Shinjuku

Photo credit: catherineshyu via VisualHunt / CC BY-ND
Photo credit: catherineshyu via VisualHunt / CC BY-ND
  • eat 吃喝 먹거리
  • shop 购物 가게
  • stay 住宿 숙박 시설
  • see 看到 观光 볼거리
  • Recommendation 建議 建议 추천 ★★★★★
  • Foreign Language Support 外語支持 外语支持 외국어 지원 ★★★☆☆

●Town Info

Shinjuku, while not especially classy or sophisticated in nature, is still one of Japan’s most lively, thriving districts.

 

The substantial shopping and eating options in the district are worth mentioning.
West of the station is a New York City-esque forest of high-rise office buildings. Contrastingly, the east side is host to countless stores and restaurants, forming a bustling shopping and entertainment town. And when visiting Shinjuku, get ready to wade through massive crowds.

 

To give you an idea of how populated this area is, Shinjuku Station services a whopping 3.64 million people a day, a world record recognized by Guinness World Records.

 

Shinjuku, while not especially classy or sophisticated in nature, is nonetheless a cheerful and festive city to walk around in. It is a sure spot for visitors to discover a unique aspect of Japan.

 

As a convenient hub for both travel and action, it is also a great place to stay during your stop in Tokyo.

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●Access

Shinjuku station boasts 3 world records: Number of users a day (3.64 million), trains stopping by (about 10,000), and an unbelievable 200 exits.

 

With its labyrinthian build, navigating may be intimidating for first timers, so we recommend downloading a map to your smartphone or buying a paper version to carry around, and asking a passerby or station clerks just to be sure you're going the right way.

 

Trains

JR: Yamanote, Saikyo, Shonan-Shinjuku, Sobu, Chuo, Narita Express, Tobu-line direct service limited express, Super-view Odoriko limited express lines
Other Private Rail Companies: Odakyu, Keio, Keio-shin (new) lines
Toei (public transit) Subway: Shinjuku, Oedo lines
Tokyo Metro Subway: Marunouchi line

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●Recommended

Have fun shopping at various genre shops, eating at one of hundreds of restaurants, cafes, bars, or dessert places, and being entertained via the many available shows and amusement locations.

 

To comment on the prominence of shopping in Shinjuku, the district’s stores boasts a collective world record 10 billion USD in revenue.

 

The mega town is one of Japan’s largest shopping centres with department stores selling everything from low to high-end goods, electrical appliance stores, other large-scale retailers, specialty stores, and unique road-side vendors. For shopping enthusiasts, Shinjuku is heaven on earth and impossible to see it all in a single day.

 

As for food, a wide variety of cuisines are available mainly on the east side of the station.

 

As for entertainment, look no further. Shinjuku is famous for its “unique” shows such as transgender and robot restaurant. You’ll have no problem enjoying the shows without knowing any Japanese.

 

Finally, take-in the grand panoramic view of Tokyo skyline from the high-rise government building on the west side for free!

If you need a break from the hectic crowds and modernity of Tokyo, go visit Shinjuku-Gyoen park for a relaxing stroll. The garden is a famous spot for its cherry blossoms.

 

Other forms of entertainment in Shinjuku include host clubs and kyabakura or hostess clubs. If you want to get close to charming, handsome guys or beautiful girls that’s where to go. Although quite expensive it will probably be an unforgettable experience and a story for ages. If feeling adventurous, go on and visit Shinjuku-nichome, known as Japan’s largest gay district.

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●Check It

Other than the big-box electronics shops around west exit, most shopping will take place either at the department stores directly connected to the station or shops clustered around the east exit.

 

Shinjuku Takashimaya, Keio Department Store, Odakyu Department Store, and Isetan Shinjuku have everything from clothes and food to lifestyle items; apparel-focused department stores include Lumine Shinjuku and Shinjuku Marui Main Department Store.

Isetan Shinjuku in particular is known to be the No.1 in brand selection and its food court on the basement floor.

 

If you are looking for unique items or goods fit for a professional, Tokyu Hands Shinjuku Store, a city home centre store, is where you want to be.

 

The big 3 electronics shops: Yodobashi Camera, Bic Camera, and Yamada Denki, can be seen at both east and west exits of the station. Their price wars has dubbed Shinjuku as

one of the best places to find the lowest price on consumer electronics in Japan.

Yodobashi Camera is most recommended for its product selection and English and Chinese speaking staff.

 

 

Shinjuku Gyoen

Shinjuku Gyoen (park) is the Oasis of the Shinjuku metropolis.

Its massive grounds are home to French gardens with beautiful rose beds, English gardens with elegant tailored lawns, and a simplistic Japanese pond and garden.

The park is also famous for its sakura scene, with approximately 1100 cherry blossom trees blooming every March.

Notable is the fact that several different types of cherry blossoms were planted with stretching the blossoming season in mind, allowing visitors to partake in the view for a longer period.

Unfortunately though, do note that entry with alcoholic beverages and sporting equipment is not permitted.

