First impressions of Tokyo can cause quite a culture shock for first time visitors. The city is so wonderfully weird and unique, it literally feels like you’ve stepped off a plane and entered a different dimension. Even supposedly normal everyday things, everything feels slightly odd in Tokyo.
My first impression of the city is the loud and colorful Shinjuku on an amazingly sunny day. Massive billboards everywhere are vying for my intention, but none of them make any sense to me. An endless line of cars passing by at incredible speeds, with more people walking the streets than I think I’ve ever seen before.
I catch something in the corner of my eye and think I see some small familiar thing, but it always turns out to be something completely foreign to me. Even the air smells different. The warm touch of the sun on my skin is the only thing I recognize. But that’s the beauty of Tokyo.
You don’t go to Tokyo looking for safe and familiar, you go there to find something new, something odd. And on that front, Tokyo never lets visitors down. And neither do the hundreds of restaurants scattered around Shinjuku – they’re literally all good, and everything edible is amazingly delicious!
The neighborhood is lined by the infamous Kabuki-cho and the legendary Golden Gai. Both neighborhoods are better suited for nighttime fun, but Shinjuku is a 24/7 neighborhood. Always open, always odd.