1 July 2008
We arrived with shinkansen in Shimbashi station. We had instruction that we should either take subway for one stop or walk 7-8 minutes. We decided to walk and this was good idea because it turned out that our hotel was in the area of most skyscrapers. The view was magnificent. And the walking on the walkways, even with the suitcase, was quite convenient.
We have booked hotel Villa Fontaine Shiodome earlier through internet. We followed the suggestion from Lonely Planet, that in Japan the best price-quality ratio is in business hotels. We could only agree with that. The hotel accepted the checking in to the rooms from 3PM, but they took our luggage, so we were ready to explore Tokyo.
As a good start we walked and enjoyed the skyscrapers in Ginza. Then we took a subway to Shibuya. After getting out at subway station we were near to Shibuya Crossing, famous four-way intersection. We watched it several times how after the green light given to pedestrians released a timed surged humanity. This was amazing. May be it was even more impressive as we were here at our first afternoon in Tokyo, not so used to these masses of people at the streets.
We walked from Shibuya to Harajuku district and found this area very interesting for people watching. These areas are both youth-oriented shopping districts. We got our first impression that Japanese people are very fashionable, well-dressed and good looking. It is not easy to find fat people on the streets.
After long walks in Shibuya and Harajuku it was time for dinner. We took a subway to Ginza. Ginza is Tokyo’s answer to New York City 5th Avenue, here are lot of expensive shops and we read that this is also the area of restaurants. Since Ginza station was in the walking distance to hotel, we wanted to have a sushi-dinner here.
We walked at the restaurant street at 8PM and it was quite empty. We found a sushi-bar where we ate excellent sushi, also miso soup was served. The dinner for two with drinks cost 6500 yen. We considered it to be very reasonable price, even cheap considering the expensive image of Japan. Although, next days showed that this was very expensive in Japanese terms.