Monday, August 6, 2012

Chakuriku: Shinjuku

In the event, my flight over was dreadful (but aren't they all, really?), but at any rate, we landed where we needed to, and feeling the surreal, shambolic upswing of a Pacific's worth of jet lag, I was happy when, practically before I knew it, I was out of Narita Airport, being herded onto a charter bus, and deposited into a shared hotel room in Shinjuku without much in the way of thought. It wouldn't have been my choice of locations --a sterile, pricy business core,  Shinjuku hasn't got a lot in the way that counts as "local color". What it does have is most of Tokyo's overabundance of expensive high-rise hotels, a massive train station, government offices, and not a whole much more of interest,  excepting Kabukicho district, a notorious nest of salaryman-fleecing handjob parlors run by the Yakuza. 

Feeling none too interested in venturing far from the hotel (an impulse, I indulgently allowed myself to think, that in some sense made me a bit of a jaded, experienced "old Japan hand"),  in the gathering darkness, I threaded myself through a shopping arcade closed for the night in order to buy myself a salad and a beer for dinner at a 24-hour convenience store. I discovered only when I got back to my room that that I'd forgotten to buy a packet of dressing to accompany it. So experienced that shopping is routine, eh? There's a moment's illusion shattered for you. 

The ultra-modern ghost town that is Shinjuku on a Sunday night.
I rolled into bed and slept like the dead.

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