 

Kabukicho

Japan’s biggest, baddest amusement district. While host to a wide berth of restaurants, izakaya, and other locations for familial fun, watch out! The area is also home to heaps of cabaret and host clubs, and otherwise adult destinations. Even without actually entering such joints, taking a walk around and letting the whirlwind of brilliant bright neon lights is enough to get a sense of Japan’s sketchiest town around.

Now, the talk of the town right now in this sketchy little outpost is the Robot Restaurant.

 

Robot Restaurant

While they call themselves a restaurant, the place is more of a stage to flaunt its ridiculously flashy duet of dancers and robots. While opinions vary along with the individual, the least we can say is whether it is cool or downright crazy, only those who have seen the real deal can talk. But either way, the organizers certainly have outdone themselves with their creation. According to the store’s website, the cost of opening the store, interior design and robots cost an incredible 10 billion JPY!

Perhaps it was worth it? The Robot Restaurant is a spectacularly popular destination, and reservations are a must. In the event of a visit, do be sure to have a meal beforehand, since the restaurant’s meals are less than satisfactory.

http://www.kabukicho.or.jp/en/index.php

Access: 5 minutes on foot from Shinjuku station

 

Omoide Yokocho

If looking to experience Tokyo a few decades back in the day, this destination is for you. Numerous tiny eateries and bars line this alley, located on Shinjuku station’s west side, right along the tracks. Some have remained unchanged ever since opening doors on the ashes of world war 2, giving the whole street a theme park like feel that many say takes visitors back 5 decades. Most of the eateries are known for barbeque-esqe menus of yakitori and motsu-yaki, or for their genre, the perennial Japanese izakaya, and all offer a pleasant meal for around 2-3000JPY.

http://www.shinjuku-omoide.com/english/index.html

Access: 2 minutes on foot from Shinjuku station

 

Golden-gai

An area famous for its concentration of established, ambient bars. While the tiny scale of each location, mostly 10 seats or less, may make for an atmosphere difficult to impede at first, in recent years, there has been a growing number of bars with staff proficient in English.

http://goldengai.jp/

Access: 3 minutes and 5 minutes from Shinjuku San-cho-me station (Tokyo Metro Marunouchi and Toei Subway Shinjuku lines) and Shinjuku station , respectively

 

Shinjuku-Nichome

Japan’s largest gay district is the home of over 450 gay bars and item shops. For those interested, this is a definite must-see.

For those who are not, Shinjuku-Nichome is nonetheless an interesting place; leave aside your bias and hop in to a bar or two to find some unexpected friends.

Our recommendation for Niichome novices is the Advocates Café, a homey bar and popular visitor attraction where, in the warmer months, customers line up to get into.

http://www.shinjuku-2.com/

Access: 2 minutes on foot from Shinjuku San-cho-me station (Tokyo Metro Marunouchi and Toei Subway Shinjuku lines)

 

Skyscrapers

For those of you who likes scenic views, the Tokyo metropolitan office has readied a solution. Their metropolitan office building, the “Tocho”, and other surrounding buildings, have observation decks usable free of charge. The average 250 meters aboveground is nothing to brag about, but it still offers a sweet view of greater Tokyo, and on a sunny day one could see Mt. Fuji looming in the distance.

 

Isetan Shinjuku (Department Store/ General)
Address: 3-14-1 Shinjuku, Shinjuku ward, Tokyo
Access: Underground passage from Shinjuku San-cho-me station (Tokyo Metro Marunouchi and Toei Subway Shinjuku lines)
TEL: 03-3352-1111
URL: http://isetan.mistore.jp/store/shinjuku/translation/english.html
Holidays: Irregular
Hours: 10:30-20:00

 

Shinjuku Takashimaya (Department Store/General)
Address: 5-24-2 Sendagaya, Shibuya ward, Tokyo
Access: Underground passage from Shinjuku station
TEL: 03-5361-1111
URL: http://www.takashimaya.co.jp/shinjuku/store_information/index.html
Holidays: Irregular (closed Jan. 1st)
Hours: 10:00-20:00, open until 20:30 on Saturdays

 

Keio Hyakkaten Shinjuku (Department Store/General)
Address: 1-1-4 Nishi-Shinjuku, Shinjuku ward, Tokyo
Access: Underground passage from Shinjuku station
TEL: 03-3342-2111
URL: http://info.keionet.com/shinjuku/foreign/index.html
Holidays: Irregular (closed Jan. 1st)
Hours: 10:00-20:00 (differs depending on season and floor)

 

Odakyu Hyakkaten Shinjuku (Department Store/General)
Address: 1-1-3 Nishi-Shinjuku, Shinjuku ward, Tokyo
Access: Underground passage from Shinjuku station
TEL: 03-3342-1111
Holidays: Irregular (closed Jan. 1st)
Hours: 10:00-20:00 (differs depending on floor)
URL: http://www.odakyu-dept.co.jp/translation/index.html#EN

 

