Hong Kong

First hours in Tokyo: Hotel Century Southern Tower and Yoyogi Park

We took a night flight from Hong Kong to Tokyo, which meant that we arrived at 6am local time at the airport. This was too early for the Narita Express, so we had to take the bus to Shinjuku Station, where our hotel was located. This was fine as well, the traffic on early Saturday morning was light and we made it to our hotel in 90 minutes (the airport is 60km northeast of the centre of Tokyo).

We had booked a room at the Hotel Century South Tower, which is very close to the Shinjuku Station. It is one of the high-rise buildings in the area and it starts from level 19, all other floors below are offices.

As soon as we stepped out of the elevator we were greeted by an amazing view over Shinjuku Station and the surrounding area. It’s quite an unbelievable view, so many houses surrounding us – no end in sight.

We tried to check in to the hotel, but as we were way too early (check-in time is 2pm) we only dropped our luggage off. I went to the bathroom to refresh myself and I could not believe my eyes – this was the view from the area with the wash basins, quite incredible too!

The park in the centre of the picture is Shinjuku Gyoen Garden and to the right you can see the NTT Docomo Yoyogi Building, which is 240m high. It holds the title of the tallest four-faced clock tower in the world. It’s the third tallest building in Tokyo, but you can’t access it as a tourist.

We left the hotel and explored the surrounding area, but let me quickly show you the picture I took from the window in our room (once we had checked in). The room was on the 32 floor and had amazing view over the city, we were even so lucky that we could see Mount Fuji (a lot of people visit Japan for the first time without seeing Mount Fuji and have to come back again, so we were really lucky).

We spent the morning wandering through the streets of Shinjuku, walking past Yoyogi station and entering Yoyogi Park.

This is one of Tokyo’s largest city parks, featuring wide lawns, ponds and forested areas.

Before becoming a city park in 1967, the area where Yoyogi Park is located served as the site of the Olympic Village for the 1964 Tokyo Olympics, and before that, as a residential area for US military personnel.

Useful info:

  • Hotel Century Southern Tower is at the south exit of the Shinjuku Station. Its address is: 2-2-1 Yoyogi, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo 151-8583, Tel: +81 3 5354 0111
  • Yoyogi Park is open from dawn to dusk. Admission is free. Take the JR Yamanote line to Harajuku, Omotesando exit, or the Chiyoda line to Yoyogi-koen, exit 4
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