Off to Tokyo!

Helloooooooo, Japan! After spending a few days in Hong Kong, I finally made it to my top dream destination! Seriously, ever since becoming infatuated with Japanese cuisine when I was little due to my parents bringing me to a particular restaurant and grocery store, I’ve always wanted to go to Japan.

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Made It!

I landed at Narita International Airport and lined up at a booth to purchase a Narita Express (N’EX) ticket to Shinjuku, Tokyo’s largest neighborhood. The platform was a couple levels down.

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Narita Express

The fast and convenient limited express train directly connects Narita Airport with major areas in Tokyo. A one-way ticket to Shinjuku cost around 3,190 yen ($30). Seats are reserved.

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For Shinjuku

It was a pleasant ride and took around an hour and a half. My sister already arrived from the Philippines earlier in the day and I was going to meet her at the hotel. I thought it was a short walk to the hotel, but ended up leaving through the far exit of the station and getting lost, dragging my luggage around the streets of Tokyo for 45 minutes.

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Neon Signs Everywhere

It was sensory overload once I stepped out the station. I was instantly attracted to the bustling streets with bright neon lights, tall buildings, and crowds of people. Within Shinjuku is Kabuchiko. It’s a major entertainment district with numerous shops, bars, love hotels, 24-hour restaurants, and nightclubs. I always try to stay in the middle of all the action!

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Kabukicho
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Red Light District

I eventually spotted our hotel. The Hotel Gracery is located smack dab in the middle of the Kabukicho entertainment district. It’s also known as the “Godzilla Hotel”.

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Hotel Gracery Shinjuku

The lobby was located on the 8th floor of the Shinkuku Toho Building. Godzilla everywhere!

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The Godzilla Hotel
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Godzilla Posters

If you step outside on the balcony of the 8th floor, you’ll see the famous Godzilla Head. I made my way up to the room where my sister was waiting.

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8th Floor
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The Godzilla Head

Even though I was tired from the previous few days, I was super excited to explore Tokyo. We met in Thailand the year before, now we made it to Japan! We left the hotel for dinner and a show.

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Reunited in Tokyo

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It was just the beginning of spotting all the cute random things around Japan.

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Cute!

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There were so many places to eat. We just stopped by a random place that looked good and had a vegan option. We ended up going to Iwamoto Q – a small casual soba noodle joint.

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It used a ticket machine like many eateries in Japan do. I was so excited to try it! You just pick what you want, insert your cash, take the ticket, and hand it to the person behind the counter.

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Ticket System

I mentioned using cash. You’re gonna want to make sure you carry a good amount of cash in Japan. Most places are still cash only, especially restaurants. I ordered the Meat Tendon Set with hotย Soba Noodles.

First Meal
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Soba Noodles

Tendon is tempura served over a bowl of rice. The breaded fried pork pieces were crispy and simply delicious.

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Pork Tendon

My sister had the Grated Yam Soba.

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Grated Yam Soba

Dinner was quick, simple, and yummy. We walked around until our showtime at the world-famous Robot Restaurant. It was definitely…interesting.

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Hotel Gracery Shinjuku
1 Chome-19-1 Kabukicho
Shinjuku, Tokyo 160-8466, Japan
+81 3-6833-2489

Website

Iwamoto Q
1 Chomeโˆ’4โˆ’8 Kabukicho
Shinjuku, Tokyo, Japan
+81 3-5272-1006

Website

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Author: Desiree

Desired Tastes is a Food and Travel Blog written by Desiree, a food enthusiast from New Jersey who just wants to see the world and eat good food.

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