Saturday, April 01, 2006

Shinjuku: The Dark Heart of Tokyo!

This marks my 100th post! Wow its been a long wacky road eh? Ok, now back to the Tokyo Story Part 5? 10? Oh heck, on with the story.

Our next stop in Tokyo was Shinjuku, home of the busiest train station in the world with around 3 million people passing through daily.

And I thought Tokyo Station was bad!

Once again we circled a few blocks looking for the capsule hotel. Thankfully Zach asked for directions much more quickly than earlier in the day, and we got there with a minimum of fuss/ sore feet. I was absolutly overjoyed to find Nagoya based chain Yamachan and their spicy-teriyaki chicken wings right next door.

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Shinjuku in the daytime. Looks peaceful huh?

We dropped our bags in the overpriced *special* capsules (The section was segregated by a soundproof door from the rest of the hotel. This did not save us from the man snoring next to Matt.) and headed out to explore the metropolitan madness that is Shinjuku.

I advocated a trip to Yamachan for dinner, but there was a rather lengthy wait involved, so we struck out for greener pastures. Luckily for Matt we found a conveyor belt sushi place nearby. I always figured that conveyor belt (kaiten) sushi is one of those things that tourists just have to try when they come to Japan, even if I was still a little worried about getting my own personal 8.8 meter tape worm. Well the sushi was delicious, and I *think* I'm still tapeworm free!

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Shinjuku at.. wait for it.. night!

We moseyed through the glittering lights looking for a decent bar, but we had to contend with the many large black men who thought we should go to *their* bar. Or at least the strip club they represented. Yup, there are reverse bouncers all over Shinjuku and Roppongi too, I hear. They are mostly Nigerians, and their whole raison d'etre is to get gullible foreigners into their dens of iniquity. They promise a deal, but once you go in, be prepared to spend a lot of money, as they won't let a flush with cash tourist go cheap! (Or so I hear.)

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Zach puts his dukes up outside the Fight Club. Too bad it was closed! Where is Brad Pitt when you need him?

Well of course, after a beer or two at the convenience store as we still hadn't found a good bar Zach made a big mistake. Rather than just keep walking, or feign ignorance of the English language (Je ne parle pas d'Anglais! or something to that effect), he asked one particular Nigerian "how much?" Oooooops. At the slightest shred of interest shown, Zach's new best friend pounced. Three flush with cash tourists, bingo! Matt and I voted for continuing our search for a bar, and so we left the poor reverse bouncer to continue his quest.

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Zach's new best friend!

Well a half an hour later after circling the station, we are walking down the street when we see him... and he sees us. We duck down another street, and he follows! He smells money on the air. We actually talked to him for a while, but despite his most desperate bargaining we remain unmoved, and so he searches out more gullible gaijin.

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Why yes, we are from Colorado, and we are COOL!

We settled down back in Yamachan, had some wings and a beer and marveled at the automatically raising toilet seat. We then headed home for the night. Not before swinging by the arcade and playing some DDR (Dance Dance Revolution for the uninitiated), Taiko no tatsujin (Drum Game), and Mario Kart Racing. We also hit up a photo booth and printed some awsome stickers. On our way out we discovered porn Mah-Jong. What will they think of next? Thankfully Zach did not proove to be an expert Mah-Jong player, and he didn't feel like investing another 100 yen.

Our night of lurid temptations was now over, and we would be fully cleansed the next morning with the final day of our Tokyo Adventure, and a trip to the totally family friendly Studio Ghibli museum.


Vesp said...

The alley!! You forgot the alley!!

羽之助 said...

Oh god, I thought you were going to head into Kabukicho. Still, way to trounce the Nigerians.

Zach said...

That dirtbag Zach gets you into so much trouble.

Travelingrant said...

He does, and thats why I love him. Funny Zach. Seen your buddy lately? I wouldn't be too surprised...