Shibuya is an up-all-night, kinetic orgy of wonder and action in Tokyo, Japan. If it’s 3 a.m., and you can’t sleep, go to Shibuya. It’s like Vegas. Or Times Square. But better. And Halloween brings a courteous mob of clowns, boxers, doctors, nurses, and SWAT. Get a glimpse in this video:

This was weekend trip #4 to Tokyo in 2017. There was the stopover en route to Indonesia, the trip with Kdawg, and Labor Day weekend with Michelle. To minimize redundancy, I’ll just list some new observations.

  1. Olympic fever is already mounting in Tokyo. This is, in fact, the first thing you see when exiting baggage claim at Tokyo Haneda Airport:

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I’ll be volunteering for the 2020 Olympic Games. Japan will start accepting applications in 2018. Go here to apply.

2. Make sure to take photos when it stops raining. The streets are shiny. Everything seems to glow a bit more.

3. Traveling for a weekend to Tokyo (from Los Angeles) is becoming more and more of a science. While I’ve flown many airlines and routes, if you can leave on a Thursday night and return on a Monday night, then consider the ANA flight from LAX-HND.

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It leaves right around midnight; when you wake, it’s 5 a.m. on Saturday in Tokyo. You have all of Saturday and Sunday. You have most of Monday. At around 10:30 p.m. on Monday, you depart HND, arriving at LAX on Monday afternoon.

4. Take advantage of the CITI Prestige card. If you book three nights at a hotel, you get the fourth night free. Even though I was technically only staying in Tokyo for two nights, my 5 a.m. arrival made it attractive to have a room ready when I was ready (instead of the other way around). Also, a 10:30 p.m. departure meant I’d benefit from having a hotel room until the early evening. So a four-night reservation was ideal.

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Photo Credit: Hotel Info

5. This was my first stay at an APA Hotel. APA seems fairly ubiquitous in Japan. Their rates are consistent with the Holiday Inn Express (in the USA), and their Shinjuku Kabukicho Tower location was excellent. If you stay here, know that it’s in a colorful part of Shinjuku, and know that the public bath on the top floor is not to be missed. A hot soak can be magical.

APA Hotel Shinjuku Kabukicho Tower Public Bath
Photo Credit: APA Hotel

6. Walk from Shinjuku to Tsukiji Fish Market. On the way you’ll stroll through Ginza, where you’ll see Nissan’s answer to Godzilla.

You’ll also see statuettes on every block or so, and some should make you feel nostalgic.

Until next time, Japan. またね

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