Wandering around Shinjuku, Tokyo, Japan


 

Shinjuku and Yoyogi, Tokyo, Japan
Oh my God! I only had 40 minutes to go to the mens and leave the hostel. I queued with the other hostellers and made it through just in time. 

I headed for Shinjuku to explore. It rained all day so there was no point in going to Tokyo Tower. Instead I walked around Shinjuku. My plan was to find Citibank, check out the Manga Cafe, then go to the internet cafe recommended in the Lonely Planet Guide. Once again I had trouble matching the maps on the walls with the maps in the Lonely Planet and my own tourist map, and reality, as the just don't give enough detail.

I couldn't find the specific Manga Cafe and Internet cafe but I found two in the same map positions, but with different names. Looks like my copy is old already. I'll have to buy the new version sometime.

I saw a few girls in kimonos today. This was a nice surprise as it is rare to see kimonos in public in Tokyo. It is very much an international city.

I spent ages trying to find Citibank. Eventually I spotted a small a small Citi symbol half way up a building concealed by a tree on one side and a truck from the other side of the road, and was able to get some funds.

Unfortunately, including accommodation, I realised that I'd spent about $1500 already, just in 7 days! On train tickets, food, drink and incidentals. Tokyo is so expensive that I think I should cut my trip here short and head off to cheaper cities next Wednesday.

 (I also stopped at a cafe that had been there since 1982 and enjoyed a reasonably priced setto while watching the crowd walk by)


After wandering around Shinjuku I was really too exhausted to do anything else so I headed back to the hostel and got to the showers at 5pm. There were 3 showers and a bath in the same room. This was a bit uncomfortable for me so I got in there before anyone else and worked out how to use everything and had a shower, before running the bath and having a soak. A bath! My first bath in maybe 10 years as I'd always showered and I don't go to swimming pools. I didn't stay long. Still embarrassed about being in the same room as other naked men and didn't want to risk being there when others came in.

Afterwards I walked around some of the places in the Center, looking for cafes or restaurants that were still open. They have 3 but 2 of them were already closed.

The restaurant I went to was on the 9th floor of building D in the Olympic Memorial Center. I ordered an Okinawa pork sirloin with a white wine sauce garnished with vegetables, and an Asahi beer. It was oishii! Very delicious and surprisingly filling, though there really wasn't much on the plate.

The meal was perfectly and artistically arranged and I thoroughly recommend this restaurant, not only for the pleasant helpful staff, but also the great view of the Shinjuku cityscape from the windows.

The price is reasonable for what you get. I doubt you could charge more considering the majority of people likely to use the restaurant would be students. I was the only one there at the time (8pm)

Afterwards I went back to the hotel room and then out to the TV room. There was a man and a lady there watching a Japanese movie about a police officer who was falling for a witness and some crime about poisoned drinks. It was all in Japanese so I didn't understand any of it.

The lady asked me if I understood Japanese. I said only a little. We all realised that none of us could actually understand the movie as the other two people, and the friends that joined them later, were from China, here to give presentations at a conference on internet addiction and personality disorders. It was a funny situation as we'd all been trying to watch this movie for an hour. We had an interesting discussion and I got to see their maps of Japan in Mandarin. At 12am a guard came and spoke to us sternly about noise so we continued our chat outside. A great ending to the day.

This notice is on the back of every door in the hostel. I particularly like the line "Please do not disturb other guests by chatting in a loud voice in the room."

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