Shinjuku

Shinjuku, Tokyo, Japan

Shinjuku, the busy hub in the west of Tokyo is almost a city in itself. Shinjuku Station is said to be the world's busiest railway station with over two million travelers passing through it each day. Standing in the middle of the inferno during rush hours proves it. The area surrounding Shinjuku Station is a huge business, commercial, and entertainment center. It has several huge department stores, music stores, electronics stores, and hundreds and hundreds of bars and restaurants catering to every taste imaginable.

Shinjuku is divided into Higashi (east) and Nishi (west) Shinjuku by the train lines that run through Shinjuku Station. Nishi Shinjuku exudes wealth and power with its towering skyscrapers. Higashi Shinjuku, on the other hand, retains the district's original downtown shitamachi roots. This atmosphere is summed up in Shinjuku's three most well-known entertainment districts: Kabukicho, Shinjuku Ni-chome, and the odd little enclave known as the “Golden Gai”.

Shinjuku Attractions

Shinjuku Skyscraper District

Shinjuku Skyscraper District, Tokyo Attractions, Japan

Nishi Shinjuku, the area west of Shinjuku Station is sometimes called Shinjuku Skyscraper District, for obvious reasons. One of the most eye-catching is Tokyo's city hall building, the "Tocho", daily home to 13,000 bureaucrats. Other notable buildings are the tapered and honeycombed Mode Gakuen building, the 54-storey Tokyo Opera City with its hi-tech NTT Intercommunication Center which features futuristic exhibitions and events.

Nearest Station: Shinjuku Station (West Exit)

Tokyo Tocho (Tokyo Metropolitan Government Office)

Tokyo Tocho, Shinjuku Attractions, Tokyo, Japan

Tokyo Tocho, the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Office, is one of the most impressive buildings in Shinjuku. The 243 meter tall twin towers and surrounding buildings contain the offices and the assembly hall of the metropolitan government of Tokyo. There are two observatories, one in each tower at 45 floors up, commanding a bird's-eye view of the whole of Tokyo from the height of 202 meters above the ground. Entrance is free and the panoramic view is fantastic. On a clear day, you can even see Mount Fuji and Yokohama!

Address: 2-8-1 Nishi-Shinjuku, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo
Nearest Station: Tochomae Station on Toei Oedi Line
Telephone: +81 3-5320-7890
Website: http://www.metro.tokyo.jp
Opening Hours: 09:30 to 23:00 daily (south observatory until 17:30)
Admission: Free

Shinjuku Park Tower

Shinjuku Park Tower, Tokyo Attractions, Japan

The Shinjuku Park Tower is a high-tech complex located close to the Tokyo Metropolitan Government building. The complex is comprised of three interconnected towers, with the tallest one being 235 m. Floors 1 to 8 are occupied by retail stores and floors 9 to 37 are office floors. Park Hyatt (venue for the film "Lost in Translation") occupies the top 14 floors of Shinjuku Park Tower. Rates here are as dizzying as the height, but admiring the views with a drink in hand at the sophisticated New York Bar on the 52nd floor, is the ultimate Tokyo experience.

Address: 3-7-1, Nishi-Shinjuku, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo
Nearest Station: Hatsudai Station on Keio New Line
Telephone: +81 3-5322-6640
Website: http://www.shinjukuparktower.com

Kabuki-cho

Kabuki-cho, Shinjuku Attractions, Tokyo, Japan

Kabuki-cho is Tokyo's most notorious red light district and was an aesthetic inspiration for the film Blade Runner. Strip clubs, hostess bars and pachinko parlors occupy the streets of Kabukicho. But you'll also find many restaurants and bars that cater to every taste, mainstream cinemas together with Koma Stadium, a venue for traditional music and dance (tickets available on the door). To get to Kabuki-cho, cross over Yasukuni Dori Avenue in the direction away from Shinjuku Station.

Nearest Station: Shinjuku Station and Seibu Shinjuku Station

Shinjuku Ni-chome

Shinjuku Ni-chome, Tokyo Attractions, Japan

Located just south of Kabuki-cho is Shinjuku Ni-chome, the heart of Tokyo's gay scene, with bars, dragshows and discos that stay open until the wee hours. There are also lots of restaurants, cafés and shops as well as small music stores that specialize in alternative music styles. Shinjuku Ni-chome is also the site of some of the festivities related to Tokyo's gay pride parade and various other gay festivals and activities.

