54 Floors



Jason in the sun, originally uploaded by courtney johnston.

It’s nice that I’m on this adventure with someone who understands my need to go to every tower and observation deck around.

Buddha at Senso-ji



Buddha at Senso-ji, originally uploaded by courtney johnston.

As with all of Tokyo, there are a mass of people screaming and eating and buying China produced goods less than 100 yards away but in the presence of Buddha in temple gardens the madness always feels miles away.

Shinjuku at night

If I have a second home it’s wandering Shinjuku at night.

West of this you get lost in bar after karaoke bar and bright lights so deep that you lose all sense of direction. Listen for the train. The Yamanote line runs between that chaos and the station and when you cross under the elevated tracks the Jumbo pachinko sign will be your guide home.

(Taken with NightCamera iPhone app)

Gathering Heads at Tsukiji Fish Market Tokyo Japan

Trying a video post. I love how he laughs when he drops one.

Hotel Sunroute Plaza Shinjuku

Hotel Sunroute Plaza Tokyo

We had talked about staying in hostels, but for some reason when the time came around that we felt we needed to have a set place to stay I headed for Expedia. I like using the big resellers like Expedia, Travelocity, Orbitz etc. If something goes wrong it gives you at least 1 large company with many levels with which to make your complaint- which helps if the actual hotel party is a small foreign hotel chain.

Luckily, nothing went wrong during our stay at the Hotel Sunroute Plaza Shinjuku. It was a great hotel in the most convenient location in Tokyo, just a couple blocks from Shinjuku Station.

When checking the hotel out on various sites I ran across some directions from a favorable Travel Advisor review. Here they are replicated with a bit more description.

  • Take the Narita Express or whatever will get you to Shinjuku Station
  • Exit Shinjuku Station via the South Exit
  • At the South Exit go right (there is a large sidewalk)
  • At the street crossing, keep going forward to go across the street toward First Kitchen
  • Cross the street again, and hurry this one has a lot of lanes
  • Keep going down this street, staying on the right side
  • Hotel Sunroute Plaza Shinjuku is about 3 blocks down, past McDonald’s and Cafe Ooze Charm

Useful things to note about surrounding businesses which make Hotel Sunroute Plaza Shinjuku even better:

  • There’s an am/pm across the street and down half a block.
  • There’s a 24 hour McDonald’s a block away. They speak great English.
  • That Yoshinoya at the intersection is also 24 hours.
  • Just past the hotel on the same side is an entrance for the Toei Oedo Line subway.
  • Just past the subway entrance is a 24 hour Citibank ATM that took our debit cards and spit out Yen.

The room is American small, but decently sized for Japan. It was a larger room than the Osaka Ramada we stayed in last year, which I considered average. The TV had only 3 channels available, CNN and then a Chinese and South Korean station, evidence of their foreign-centric clientele. Out of the 5 Japanese properties I’ve stayed in it had the best shower and possibly the best shower head I’ve ever seen. Can you describe hot water as cuddly? It was. Other notable amenity: the black tightly spiral wound ear cleaners. They’re lovely.

It’s a shame we’re not planning to go back to Tokyo, this is our top choice hotel there from here on out.