Nippon Express – 80 Days in Tokyo

happenings and experiences during my stay at RICOH Software R&D, Tokyo

Shinjuku – The First Night Out January 19, 2008

So this evening we went to experience the night life in Tokyo, or more precisely Shinjuku, one of the 23 special wards that make up the metropolis of Tokyo. To the unaware reader I should mention at this point that there is no such thing as a city called Tokyo. Tokyo is rather a gigantic merge of several autonomous districts (actually cities in their own right) called special wards which make up the metropolis people call Tokyo. This “core” of Tokyo already has a population of over 8 million people. If you count in all “suburbs” of the Tokyo prefecture (suburbs is really an understatement, they can be really large, too), you already count some 12 million inhabitants.

Anyway, we first went to visit the Tokyo City Hall where the headquarters of the Tokyo government is located. The building is 48 stories high and along with its neighboring buildings (which are just as impressive) houses over 13,000 government employees. We took the elevator to the 45th level in the North Tower to get some impressive view over Tokyo’s skyline at night (see pictures). You could also buy lots of, well, stuff there.

We left for Shinjuku station (according to Wikipedia and several traveler’s guides the busiest train station in the entire world) at 9pm to meet with a Japanese guy called Rene, whom Volker knew from Shinden, the town where he lives. Together we went to a very nice and cozy (but busy!) Irish Pub and had a couple of drinks — I can really recommend “China Blue”, a very tasty cocktail.

Unfortunately we had to leave at around 11pm already because for some reason the subway in Tokyo stops its service at around midnight, and considering the one hour ride you’ll always either have to leave early or stay until the next morning, which we were too tired to do today…

Well, next time maybe.

Visit the complete Shinjuku picture gallery.

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