Park Hyatt Tokyo
3-7-1-2 Nishi-Shinjuku, Shinjuku-Ku
You kind of have to, right? The Park Hyatt is a contemporary legend, the modern-day Plaza to today’s Eloises. If you fell in love with the place watching Lost in Translation, staying here hardly disappoints. But move past movie reenactments and enjoy the hotel for what it really is: a skylighted oasis that shows off Tokyo in all the best ways, from the buzz of the reception area, to the views from the pool, to the warm greeting from the staff each guest receives upon arrival. There are newer hotels in Tokyo, but the Park Hyatt is irreplaceable.
Kabukicho is the red-light district of Tokyo. It’s best to just stumble around here and head to the bottom of the hill. Ignore the sidewalk barkers and bring a lot of cash (prices have a way of expanding). You needn’t engage in anything objectionable: You can cruise pachinko parlors, see robot dance shows, visit the Samurai Museum, and see the Hanazono Shinto Shrine. If you get hungry, there are snacks galore on Omoide Yokocho, or “Piss Alley.” You’d be well-advised to drink beer throughout this entire visit.
All Seasons Coffee
1F 2-7-7 Shinjuku
Drinking a milky coffee at All Seasons is a lot like being in a sensory-deprivation tank: At least insofar as the walls are white, the floors are white, the furniture is wooden, and there is next to no decoration. Before you start thinking it’s austere, it’s not; the minimalist look of the place is chic as can be. Founders Jun and Emi Saito met while one was selling dried fruit and the other was making furniture in the same building. They were always on the hunt for a good cup of coffee and eventually thought: Let’s just do it ourselves. Stop in for a delicious caffeine buzz and a bit of breakfast if you’re hungry—the crepes and egg dishes are especially good. All Seasons is not a café where the seats are filled with people feverishly typing on laptops; it’s more of a conversational, let’s-catch-up kind of place.
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