Travel

2016 Tokyo Day 9: APA Hotels Higashi Shinjuku Kabukicho | Shinjuku

April 2, 2017

The previous blog post took me a while to complete as I’ve to cross check the name of the attractions, edit the video, etc. Such a relief to get it out of the way and I’m working on clearing the rest of the entries as soon as possible. I’m half way there. Just a handful of posts to go before I round up my Tokyo’s travelogue (then I can start blogging about Bali, Bangkok and Taipei)!

Moving on to Day 9 of our 16 days trip in Tokyo – We checked out of our second Airbnb and proceeded to check into our next accommodation – a hotel in Shinjuku!

Left our Airbnb at 11:00 and board the train to Sugamo Station, before crossing over to the Yamanote line to Shin-Okubo Station where our hotel was. It was close to noon when we reached the hotel. As the check-in time was at 15:00, we left our luggage at the lobby and head out to Shinjuku area.

Came across THE GINDACO outlet in one of the malls we walked past and the fiancé suggest going in to have takoyaki. They have some tall tables inside the shop so you can just order the food and eat it while standing around the tables. If I’m not mistaken, they sell beer too. So you can actually order a beer to go with your takoyaki.

We once again ordered the original takoyaki. JPY550 for eight pieces. It was nice, but nothing very special since we already ate it once a few days ago.

Subsequently, we also came across Croissant Taiyaki and ended up buying two taiyaki as afternoon snack. I love these! I believe the first/last time we tried this was on our last trip to Hong Kong.

Available in assorted flavours like azuki, custard, chocolate, chestnut, etc.

Thankful for such nice weather! It was 19 degrees that day.

Continued to shop around the vicinity and before we realised, it was time to check-in to our hotel, APA Hotel Higashi-Shinjuku-Kabukicho.

Address: 2 Chome-19-11 Kabukicho, Shinjuku, Tokyo 160-0021, Japan

There were a number of APA Hotels in Tokyo, and the one we chose was the one at Kabukicho, Shinjuku. The reason why we chose this instead of other hotel was that it was within proximity to the place where the fiancé had to do his video filming. Plus, seeing how late we confirm on our accommodation, we really don’t have that many choices left.

At the time we booked (early October), seven nights stay cost us SGD1,173.

APA Hotel Higashi Shinjuku Kabukicho

 

The room we got (Semidouble Room) was rather small (only 10 square meter). A far cry from the size of our Airbnb. When you first walked in, you will see a vanity table on the left and a semi-double bed on the right. Opposite the bed, you have a television hanging on the wall.

There wasn’t much view outside the window (even though it was stated “with city views” when we booked the room) so we kept the curtain drawn most of the time.

There’s a reasonable size bathroom with a small bathtub. Bathroom amenities such as body soap, shampoo, hair conditioner, toothbrush, comb, etc are also provided.

In there you will find hair ring, shower cap, body sponge, cotton buds, toothbrush, toothpaste, Schick razor and hair brush.

Aside from the fact that the room was small, it was rather clean and comfortable.

Having stayed at two Airbnb before moving over to a hotel, I honestly can’t decide which one I prefer more.

In our case, the pros of staying at an Airbnb are:
– it’s cheaper,
– bigger / more spacious,
– more amenities such as having a kitchen, washing machines to do your laundry (important especially when you’re travelling for an extended period), etc.

On the other hand, the pros of staying at a hotel are:
– more security,
– able to get assistance 24/7,
– housekeeping,
– storage of luggage (For Airbnb, most hosts don’t allow you to leave your luggage with them once you checked out).

It’s honestly hard to choose between the two. I guess it depends on what are your needs. For those travelling on leisure, I think they can perhaps stay at an Airbnb. Pick a quieter neighbourhood and experience what it is like living like a local.

For those travelling on business, a hotel may be ideal since you get to enjoy so much more convenience.

These are just my personal thoughts. For reference only.

I actually got too comfortable and fell asleep at 18:00. Got woken up by the fiancé at 19:30 to go out for dinner. After nine days in Japan, we finally went to have 回转寿司! Price wise, it was either JPY105 or JPY210 per plate.

We had a total of fourteen plates in total and paid just JPY2,205. That’s less than SGD30? Their sashimi was juicy and thickly sliced. For the same price, I don’t think we can get anything close to that in Singapore.

While I enjoyed the meal a lot, I doubt the fiance felt the same way. (That explain why we didn’t return again.) All the sushi we had came with a little wasabi underneath the sashimi and being someone who can’t take anything spicy; it was torture for him.

For those who love sushi, you can give this place a try if you happened to pass by. Unfortunately, I don’t have the address (but it’s within the Shinjuku neighbourhood). The place was filled with Japanese when we were there. You don’t even have to speak (Japanese) to the chef, just take whatever you want from the conveyor belt and made payment once you’re done eating. Easy peasy.

Right after dinner, it was time for shopping! And where else to shop but Don Quijote (Donki)! They’re open for 24 hours so there is no need to worry about closing hours. Can even come in the middle of the night if you want to.

 

Saw the same one selling in Singapore for SGD20. In Japan, it only costs JPY698 for one. I believe there’s even a discount when you get two.

One thing to note when shopping at Donki is that the price may vary across different outlets. Some stores may have promotions for certain products hence their prices may be lower in comparison to other stores.

(Aside from this store at Shinjuku, there is another Donki nearer to our hotel. We went to both stores, and I happened to spot the difference in price for certain products.)

If you have the time, it’s best to look around and compare pricing across different stores/drugstores. The price difference may not seem like a lot, but every little adds up. Also, remember to consolidate all your shopping so that you’ll be entitled to tax-free (above JPY5,000).

DHC Facial Cleansing Oil (SGD7.50).

The popular 7-days sheet masks from BABYISH and LuLuLun.

You can get them from Tokyu Hands (in Singapore) but it’s certainly much cheaper when you buy them in Japan.

So, that’s pretty much it for Day 9 in Tokyo! Didn’t do much aside from exploring the neighbourhood near to our hotel.

No video, because I didn’t film any.

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