Nearest Station: JR Shinjuku Station, Shinjuku-san-chome Station and Shinjuku Gyoen Station

Golden Gai

Golden Gai, Shinjuku Attractions, Tokyo, Japan

Golden Gai is the name given to a few narrow alleys on the east edge of Kabukicho, with a plethora of tiny aging "hole-in-the-wall" bars. Each bar occupies only a few square meters, and some accommodate fewer than a dozen drinkers. Strolling through the district offers a sense of Tokyo in the 1970s, when young artists, writers and actors were drawn to the Bohemian atmosphere and cheap drinks of Golden-gai while they discussed art, life and their dreams. Even if the area now has become somewhat of a tourist attraction, many of the bars rely on their regulars, so casual visitors may receive a frosty reception, cover charge or both. Be aware that commercial photography in some parts of the Golden Gai is prohibited without permission.

Nearest Station: Shinjuku San-chome Station and JR Shinjuku Station (East Exit)

Hanazono Shrine (Hanazono-jinja)

Hanazono Shrine (Hanazono-jinja), Shinjuku Attractions, Tokyo, Japan

More remarkable for its location than its appearance, but it's a nice place to take a breather. Hanazono Shrine has long been known as a protector of Shinjuku district since it was established during the Edo Period. The shrine is primarily dedicated to the Yamato-Takeru-no-miko who was a legendary prince during the 4th century. Hanazono Shrine is located near the intersection of Meiji-dori and Yasukuni-dori. There's often a flea market in the surrounding park on weekends.

Address: 5-17-3 Shinjuku, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo
Nearest Station: Shinjuku San-Chome Station on Subway Marunouchi Line
Telephone: +81 3-3209-5265
Website: http://www.hanazono-jinja.or.jp (Japanese only)

Okubo

Okubo, Shinjuku Attractions, Tokyo, Japan

Located just one station west of Shinjuku on the Chuo-Sobu line, Okubo is one of the truly international districts around Tokyo. With a large Korean, Chinese and South-East Asian community, the atmosphere here is definitely closer to Seoul or Bangkok than Shinjuku. If you are looking for a Korean restaurant, you will find plenty of good ones here. Although much quieter than the red-light district of Kabukicho, Okubo also has an extensive range of love hotels and adult entertainment venues.

Nearest Station: Okobu on Chuo-Sobu Line and Shin-Okubo on Yamanote Line

Shinjuku-gyoen National Garden

Shinjuku-gyoen National Garden, Shinjuku Attractions, Tokyo, Japan

Shinjuku-gyoen National Garden, completed in 1906, is one of Tokyo's largest and most pleasant parks. It is considered to be one of the most important gardens from the Meiji era. This idyllic oasis with teahouses, lakes and gardens surrounds you in luscious greenery and exudes serenity, completely secluded from the hustle and bustle of metropolitan Tokyo. Shinjuku-gyoen is renowned as one of the best sites in the city for viewing cherry blossoms in the spring.

Address: 11 Naito-cho, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo
Nearest Station: Shinjuku Gyoen-mae Station (Exit 1) on Subway Marunouchi Line and Shinjuku San-Chome Station (Exit C1 or C5) on Subway Marunouchi Line
Telephone: +81 3-3350-0151
Website: http://www.env.go.jp/garden/shinjukugyoen/
Opening Hours: Tue-Sun 09:00 to 16:30 (closed Mondays)
Admission: 200 yen, children under 15 50 yen, children under 6 free

Shinjuku Shopping

Lumine

Lumine, Shinjuku Shopping, Tokyo, Japan

Lumine is owned by JR East has 3 buildings around the JR Shinjuku Station. Lumine 1 and Lumine 2, both located at the South Exit, cater to all ages with average priced goods. Lumine Est is located at the East Exit and focuses more on famous restaurants and haute fashion for younger women.

Address: 1-1-5 Nishi-Shinjuku, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo
Nearest Station: JR Shinjuku Station
Telephone: +81 3-3348-5211
Website: http://www.lumine.ne.jp/shinjuku/ (Japanese only)
Opening Hours: 11:00 to 22:00 daily

Keio

Keio, Shinjuku Shopping, Tokyo, Japan

Keio Department Store is part of the Keio Group, which also operates a suburban railway line from Shinjuku to western Tokyo. The department store consists of 11 floors, including a food department in the basement and several restaurants on the restaurant floor.

