Click here if you want to read my travel diary of traveling to Japan, the first two days!
Three days in Shinjuku, that’s all my sister and I had in this pretty place. We definitely made the most of it though! We planned out everything we wanted to do and see before we left so we already knew what each day kind of would be like. Want to know how we spent our days and everything that happened? – probably my opinion on stuff as well lol-. Keep on reading! If you just want to know more about recommended activities or a three day food tour through this area, I have specific blogosts about these subjects. This is the post about recommended activities, the one about food is right here: Food tour through Shinjuku, Tokyo!
We had two full days, one evening and one morning in Shinjuku. Same as three days right? Lol.
Arriving in Shinjuku
We arrived in the middle of the day at Tokyo Airport. Of course it always takes a while to actually get off of the airport. Luckily we didn’t have any checked luggage so we didn’t have to wait for that! Yes, we packed very light. I packed extremely light actually just so we could take a lot home with us. My sister mostly though, she wanted to get stuffed animals and such haha. Anyways, a friend recommended to take the bus from the airport to wherever you need to go, so Shinjuku station in our case. So that’s what we did. We bought tickets, got on the bus, got off of the bus and walked through the city to our airbnb. Through lots of streets with restaurants and around a park, which lead us to walk past lots of office buildings. People were looking at us weird sometimes because we were carrying our suitcases and all. Or maybe just because we’re not Asian, who knows haha.
It was fairly easy to find the airbnb. The owner provided us with a picture of a map, directions on how to get there from the station, pictures of the building and entrance, it was perfect! The place itself was perfect too, as was the location. He even had a portable wifi divice for us that we could take with us anywhere we wanted, which was awesome! Lost? Google maps! Want to find a certain restaurant? Google maps! Bored? Instagram! Lol. We were never bored though.
By the time we fully installed ourselves in the room it was time to find ourselves some dinner. Our first real Japanese dinner! We tried finding a sushi place that was recommended to us by the owner of the airbnb but could not find it so we ended up at another place. At first I didn’t want to eat there because when we walked past there was a rat running right past the entrance of the place and it made me feel like the place was nasty even though the rat didn’t really come from the restaurant or go in there. We tried finding another places but couldn’t so we ended up here anyways.
After dinner we walked through the shopping streets for a little bit and I bought some weird flavors of KitKat. I think I got the macha, chocolate mint and some kind of strawberry cake ice cream kitkat flavor. Something like that. They all were not really delicious to be honest so that was a pity. While walking home we played pokémon go – I know, call us nerds or weirdos or whatever you want, we like it, I grew up with pokémon 🙂 –. When we were back at the appartment and were getting ready for bed, that’s when we noticed how exhausted we actually were. From all of the traveling, almost sleepless flight, busy day, new impressions, just everything together made us exhausted. We even both had somewhat lost our balance at this point so we felt like we were on a rocking ship the entire time haha. We quickly went to sleep.
First full day
The next day was our first full day in Shinjuku and we were of course excited! I set the alarm for 9 in the morning, bright and early! Somewhat at least, lol. We ate some bread and rice balls that we got the night before, put on some clothes and makeup and went out the door. We had a busy day planned. Our first stop: Hachiko. Nice statue to see, way too busy. Didn’t take long.
We then went shopping in Shibuya, which was pretty impressive. Huge buildings and there are signs and advertisements everywhere as well as people shouting! Those people are shop employees probably shouting at us the deals of the day or whatever but I don’t really speak Japanese well enough to understand so that’s just my guess. We went into Shibuya109, which is a department-store and checked out all of the typically Japanese fashion stores. We even tried on some clothes and even though they did fit us, they did not suit us at all. Too cute for us haha. There was also a shop that had few items for sale, but focused on photo booths and nice props/photo ‘locations’. Don’t know what to call those. Just right within the store thee was a giant, pink, multi layered cake.
Fake of course and you could sit on it and take pictures with it. There were a few other ‘sets’ like this. Heaven for me of course haha I love pink and pictures. There were also some photo booths in one of which my sister and I took a few pictures. Lunch followed, at a restaurant/cafe at the top of the building. Both ordered some awesome pancakes! Pancakes are not very healthy though so we had to walk a lot more to burn them off again, which is why we decided to do some more shopping. Perfect reasoning right? I’m just kidding, I don’t need an excuse to go shopping. Daiso 100yen was one of the shops we went to. We need one of those where I live I love that place. I got lots of weird looking snacks from here, something sour, something hot, something Wasabi, something milk.
We also went to a large arcade and tried some of the machines where you can win stuffed animals. I won a tiny pichu on my very first try lol. My sister wanted a huge one shaped like a cat but didn’t manage to win it so I tried for her and BAM I won it for her. You should have seen the look on her face, priceless.
After all the walking around we got hungry again and ended up at an underground ramen place where you needed to order from a machine before entering. Needles to say: didn’t go so well hahaha. The food was great though! After we finished I decided to check our schedule for the day and found out we were still supposed to go to Harajuku. Shopping in Shibuya wasn’t even on the schedule. Crisis! We rushed to Harajuku and got there like an hour before closing time. It was dark outside already but we did manage to find the street we were looking for and there were also lots of shops that we were able to check out. Not so much Harajuku girls walking around though, so that was a pity.
