Hello again my friend,
Hello again my dusty blog too,
Okay, I finally returned to Japan after almost a year, currently I went for an interview (and holiday of course.)
I got so emotional when I entered a convenient store in the airport, I looked around the products, almost got me in tears, how I missed convenient store in Japan. No I’m not exaggerating it. When you live in Japan, there are two place you would go a lot: your nearest station and your nearest convenient store. Those are BIG DEAL.
Because I had interview in Shinjuku, I stayed in a traditional capsule hotel with “onsen” on it. (You have to take off all of your clothes in the onsen, even there is no separate room for shower, it means you have to be naked with other guest, as a foreigner, it’s a nightmare. It’s super awkward for the first time, after few times, I decided to let it go..)
The location is in the downtown, near from Shinjuku station, behind Don Quijote. This is a “major plus” since you can go everywhere easily.
My first impression about Shinjuku is “oh my God this place is so crowded”, my interviewer told me that Shinjuku station is the most crowded station in the world. More than New York.
I believed that.
Shinjuku is not dirty, but it’s not that clean for Japan standard. At least compared to Nagoya and Kyoto. But, it’s nowhere as dirty as any other city in Indonesia.
The good thing about Tokyo is; you can reach everywhere easily, thanks to super solid train system.
But the bad thing is: too many options that available, it overwhelmed me successfully.
Because Tokyo is too big to be explored in such a short time, I decided to explore these area (most of them I decided by feeling):
1. Shinjuku: because it’s on my location.
2. Shibuya: because it’s near.
3. Nogizaka: because I’m a Nogizaka fan.
4. Shimokitazawa: because it’s my friend’s recommendation.
5. Harajuku: because it’s in the middle of Shinjuku and Shibuya.
You can find anything you can name in Shinjuku and Shibuya. There are a lot of street stores, malls, restaurants, cafe, in any kind of theme and many more. It’s a nice place for shopping, window shopping, and hang out.
But for nogizaka I went there because I want to take picture in front of Nogizaka’s station and Nogizaka’s street. There is no interesting thing over there, but you can find Sony Music Headquarter near in Nogizaka’s station, it’s a quite place at most.
My favorite place is Harajuku, the station’s design is nice too. There are a lot of street shop over there and that’s one of the most crowded place, especially in Takeshita Street. (If you love Japanese girl with short hair, you’d find a lot here, I don’t know why)
If you love people watching, windows shopping, or just walking around, you’ll definitely love to go there. I guaranteed.
If your time is very limited, you can just go to Shibuya, near Shibuya 109 area and Harajuku and then walk through Omotesando street. You’ll not loss a lot.
If you love taking picture, don’t even worry about that, because Japan has a lot of picturesque place by default. It’s everywhere.
Is Tokyo recommended place to be visited?
I said yes, but unless you have a lot of money in your wallet, it’s hard to resist the gravity of nice stores/cafe. You might want to spend a lot. The price is not that different to the other cities in Japan, but that’s still more expensive than Nagoya. I’d say, Tokyo is the best if you love to shop.
But my personal recommendation is; landing in Osaka Airport, enjoy Osaka, then visit Kyoto. As I said before, you have to visit Kyoto at least once in a lifetime.
Anyway, If you love street photography, you’d enjoy what Tokyo can offer. Interesting street view, stylist and good looking people are everywhere, but be careful;
There are some place that you won’t allowed to take picture. And for privacy issue, some people might not comfortable if their picture is taken, so always do this: be aware of the situation (First, always lookin at announcement poster that look like “taking picture is forbidden” or “no camera”) and please, smile after that, especially when your eyes met.
Why? That’s an attitude. You’re visitor afterall. Plus you’ll look better smiling. 🙂
These some pictures that I’ve taken:
I'll post more on my Instagram: @vianstory 😉
– You can take a shower in Haneda Airport for JPY 1030/30mnt.
– When you stay in capsule hotel, they’d provide clothes for your sleep, so you can bring less clothes.
– Always bring your passport, it would give you “no tax price” when you buy something.
– Buy a train card that rechargeable, so you can go everywhere easily in a “bip” away.
– Japan might has different plug-in adaptor (for charging etc) than in your country, be aware of it. You can buy converter in Big Camera or LABI.
– Usually, international travel won’t come with free baggage, so if you bring a lot of stuff, especially in your way home, you better buy that. Max weight that you can take in the cabinet is 7kg, more than that, you need to pay for baggage.
– You might need a transit visa.
Okay, I think that’s enough for this post.
I’ll see you later.