Address: 1-1-4 Nishi-Shinjuku, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo
Nearest Station: JR Shinjuku Station (West Exit and Central West Exit)
Telephone: +81 3-3342-2111
Website: http://info.keionet.com
Opening Hours: 10:00 to 20:30 daily

Odakyu

Odakyu Department Store, Shinjuku Shopping, Tokyo, Japan

Odakyu Department Store is part of the Odakyu Group, which also operates a suburban railway line from Shinjuku to Odawara. Odakyu is an all-round department store located directly above Shinjuku Station, facing the West Exit traffic circle. The department store is the largest on this side of Shinjuku Station with 16 floors, including a wonderful food department in the basement and restaurant floors. Odakyu Department Store and its Halc annex offer a complete range of high quality merchandise, including international brand name boutiques, famous-brand cosmetics, men’s, women’s, and children’s fashion and much more.

Address: 1-1-3 Nishi-Shinjuku, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo
Nearest Station: JR Shinjuku Station (West Exit)
Telephone: +81 3-3342-1111
Website: http://www.odakyu-dept.co.jp/shinjuku/ (Japanese only)
Opening Hours: 10:00 to 20:00 daily

Mylord

Mylord, Shinjuku Shopping, Tokyo, Japan

Mylord, located behind the Keio Department Store, is affiliated with the Odakyu Group, and caters to a younger age group. Mylord offers seven floors of shopping and three restaurant floors. The complex also includes "Mosaic Dori", a narrow pedestrian street between the Keio and Odakyu department stores.

Address: 1-1-3 Nishi-Shinjuku, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo
Nearest Station: JR Shinjuku Station (West Exit)
Telephone: +81 3-3349-5611
Website: www.shinjuku-mylord.com (Japanese only)
Opening Hours: 11:00 to 21:00 daily

Takashimaya Times Square

Takashimaya Times Square, Shinjuku Shopping, Tokyo, Japan

Takashimaya Times Square in Shinjuku opened in 1996 and is Japan's largest department store. Takashimaya stocks souvenirs, shoes, fashion and everything in between. The 15 floors include a food department in the basement and three restaurant floors, as well as the lifestyle superstore Tokyu Hands and the Kinokuniya book store with a large foreign language section. There is also a Sega amusement center within the Takashimaya Times Square complex, and an Imax theater.

Address: 5-24-2 Sendagaya, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo
Nearest Station: JR Shinjuku Station (New South Gate)
Telephone: +81 3-5361-1111
Website: http://www.takashimaya.co.jp/shinjuku/
Opening Hours: 10:00 to 20:00 daily

Bic Camera

Bic Camera, Shinjuku Shopping, Tokyo, Japan

Bic Camera, one of Japan's leading discount electronics retailers, operates a branch in the Odakyu Halc Building near the Shinjuku Station's west exit. While not as big as their other branches in Ginza and Ikebukuro, product range and prices are roughly the same. This five-floor store in Shinjuku offers not only digital cameras, but also plasma TVs, DVD recorders, digital camcorders, laser printers, scanners, PC software, game consoles, and much more.

Address: 1-5-1 Nishi-Shinjuku, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo
Nearest Station: JR Shinjuku Station (West Exit)
Telephone: +81 3-5326-1111
Website: http://www.biccamera.com
Opening Hours: 10:00 to 21:00 daily

Yodobashi Camera

Yodobashi Camera, Shinjuku Shopping, Tokyo, Japan

Yodobashi Camera is the largest electronics retailer in Shinjuku, and especially strong on camera equipment, making this a favorite among photo enthusiasts and professionals alike. Yodobashi has many branches around Tokyo, and they sell all kinds of electronics - not only cameras. The branches specialize, so you may have to look for the right branch to find what interests you. Yodobashi Camera's main store is located near the west exit of Shinjuku Station, while a smaller branch is located near the station's east exit.

Address: 1-11-1 Nishi-Shinjuku, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo
Nearest Station: JR Shinjuku Station (West Exit)
Telephone: +81 3-3346-1010
Website: http://www.yodobashi.com (Japanese only)
Opening Hours: 09:30 to 22:00 daily

Bingoya

Bingoya, Shinjuku Shopping, Tokyo, Japan

You may be able to complete all of your souvenir shopping in one trip to this tasteful four-floor shop, which carries handmade traditional crafts, including lacquer ware, glassware, pottery, bamboo, fabrics, dolls and folk art from all over Japan. Bingoya Folk Crafts Shop is located near the Wakamatsu Kawada Station (Wakamatsu-cho Exit) on Oedo subway line.

