Day 1


Wow! We finally arrived to the hotel, Hundred Stay Tokyo Shinjuku. That was the longest flight I have ever flown. I did not know that it would be this exhausting! At least the limousine bus to the hotel was comfortable. Since check-in was from 14:00, we decided to take a walk.


Although we weren’t hungry, to beat the jet lag, we decided to grab a bite to eat. We took a walk around the hotel and found a number of restaurants. It took us no time at all to decide what to eat. Ramen! We both wanted to try ramen in Tokyo. There were surprisingly a few ramen restaurants, if you can call them restaurants, in the area. They were basically counters with bar stools. You even buy the tickets from a vending machine, Luckily there were English labels. Oh, and the ramen was great!


We headed back to the Hundred Stay to check-in. The staff at the front desk were very nice and the check-in process was very smooth. The room itself was actually a lot more spacious than I expected and the view of downtown Shinjuku was great too (and even better at night). We stayed in a 1 bedroom apartments with kitchen and 2 double beds! Although we were tired, we could not wait to go out.


The front desk mentioned that it was only a 10 - 15 min walk to Shinjuku, so after freshening up, we decided to take another walk. Wendy wanted to go shopping, but I managed to convince her to walk to the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building - Tocho - in Nishi-Shinjuku. I read that there was a free viewing area on the … floor, from where we could see everything from Mount Fuji to Tokyo Tower!


So it took us a little longer than we thought, but getting lost didn’t help. You may seem like a tourist, but bring a map. We ended up asking a pedestrian. We heard that the Japanese were polite but also shy, and so you can will be surprised as to how outgoing this one man was. There was another man who totally ignored us, but I guess I can’t blame the guy.


After reaching the viewing area, and buying a couple souvenirs, we headed down and towards the shopping area of Shinjuku. Shinjuku was a lot larger than we thought. A lot of walking. A lot! No wonder all these people are skinny. Once we got back to Shinjuku Station, it didn’t take us long to find a department stores.


After nearly 3 hours of jumping from store to store, we were getting tired, hungry, and thirsty. Before leaving Hundred Stay, we asked the staff for a good Izakaya in Shinjuku. We asked around again and didn’t have trouble navigating ourselves around Shinjuku. They had a English menu and helpful staff; so polite and always smiling. And they don’t even take tips! Some restaurants take Otoshi Dai, which is similar to a service charge, but we also get a small appetizer, which was delicious.


After filling our stomach full with amazingly delicious Japanese dishes, we decided to head back. We used the JR Yamanote Line, only one stop from Shinjuku Station to Okubo Station, where Hundred Stay is situated. We debated whether to go find a bar, but we had a long day planned so we stopped by the supermarket on the ground floor, and got some snacks and drinks.