First Day in Tokyo

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August 6th 2004
Published: July 6th 2006
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Nightlights in RompunjiNightlights in RompunjiNightlights in Rompunji

Night shot while in the Rompunji district of Tokyo
We booked our flight and hotel for our 4 day trip to Tokyo through HIS. We were traveling with a friend. All three of us were getting ready to move away from the area and wanted to get at least a small trip to Tokyo in.

Our flight from southern Japan was rather quick and we arrived in Tokyo at Haneda around midday. We decided to take the train from the airport to the station nearest our hotel which was the Shinjuku Washington Hotel in the Shinjuku district. The train was actually pretty easy to figure out. We had downloaded an English version of the map before leaving home, and being that we already lived in southern Japan, we had plenty of yen handy.

While we were in the station, we laid on the arrangements for getting to Mt Fuji the next day. There is a bus station in the Shinjuku terminal that organizes the buses that pick up outside the terminal every morning during climbing season. After setting up our bus time, we headed over to the hotel. J and I actually ended up in a nicer room than originally booked because when we arrived they didn't have a non-smoking
Wendy's in ShinjukuWendy's in ShinjukuWendy's in Shinjuku

Example of some fastfood available in Shinjuku district
room at the level we booked. Worked out nicely for us. Our friend, E, said his room was about as big as his twin bed with a little door for his bathroom.

The Shinjuku district is considered one of the business districts and many business travelers use the area. We chose to stay there because of its proximity to a large subway station and the opportunity for good cheap food and some sightseeing. A good little guide we picked up with some maps and information is called the Tokyo Pocket Guide.

After checking in, we headed out for some food. We ended up eating at Yoshinoya (which none of has tried before even though they have them where we lived in Japan). It is basically a donburi fast food place. You get meat of your choice over some rice in a bowl. Inexpensive, fast and delicious. Once we finished up there, we decided to walk around and check out the area. We went into a couple of bars, had a drink or snack and then moved on. Once it got a bit later, we were off to the Romponji district to see what it was all about. This is the district of Tokyo that all the tourists head to, and it is filled with fast food, bars and clubs for the most part. Lots of lights and sounds as well.

We went into a couple of bars and checked out the scene, had a few drinks. We sat in a shot bar for a while and read the interesting plaques on the wall from people who had drank enough there to throw up for several days. It was very educational nonetheless.

One thing about the subways in Tokyo...they don't run all night. You don't want to get stuck without subway service unless you have some people to share the cab fare with, so I was keeping a close eye on the time while we were out. We had plans to climb Mt Fuji the next day and I didn't plan to stay out too late anyhow.

Around 10:30pm, I decided to head back to the room so I could get some sleep. I took the subway back with no problems and felt entirely safe the entire time. J and E stayed out, and eventually did have to take a cab back which cost them about 30 USDs because they were very late. I don't think either of them got much sleep before our morning trek.


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