Tokyo Stories and Tips

Shinjuku, Tokyo

Tokyo Photo, Tokyo, Japan

Tokyo is constantly ranked among the top most expensive cities to live in the world. I never thought I would go to Tokyo until I booked Japan Airlines going to Kuala Lumpur. The airline offered a one night stay for free at Holiday Inn Airport, and I took the opportunity to visit the city. Unfortunately, I had only a few hours to enjoy Tokyo, one of the biggest cities and top destinations in the world. I chose to visit Shinjuku, a fascinating district in Tokyo, and it is the location of the world's busiest train station, Shinjuku Station. It cost $15 for a one way ticket from Narita International Airport to downtown Tokyo.

This is not the place you want to be during rush hour. As I exited from the train at Shinjuku at 7 pm, there were still a huge crowd (majority were in black, and in their long coats). Crowds of people rushed toward their trains in a timely manner intersecting one another as they hurried to their designated trains. Not knowing where I should go, I just followed the crowd, and looked for the bright neon lights. Shortly after, I came to Omoide Yokocho, a place known for its alleyways that are fill with small eateries serving ramen, soba, yakitori and kushiyaki. An interesting observation at some these small restaurants, menus were displayed out, and there was a button on each order for the customer to push in. Once ordered, you put the money in, and picked up the food at the counter. There were only a few seatings in many of these places.

Make sure you have cash as many these establishments do not accept credit card.

After dinner, I walked around the area, where I saw hundreds of neon lights at stores' front: some were displaying animate Japanese's characters while others were showing the newest gadgets in the market. Store employees trying to entice shoppers with offers and discounts, and video games arcades were wildly popular among young adults here.

Before I knew it was time to head back. At the train station, I realized I did not have anymore Japanese yen for my ride back to my hotel. But I was surprised that the courteous agent who was working at the station gave me a piece of note. He told me I could pay at the office in the airport train station the next day. I could not believed that.

This is a pleasant incident you will not find in America.

I paid the fare next day at the station in the airport. I saw the same agent (I was surprised to see him there although he said he would the previous night), and I thanked him. Spending that few hours in Tokyo will do not justice to this fascinating city. Therefore, I am planning to visit Tokyo again, and next time it will not be just a stopover.

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