Tokyo is quiet. The rooms are small. Stay in busy places if you are only in Japan for a week. Try a suburb close to a JR station if you are planning on exploring.
This day was a travel day, so there really isn’t much to report. We took the bullet train from Kyoto to Shinjuku Station (which is apparently the busiest station in the world by passenger volume). There are layers upon layers of train tracks in this station and it can be quite overwhelming.
Shinjuku station is in the heart of a busy shopping area which makes sense since thousands of people pass by and through there every day. I personally didn’t like it at all, but for those who enjoy hustle and bustle, it is a place worth checking out.
The Airbnb was a 15-minute walk away or an 11-minute cab ride. I mean the difference was only 4 minutes – and I figured seeing the cool shops along the way would be amazing. That was a big mistake. The streets can get super crowded and wheeling a suitcase along with you is no easy task!
The Airbnb was on the third floor of a little building and tiny-tiny. The room was MAYBE 80 square feet (probably smaller), but in it was a double bed, fridge, little desk, closet (with an iron, ironing board), and another little storage apparatus with plates and cups. I was shocked that so much could fit into a small room. Pretty efficient for the space given I must say. The bathroom was super tiny too and there was no stove. Not a big deal since I wasn’t in Japan to cook.
I think most Japanese eat out for a majority of their meals.
Anyhow, after settling in it was time to check out the Shinjuku scene. A stroll along the main streets gave us a flavour for the area. The famous robot cafe is in Shinjuku along with other really cool attractions like VR cafes and tasty eats. There are also tonnes of strip clubs if that is your thing!
Is staying in Shinjuku worth it?
Depending on how long you are in Tokyo and what you plan on doing, I think staying in the major tourist areas is a personal choice. I wouldn’t do it again only because I don’t care for the hustle and bustle and spent a lot of time traveling around Tokyo and to other cities. I feel like you would be better off staying really close to a JR train station in another part of town so commuting is easy.
You could easily stay in a more suburban location and travel to the city centre and spend the day there. the transportation system in Japan and Tokyo, in general, is so easy to use and efficient that there is no need to stay in the heart of it all.
If you are only staying in Tokyo for a week and have no plans to go anywhere else in the country then staying in Tokyo, Shinjuku, Shibuya, or Roppongi makes sense.
Cool things about Tokyo
In a metropolitan area of 37 million people, I was shocked to find that it was so QUIET! I thought that sleeping in Shinjuku would be difficult because of the noise. I was wrong! It was dead quiet almost all the time. No loud music, no shouting, neighbors, no cars honking. Peaceful and serene. I live in Canada and I have to admit that Tokyo is much less noisy than any place I have stayed in Vancouver (2 million people), Toronto (5 million people), or even where I live, Calgary (1.2 million people). I think that in a city with such a dense population it is imperative that people are respectful and quiet. Otherwise, how could anyone live there? I also think it is ingrained baked into their culture to be respectful and quiet. I only heard a car horn 3 times the whole time I was in Japan. Amazing!
Quiet Places in Tokyo/Japan
If you visit Japan you will notice that other very quiet places include
- the train
- the coffee shop
This is the complete opposite of North America. Even though I grew up in Canada, I love everything about people keeping to themselves and being soundless. I personally enjoy the silence. It could be because I am a mom and rarely get a moment of peace haha.
Anyway, I have nothing else to say about Day one in Tokyo. Talk soon!