Night out in Shinjuku

I contacted a friend who lives in Tokyo who I haven’t seen since my last trip here in 2009 and organised a dinner out for our last night in Tokyo before heading south. Big thanks to John for passing on Maria’s contact details!

Maria checked with me what food we did or didn’t like. I mentioned I don’t like seafood (a real dilemma when in Japan) so Maria booked us Into a “meat” restaurant called 300B. It was in a smaller street and in the basement. Don’t think they had English menus but wasn’t an issue with Maria being able to translate.

We purchased the all you can eat and all you can drink package for ¥5000 that’s valid for a 2 hour seating. I can say we got absolute value for money, we had so much food and plenty of drinks. It included beer, wines and spirits. I tried some plum wine, more like a plum spirit and it was delicious. Very very easy to drink way too much of that. The food was sensational.

The waiters bring you slabs of meat and you cook and cut it yourself at the table over a small electric grill. As well as meat you can choose all variety of things, we also ordered some octopus and salads.

There was a group of Japanese work friends celebrating a birthday next to us and when we offered to take a group photo for them we were instant best friends and drinking buddies for the next hour. Thankfully Maria speaks fluent Japanese and could translate for us.

Cooking the meat

Plum wine

Fondue and Octopus dish

chicken dish and mango dessert

After dinner Maria took us on a walking tour of Shinjuku, Kabukichō and Golden-Gai. Kabukichō is the red light district, although it seemed relatively tame compared to other cities in Asia and Europe, if you are male you will get hounded by touts offering you all manner of questionable services and experiences in the various establishments dotted throughout the area, even if in female company. Maria sent them packing with a few short and sharp sentences in Japanese!

The Golden Gai area is mostly ancient narrow streets with hundreds of tiny bars that fit no more than half a dozen patrons. Most have a cover charge of ¥500-¥1000 yen and drinks are normally around the ¥1000 yen mark. Quite a few are not welcoming of tourists and have a “members only” sign in English at the door.

The area looked amazing at night with all the lanterns and dim lights. We ducked into the hotel that has the Godzilla on its roof. Unfortunately the roof was closed and we couldn’t go outside but I managed to get a shot from the window.