Electric Shinjuku

Day 1 · Shinjuku, Tokyo Scroll down

After finding and checking-in at our first home base in Japan, we were pretty tired from all the traveling and sweaty from the Japanese summer humidity, so we took a shower and laid down for a bit. We weren’t severely jet lagged (or at least we didn’t think so) but ended up sleeping more than intended.

One of the torii entrances to the forest surrounding Meiji Jingu

One of the torii entrances to the forest surrounding Meiji Jingu

Waiting for someone

Waiting for someone

Sake barrel offerings

Sake barrel offerings

We woke up again at around 3:30 PM — it was time to stroll through the streets of Tokyo and we jotted an interesting path all the way to our destination: Shinjuku. On the way, we visited Meiji Jingu — a Shinto shrine located inside a forest with more than 175 acres. It is as hauntingly beautiful as it sounds.

The chōzuya is an area outside the shrine where you purify yourself before going in

The chōzuya is an area outside the shrine where you purify yourself before going in

The freshest, purest water you can imagine

The freshest, purest water you can imagine

Make sure you bow before you go through those doors

Make sure you bow before you go through those doors

Perfect balance between man-made and nature

Perfect balance between man-made and nature

Ema: wooden plates where people write their prayers, some more serious than others

Ema: wooden plates where people write their prayers, some more serious than others

Every day, the wishes written on them are communicated through the priests

Every day, the wishes written on them are communicated through the priests

Meiji Shrine grounds

Meiji Shrine grounds

There was a ritual going on: there were dozens of people all dressed in white walking in complete silence

There was a ritual going on: there were dozens of people all dressed in white walking in complete silence

Already in Shinjuku, in pure Tokyo fashion, we played some games burned away some 100 Yen coins at Club Sega, visited a couple six-story electronics stores, and then had dinner at this fabulous Udon place.

We ate some onigiri on the way; this one had roe inside

We ate some onigiri on the way; this one had roe inside

Small, short parking spaces — but then again, everything is in Tokyo

Small, short parking spaces — but then again, everything is in Tokyo

Bikes and traffic cones, they're everywhere

Bikes and traffic cones, they’re everywhere

Underground car parking featuring the rotating disc

Underground car parking featuring the rotating disc

Waiting for the train to go by to get the perfect shot

Waiting for the train to go by to get the perfect shot

Elegant lines on Sompo Japan Insurance building

Elegant lines on Sompo Japan Insurance building

As if they needed all those signs to convince us

As if they needed all those signs to convince us

Club Sega

Club Sega

Yodobashi store in Shinjuku: six storys for all your electronic needs; all of them

Yodobashi store in Shinjuku: six storys for all your electronic needs; all of them

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Japanese salaryman ordering his — much overdue, we presume — dinner

Udon with horseradish, fried squid, lotus root and chicken

Udon with horseradish, fried squid, lotus root and chicken

We like to get lost on narrow streets and alleys, and see how locals interact, how they live and where they eat, and after this first real contact we can honestly say Tokyo does not disappoint.

Beautiful side alley

Beautiful side alley

Walking back home

Walking back home

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