The Yamanote Line took us from Tokyo Station to the sky scrapper district – Shinjuku. This train station is the busiest in the world with over two million passengers daily. Several line including the subway, metro, Odakyu and more use these numerous tracks. This included the Shinkansen – bullet trains. As confusing and busy it can be, it was easy to navigate. Just ask the staff. Most have basic understanding of English and are extremely helpful. The site Hyperdia.com is valuable in checking schedules, options, track numbers, transit and transfer times. The station looked like a self- contained city. It is similar to Tokyo Station but much bigger. The atmosphere – busy and bustling as numerous bodies moved efficiently.
From the west exit on a tree lined road, we headed for the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Buildings. Two shiny towers leaped towards the sky. From one of them, at above 200m, we viewed the hazy shinny city towers and beyond. There were no views of Mt Fuji today. A green lung occupied the southern view – Yoyogi Park. Tokyo is a very clean and efficient city. We could hardly even see rubbish bins.
Shinjuku has the highest concentration of tall building in Tokyo. It is also a great shopping district especially on the east – camera, giant retail clothing department stores and numerous restaurants. Nearby is also Tokyo’s red light district with bars, nightclubs, love hotels and more. The Golden Gai area is also another popular nightlife particularly Kabukicho district. Most eateries in these areas and in most places we had been are small and quite specialised in their meals. There are many “izakaya” establishments here too. The buildings are mostly draped with bright signage and bill boards. With a high density area, people watching here is fabulous – chic outfits, hairstyles, branded clothing and accessories, the straight, the queer and much more.
“It was only early in the morning but already people were flocking to the TMG to get a good look of Tokyo……lines were filling up fast and the wait was almost an hour” – Navindd