Location: Shinjuku and the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building

On a mostly cloudy afternoon, I found myself making the short trek out to the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building, a two-tower monstrosity in Shinjuku's Skyscraper District.

Basically, head straight west out of the station and down the large pedestrian passageway for about a kilometer. Eventually, you see the two-pronged plug sticking into the outlet called the sky.
 Once you see the building, you have to find an entrance. There is one right along the walkway, but you can get in from the monstrous plaza as well.
 Facing the building is this curving other building. The plaza is very large and serves as a good meeting place if it isn't crowded.
 You can ride the elevators to the top of both towers and enter the observation areas for free. They will check your bags for weapons before you get in line. And then, you run around taking as many pictures as you can. This shot shows you the road and pedestrian walkway leading from the station to the building (running along the right side of the picture). As you can see, the west side of Shinjuku holds a lot of office buildings and thus a lot of office workers.
 If you look closely (or enlarge the picture by clicking on it), you can see the Tokyo SkyTree off in the distance to the left. It wasn't open when I took this picture, so nobody's looking back taking a picture of me.
 Again, towards SkyTree, but now it's near the middle of the picture. The clouds decided to disperse a bit to give me a nice sky in my photos.
 Another SkyTree image? This time I tried to zoom in a bit with my little green camera. And I think I'm in the second tower now.
 There are more skyscrapers here, though not as many.
 The park in the distance is Yoyogi Park, and Shibuya is just beyond.
 Looking off towards the west, the sun tries to peek through the clouds. The street in the foreground bordered by taller buildings is Yamate Dori.
 Shinjuku is a fun place to visit with friends, but since it's mostly full of offices and shops there aren't many things to actually do there other than spending money. By day, it's fairly nondescript.
 Once the lights come on, though, it can be quite mesmerizing.
 Looking back towards Skyscraper City and the Government Building (somewhere behind the other skyscrapers)..
Shinjuku's most notorious area is Kabukicho, a seedy, crowded nightlife district. Touts stand waiting for suckers tourists looking for some fun. You'll find the place crowded almost 24 hours a day; most of the streets are closed to cars due to the large number of pedestrians. Food, drinks, host clubs, game parlors, karaoke... you name it, you can find it here. This picture was taken along the road between Shinjuku and Kabukicho, called Yasukunidori. The Don Quixote penguin can be seen on one of the buildings. Some day I'll spend some real time in Kabukicho with my camera, and do a full post about it.

The Government Building is completely free and usually open 9AM-11PM, though one tower or the other might be closed on a Monday or Tuesday. The South tower closes at 5:30PM if both towers are open, and both towers are closed around New Years Day (but open on January 1). Through November 2013, the elevators are under maintenance and the lines might be longer due to less service, but if you visit on a weekday when school is in session you should be fine. Exit to the west from Shinjuku Station and follow the signs to Skyscraper City and the building.

Kabukicho can be found by following the exit signs from Shinjuku Station (towards the northeast), and then following the crowds. You can visit anytime, though the nightlife kicks off around 6PM.

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