Shinbashi is often called "Salaryman Town" for an obvious reason - no matter what time of day you are there, you will always see a load of salarymen in the area.
Ever since the Edo Period, Shinbashi has always been a lively bustling town. When the first railway line opened for service in 1872 (Meiji 5) between Shinbashi station and Yokohama, the area became even more popular.
After World War 2 when Japan was scarce in resources, Shinbashi became a black market which was called "a place where one could get their hands on practically anything."
One of the reasons why there are a load of salarymen in the area is not only because there are a load of office blocks nearby, but also because there was a need to provide good cheap food and an outlet for salarymen to relieve their stress - Shinbashi became the place to cater for the salarymans needs and today is jam packed with a load of restaurants, izakaya (Japanese pubs), hostess bars and places where you can get a "massage."
Map of the area below.
To start exploring Shinbashi, you need to get off at Shinbashi station. This is a view from the JR Yamanote line platform of the West exit.
Today we are off to explore the area around Nippon TV which is located in Shiodome - walking distance from Shinbashi station. On the way there are a load of restaurants beckoning us with the smell of good food.
T'was Christmas Eve when we went along which is why you will see a load of festive decorations all over. Beard Pap's typically has a queue of folks waiting to get some of that crispy custard filled snack.
Last October, Haneda Airport opened their international terminal. Located in Tokyo (unlike Narita Airport), Haneda is much easier to get to. If you are traveling to Tokyo, try to book flights that fly into Haneda instead.
During the festive season, many events are taking place all over Japan. Today at Nippon TV, there are food stalls and bands playing n singing on the very cold and windy evening.
A load of modern buildings in the shiodome area.
Folks munching on grub freshly made at the stalls while trying to get some warmth from the outdoor heaters in the middle of the round tables.
A blue thing with a lemon in its mouth and on its feet.
Time for some yummy egg tarts.
Fedex fans get a chance to get their hands on a fedex "Hero Figure."
Christmas is the season where a load of folks are out n about hunting to get a view of all the illuminations that have been set up around Japan. Shiodome has many illuminations and you can see a load of folk standing around snapping away on their camera or mobile devices.
Its a shame that most Christmas illuminations are taken down on the 26th of December. But then again Christmas in Japan is more of a business festivity rather than a religious one.
Probably cant make it out from this photo but there are folks lining up with a guy holding a board at the end of the queue that says "waiting time 2 hours."
And this is what they are all waiting for - to take a photo in that pyramid thingy at the center.
While many folks actually enjoy queuing up, its not one of my fave past times. We leave the crowds to go look for some grub.
Thai for dindins.
I love retro stuff - some goodies here with designs from the Showa period (1926 - 1989).
Caretta is a small shopping center which has a few zakka (daily goods and novelties) stores and a load of restaurants.
The view from one of the buildings in Shidome - fancy restaurants with fancy prices.
These are called Kagami Mochi - its rice cake which is usually consumed at the beginning of the year. Its kind of sticky like dough. Unfortunately folks die every year choking on Mochi. An ad for one of the popular brands of Kagami Mochi below. He does not choke.
A snap for the ladies.
After dindins at Shidome, its back to Shinbashi to explore the area which is filled with entertainment for the lads - restaurants, pachinko parlors, hostess bars and wot not.
Not been to Shinbashi for a while. Quite nice place to have a photo walk at night.
"Ooatari no Meisho" - a place famous for selling a load of winning lottery tickets in the past.
There are two types of lottery packs that you can buy. One is called Renban where the numbers are consecutive or Bara where the lottery ticket numbers are random.
Wifey said we should pick some up but before buying the tickets I told her that its our fate not to win any lottery of any sort and that god wants us to earn a living instead of winning it. We buy some anyway and win 300 yen ^^;
A new pachinko machine with the original Macross theme. I'm still torn between Misa and Minmay.
There are a load of small alleys that branch off the main roads which are filled with old buildings. At Shinbashi you'll be able to get a load of photos of the old rubbing along the new.
During the Winter, one can often see these plastic type curtains hanging outside ramen noodle places to keep out the cold.
You'll probably be able to eat at a different restaurant for lunch and dinner every day for a few years at Shinbashi - there's so many of them!
Fuzoku is a word to describe how one can pay money to get some hanky panky. The place on the left over here will tell you which sort of hanky panky services can be found in the area.
And it looks like some of the ladies who are waiting to serve you.
First time I came across this movie - Repossession Men. Didnt see any commercials for this movie at all on the TV though. Any good?
Most British pubs do fish n chips over here but they end up tasting of tobacco as they are usually filled with smoke.
Find it interesting that pig mascots are used to advertise pork.
My fave photo of today's bunch. Filled with Japan.
Back over at the West exit of Shinbashi station. When TV stations need to interview a salaryman, they usually come over here. The later it becomes the more rowdy some of the salaymen get as they make their way home drunk.
Time to head home to enjoy the evening at home with some Christmas cake which I've been told is not a lie.
BTW, this post is categorized in "Places to Visit in Japan" and you can see more listed below or in the landscape view.