Sleepwalking Through Shinjuku

Early morning. I have a cold. I took some Japanese decongestant and I’m undercaffeinated. My feet hurt. It’s starting to rain. What should I do today?

How about wander through the alleys of Shinjuku in the morning drizzle?

A triple latte made me a little less groggy, so I didn’t even get lost all that much.

The Golden Gai in Shinjuku looks like this. It had a definite Nasty Vomit Sauce vibe, but everything’s closed in the morning, so there’s no way to check.


Next I went to Akihabara. I had a hankering for Freshness Burger* and figured I could have lunch and check camera prices in the duty-free shops.

Akihabara is “Electric Town”. It grew out of the black market in surplus military electronics that went on under the train tracks after World War 2. That portion is still there—although it’s legit now—and sells all sorts of electronic components and related items as the trains rumble overhead.


If you’re more than about 5′ 10″ you’ll bump your head. There’s even a second story in there.


The rest of the area is a more standard jumble of computer/camera/stereo/DVD/you-name-it businesses.


The cameras I looked at all had the same prices as on Amazon. I would have saved on taxes and shipping, but that’s it.

And there’s no Freshness Burger there, so I went back to Shinjuku. I knew I’d seen one there. I had lunch and listened to two Japanese girls speak French to each other, then went back to the hotel to take a nap.

* Mos Burger is pretty good, but Freshness Burger is better.