Night stroll in Shinjuku
Omoide Yokocho, Kabukicho, Golden Gai, these names all evoke the mysteries of Tokyo's nights. Make your way through Shinjuku in the evening with an English-speaking guide who will reveal the secrets of this district that never sleeps.
Unique guided tour to explore the depths of Shinjuku
Shinjuku is one of Tokyo's most prominent districts, a place that reveals its full essence after dark. Kabukicho, Golden Gai, YasukuniAvenue, all these slightly odd but very unusual places are best understood under the multicoloured neon light. For a few hours, your guide will lead you through the alleys of Shinjuku, for a visit packed with surprises. Christophe, your guide, a distinguished Tokyo expert, always inspired by Shinjuku, takes to his pen to tell you about it: Between the future and the underbelly, between electric Tokyo and eclectic Tokyo, when daylight leaves, the neon lights burn at night and add a touch of decadence. A curtain opens onto a lesser-known Tokyo full of urban legends, creatures of the night and artists in search of inspiration. In the narrow streets of Tokyo life, new paths light up.
Omoide Yokocho, where you drink away the stress of the day
Arriving at Shinjuku station is just the first step in this incredible labyrinthine station with its 200 exits, say those who are still there. Don't panic, your guide will be your trail of breadcrumbs. The best way to get a feel for the area is to get up high and admire the perspective and the intertwined architecture of the buildings. Shinjuku is a shadowy mix of post-war, new construction, so-called slums, along with the chirping of technology. We can recognise this image of the city from memories of films and science fiction. For example, Omoide Yokocho, our first contact with the small ramen shops, yakitoris and other bars crammed on two small floors and squeezed between two buildings. Memories of the post-war period, where the faithful exchange for a few pennies good stories of tired days or secret adventures under the dancing electric wires and the drooling neon lights. This is Blade Runner."
Kabukicho, the red light district of Tokyo
"Afterwards, pass under the frenzy of trains, which also never stop, and the district's main avenue opens its arms and melts eyes in their sockets with its too-bright-to-be-true looks. The city sings at the top of its voice, screams like a newborn baby, the effect is immediate, you are in Tokyo. The reality far exceeds the fictional fantasies which may have filled the cinema and genre literature. The neon sirens take you into a somewhat hallucinogenic daydream. So why not go on and climb into the head of the mythical Godzilla and see the anthill bustling below. Haruki Murakami's beloved Jazz bar is alive with the sounds of saxophone, and some of the old vinyl shops are still open. Heading back down, but never truly on the ground, walk through the streets of the neighbourhood where the crowds move in a snake-like fashion. The restaurants and adult entertainment venues gain a voice, play up all their charms to lure in the customer. But we are just passing through.
Golden Gai, the inspiration of artists
From between the trees emerge the narrow streets of Golden Gai, and its hundreds of bars that are sometimes just a bar for 5 people at most, the smells of smoke and alcohol, traces of the historical post-war period, a lung tainted by the lives that pass by but one that never stops breathing. Sometimes only the regulars, those with the right passwords or the right scars, will be able to get in, but many open doors will enjoy sucking you into their lair. Get out of the Golden Gai, if you can, to go to the Hanazono Shrine. Go there to make amends or converse with the spirits, this shrine is home to lost souls, ask forgiveness for wishing the night would never end. Don't worry, no one ever gets lost in Shinjuku, because once you're there, no one ever thinks about going home.