Tokyo Part 2: Shinjuku and Akihabara


Tokyo 2011
Shinjuku from the bridge of the South exit. That's the Park Hyatt in the distance. Our hotel was just past the corner on the left corner.

Thanks for all the comments on my first Tokyo post. I'm glad you didn't feel overloaded with photos! I thought I'd share some more of my favourite parts.

Shinjuku

Our hotel was the Sunroute Plaza Shinjuku which was lovely. Small rooms but everywhere is small in Tokyo. It was very fancy and I managed to clear out the free toiletries every day and come home with 7 hairbrushes. Stop judging me! I can really recommend it, it was reasonably priced (which is rare for Tokyo, about £500-600 for 7 nights for a double room I think, double bed in Japan is more like a largeish single though). The location of the hotel was amazing. Firstly we had no problem at all finding it, compared to when I stayed in Ikebukuro in 2007. We got the train from the airport to Shinjuku station and the hotel is about a 5 minute walk from there. It was so good to be in Shinjuku, where you can get Yamanote line (JR train) which is basically a loop which takes you around anywhere you'd want to visit on a trip to Tokyo. It's the busiest train station in the world - apparently 2 million people pass through there every day.

Tokyo 2011

Tokyo 2011
Don Quijote.

Don Quijote Shinjuku (also in Akihabara if it's more convienient - actually the Akihabara one is way bigger and more exciting so go to it if you have to choose).

Tokyo 2011

Tokyo 2011
Japanese girls are OBSESSED with false eyelashes and contact lenses. I love my false lashes so this was great, but my eyeballs are too pointy for contacts. That's both a true fact AND a quote from Liz Lemon. We have so much in common.

Tokyo 2011

Tokyo 2011

Don Quijote is the most fun shop EVER! It's basically a maze of craziness and such a fire hazard that it'd never be allowed outside of Japan. You can buy anything here, and I mean anything. From laundry detergent to a Hello Kitty vibrator. I'm not even joking. You can check out a video of how mental it is here.

Tokyo 2011
Around Shinjuku.

Tokyo 2011

Tokyo 2011

Tokyo 2011

Shinjuku is also home to the Park Hyatt Hotel, as seen in the film Lost in Translation (one of my BA dissertation films). Lost in Translation is shot almost entirely in Shinjuku and neighbouring Shibuya. We went for drinks at the hotel on the last night as a treat. The New York bar is on the top floor and offers amazing views. If you're going get there before 8pm. At 8pm they charge a 2200yen/£19 cover charge (as there's live jazz). The cocktails alone are around £18-20 so unless money is not an issue I recommend going before the cover charge sets in. You can also get a spoonfull of caviar for £130 if you fancy it with your drink :P We went around 6pm as this way we got to see the sun setting and see the Tokyo skyline by day and night. The cocktails were delicious, it was so fancy. I felt a bit out of place but as with all Japanese staff they were very welcoming and polite. If you do go, I recommend the Climbing Rose cocktail. Or if you're after a relaxing time, you could make it Suntory time.

Tokyo 2011

We went for dinner elsewhere (the bar food alone started at £50!) and I managed to embarrass myself by knocking over my full glass of coke and having to apologise (gomenasai!) profusely as I was so embarassed. And this was just a casual place - sooo glad I didn't do it in the Park Hyatt! I managed to pull a whole tablecloth and all the cutlery and glasses to the floor in a fancy restaurant here in Belfast once. So red faced.

Tokyo 2011

Tokyo 2011

Tokyo 2011

Akihabara

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Tokyo 2011 Tokyo 2011

Tokyo 2011

Tokyo 2011

How can I put this? Akihabara is basically THE MOST FUN PLACE EVER. It's otaku town, otaku meaning geek. It's full of shops selling manga, action figures, maid cafés (we went to one in 2007 and it sort of creeped me out to be honest), electronic shops, game centers and yummy places to eat. And giant pikachus to buy.

Tokyo 2011

Also I got really excited because from a little googling I was able to find Ja La La, a cat café I wanted to go to. It was so awesome. Basically you pay by the hour (I like to call it cat brothel but this isn't recommended) and you get a drink and can play with the cats all you want. There are some rules so the cats stay happy, like you can't wake them up if they are sleeping and you can't use flash photography. You can buy snacks to feed them. I was in heaven! We went to another one in Odaiba but I'll post photos from that in the next post.

