyo. Also home to the world’s busiest railway station (believe me!) with over two million commuters a day. We certainly threw ourselves into the depths of Tokyo. Although it can be more expensive to stay here, realistically the location outweighed any downfalls. We were instantly in the centre of everything, which meant we could very easily and quickly get to where we wanted to go. You’ll find most of Tokyo’s skyscrapers in Shinjuku,including the Metropolitan Government Building and major hotels. We stayed in the APA Shinjuku, which was luckily one of the tallest buildings so we could easily spot it from a distance.
Things to do in Shinjuku
– Head up the Metropolitan Government Building for a free observation deck at the top to get a view over the city as the sun sets.
– Take a relaxing stroll around the beautiful Gyoen National Garden.
– Visit the Samurai museum. Although only small this museum was fascinating, and you’ll have your own personal guide show you round and tell you the stories sending you back in time. The price might seem a little expensive for the size, but it’s worth it if you have a free hour.
– Light an incense stick at the Hanazono Shrine. Early morning there is also a small market surrounding the shrine where you can buy beautiful silk kimonos.
– Head to Kabukicho at night-time to have your mind totally blown. This really is the epitome of Tokyo, everything is so bright and loud there is no way to explain it without experiencing it yourself. Here you’ll also find Godzilla peeking over the top of a cinema.
– Have a totally unique theatre at the Robot Restaurant. It’s very touristy, and overpriced, but it was a fun experience all the same. I would advise eating else where before hand however.
You can see other Tokyo tips and travel experiences on my blog – here.