The Crowded Shibuya Crossing

Dear Reader,
If you come to Tokyo, make sure you have some time to cross the streets of the famous intersection outside Shibuya station. It would be a shame to come to Tokyo and miss it 🙂

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This is the first photo I took upon my arrival at Shibuya, not yet pick time.

At any given time of the year, whether on sunny afternoons or cold evenings, the surrounding area is packed with shoppers, students, young couples and commuters. Giant video screens and neon and cool Japanese writings will certainly give you the feeling of “Wow, I’m in Tokyo!”

Shibuya_Crossing_Tokyo_Stanito1

So why is it so famous? Basically because it is said to be the busiest pedestrian crossing in the world. It is surrounded by tall buildings with giant screens and ads vying for pedestrians’ attention, this pedestrian crossing is pass through by an estimated 500,000 people each day, with roughly 3,000 pedestrians crossing every time the lights change during peak hours, making it one of the flashiest and most popular places to advertise in Japan.

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A rare moment with the crossing almost empty!

After experimenting this monumental crossing phase, why not go pay a visit to Hachiko?

A tired Stanito standing next to Hachiko statue, Tokyo's most famous pooch, Hachikō. This Akita dog came to Shibuya Station everyday to meet his master, a professor, returning from work. The professor died in 1925, but Hachikō kept coming to the station until his own death 10 years later. The story became legend and a small statue was erected in the dog’s memory in front of Shibuya Station.
A tired Stanito standing next to Hachiko statue, Tokyo’s most famous pooch, Hachikō. This Akita dog came to Shibuya Station everyday to meet his master, a professor, returning from work. The professor died in 1925, but Hachikō kept coming to the station until his own death 10 years later. The story became legend (and a movie) and a small statue was erected in the dog’s memory in front of Shibuya Station.
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Katsudon talk

Stanito eating Katsudon Shibuya
Stanito in front of her Katsudon order which typically in Japan is sided by Misu Soup

© Stanito, 2013

Dear Reader,
small talk in Tokyo on a very hot summer night at midnight… I had landed couple of hours before and then I was starving and dreaming of one of my favourite Japanese dishes: katsudon!

Someone: “Katsu what?!”

Stanito: “Katsudon :O never heard of it?”

Someone: “No, what is it?” Continue reading “Katsudon talk”

Capsule Hotel in Tokyo

Dear reader,

we all know that if one is not careful with money, any place can be expensive.
So if you consider yourself a budget traveler like Stanito, why not choosing to enjoy Tokyo in a stylish and unique way without filing for bankrupcy?

There are great hotels in Tokyo, business hotels with all the amenities, but if you want to experience Japan in a much more special way, I suggest you skip all the regular steril hotels and instead go for the strangest accomodation you can imagine.

Welcome to the Capsule Hotel!

Stanito capsule hotel adventure Tokyo© Stanito, 2013

So, what is a Capsule Hotel?
The Capsule Hotels are a fantastic idea of how to sleep well, perfect temperature, enjoy traditional super clean Japanese shared bathrooms, and the uniqueness of a place that is big enough to fit you and small TV. The one I stayed in is Asakusa Wasou.

Where did this fantastic idea come from?
It all happened on one rainy night. A Japanese business man was leaving late from the office and joined some colleagues in a cheap bar to relax and happy hour. The Japanese business man though got so drunk and felt so embarrassed that he didn’t want to go home like this to his wife. So he started wondering around the crowds of Tokyo looking for a cheap place where he could spend the night. No expensive hotels, no seedy motels either, until at some point he found a little place with several beds in a row. He spent just a few hundred yens and the place will later turn into the now known Capsule hotel for the joy of all those who are either drunk or miss the last train home.

I agree that they look like coffins but they’re cute and stacked on top of each other so that one room can have about 20 of them.

Stanito capsule hotel spot© Stanito, 2013

Privacy is provided by the little curtain that closes the space

Stanito capsule hotel space© Stanito, 2013

I could fit perfectly well all my necessary stuff, plus I even had a TV

Stanito capsule hotel© Stanito, 2013

The capsule comes with everything in: Wi-fi, a kimono-looking-like-pijama, bottled water, toothbrush, shampoo, conditioner, body soap, and even slippers. I had a Panasonic alarm inside as well and buttons to regulate light. In short, I had everything.

Walls are thin so be glad if your neighbors are quiete 🙂