Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Japan '08: Shinjuku

Shinjuku looking southeast (Tokyo Tower is the orangish spire at center on the horizon).

Shinjuku, in west-central Tokyo, is the place with all the giant skyscrapers familiar from travel brochures. The most recognizable structure in the area is the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building, with its twin towers. You can take the elevator to an observation deck on the 45th floor for free, for superb views of the greater Tokyo area.

This is the view out to the northeast, towards Hongou and my home base at Homeikan Ryokan. It's too far away to see much detail in that part of the city--Tokyo is mind-bogglingly huge--but I'm pretty sure you can make out Tokyo Dome a little right of center, which is fairly close to where I was staying.

Shinjuku is a high-powered business and government oriented place, with attendant upscale and semi-upscale restaurants where we wound up eating dinner on several occasions. We tried Toriyoshi on our first full day in Japan, on the recommendation of Ray's friends Manami and Hiromi. Toriyoshi is a small chain of restaurants that specializes in yakitori and other chicken-oriented dishes, and was good, if not exactly my thing. Ootoya, a nationwide chain, is highly recommended for tasty food, including many seasonal items, at reasonable prices.

The one significant failure of the trip occured in Shinjuku: we tried to catch Biohazard: Degeneration (A.K.A. Resident Evil: Degeneration) in the theater on its opening day, but it was sold out by the time we tried to get tickets. As setbacks go, that was pretty minor; Biohazard was relatively low on my list of movies to see in Japan.


RC said...

Very well written! Each blog really brought back so much memories!

Matt said...

Thanks! Let me know if you think I've missed anything important.