Address: 10-6 Wakamatsu-cho, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo
Nearest Station: Wakamatsu Kawada Station (Wakamatsu-cho Exit) on Oedo Subway Line
Telephone: +81 3-3202-8778
Website: http://www.quasar.nu/bingoya/
Opening Hours: Tue-Sun 10:00 to 19:00 (closed Mondays)

Shinjuku Restaurants

The Lockup

The Lockup, Shinjuku Restaurant, Tokyo, Japan

The Lockup, a Shinjuku original that now has several branches around Tokyo, is a jail-themed restaurant that will scare your senseless. Upon arrival you will be led to your table inside a stone cell by a waitress in plastic-miniskirt police uniform. The menu consists of izakaya-style food and lots of odd drinks that come in test tubes, beakers and syringes. The Lockup restaurant is fairly popular so reservations are definitely a good idea.

Address: 6/7F Shinjuku Square Building, 1-16-3 Kabuki-cho, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo
Nearest Station: JR Shinjuku Station (East Exit)
Telephone: +81 3-5292-5516
Website: http://www.kitanokazoku.jp/lockup/ (Japanese only)
Opening Hours: 17:00 to 05:00 daily

Yasaiya Teppanyaki

Yasaiya Teppanyaki, Shinjuku Restaurant, Tokyo, Japan

The vegetables used at this Shinjuku restaurant are carefully selected and prepared so that their natural flavors are enhanced to the fullest. Seasonal specialties, raw or fried on a teppan hot plate, can be enjoyed along with a large selection of fine meat and fish dishes and many types of shochu. Book the chef's table for the full dining experience.

Address: B1 Ken Shigeru Building, 1-15-13 Kabukicho, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo
Nearest Station: JR Shinjuku Station (East Exit)
Telephone: +81 3-5292-1130
Website: http://www.vegedinning.com/shop/kabukicho.html
Opening Hours: 18:00 to 05:00 (closed Sundays)

Torafugu-tei

Torafugu-tei, Shinjuku Restaurant, Tokyo, Japan

A seafood restaurant in Kabuki-cho specializing in the infamous fugu (blowfish). Set dinners at Torafugu-tei go for around ¥ 5,000, featuring fugu fresh from the tank prepared in five or six different ways.

Address: B1F Metro Building, 2-11-7 Kabuki-cho, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo
Nearest Station: JR Shinjuku Station
Telephone: +81 3-3209-2919
Website: http://www.torafugu.co.jp (Japanese only)
Opening Hours: Mon-Sat 17:00 to 04:00, Sun 16:00 to 23:00

Ibuki

Ibuki, Shinjuku Restaurant, Tokyo, Japan

Sukiyaki and shabu-shabu and in traditional Japanese surroundings. Ibuki is an excellent initiation into the pleasures of cooking your own sukiyaki (thinly-sliced beef, vegetables and tofu cooked in broth at your table) and shabu-shabu (thinly-sliced beef and vegetables cooked in broth and dipped in vinegar and citrus sauces). As they're accustomed to foreign visitors, they accept credit cards, have an English menu and host guests in a friendly and traditional atmosphere.

Address: 3-23-6 Shinjuku, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo
Nearest Station: Shinjuku Station on Marunouchi Line (Kabukicho Exit) and JR Yamanote Line (East Exit)
Telephone: +81 3-3352-4787
Opening Hours: 17:00 to 23:30 daily

Taruichi

Taruichi, Shinjuku Restaurant, Tokyo, Japan

Dark, woody and lively with a traditional Japanese feel. Taruichi a classic izakaya in the heart of Kabuki-cho is constantly ranked as one of the best in Tokyo. Their specialty is whale meat, prepared in many different ways. They are also known for their strong sake list, which includes a lot of bottles from Miyagi prefecture.

Address: 5F Dai-ichi Asagawa Building, 1-7-12 Kabukicho, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo
Nearest Station: JR Shinjuku Station (East Exit)
Telephone: +81 3-3208-9772
Website: http://www.taruichi.co.jp (Japanese only)
Opening Hours: Mon-Sat 17:00 to 23:00 (closed Sundays)

Sakura Suisan

Sakura Suisan, Shinjuku Restaurant, Tokyo, Japan

If you're looking for cheap eats, this chain is the Holy Grail. Sakura Suisan is one of several cheap izakaya chains serving such Japanese staples as grilled fish, rice, miso soup, pickled plums, natto - and all at daft prices. Food and drinks are generally priced between ¥ 200 and ¥ 400. The chain operates more than 100 restaurants in Tokyo, with nine in Shinjuku alone. Look out for the familiar red jumping fish logo and the chain's English motto: Every day the same low prices.

