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Home - Travel - Sightseeing Guide - Kanto - Tokyo - Western Tokyo
Shinjuku 
# 1   of 73 most visited
sights in Tokyo

jump to:   access  -  hotels  -  ratings  -  tours  -  links

Shinjuku (Vh) is one of the 23 city wards of Tokyo, but the name commonly refers to just the large entertainment, business and shopping area around Shinjuku Station.

Shinjuku Station is the world's busiest railway station, handling more than two million passengers every day. It is served by about a dozen railway and subway lines, including the JR Yamanote Line. Shinjuku is also one of Tokyo's major stops for long-distance highway buses and city buses.

West of the station is Shinjuku's skyscraper district, home to many of Tokyo's tallest buildings, including several premier hotels and the twin towers of the Metropolitan Government Office, whose observation decks are open to the public for free.

Northeast of the station lies Kabukicho, Japan's largest and wildest red light district, while department stores, subterranean malls and electronic shops surround Shinjuku Station on all four sides, including the recently redeveloped Southern Terrace.

Districts:

Shinjuku Skyscraper District
Restaurants: Hours vary but are typically from 11:00 to 23:00. Some restaurants close for a few hours between lunch and dinner.
The area west of Shinjuku Station is home to a large number of skyscrapers including the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building and leading hotels such as the Keio Plaza, Hilton, Hyatt Regency and Park Hyatt (featured in Lost in Translation). Several of the skyscrapers have shops and restaurants on their ground floors and additional restaurants with great views of the city on their top floors.

Kabukicho
Restaurants: Typically 11:00 to 24:00 (some open 24 hours)
Bars: Typically from 19:00 or 20:00 until the next morning
Closed: Some establishments are closed on Sundays
Named after a kabuki theater, whose construction plans have never been realized, Japan's largest red light district features countless restaurants, bars, nightclubs, pachinko parlors, love hotels and a wide variety of red light establishments for all sexes and sexual orientations. Explore with caution and beware of exorbitant cover fees and drink spiking resulting in loss of cash and credit cards. The latter typically occurs at establishments run by non-Japanese patrons and is initiated by touts targeting foreign tourists.

Golden Gai
Hours: Typically from 19:00 or 20:00 until the next morning
Closed: Typically Sundays
Golden Gai is a small, atmospheric nightlife district in Kabukicho packed with over 200 small bars and eateries. Most places are very small, seating only a few customers, and typically cater to a few regular customers. A few of the bars openly welcome foreign guests with signs and menus set outside listing prices in English.

Omoide Yokocho
Restaurants: Typically from 17:00 to 24:00 (some are open for lunch)
Closed: Irregular closing days
Omoide Yokocho (lit. memory lane), also known under its more colorful nickname Piss Alley, is a small network of alleyways along the tracks northwest of Shinjuku Station. The narrow lanes are filled with dozens of tiny eateries serving ramen, soba, sushi, yakitori and kushiyaki. Many restaurants consist of just one counter with some chairs, while others have a couple of tables.

Shin-Okubo Koreatown
Shop and restaurant hours vary
Shin-Okubo Koreatown is a collection of Korean shops and restaurants found along the main road and side streets around Shin-Okubo Station, one stop north of Shinjuku Station. Many of the shops and restaurants are operated by Korean immigrants and sell a variety of Korean goods, including K-Pop music, videos and groceries.

Attractions and Parks:

Tokyo Metropolitan Government Office (more details)
Hours: 9:30 to 23:00 (South Observatory until 17:30)
Closed: Dec 29 to Jan 3 (except Jan 1) and occasional inspection days, the 2nd and 4th Mondays (North Observatory) and the 1st and 3rd Tuesdays (South Observatory) of each month except on holidays
Admission: Free
The 243 meter tall twin towers and surrounding buildings contain the offices and the assembly hall of the metropolitan government of Tokyo, as well as observatories on the 45th floor of each tower. The view from the southern tower is considered slightly more interesting.

Japanese Sword Museum
Hours: 10:00 to 16:30 (entry until 16:00)
Closed: Mondays and New Year holidays
Admission: 600 yen
The Japanese Sword Museum is a sword enthusiast's dream. Along with the countless blades on display, there are also exhibits on sword making and care as well as excellent English pamphlets.

