Blogs from Shinjuku, Tokyo, Japan, Asia


Asia » Japan » Tokyo » Shinjuku June 16th 2019

Exploring Kagurazaka There were several maps containing attractions in the neighbourhood at the hotel. We decided to visit Kagurazaka near Iidabashi station. We took the Sōbu (yellow train) line from Shinjuku. We got off at Iidabashi and used West Exit. We saw a lovely shopping street, Kagurazaka, soon after we left the station. Miyagi Michio Memorial Hall We planed visiting Miyagi Michio Memorial Hall. This museum was standing in the middle of the residential area. We paid ¥400 for the admission charge and started looking round exhibition rooms. We could hear his masterpiece ‘Haru no Umi (Spring Sea)’ playing in the exhibition rooms. Miyagi Michio is known as the composer and the distinguished ‘Koto’ performer. The exhibition rooms housed the outstanding 80-string Koto – reproduction of the instrument invented by Miyagi, Brail... read more
Kengyo no Ma
Chikudo Yahata Shrine

Asia » Japan » Tokyo » Shinjuku June 16th 2019

Shinjuku Gyoen We met up with my mother and my aunt at South Exit of Shinjuku Station at 11 o’clock, and as planned, we went to Shinjuku Gyoen. Before I came over to Britain for marriage, I’d lived in Tokyo for 25 years and have come to Tokyo several times since I started living in the UK. However, I had not visited some of the sightseeing places including Shinjuku Gyoen. I’d heard that Shinjuku Gyoen is one of Tokyo’s most popular parks. It wasn’t far from Shinjuku station. We each paid ¥500 for the admission fee. Having looked through the map, we understood that this park consists of three parts: Japanese traditional garden, landscape garden and formal garden. We started ambling through traditional Japanese garden. We followed the footpath and board walk along three large ponds ... read more
Mr & Mrs Goddard in Shinjuku Gyoen
My mother and my aunt
rhodondendron at peak

Asia » Japan » Tokyo » Shinjuku May 31st 2019

SC writes: After the relative disappointments of Mito, yesterday we headed for Tokyo, and the very popular area of Shinjuku. We dropped our bags at the hotel, eventually, and headed off to Kappibashi Dori, a street famous for catering to the restaurant trade. Here you can buy crockery in any style you like, chefs’ knives, and plastic food, which the restaurants use to display their wares - very helpful when you don’t understand a word! See the photos for a couple of spectacular examples. Cathy was shopping for dinner plates but, despite looking at hundreds, came away with nothing more than a side plate. I on the other hand went looking for a plastic fried egg but came away with plates and pasta bowls. (We are taking advantage of the fact that our baggage allowance is ... read more
“The great wave” of rice, in plastic - Kappibashi-dori
Pork Tonkatsu
Giant temple - Nikko

Asia » Japan » Tokyo » Shinjuku January 26th 2018

I took another bullet train the 750 km or so from Hiroshima up to Tokyo. It took around four hours which is a tad better than southern rail might manage. Arrived at the main station but had to transfer round to the area my hotel was in by metro. As i was heading over to my line an announcement came over the tanoy saying it was closed "Due to a person" apparently this is a Japanese railway euphemism for a suicide. All very sad i'm sure but it made my life a bloody nightmare. Finally got where I was going and checked into my hotel with another room the size of a small shoe box. Food and drink here is very reasonably priced and of very high quality but hotel prices would bring a tear to ... read more
Saki Barrels
Sunset over Mt Fuji

Asia » Japan » Tokyo » Shinjuku September 7th 2017

There is a certain loss of privacy around performing your daily ablutions when you travel. Not only are you away from your own home and facilities you are also in much closer proximity to others, some of whom you may not even know. These are unavoidable tasks and we make allowances for those that we share our space with in normal daily life, we put up with the sounds and smells that go along with that person, and even if we dont find that easy at least we feel we can make comment on them and ask that something be done about the impact that they are having on others. When you travel this all goes out the window, you hear people you dont know or cant see make noises, you encounter smells that leave you ... read more