Tokyo 2011

Tokyo 2011

Tokyo 2011

Tokyo 2011
Amazing cuties at Ja La La

I was going to write about Ikebukuro here as well but it's already a bit full! I'll save it for next time :) Hope you liked this, ask away if you have any questions. At the end of these I might do a Japan guide on things like money, customs, travel etc. Does that sound like something you might like to read? x

26 comments:

  1. Oh wow now I'm dying to visit Japan for the cat cafe alone! Thanks for sharing your adventures with us xoxo

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  2. I would love to know how much food etc costs :) Wonderful post too xxx

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  3. Love this!!! Thanks so much and thanks for linking the video, I now want to go to Japan even more than I wanted to before! I would definetly be interested in a Japan guide, it's next on my list of big places to visit. xxx

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  4. Wow stunning photographs, love the backdrop of the city night in the cocktail photos x

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  5. Ahh, I love this post! I've always wanted to visit Tokyo. Kawaii overload!! :D

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  6. there needs to be a cat cafe everywhere in the world!! are you really good at speaking japanese or did you just rely on phrase books? i tried learning once but gave up after a year. the language barrier was always something that worried me about going there xx

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  7. A Japan guide would be great becaus ei have been trying to plan to go.

    That Cat cafe looks amazing! xx

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  8. I would definitely want to read a guide to Japan! The photographs are amazing. I really want to go to Japan next year, so it's great to hear from someone who has been. x

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  9. The photo of you in the Park Hyatt with the skyline behind you is absolutely stunning. Beautiful photographs, and OMG the cat cafe!

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  10. Sorry about the link to your photo - I thought it was linked to the flickr page. Need to check what I done wrong and link to the other photos too! x

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  11. I haven't had much to get online at all (the internet in the condo here in Florida is non-existant so I can only get online when it decides to let me....and even at that it only lets me get online from the kitchen/dining room bit...urgh). However, I am really glad I got online tonight so I could see both of your posts so far on Japan...

    Amazing photos and things and stuff and things and stuff and food and people and stuff and Claire.

    I'm loving it and I can't wait to hear even more about it from you when I see you (soon hopefully). Wonderful photos....I'm loving it. More please!

    - SK
    www.sarahkaneblog.net

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  12. OMG! I don't even know where to begin commenting on this! I literally have something to say about every photo! Everything looks so fantastic! It seems like a bit of a sensory overload there (in a good way!) I'm definitely going to have to go soon! :) x

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  13. oooh! It looks like your having a fab time! I'd love to go to Japan, siigghhhh

    I just found your blog and I'm loving it! I'm your new follower! :)

    Olivia :) x
    Wait Until The Sunset

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  14. Ja La La sounds AMAZING! i think i'd need about a week alone in akihabara

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  15. My best friend loves Japan, can't wait to show her your photos and blogs. It looks amazing.

    Also, I'm the biggest cat person ever, I'd never leave that cat cafe!!

    Cats and cocktails in one post, heaven! lol :P

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  16. Love your pictures! I would love to visit there!

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  17. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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  18. So fabulous, I absolutely love the Ja La La cat cafe, I absolutely adore cats. When I saw the pictures I couldn't help but "d'aww"! I love all the cute stuff you found.

    What a pretty city.

    You look so cute at the Lost in Translation bar!

    Look forward to your Japanese guide.

    <3Honeysuckelle

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  19. As if there is such a thing as a cat cafe! I'm excited, scared and surprised all at the same time! Amazin'!

    http://victoriasprocrastinationproject.blogspot.com/

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  20. Amazing; cat cafe! why do we not have this over here! Tokyo is fascinating.

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  21. hey hun so sorry for the delay in replying to ur msg u left on my blog! so lovely to meet another norn iron blogger! :) there doesnt seem to many of us! enjoy ur trip looks amazing!! :) xo

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  22. I'd love to read a guide to Japan - definitely interested in going one day!

    The cat cafe is AMAZING. x

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  23. hi! you looked so familiar to me as well, i thought I might have recognised you from the vintage fairs? but we prob did go to school together :)
    japan looks amazing, i would love to go and can't wait to read your next post. I can't believe I have never heard about the concept of cat cafes before...omg i have to go! i wonder if maru ever makes guest appearances!
    xox

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  24. Hi!! :)
    I really like your blog,
    I follow you :D !
    ... maybe if you have time, you could visit my blog too, and if you like it, follow me back ;)
    Kisses!
    http://modacapitalblog.com

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I read and appreciate every comment, thank you so much! If you ask a question I will definitely reply so don't forget to check back :)