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On Walkabout In: Tokyo’s Shinjuku District

Basic Information

Narrative

I am big fan of Japan and the easiest place to go to experience modern Japan is its capitol city of Tokyo.  Tokyo is composed of 23 different districts with the political leadership based out of the district of Shinjuku


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The district of Shinjuku has the most impressive skyline of buildings in the megalopolis of Tokyo:

One of these buildings is the Shinjuku NS Building:

The NS Building was constructed in 1982 and is 134 meters tall with 30-floors:

What makes this building so unique is that the interior of the building is hollow.  Another unique feature is this giant clock within the hollowed out area within the building:

This clock is completely mechanical with its giant gears visible for everyone to look at:

However, if there is a building in Shinjuku that anyone first visiting Tokyo should check out it is the impressive Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building:

This building is absolutely huge and very imposing which is fitting since it serves the function of being Tokyo’s city hall:

The building used to be the tallest in Tokyo at 243 meters (799 feet), from 1991 to late 2006, but became the second tallest upon the completion of the Midtown Tower:

Something really cool about Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building which is why I recommend people visit Shinjuku is that visitors can take a free elevator ride to an observation deck near the top of the building.  The observation deck provides absolutely unbelievable views of Tokyo:

It is from this observation deck the views of some of the most expensive International real estate in the world located in Shinjuku can be seen:

From this observation deck this is a great way for first time visitors to the city to get their bearings on where the various districts in the city are located and just take in how massive this city is:

At night the views from the observation deck really change as the various buildings below begin to turn on their neon lights:

Here are some pictures of the view when Tokyo becomes completely dark at night:

It is estimated that the metro Tokyo area has a population of over 35 million people and from the observation deck you can see all these millions of people turning their lights on outside:

However, when visiting Shinjuku don’t spend all your time at night in the observation deck.  At night Shinjuku becomes a major party area as the streets become swamped with pedestrians and all the drab gray buildings seen during the day turn into a neighborhood of bright neon lights that rivals even Las Vegas:

One of the things that people in Japan enjoy doing is gambling at pachinko parlors that can be found all over Shinjuku:

Conclusion

Taking the time to visit the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building followed by walking the streets of Shinjuku at night is something that I think first time visitors to Tokyo should take the time to check out.  The views from the observation deck of the government building are outstanding and the energy that can be found in Tokyo can easily be experienced while walking the streets at night in Shinjuku.

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