We probably chose the wrong flight time, because we get into Tokyo at 8am after a 5am start and 14-hour journey. After a fun bonus ‘guns and narcotics’ search at customs and a brief panic about which carriage to get on, we board a spotlessly clean train and enjoy the views of traditional-looking Japanese houses rolling through the suburbs.
We arrive into Shinjuku at about 11am, blinking onto the busiest crossing in the world. Takes about fifteen minutes to orientate ourselves then find the hotel with little bother (apart from one of the wheels falling off my suitcase en route). We’re too early to check-in, so dump our cases and go for a sleepy wander. Find a Muji store with attached cafe, have a drawn-out cup of tea, poke around the funny packet foods for sale and find a few other local shops worth exploring another time.
Go back to check in, have a blissful 2-hour nap then, feeling in need of something quick and uncomplicated, have dinner in the Lumine mall at a Wolfgang Puck restaurant. He’s apparently huge in America and invented California-Italian cuisine, which seems to mean terrible tortilla chips and guacamole, so-so burgers and pizza with weird yellow paste on. Not a great introduction to Tokyo cuisine. Then back to the hotel for a much needed 12-hour sleep.