Asia » Japan » Tokyo » Shinjuku August 15th 2017

Today we wanted to go somewhere where it wouldn't matter that today is still a summer holiday, somewhere where most places are open anyway, where most businesses are more interested in the customers' money than in their workers' welfare, so after a bit of thinking we decided on Shinjuku. There were several places that both Stephen and I noted as being worth a visit, viz: Shinjuku Park (which I always intended to see when I've been in Tokyo in the past, but never got as far as), a place called Memory Lane (and also called Piss Alley, a bit of a red-light area and somewhat dodgy at night, apparently), an observatory, and on Stephen's list was a shrine in the vicinity. So that seemed worthy of a day. We had to get back relatively early though, ... read more
Part of Shinjuku's Skyscraper District
"Piss Alley"
Noodle shop, Piss Alley

Asia » Japan » Tokyo » Shinjuku July 17th 2017

Just a few more short takes from Tokyo Lolita No, it’s not what you think. Lolita refers to a particular fashion look that some young women in Japan wear. Far from being blatantly sexy, these women dress very demurely, in full skirts with voluminous petticoats and high-necked blouses. They often wear a big bow in their hair, or sometimes a lace cap. Think of a Victorian Alice in Wonderland. This is about looking sweet and cute. As is true of fashion for young women everywhere, there is a lot of money involved in being a Lolita girl. First is the outfit itself. This is not some obscure, cobbled together look. I visited one department store that had six whole floors (!) of Lolita fashion. The one small section of the store not devoted to Lolita was ... read more
Lolita fashion
Sunday antique market
Van Gogh copy of Hiroshiga

Asia » Japan » Tokyo » Shinjuku July 10th 2017

Just a few short notes from the city formerly known as Edo: Free Hugs As I came out of the subway at Shibuya, I saw this couple with a hand-drawn sign that said “Free Hugs.” Now, Shibuya Station is huge, with three metro lines and two train lines all converging here. Above ground is the famous (or infamous) “Shibuya Scramble” a pedestrian street crossing reputed to be the busiest crossing in the world. I watched them for a while, and they really were hugging people. Not asking for money, not trying to get anyone to sign a petition, just giving free hugs. Intrigued, I went and asked them about their sign. Turned out the young man was Japanese, and all his life he had been very shy. He was determined to fix this, and he figured ... read more
Ali and Oskar
Godzilla at the Hotel Gracery

Asia » Japan » Tokyo » Shinjuku June 24th 2017

In which I learn the difference between a katana and a tachi. You wouldn’t expect to find a museum devoted to Samurai in the Kabukicho section of Shinjuku, but there it is. Kabukicho is a loud, brash area of narrow streets, with lots of bars, gaming arcades, and, um, “hostess clubs.” Music videos play at top volume on immense LED screens, and the noise from the speakers blaring promos for the latest boy band can be a bit overwhelming. When I found myself standing under a statue of a giant gorilla, I certainly figured I was in the wrong place, but a helpful security guard pointed me in the right direction, and the museum turned out to be just a few steps away. I’ve always had a kind of vague, romanticized vision of samurai as heroic, ... read more

Asia » Japan » Tokyo » Shinjuku June 2nd 2017

I flew to Tokyo on an ANA (All Nippon Airways) flight from San Francisco. I like flying ANA; the Japanese level of service is a nice change from the usual flying experience, and that’s important on a flight this long. When the plane was ready to pull away from the gate, the gate agents and available ground crew gathered outside to wave good-bye. I’m always delighted by this small act. Going through immigration and customs at Narita Airport is one of the most efficient and quick processes I’ve run into. Getting off the plane you walk down a corridor where you are scanned to see if you have a fever, and as you walk through another door you walk across a pad that disinfects the soles of your shoes. No standing in another line, it all ... read more
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