Japan 2016 – Day One in Shinjuku Tokyo

“You can  do the exact same things in Japan from your last holiday, and you will still have the time of your life”

After only a year away from Japan, my partner and I decided to go back after deliberating about various holiday choices. Ultimately, we thought there would still be enough to eat, see, and do whilst over there despite visiting just last year. Looking back now, the quote above from a close friend stands out even more to be after completing our trip. You can literally go back, do some of the things twice, and still go “wow, this is such a fun place to be!” We even stayed in Shinjuku again!

For anyone thinking of travelling in early June period, its fantastic. The crowds are noticeably less than during cherry blossom season, the weather is warm but not stinking hot (for the most part!) and the rain only starts to show itself in the later half of June.

Landing

We landed in Tokyo around 5PM on a Saturday afternoon. After picking up a WiFi modem (At Narita Terminal 2, it’s on the far left of the exit after you pickup your luggage) we pre-ordered from a company named PuPuRu (www.pupuru.com) at the terminal, we purchased two tickets to the Airport limousine Bus to get us to the Shinjuku bus terminal, which was the closest stop to our hotel. The tickets are ‎¥3100 per adults (Kicking myself for not saying I was under 25. I’m certain i could get by) for those wondering.

After a long 90 minutes on the bus, we arrived at the terminal. It was a 10 minute walk to our hotel in the east side of Shinjuku, at a small business hotel named Tokyu Stay. The surrounding area is full of small restaurants serving up cheap bowls of ramen and udon, gyoza, and even pizza.

2-Chome Tsukemen Gachi, Shinjuku

We opted for a place called 2-Chome Tsukemen Gachi. Per its name, it serves up Tsukemen ramen, which is cold ramen noodles that are dipped into a hot pork based broth. Once inside, you select what you want from a vending machine and pay the amount (¥. The safe option is almost always the top left choice (useful when you can’t read Japanese text). The staff member will then ask if you want a big or small serving of noodles (they speak a little english and are happy to help).

Ni Chome Tsukemen Gachi
Ni Chome Tsukemen Gachi

2-17-10 Shinjuku, Shinjuku-ku Tokyo

We opted for the top left option, which was the Sio DX variant (¥990). This proved to be waaay too much for me to stomach on day 1 of Tokyo. The broth is very nice and it would be good to have it standalone with the cold noodles. However, the DX version comes with fried chicken pieces, deep fried bamboo shoots, and an egg. This is on top of an incredibly rich broth with pieces of pork belly. Maybe not the best option for a first night meal -_-

Tsukemen Rio DX
Tsukemen Rio DX

It was late so after picking up some supplies we headed back home.

Summary of places visited

2-Chome Tsukemen Gachi
2-17-10 Shinjuku, Shinjuku-ku Tokyo

Tokyu Stay
3-7-1 Shinjuku, Shinjuku 160-0022, Tokyo Prefecture

The street of our hotel. Tokyu Stay Shinjuku
The street of our hotel. Tokyu Stay Shinjuku