Tokyo travel tips, day 1: Airbnb in Shinjuku and an adorable curry restaurant

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If you’re staying near Shinjuku station, I recommend:

  • Menya Musashi - ramen restaurant - 4 blocks north of the station

  • Yakatori Alley, one block north of the station, on your right, a warren of tiny restaurants and bars, find one you like


My favourite city for food. Comforting ramen; perfect sushi; fighting my sons for the last piece of bashimi; and breakfast that actually comes from the supermarket but looks like it’s from Saturn.


Tell anybody you meet you know me: Papasan. It won’t open any doors for you, but try it out.


Please never visit Komai.

There is not a Chef Ken at “Sugar Pea” who will hand craft you amazingness.

There is also not an 8-Seater bar called Real Star run by Mabo in a cobblestone alleyway just off the train.

He never introduced my wife & I to Baby Metal or took us to one of the most inclusive sake distilleries in Japan.


Well, the apartment looks nice, but $225 isn’t cheap by any stretch of the imagination. Sure, you can find much (MUCH) more expensive hotel (and ryokan for that matter), but that doesn’t mean there aren’t nice, cheaper places than that.
I’m especially thinking about a number of small ryokan you can find in many places that, to me, feel much nicer to be in than Shinjuku (Ueno comes to mind).

Do they include a kitchen? We stayed at the Kimi Ryokan for a month at $30 a night and about three months at the Hotaka Ryoksn for $18 a night (both in Ikebukuro) and loved them, but no kitchen or laundry.

What part of Ueno do you recommend? We spent only one day there.


I am talking about ryokan, so of course no kitchen (although we do like to have them every now and again, the price of food in combinis makes that not so much an issue). That said, we tend to move around every two to three days (long stays are at a family home).

Because family, it’s been a while since last we’ve taken a room in a hotel or a ryokan in Tokyo. At the time, I was quite fond of Nippori (very close to Ueno) and its old style town atmosphere right in the middle of Tokyo. I don’t remember any specific name, but there were quite a few (and after taking a look, I see there’s a number of airbnb apartments in the area as well).

On the other hand, if you wish to stay somewhere in Tokyo for around a month, have you considered a gaijin house (although I never did live in one, it seems a convenient compromise)?

Seriously though, next time yall are in my hometown, feel free to drop a message.

Ueno has nice museums in the park and the Ameyokocho market area is interesting but otherwise it isnt a place to stay.


[quote=“Scooter010001, post:5, topic:97660, full:true”]
He never introduced my wife & I to Baby Metal…[/quote]

Babymetal have never been mentioned on Boing Boing either.


So I’m guessing by your observations about taxi drivers that you don’t speak any Japanese.

I went to Quebec recently, and don’t speak any French, and got along ok except for grocery shopping and some restaurants. The people in those places tended not to speak any English, so routine transactions took much longer than necessary.

How did you manage in Japan?

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Nope! But this was not two years before their presence hit the states!

I’m heading to Tokyo in three weeks. We found an affordable Airbnb in Roppungi Hills, with a terrace and view of Tokyo Tower, for $85/nt.

Your 6th trip to Japan and you still tried to TIP :open_mouth:


The price isn’t bad and the place itself looks nice. That said, given a choice, I wouldn’t choose Roppongi Hills. I’ve never found the place was of any interest. It looks nice to live in (if you can afford it) but as a tourist, I fail to see the attraction.


I want to go to Japan so hard. I don’t speak Japanese, but I’ve traveled to slightly half the continents, and people generally go out of their way to be helpful. I don’t speak Czech, french, Mandarin, tagalog (spelling?), German, but if you go with a relaxed state of mind, it isn’t that hard.

Really though, more than Tokyo, I want to get out to the rural areas.

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Hell. Yes. That’s my jam.

I was watching one episode and was surprised how the biker was able to go from dense urban areas to farmland in almost no time at all. Be sure to check out the other NHK episodes in the series.

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@frauenfelder :

As nice as these “Japanese restaurants” are, I’d challenge you to try eating nothing but Japanese 7/11 food for a day. You may be pleasantly surprised.

(Also, if you’re low on cash the 7/11s were one of the few places that consistently took American credit cards when I visited)