I seriously think that Shinjuku is over-rated.
Whenever you mention Tokyo, the first thing that comes to everyone's mind is Shinjuku and how it is a must-visit. But perhaps both hubby and I are not fans of branded goods, we were not impressed at all. Shinjuku looked very much like our Orchard Road, except that it's more crowded and more colourful.
From our apartment at Ichigaya, we took the Chuo JR Line to Shinjuku station, which was two stops away. Serving as the main connecting hub for rail traffic between central Tokyo and its western suburbs on inter-city rail, commuter rail, and metro lines, Shinjuku station was used by an average of 3.64 million people per day in 2007, making it, by far, the world's busiest transport hub. Including an underground arcade, there are well over 200 exits. The station has 35 platforms, but if connected stations are included, this gives a total of 52 platforms. Our City Hall interchange feels like a grasshopper in the face of Shinjuku, the giant.
The thing about Tokyo is that there are lots and lots of signboards everywhere, trying to catch the consumers' attention. They have huge, colourful wordings, and some are even flashing constantly during the night time.
Everything on the streets looked vibrant and energetic, and you can hear music from everywhere.
I enjoyed people-watching in Tokyo streets the most. Most of the people looked good, dressed well and were immensely confident-looking. But because everyone's walking really fast most of the time, it's hard to get a good shot of them. Still, very pleasing to the eye. Haha.
Lots and lots of restaurants everywhere.
The roads are closed after a certain time, so people walked the streets freely. It's a very relaxing feeling actually - quite an irony in such a busy place. Everyone seemed to be rushing to somewhere. But it's really just the Jap lifestyle - they walk really fast.
Finally, after scouring the streets, we decided to sit down for some coffee & desserts. I was so glad! My legs were breaking!!! I would definitely recommend that you try this cafe that served one of the best french toasts I've tasted!
This underground cafe was very crowded and crammed. The only thing I hate about restaurants in Japan is the fact that they allow smoking! =.= Well, they do have separate sections for smoking & non-smoking, but how can you get rid of the smoke smell when everything is in one space together?? Strangely though, the Jap cigarettes don't smell as bad as the ones in Singapore. I wonder why. Haha.
We sat at the bar counter, and watched the barrister prepare all the orders. He's one skilful guy.
And didn't this look like some science lab counter?? Bunsen burners, tubes, flasks...
They brewed coffee with the distilled method - Super cool! And really tasted good.
Interestingly, I had imagined that the french toasts were dipped and fried with eggs, but I couldn't find any traces of eggs. They were just very chewy and spongy! Our set came with three types of condiments: Whipped cream with caramel, vanilla ice-cream & apple sauce. It was YUMMY!!
It was a very nice dessert break after a long walk out on the streets. :)
Leaving you with the crowded streets of Shinjuku. I would say visiting Shinjuku while you are in Tokyo is a must-do because it's just so iconic, but don't expect it to be extremely charming unless you are a shopaholic. The energy in that place is amazing though - You've got to experience it for yourself. :)