A very happy birthday in Shinjuku

To celebrate my birthday this year, we headed to the trendy and fashionable area of Shinjuku, for a short overnight trip. When we arrived at the hotel, there was a clown in the lobby making balloon animals for kids. Very random, but we were off to a festive start!

Ella’s new drink of choice is tonic water…. Maybe we’ve spent too much time in hotel lounges.

And there was a terrific view from this particular lounge! Such a gloomy time of year though. With a July birthday, I’ve always been used to BBQ’s and picnic’s, but in Japan it’s still rainy season.

The rain let up a bit, so we headed out for a stroll of the area. I just loved this tree-lined trail we discovered, right in the heart of the hustle and bustle of Shinjuku.

I also love all of the unique manhole covers in the city. They always have a beautiful and unique design.

First stop was finding the Golden Gai area. This area of Tokyo was actually known for prostitution in the 1950’s, but is now a popular bar area. Most of the buildings date back to early ’50’s, built right after the war. So, I really wanted to check out the unique architecture.

 The alleys are very small, vehicles cannot even pass here.

The bars are very small, too. Most of them seat less than 10 people, and many will ONLY serve regulars or friends of regulars.

The streets were pretty quiet because we visited in the afternoon, but things really heat up at night. More family friendly in the daytime, I’m sure!

Sayonara, Golden Gai. Now on to find the Godzilla hotel. Yes, you heard that right!

The streets of Shinjuku are always lively, and so much fun!

Hmmm, do you think we found what we were looking for?

Sure, enough, it was the great Godzilla!

Apparently, you can even reserve the Godzilla suite. In this room it looks as though the Godzilla is peering in your window. Hilarious! There was also an observation deck to get a closer look, but it’s such a popular activity, you actually needed reservations. Maybe next time.

We also caught a glimpse of this guy on the side of an adjacent building. Spider Man to the rescue?

I had to laugh at this sign, hanging right in the heart of one of the most fashionable districts in all of Tokyo, and even the world. After living in New Mexico for two years, I’m not sure what “summer style” they are referring to, or that it should be emulated!

I always love seeing the fresh flower stands near the train stations.

And the great window displays. We’re not in Kansas anymore…..

Meanwhile, back at the hotel…..the lounge had these chocolate covered almonds that were to die for! It was an almond covered in chocolate and dusted with cocoa. They were called ‘tiramisu’ almonds. I may, or may not have had several….a happy birthday, indeed!

Also amazing are the omelettes in Japan. They are always shaped perfectly. (Don’t mind the bacon. It is basically impossible to get crisp bacon in Asia. It’s usually partially cooked or not cooked at all, but hey, it is bacon, nonetheless. I’ve finally learned to accept it.)

And that brings a fun birthday in Shinjuku, to a close. 

The perfect destination for a rainy day.


  1. Laura
    July 31, 2015 / 3:32 pm

    Ella's drink of choice has me howling!!! This looked like a fun carefree birthday. Alex would love the Godzilla suite and Spider-Man in action!

  2. belann
    July 31, 2015 / 9:33 pm

    Glad you got to have such a fun birthday. I would really like to see the Godzilla suite!

  3. Amara
    August 3, 2015 / 4:56 am

    How fun! You guys are seeing so many different areas – I'm proud of you for not missing the opportunities while you're there. My kids still haven't even seen all of the national parks in Utah.

  4. Erica
    August 3, 2015 / 4:36 pm

    Love this and Ella really is a good-time gal at heart. The bday looked wonderful – I wish I could get back over there.Also, catching up on your Disney extravaganza and LOLed at all the stuffies – Bubby would be in heaven! (but she's 7!)

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