I'm really having a hard time trying to decide which area in Tokyo we should try to stay in and I would really appreciate it if all you experienced people out there would be able to help us make an informed decision!
I would like to stay in an area that is very convenient in terms of having easy access to well-connected public transport. With my mom's age, we don't wont to be located too far out of the centre and then have to take lots of trains or walk long distance to get into the thick of where we need to be.
We'd also like to stay in an area that has a good vibe with lots of good restaurants but hopefully not a place that goes completely dead at night. My husband and I would like to be able to walk around at night grabbing some food and a few drinks but we have no desire to go clubbing at all. I'm thinking along the lines of a place like Clarke's Quays or Orchard Road in Singapore and not as much along the lines of Koh San Road in Bangkok (which wouldn't be suitable for my mother). It would be a bonus if the area also has lots of the stunning architecture that Tokyo is famous for, but seeing as you can't escape experiencing that in Tokyo, this is not as important.
I have read that Shinduku is a good area because it is very well connected to public transport hubs, has a good vibe, has some great shopping and lots of restaurants and other entertainment in the area. At first, I thought that this would be the right choice for us, but then I started to read that Shinduku is basically the centre of the Tokyo red light district with lots of seedy parlours, love hotels, prostitutes, etc and that has really put me off the idea of Shinduku all together. Just how seedy are we talking about here? Is it as bad as Koh San Road in Bangkok where it is completely in your face and you can't avoid it? Or in other words, would Shinduku be the type of place suitable for families because the seedy element is only a small section of it and you can avoid going into those areas?
I have also read that Shibuya is also a good option because it is similar to Shinduku (great shopping, good location for public transport, vibe, etc) but because it is very popular for with Japanese youth, I wonder whether we would just be surrounded by teenagers (a horrible thought no matter where in the world you are ;) ) Is there a good mix of demographics in this area?
I'm starting to think that Ginzo is looking like the right area. It is a good location in terms of public transport and also has a good vibe with shopping and restaurants. I've read that it does get quieter at night, but how quiet are we walking here? Does the place completely empty out at night (like is typical of a business district) and there is little to do in terms of eating out and having a few drinks come nighttime?
I've also read about Roppongi Hill. I believe that it is a little further out from the centre. Is that correct? It sounds like a real up and coming place that may be worth visiting during our time there but is it enough to justify staying in the area during our time? I've read that a few of the things to avoid in this area is drunken American soldiers and African scammers... having come into contact with both of those in my lifetime, for me, that is reason enough not to stay in the area. It sounds a little bit like the tourist trap of Tokyo?
So you can see that I've heard some pros and cons on these areas and would really appreciate it if you guys could give me your opinions on this because its a once in a lifetime opportunity for us and we would really like to stay in the right area! At this point in time, we don't need advise on which hotels to stay at, only rather which area is the best to stay in in Tokyo.
Much appreciated in advance!!