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Sunday, February 21, 2016

Exploring Shinjuku's Neighborhoods

Above, Godzilla surveys Shinjuku from over a rooftop. Photo by Armand Vaquer.

One of the fun things to do in Tokyo is just wandering around on foot to explore the neighborhoods of the city.

The Big Sushi, Little Fishes blog has an article on exploring Shinjuku.

According to the article, there is much to see in Shinjuku. Of course, a visit to the Toho Cinemas complex and the Hotel Gracery to see the giant Godzilla peering over the area is a must.

It starts off with:

From time to time, the question arises on travel discussion forums: which is the best neighbourhood in Tokyo? Never mind the vagueness of the question. If I had, say, 36 hours in Tokyo, I’d head to Shinjuku, a city-within-a-city. There’s no better place to get a feeling of 36 million people living together Blade Runner-style than in this west-end microcosm of The Big Sushi. 
It’s where I first landed in Japan 18 years ago. Then, I spun a jet-lagged fugue through Shinjuku’s neon canyonlands, elevated footpaths, tatami sidestreets and alleys, and in the labyrinthian train station. You know: the setting for Sophia Coppola’s Lost in Translation. Bill Murray? That was me, minus the hair — and Scarlett Johansson. 
Now, Shinjuku still pulls me into its orbit whenever I want some “bright lights, big city” excitement in my suburban commuter life.  Familiar landmarks – the massive, six-storey Kinokuniya bookstore on the Southern Terrace, Shinjuku Gyoen park and garden, the warren of dive bars in Golden Gai – calm my nerves, and help re-center my wanderlost spirit. 
After almost two decades of exploring this multi-nodal city, Shinjuku is still the single neighbourhood which best embodies Tokyo high city and low. 
For the same reason, Shinjuku ranks first in places I recommend for first-time visits to The Big Sushi.
To read more, go here.

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