If we didn’t drink so much the night before, we could’ve explored Osaka more before we left to go to Tokyo. There was still the Osaka castle to see, and the aquarium. Unfortunately, sake got the best of us and we were on the struggle bus the morning of our last day in Osaka. Lucky for us, checkout was at 12 so we had time to be lazy. We got out of bed and packed our luggage and made one last trek to Shin-Osaka. Of course we were quite hungry, so we decided to stop by McDonald’s and grab some food before a 2.5 hour journey. I ordered the egg & cheese burger meal, T ordered a Big Mac meal, and we shared the teriyaki burger. The egg & cheese burger was quite tasty. Imagine a regular cheeseburger, but with an egg. It’s not the folded egg that’s in the usual breakfast sandwiches. It reminds me of the overmedium egg. It’s simple, but good. The teriyaki burger was OK. The sauce was a bit sweet, but still decent. Nothing mindblowing. Not something I would order again.
We took the Shinkansen (bullet train) towards Tokyo. However, about 45 minutes into our trip, we were told we were on the wrong train when the train personnel was checking tickets and we showed him our JR Pass. We got onto the Nozomi train (which I did not know is restricted while using the JR Pass). So the train personnel told us at the next stop we would have to get off and get on another train. We got off at the Nagoya Station and waited for the next train that we were able to take while using the JR Pass. To make our next train ride enjoyable (especially since we had another 1.5 hours to endure) T bought himself an Asahi and I got a water (I was still feeling miserable from the night before.) We took the Hikari train up to Tokyo. I think the only difference between the Nozomi and the Hikari was that the Hikari stopped at an additional train station. The journey to Tokyo was pretty long. I wanted to see if I could spot Mt. Fuji from the train, but unfortunately I did not have a window seat, and I partially fell asleep.
When we got to Tokyo we were quite overwhelmed by the train station. According to Google Maps, it was a 20 minute walk, but I had no idea where to go and with our luggage, we were not willing to take that risk. So we opted for the taxi line. The taxi line was very long, but it was moving. To make our wait more enjoyable, we spoke in accents and tried to spot some cool cars. We did spot a taxi whose logo looked like it was a dick in a hand.
Also, there was a girl (around the age of 10-12) who was standing behind T and every time the line moved forward, she would push her luggage into T’s causing it to hit his leg. After the 5th time he had it so when she did it again, he stood there and pushed back. After that, she stopped. That did lead to some pretty funny inside jokes.
When we got into our taxi and started our journey to our hotel, we were VERY happy that we didn’t attempt to walk because it was pretty far. We were staying at the Courtyard by Marriott Tokyo Ginza hotel. During check-in we were given cold towels to cool ourselves off because it was a bit warm outside. Because of my silver status with Marriott, we were given complimentary breakfast buffet at New York Grill for our whole stay. Also, since it was my birthday, they were going to deliver some treats to our room. We got into the room, which was quite smaller than our room in Osaka. In fact, the rooms at Tokyo Ginza were a bit dated. Nonetheless, the room was still pretty decent. After settling into the room, we heard a knock, and it was room service bringing in Asahi beer, cheese and crackers, fruit, chocolate, and deli meat. T and I also requested for some bowls and chopsticks. We then made some instant ramen and had ourselves some lunch. We decided to throw on our robes and take a quick nap before our evening plans.
We woke up and decided to figure out the train station later and to instead take a taxi to Shinjuku. We had reservations to check out the Robot Restaurant. The Robot Restaurant was highly recommended by man people and was highlighted on a show called Better Late Than Never. We had the taxi driver drop us off a couple blocks away. We were walking around trying to find or way to the restaurant, and when we finally did, we checked in… just to be told to come back in 20 minutes. We took pictures outside the restaurant since they had some “robots” out front.
We walked around the area to kill some time. Not going to lie, we both didn’t like the vibe at all in Shinjuku at night (or in general). It is very touristy, but there were a lot of bars soliciting women that it just felt very shady. Also, there were a couple of foreigners (that probably stayed in Japan, but were not tourist/vacationers) that kept approaching us trying to get us to go into some bars. They were quite pushy. Yes, the surrounding area was very busy and had many tourist, but I still felt uneasy.
Finally, we were able to check back into the hotel. We were given tickets and were told to go into the restaurant and up to the top floor. We were greeted by mirrored ceilings and walls, large chairs, and a small bar in the corner.
Of course, we go straight to the bar and order some drinks (a screwdriver for T and a saltydog for me). We sat in the lounge area before the show started. They had a cover band perform while we waited. Eventually, T went back for sake. Then it was time for us to head downstairs to the basement level where the show was being held. To our surprise, we were given front row. The way the “arena” was set up was three rows on either side of the floor. The way the chairs and “table” was set up reminded me of school. Anyways, the very first show/act was very lively. It was pretty cool and the “robots” (which were more like floats than robots) carried a couple of people that were playing the drums and guitar. If all the performances were like the 1st one, then we would’ve enjoyed the whole show. However, everything after that looked more like a high school production. The “robots” or floats were all controlled by a guy dressed in black standing near the “robot” with a remote control controlling the “robot.” Also, the “robots” looked like paper mache floats and the acting was super cheesy.
Finally, when it got to the final performance, they were performing to a medley of songs and one of them was Macho Man. During the song, there was a girl singing along in front of T and she was smiling and singing to him. I joked around with him saying I was going to beat her up haha As soon as the show ended, we left. Would we recommend it to anyone? No. It was a waste of time and money. Because we didn’t like the vibe of Shinjuku before the show, we definitely did not want to stay around to see if changed. So we were off to the train station. We made our way back to the Ginza station and made the trek to our hotel. Even though it was pretty late (past midnight), walking the streets of Ginza felt pretty safe. There were plenty of people still walking around (granted it was Saturday night) and plenty of construction workers. When we got back, T made more instant ramen and we watched Dante’s Peak before falling asleep.