VLOG: Overnight Without a Hotel in Shibuya

2:47 AM

Sleepless in Shibuya

I was supposed to leave Tokyo for Fukuoka at 5:03 PM aboard the Hikari Express. It would have been a smooth 6-hour bullet train ride, cutting the usual travel time of almost 13 hours by half. A very luxurious accommodation was waiting for me in Fukuoka upon my arrival. I imagined enjoying my bed along with some welcome drinks already at around midnight. 

That was the ideal itinerary. Not until I miscalculated the travel time after visiting the tourist island of Odaiba to going back to Tokyo Station. 

Even after being so ridiculously organized, I was confused with my route back to Tokyo Station. I reserved 45 minutes for two train transfers. That was double the time that I need according to Google Maps. It's just that I have to use, not two, but three train lines. 

I remained calm although worries like booking for another hotel and reserving for another bullet train in a busy Monday morning were all buzzing in my head. I was running from platform to platform and stayed hopeful that I would make it on time. It was 5:00 sharp when I reached Tokyo Station. But I got lost. 

I had a difficulty searching for the locker area where I left the rest of my stuff. Tokyo is the biggest station, standing in the middle of Japan's rather crazy train network. It has three floors and have multiple exits. I found my locker at 5:05. I rested my head on the locker stand while catching my breath. "No crying while on a vacation please," I reminded myself. 

I had to gracefully say goodbye to the lovely hotel that I so excitedly chose in Fukuoka. It was too late to cancel. And then I remembered what I read about backpackers spending the night in KTV bars or in internet shops in the crowded places of Tokyo like Shinjuku and Shibuya. My disappointment turned to excitement. As a way of punishing myself, I shouldn't be spending another Yen for a capsule hotel. I'll see if I can be sleepless in Shibuya. That would be an adventure in disguise. 

Before leaving Tokyo station, I reserved for the first bullet train out the next day. I don't have to pay extra since I was using the Japan Rail Pass. (Click here to read about my experience using the JR Pass). I got the 7:15 AM train. I added another day to use my locker so I won't be carrying heavy stuff around. 

And what happened? The rest is on my VLOG. (I know that it would require a faster internet connection but since I am just using my iPhone to take the videos, it would a better viewing experience if you can set it to HD. Thank you! :p) 

Japan - Shibuya Tokyo is a huge city but I still feel like a big portion of it sleeps early. There are districts which turns to night mode as early as 7 PM. For the night owls, Shibuya is your girl. Even with that reputation, she is generally safe. 

Japan - Shibuya There are numerous KTV bars and internet shops operating almost 24 hours in the area where most backpackers or those who went out late and missed the last train would spend the night. You can go as cheap as 1,500 Yen or round 800 Pesos to have a decent place to rest. Mind you, that's cheaper than getting a cab. Japanese taxis are so expensive. 

Japan - Shibuya 

Japan - Shibuya 
I was so amused with the experience of a German traveler who also missed her bullet train to another city and stayed in an internet shop instead before catching the earliest Shinkansen. I scrapped the idea. I researched and learned about Cafe Miyama. It operates 24 hours and is located at the heart of Shibuya. Why spend for 3,000 Yen in an internet shop when you can eat for 1,000 Yen and stay in an airconditioned cafe with free wi-fi? 

Shibuya 1
The question is 'Can we do this 'till morning?' :/ 

Japan - Shibuya This is the exact view from my table which I marked mine for 8 hours! LOLs. I tried to not sleep but slept for 2 hours. This is the scene when I woke up at around 3 AM. 

Japan - Shibuya You know how fast Japanese internet is. So blog, blog, blog. 

Japan - Shibuya Shibuya by midnight. 

Japan - Shibuya The scramble in Shibuya can be as quiet as this. This was 5:30 in the morning. The Japanese actually start their day late. Work in most offices begin at 10 AM. 

Japan - Shibuya

Japan - Shibuya The statue of the Hachiko is being accompanied by people who are trying to recover from last night's revelries. I don't think he would mind. 

Japan - Shibuya
It was the morning after a weekend and the Japanese, when intoxicated, can be very reckless. Platform guards are most visible at this time of the day. 

Japan - Shibuya
Off to another platform to transfer trains. 

Japan - Shibuya
Finally, Fukuoka. :) 

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