After all of the shops closed and there was nothing left for us to do in Harajuku we went back to the appartment. We found out the portable wifi hadn’t charged a bit even though it had been plugged in all day (and night) so we contacted the airbnb owner about it. Before he came by we kind of figured out what was wrong so that made it easy for him to fix.
Second full day
The next day we were supposed to go shopping in Shibuya, but since we accidentally did that the day before we of course now skipped it. This meant the first stop of the day was Isean, a department-store. Quite an expensive one, but we just went there for the food market in the basement. A lovely experience! Filmed a lot, forgot to take pictures, sorry! My sister wanted to buy some pieces of water lemon and so we stood in line to pay for that. Turns out we were standing in line to have them wrapped as a gift lol. Luckily the lady behind us was so nice to tell us and show us the right place to go. It’s so funny how fruit is actually quite a common gift to give in Japan. Because it’s so expensive of course. I got a sushi roll and then we walked to the Shinjuku Gyoen National garden to sit down and eat it.
I think the entrance to the park was 200 yen per person. After discovering the sushi roll I bought was disgusting and still eating all of it because I payed for it we started our walk in the park. It’s a fairly large park so it took a while to finish the circle. It’s such a beautiful place though. We came across a greenhouse that had lots of cool plants in it, cacti for example.
It was just as hot and humid inside as it was outside lol. We also walked through a traditional Japanese garden, which was really pretty. In between we bought some ice cream too, which was needed on this hot day.
We finished the walk and headed back to the station. On our way back there we stopped at a cat cafe though. We just had to try one of those while in Japan! I think this one was called coo&riku.
It’s located super close to the national garden, but I definitely don’t recommend it. Wasn’t impressed at all. Also, I picked up one of the cats and placed it on my lap and the animal left some kind of poo stain on my shirt hahaha omg that was so nasty.
When we arrived at the Shinjuku station we decided it was time for some food. Dinner to be exact. Even though it was only like 1630 or something lol. We actually managed to find the sushi place that was recommended by the airbnb owner! It’s called oedo sushi, located near the west entrance of the station. The English name isn’t shown on the outside though lol so you just have to rely on Google maps to find it. Cheap place, good food, lots of variety. We then walked back ‘home’ and charged our phones. We also tried all of the snacks I told you I bought earlier. When our phones were fully charged we went out with the portable wifi to play some more pokémon. For those interested: yes we cought a couple new ones. This was our last day with the portable wifi divice so we really just had to make the most of it. Tomorrow we need to go to another place to stay….
… This is it. The last morning in the airbnb. We had our breakfast like we always did, got ready, packed our bags and checked out by putting the keys back in the locker where we got them from. The first stop on the way to our next hotel was the metropolitan government building. Sounds strange, why would a tourist go there? Well, for the free view from the 45th floor of course! We really enjoyed that, it’s super high up so you can see very far in the distance, even the mountains! There were also a couple of really cute old ladies volunteering as guides, providing information about the city and the buildings. I had a nice chat with one of them. She asked me why I thought one part of the city was completely filled with high skyscrapers and why another part just had small buildings. I didn’t know of course, but it was because of the soft ground that made it unable for us to build heavy, high buildings on top. They would just collapse. Very interesting. She also told me she’d been to The Netherlands once, like pretty much every Japanese person we spoke to lol.
After this, we dicided that, since we could not yet check in at the next hotel in the Asakusa region, we would first go to the mega pokémon center. This center is located in Toshima, not in Shinjuku, but since it is something we did before checking in at our next destination I still count it as part of the Shinjuku diary 🙂
So we went to Toshima by metro or subway or whatever it was and after arriving we were having trouble figuring out what exit of the station to take. All stations have multiple exits and getting out at the wrong one means you need to walk a lot more than you otherwise would have. So we were standing there, in front of the map, looking kind of lost apparently because two Japanese guys came up to us and asked if they could help. So kind of them! Everyone here is super kind to us. He did send us the wrong way though hahahaha but we figured that out before it was too late.
We got out at the right exit and had lunch at a sushi place first. Another one with a conveyor belt but I think this is the best one we have been to so far. You could grab plates of sushi off the belt but there was also the option of ordering things. They were delivered to your exact table via a belt as well, so cool! After this we went to the pokémon center.
We had some trouble finding it though because my Google maps showed a wrong location – or I’m just really stupid- but luckily we managed to figure it out. Inge – my sister- mostly though lol. It’s located in a really large building and there is no signs of its location anywhere outside of this building unfortunately. We were not the only tourists at this pokémon center haha. My sister bought a super funny snorlax luggage tag and I got one of my favorite pokémon from a Gachapon machine in the shop. Or two I should say, because it’s an eveee dressed as her evolution sylveon.
And that is all I have to share with you from my Shinjuku travel diary guys! Hope you enjoyed reading this elaborate story! What is your favorite part of Shinjuku?
Best part of my time in Shinjuku: probably the food market in Isetan because it was just so impressive.
After Shinjuku, we went to the Taito or Asakusa region of Tokyo. Check out this post: Travel diary: 3 days in Taito, Tokio if you want to read my travel diary from my time here. We also went to Osaka, which I wrote this about: Travel diary: day one and two in Osaka, Japan and Travel diary: day three and four in Osaka, Japan
If you liked this blogpost and you’d like to watch the YouTube video of our time in Shinjuku, here is the link: traveling Japan part 1