Shinjuku Gyoen (more details)
Hours: 9:00 to 16:30 (entry until 16:00)
Closed: Mondays (or the next day if Monday is a holiday), and December 29 to January 3. There are no closure days from late March to late April (cherry blossoms) and in the first half of November (chrysanthemums).
Admission: 200 yen
Shinjuku Gyoen is one of Tokyo's largest and most pleasant parks and one of the city's best cherry blossom viewing spots. It was opened to the public in 1949, after it had served as a garden for the Imperial Family since 1903.

Central Park
Hours: Always open
Admission: Free
This public park directly behind the Tokyo Metropolitan Government twin towers houses Kumano Shrine (Kumano Jinja) as well as a sizable homeless population living in blue tarp shanties and cardboard box homes.

Department Stores:

Isetan
Hours: 10:30 to 20:00
Restaurants: Typically 11:00 to 22:00
With a history of over 100 years Isetan is a veteran among Shinjuku's department stores. The Shinjuku store is Isetan's flagship and consists of ten floors, including restaurants on the top floors and a food department in the basement.

Takashimaya
Hours: 10:00 to 20:00 (Saturdays until 20:30)
Restaurants: 11:00 to 23:00
Closed: January 1 (except restaurants)
Opened in 1996, the Shinjuku branch of Takashimaya consists of 15 floors, including a food department in the basement and three restaurant floors. It is the main store of the "Takashimaya Times Square" complex that also houses a Tokyu Hands branch and Kinokuniya book store with a large foreign language section.

Odakyu
Hours: 10:00 to 20:30 (Sundays until 20:00)
Restaurants: 11:00 to 22:30
Odakyu Department Store consists of 16 floors, including a wonderful food department in the basement and restaurants on its top floors. The department store belongs to the Odakyu Group, which also operates a suburban railway line from Shinjuku to Odawara (Odakyu is an abbreviation for "Odawara Express").

Keio
Hours: 10:00 to 20:30 (Sundays and holidays until 20:00)
Restaurants: 11:00 to 22:00
Keio Department Store consists of 11 floors, including a food department in the basement and several restaurants on the restaurant floor. The department store belongs to the Keio Group, which also operates a suburban railway line from Shinjuku to western Tokyo.

Lumine
Hours: 11:00 to 22:00
Restaurants: 11:00 to 23:00
Lumine is owned by JR East and located both next to and above Shinjuku Station's South and East Exits. Lumine is divided into "Lumine 1" and "Lumine 2" on either side of the South Exit and "Lumine Est" (formerly known as "My City") above the East Exit.

Mylord
Hours: 11:00 to 21:00 (Mosaic Dori from 10:00)
Restaurants: 11:00 to 23:00
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. Mylord is affiliated with the Odakyu Group.

Electronics Stores:

Yodobashi Camera
Hours: 9:30 to 22:00
Yodobashi Camera is one of Japan's leading discount electronics retailers, and especially strong on camera equipment. Yodobashi's main store is divided up between half a dozen buildings near the west exit of Shinjuku Station, while a smaller branch is located near the station's east exit.

Bic Camera
Hours: 10:00 to 21:00
Closed: No closing days
Bic Camera is another of Japan's leading discount electronics retailers. It has two large stores in Shinjuku: one in the Odakyu Halc Building near the station's west exit and one east of the station near the Isetan department store.

Yamada Denki
Hours: 10:30 to 22:30 (Sundays and holidays 10:00 to 22:00)
Yamada Denki is one of Japan's most successful electronics chains, and has opened two large branches in Shinjuku: one northeast of Shinjuku Station near the entrance to Kabukicho, and one near Yodobashi Camera's main store on the station's west side.

Any Questions? Ask them in our question forum.

How to get there
Shinjuku Station is Japan's busiest railway station, served by about a dozen railway lines, including the JR Yamanote Line.

From Tokyo Station

The frequently departing, orange trains on the JR Chuo Line (Rapid Service) take less than 15 minutes and cost 200 yen from Tokyo Station to Shinjuku Station.

From Ueno Station

By JR Yamanote Line it takes 25 minutes and costs 200 yen to get from Ueno to Shinjuku. A slightly faster alternative is to take the JR Yamanote or JR Keihin-Tohoku Line from Ueno to Kanda Station, and then the JR Chuo Line from Kanda to Shinjuku.

