This is one of the most exculsive hotels in all of Tokyo and all of Japan... averaging about $400 US a night. And also becoming very popular place after being featured in the movie Lost in Translation some years ago. We went for drinks at the lobby bar. The prices are high as expected, but the views and level of service are excellent. The drinks start at 1500 Yen and run to 4900 Yen for a glass of Dom. If your in the area drop in and take a look and have a drink.
the red light district of Shinjuku and popular with foreigners! but the main red light district of tokyo is in Yoshiwara which is far from the accesible areas for tourist hehehehe. Unfortunately we had a walk in kabukicho area in the afternoon as we have a plane to catch in the evening so we did not have the chance to try the "infamous" japanese Soapland Massage here which are similar to the Soapy Massages of Bangkok (see my bangkok tips).
Kabukichô has transformed from a residential area to a world famous red-light district housing over three thousand bars, nightclubs, love hotels, massage parlours, hostess clubs and the like. Although referred here as a "red light district", there are no red lights in the literal sense with prostitutes in the windows as in Amsterdam. Although Kabukicho is often considered to be a dangerous or otherwise unseemly area, there is little reason for the visitor to be concerned for their physical safety. Women, especially non-Japanese, are advised to be aware of harassment or solicitation, particularly recruitment for employment in a host club.
Some of the bars are ramshackle looking places but they have long been tolerated as a place where (sexual) pleasure-seeking Japanese - and visitors - let off steam. Anyone expecting the sort of sex clubs found in American or European cities could be in for a surprise. Here are entire clubs populated by pretend nurses, govenesses, secretaries, dominatrices - everything is available in Kabukicho. Here also can be found "naked karaoke", life-size latex dolls (for the use of), a reconstructed train filled with short-skirted schoolgirls (guaranteed not to press charges hehehe, the japanese term for this is chikan!) and even a giant tank outside of which businessmen in suits can watch naked girls swim underwater.
the busiest station in tokyo according to wikipedia, heck tyhe busiest station around the world according to Guinness! Shinjuku Station opened in 1885 as a stop on Japan Railway's Akabane-Shinagawa line (now part of the Yamanote Line) and presently is used by an average of 3.22 million people per day, making it the busiest train station in the world. It is also the second-largest (after Nagoya Station) when measured by area. It serves as the main connecting hub for rail traffic between central Tokyo and its western suburbs. This humoungous Shinjuku station is not just one big station but several big interconnected aboveground and underground stations for Trains, Subways and even Buses!
the station is also a giant maze of shops, department stores like Keio or Isetan or Lumine or Odakyu and assorted restaurants, pubs and other specialty shops that the Shinjuku Station Can Be considered a separate shopping and eating destination in itself besides the shinjuku area around it! Among the thousands of cafes, restaurants and stores in the immediate vicinty of Shinjuku Station are the Isetan, Mitsukoshi and Marui department stores, Lumine Este, and Kinokuniya bookshop (all east exit) HMV and Tower Records, Takashimaya Times Square, Tokyu Hands (all south exit)Odakyu and Keio department stores, Bic Camera, and Yodobashi Camera (all west exit).
strolling around the shinjuku area and reminiscing since the last time I was in the shinjuku area was in 1985 and staying at Keio Plaza Hotel (see my old keio plaza pictures). To the west of Shinjuku Station rises the dense forest of skyscrapers surrounding the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building: including the Shinjuku NS Building, KDDI Building, Shinjuku Sumitomo Building, the Sompo Building, and the Nomura building. Behind the high-rises is Shinjuku Chuo Koen Park. It is also home to several hotels, most notably the Keio Plaza Hotel, and the Shinjuku Washington Hotel. Shinjuku is the major commercial, entertainment and shopping area in Tokyo and is the biggest urban hub within the larger metropolis of Tokyo. Both Odakyu and Keio have department stores at the station as does Seibu at the Seibu-Shinjuku Station.
Shinjuku is one of 23 wards of Tokyo, but the main attractions gather around the train station which handles more than 2 million passengers each day. This large entertainment, shopping and business area is crowded and dynamic from early morning till late night. Kabukicho which is Japan's largest and wildest red light district is also located here. The skyscraper district of Shinjuku has some of the tallest buildings in Tokyo such as Metropolitan Government Office and several hotels. There are many department stores, subterranean malls and electronic malls in Shinjuku providing enough options for shopping. The restaurants are scattered all around from budget to high end. You can spend an enjoyable day in Shinjuku but in the evening under neon lights, it even becomes better.
The Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building #1 not only has one of the best views of Tokyo, but it is free! The twin towers have an observation room at the top that gives a 360 degree view of the Tokyo area with nothing to block the view but the adjacent tower. It can't get any better than that. They say that on a clear day you can see Mt. Fuji, but we didn't have such luck. But even on a rainy day the view is great.
There is, of course, a gift shop here, and also a bar/cafe. We stopped to relax for a drink, which was worth it for us after a long day of walking in Tokyo. But other than that, it is one of the best free sites in Tokyo.
Shinjuku is one of the busiest stations in Tokyo. Subway lines and JR lines meet at Shinjuku ferrying loads of passengers to their destination. During rush hours, you can see some people pushers trying to pack as many passengers into each carriage. There are now female carriages to avoid ladies being taken advantages of during peak hours. It is worth an one time experience being shove into the train before the door closes.
You can walk about one kilometers underground with clear directions sign to find your way around the station. The west exit will lead to the Metropolitan Government Offices. The East exit will lead to My City building and Kabukicho area.
Shinjuku Station is massive! You walk around the inside of it and feel like you're in an airport!
Once outside the station you will find the Shinjuku Station crossing where 2 million cross the road everyday! It's a really big place with heaps of shops and a big Starbucks over the road. It as to been seen to be believed!
I am not sure of the name of this cafe however it was located in Shinjuku.
Downstairs were endless collections of comics - books and dvds. Upstairs - where this photo is taken is of small booths that come with a desk, computer and bench. It was very quiet inside.
Many of the teens who are studying, go there and spend the night...some who cannot afford to rent whilst studying.
You should not have any problem buying alcohol in this area, or any other for that matter. Bars are located all over Tokyo and most restuarants have it available as well. One thing about the bars however, there are some that are like member only. Clientelle bring in their own bottles and the bars keep them at the bar for the customers. Almost exclusively Japanese and VERY spendy. There are also vending machines on the streets that have sake.
I think Pachinko is like going to Las Vegas: putting metal balls into the machine to gain more balls and then exchange them for prizes. But if you want money, exchange your metal balls for vouchers and then go to small exchange center generaly located outside the pachinko to get your cash, as in Japan gambling is illegal. Good luck!
My goal, when emerging from the Shinjuku subway station, was to find the Metropolitan Government Building and take the elevator to the observation deck (it free). But I was immediately lost above ground. I had to go back underground to get my bearings. I consulted my books and soon realized that it is absolutely vital to exit the station correctly. I had mistakenly assumed that one could take any exit and find landmarks above ground. At some stations this may be true, but not Shinjuku, considered the busiest station in Tokyo. One side of the station is completely different from the other – by different I mean different cities.
The west side is a city of towering modern office buildings and the municipal buildings I was looking for.
The east side is a city of wild chaotic shopping, giant outdoor video screens, all night entertainment, and thriving sex establishments.
Spend time on each side.