10 January 2007

Day 1, 15 Dec 06 - Shinjuku

In half slumber mode, hubby and I boarded an early 6am Northwest Airlines flight and landed at Tokyo Narita Airport at 1.50pm. Tokyo was a cool 13 degree celsius. Nice! After clearing the custom (long queue!), we transferred via the Airport Limousine Bus to our hotel, Shinjuku Washington. Chose this hotel as it is the only hotel around Shinjuku area where the Airport Limousine Bus goes to directly and not costing a bomb. Bus ticket costs 3000 yen per person, 1 way, 100 mins (purchase ticket at counter located in Arrival Hall)
Had made reservations through the Shinjuku Washington Hotel website and managed to find a promo price at the main building (hotel has another annex building). Check-in was relatively smooth and most staff speak very good English. As expected the room was really small, but very well-equipped, literally everything that a traveller needs (It may get a little stuffy in the room due to the heater. Just call housekeeping and they will open the window)
Shinjuku Washington Hotel is located in Nishi-Shinjuku adjacent to the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Office Building (west exit of Shinjuku Station). Takes around 15 mins to walk from the hotel to Shinjuku station. Although Nishi-Shinjuku is not as colourful as the south exit area, it has its own charm with lots of interesting eateries and pachinko arcades.

It was only 4.30pm, but already pretty dark as it was winter. The false sense of timing with aromas coming from the eateries made us very hungry and we decided to have our dinner at a ‘fast food’ eatery. Basically purchase the set meal you want through a vending machine, take the ticket and hand it to the counter staff. Mine was curry beef rice which came with miso soup, rice, curry beef and salad. Hubby chose something similar to Pepper Lunch. The best thing was both set meals tasted good (maybe it's the weather?)
Thereafter, we browsed at Sakura, Yodobashi and Bic for electronic items (Tokyo is a haven for electronic items!) and proceeded to Luminere (Shinjuku) as I wanted to visit 2 Zakka shops there (Afternoon Tea and FrancFranc). As we have to wake up early the next day to go to Nikko, decided to go back to hotel early, but not before being attracted by lovely sights of yummy-looking cakes at Sunday Brunch (lifestyle cafe with zakka goods). We just had to stop and try the cakes which looked and tasted really good.
Day 1 thoughts: Shinjuku - as colourful and vibrant as I remember it to be.

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