Orientation in Tokyo

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Hotels and Ryokan
Shinjuku is a very popular district among tourists to stay thanks to its convenient location and abundance of shopping, entertainment and sightseeing opportunities. Many excellent four and five star hotels are located among the skyscrapers on the station's west side, while many cheaper options are concentrated on the east side and around the Kabukicho red light district.
Read more in our Tokyo Hotel Guide
Search Hotels
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Sakura Hotel Hatagaya
2 minutes from Hatagaya station, convenient access to Shinjuku, Harajuku, Shibuya, and Akihabara. Cafe open 24 hours, Muslim friendly menu and Prayer room.
Hotel Gracery Shinjuku (Tokyo)
Opens April 2015. Only 5 mins walk from JR Shinjuku Station. Free wifi in all rooms. Perfect for sightseeing in Tokyo!
Sakura Hotel Ikebukuro
5 minutes walk to JR Ikebukuro station. Direct access to Shinjuku, Shibuya, Harajuku and Akihabara. Shared kitchen, Free Wi-Fi, Terrace cafe open 24 hours.
Recommended Hotels around Shinjuku - with lowest rates by selected hotel reservation websites
Green Plaza Shinjuku Capsule
A well maintained, large capsule hotel, ten minutes from the station. Men only.
Reserve through
Hostelworld or Booking
Hotel Century Southern Tower
The most conveniently located hotel in Shinjuku, just a few steps from the station entrance.
Reserve through
Japanican
Hotel Sunroute Plaza Shinjuku
Just a few steps from Shinjuku Station, this hotel ranks among Tokyo's best values.
Reserve through
Agoda or Booking
Keio Plaza Hotel
One of Tokyo's most popular hotels and best values, a 5-10 minute walk from the station.
Reserve through
Agoda or Booking
Park Hyatt Tokyo Hotel
5-star hotel featured in Lost in Translation, a 15 minute walk from the station.
Reserve through
Agoda or Booking
Shinjuku Washington Hotel
Usually the most affordable hotel in Shinjuku's skyscraper district.
Reserve through
Agoda or Booking

Tours and Packages
Robots do battle at Tokyofs new nightlife venue!
gRobot Restauranth in Shinjuku offers robot shows like you've never seen! Check out the nightly shows and receive a 1000 discount or more when booking through Club Tourism.
Tokyo Tours
Various tours and travel packages for Tokyo and surroundings.

User Ratings
Ratings for Shinjuku:
japan-guide.com Rating:
  best of Japan  
User Rating (by 3103 users):
86/100
  recommended

Best rated sights nationwide (out of 783):
152.  Geibikei Gorge (Hiraizumi)   86/100
153.  Byodoin Temple (Uji)   86/100
154.  Ryoanji Temple (Kyoto)   86/100
155.  Moerenuma Park (Sapporo)   86/100
156.  Sightseeing Boats (Shiretoko)   86/100
157.  Shinjuku (Tokyo)   86/100
158.  Harajuku (Tokyo)   86/100
159.  Osaka Aquarium (Osaka)   86/100
160.  Nijo Castle (Kyoto)   86/100
161.  Ouchijuku (Aizu)   86/100
Most visited sights nationwide (out of 913):
1.  Shinjuku (Tokyo)   5726
2.  Shibuya (Tokyo)   5555
3.  Akihabara (Tokyo)   5269
4.  Harajuku (Tokyo)   4984
5.  Asakusa (Tokyo)   4835
6.  Ginza (Tokyo)   4592
7.  Ueno Park (Tokyo)   4122
8.  Tokyo Tower (Tokyo)   3896
9.  Ikebukuro (Tokyo)   3822
10.  Roppongi (Tokyo)   3705

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Useful Vocabulary

English Links
Tokyo Metropolitan Government
Official English website.
Kabukicho
Official English website of the business association.
Sword Museum
Official English website.
Odakyu Department Store
Official English website.
Takashimaya Department Store
Official English website.
Isetan Department Store
Official English website.

Japanese Links
Tokyo Metropolitan Government
Official website.
Kabukicho
Official website of the business association.
Golden Gai
Official website of the business association.
Omoide Yokocho
Official website of the business association.
Sword Museum
Official website.
Shinjuku Central Park
Official website.
Isetan
Official website.
Odakyu Department Store
Official website.
Keio Department Store
Official website.
Lumine Department Stores
Official website.
Mylord Shinjuku Department Store
Official website.
Takashimaya Department Store
Official website.
Isetan Department Store
Official website.
Yodobashi Camera
Official website.
Bic Camera
Official website.
Yamada Denki
Official website.

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