Address: 1-26-6 Kabukicho, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo
Nearest Station: Shinjuku Station (Central West Exit) on Seibu Shinjuku Line and JR Shinjuku Station (East Exit)
Telephone: +81 3-5287-1625
Website: http://www.teraken.co.jp (Japanese only)
Opening Hours: 16:00 to 24:00 daily

Shinjuku Nightlife

Christon Café

Christon Café, Shinjuku Nightlife, Tokyo, Japan

A great atmosphere for those looking to lounge around on a leather couch surrounded by cathedral lighting, gargoyles, and an array of Christian decor. First class service with price that is hard to believe considering how great the food is, with most mains well under ¥ 1,000. "Amuse" charge of ¥ 300 per person on top. Very nice place for somebody on a tight budget that would like to indulge in a top class establishment.

Address: 8F Oriental Wave Building, 5-17-13 Shinjuku, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo
Nearest Station: Shinjuku-sanchome on Marunouchi Line (Exit B5)
Telephone: +81 3-5287-2426
Website: http://www.secret-table.com/brand/christoncafe/ (Japanese only)
Opening Hours: Mon-Tue 17:00 to 23:30, Wed-Sun 17:00 to 04:00
Admission: 300 yen

Antiknock

Antiknock, Shinjuku Nightlife, Tokyo, Japan

One of the oldest punk clubs in Tokyo with daily gigs, check out their website for concert schedule. To get to Antiknock take the South-east exit of Shinjuku station, walk along Kousyuukaidou (the big road, you'll see Tower Records on the left of it and Takashimaya Times Square on the right) until you reach Meiji-dori. Turn right (you should see a Yoshinoya on the corner) and walk along Meiji-dori. Antiknock is on the left hand side in the basement of the Rei Flat building.

Address: B1 Rei Flat Building, 4-3-15 Shinjuku, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo
Nearest Station: Shinjuku Station (South-East Exit)
Telephone: +81 3-3350-5670
Website: http://www.antiknock.net (Japanese only)
Opening Hours: Varies, check website for schedule
Admission: Varies, check website for more info

Loft

Loft, Shinjuku Nightlife, Tokyo, Japan

Loft is a basement venue with two stages that accommodates about 500. It is one of the best places in Tokyo to see new as well as established indies and new wave Japanese bands. There is a service area offering a variety of refreshments such as soft drinks, wine, beer and (according to the staff) a wide variety of cocktails. The food menu leans towards traditional Japanese yatai (hawker) goodies, such as broiled chicken and fried noodles as well as simpler stapes like fried potatoes.

Address: B2F Tatehana Building, 1-12-9 Kabuki-cho, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo
Nearest Station: JR Shinjuku Station (East Exit)
Telephone: +81 3-5272-0382
Website: http://www.loft-prj.co.jp (Japanese only)
Opening Hours: Varies, check website for schedule
Admission: Varies, check website for more info

Garam

Garam is a cool little reggae club in Shinjuku. This swinging, foreign-owned Jamaican dancehall and reggae club has become something of an institution, with Japanese MCs and sharp DJs spinning a mix of dub, hip-hop and roots reggae. Check their website to find out about the latest special events. To find it, head out of the east exit of Shinjuku station and down the street next to the Studio Alta TV screen. Cross Yasukuni Dori, and it's the third building on the right.

Address: Dai-Roku Polestar Building 7A, 1-16-6 Kabuki-cho, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo
Nearest Station: Shinjuku Station (East Exit)
Telephone: +81 3-3205-8668
Website: http://www17.big.or.jp/~kamal/
Opening Hours: 21:00 to 05:00 daily
Admission: 1,500 yen (incl. 1 drink)

La Jetee

La Jetee, Shinjuku Nightlife, Tokyo, Japan

Tucked into Shinjuku's Golden Gai bar district is the famous La Jetee. The bar is tiny, with movie posters covering the walls. Kawai-san is the owner, and has a deep love for film. The bar has a following among film lovers, and even Quentin Tarantino dropped by for a drink. La Jetee is famous for being one of the most foreign-friendly bars in Golden Gai. There is a reasonably priced food and drink menu, which, combined with the interesting company you will meet, should equal a memorable night.

Address: 1-1-8 Kabukicho, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo
Nearest Station: Shinjuku-sanchome (Exit B5) on Marunouchi Line or Toei Shinjuku Line
Telephone: +81 3-3208-9645
Website: http://www.lajetee.net
Opening Hours: Mon-Sat 19:00 until late (closed Sundays)