Lumine Shinjuku (Lumine 1)
Address: 1-1-5 Nishi-Shinjuku, Shinjuku ward, Tokyo
Access: Underground passage from Shinjuku station
URL: http://www.lumine.ne.jp/translation/english_A/shinjuku.html
TEL: 03-3348-5211
Holidays: Irregular
Hours: 11:00-22:00, restaurants and bookstore open until 23:00 (varies depending on store)

 

Shinjuku Marui Department Store (Department Store/Fashion)
Address: 3-30-13 Shinjuku, Shinjuku ward, Tokyo
Underground passage from Shinjuku San-cho-me station (Tokyo Metro Marunouchi and Toei Subway Shinjuku lines)
TEL: 03-3354-0101
URL: http://www.0101.co.jp/transer/transer_en.html
Holidays: Irregular
Hours: 11:00-21:00 (varies depending on store), open until 20:30 on Sundays and national holidays

 

Yodobashi Camera Shinjuku Nishi-guchi Store (Electrical Appliance Retailer)
Address: 1-11-1 Nishi-Shinjuku, Shinjuku ward, Tokyo
Access: 2 minutes on foot from Shinjuku station
TEL: 03-3346-1010
URL: http://www.yodobashi.com/ec/store/0011/index.html
Holidays: Irregular
Hours: 9:30-22:00

 

Bic Camera Shinjuku Nishi-guchi Store (Electrical Appliance Retailer)

Address: 2F-7F Shinjuku Nishi-guchi HALC building, 1-5-1 Nishi-Shinjuku, Shinjuku ward, Tokyo

Underground passage from Shinjuku station
TEL: 03-5326-1111
URL: http://www.biccamera.co.jp/language/langjump-je.html
Holidays: None
Hours: 10:00-21:00

 

Shinjuku Gyoen (Park)
Address: 11 Naitomachi, Shinjuku ward, Tokyo (postal code: 160-0014)
Access: Shinjuku Gyoen-mae Station (Tokyo Metro Marunouchi line)
TEL: 03-3350-0151
URL: https://www.env.go.jp/garden/shinjukugyoen/#_=_

Holidays: Mondays (In the event of a Monday national holiday, the next non-holiday), no holidays Mar. 25th-Apr. 24th and Nov. 1st-15th, Closed Dec. 29th-Jan. 3rd

Hours: 9:00-16:00 (Gates close at 16:30)
Admission: Adults 15+ years: 200JPY, children 5-15 years: 50 JPY, children under 5years: free (For groups of 30 and over: adults: 150JPY, children 5-15: 25JPY)

 

Tokyo Metropolitan Office Building Observation Deck
Address: 2-8-1 Nishi-Shinjuku, Shinjuku ward, Tokyo
Access: Tocho-mae station (Toei Subway Oedo line)
TEL: 03-5320-7890
URL: http://www.yokoso.metro.tokyo.jp/page/tenbou.htm
Admission: Free
Holidays: 1st and 3rd Tuesdays (south deck) and 2nd and 4th Mondays (north deck) (in the event of a national holiday on any of the above, the next non-holiday), Closed Dec. 29th-Jan. 3rd and during safety inspections

Hours: 9:30-22:30 (north deck, closes at 23:00), until 17:30 (south deck, until 23:00 on north deck holidays)

*The twin tower metropolitan office building complex, designed by renowned architect Kenzo Tange, is one of Shinjuku’s most notable symbols; those visiting the observation decks will be whisked up to either deck within a minute of boarding the elevators to an awe-inspiring view of Tokyo from above.

 

Robot Restaurant (Show)
Address: B2F Shinjuku Robot building, 1-7-1 Kabukicho, Shinjuku ward, Tokyo (postal code: 160-0021)

Access: 5 minutes on foot from Shinjuku east gate, 5 minutes on foot from Shinjuku San-cho-me station (Tokyo Metro Marunouchi and Toei Subway Shinjuku lines) exit B9
TEL: 03-3200-5500
URL: http://www.shinjuku-robot.com/pc/?lng=en
Holidays: None
Hours: 17:30-23:00, opens at 16:00 on weekends, all seats reserved (the show is put on 3-4 times a day, all seats are reshuffled every performance)

Admission: 7000JPY, +1000JPY for a food course

 

Music Salon Ace’s (Bar)
Address: 1-1-9 Kabukicho, Shinjuku ward, Tokyo
Access: 5 minutes on foot from Shinjuku San-cho-me station (Tokyo Metro Marunouchi and Toei Subway Shinjuku lines)
Holidays: Sundays, national holidays
Hours: 20:00-5:00AM
URL: http://www.goldengai.net/shop/b/09/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ACES.GoldenGai/info?tab=overview
Cost: 2000JPY

 

Advocates Café (Bar)
Address: 1F Dai-nana Tenkou building, 2-18-1 Shinjuku, Shinjuku ward, Tokyo
TEL: 03-3358-3988
URL: http://advocates-cafe.com/home2.htm
Holidays: Sundays, national holidays
Hours: Mondays-Saturdays 18:00-4:00AM, closes at 1:00AM on Sundays

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