Things to do in Shinjuku, Tokyo Neighborhood Guide

Tokyo Travel Guide

Things to Do in Shinjuku, Tokyo

What kind of time Shinjuku is?

Shinjuku is a city in the west of Tokyo City center. Tokyo’s metropolitan government is located in Shinjuku, so I can say Shinjuku is one of the core of Tokyo. 

Every town of Tokyo has different vibes, Asakusa for tradition and tourism, Shibuya for young crowed, Tokyo Station side for businesses and shopping.

And …  Shinjuku is, everything.  It’s a town fulfilled with diversity in many ways, The terminal attracts young to seniors for shopping, school, office, and to have fun at the night town. 

some arrives after long travel from other parts of Japan, different ethnic groups, lgbt, and lots of travelers are mixed in one area. 

Shinjuku is a town that you feel the power of people, and you will be blend in the crowd, no matter where you are from. 

But you might wonder, what you can do in Shinjuku actually.

So Today, I’ll show you around how to spend your time in Shinjuku, and show you what Shinjuku is like. 

You can also watch the same content in the video.

How to spend your time in Shinjuku

Shinjuku’s major spots to visit is, Shinjuku Gyoen National garden which is famous for cherry blossom, and 

observation deck of Tokyo Metropolitan Government building. Also, the neons at night is something to see. 

First, let me explain the Shinjuku’s map quickly, so you can get snapshot of how to get around Shinjuku, that make is a little easier in case you visit here.

The major area of Shinjuku is surrounding by Shinjuku Chuo Park, and Shinjuku Gyoen National garden. There is Shinjuku termina in the middle, and west side of the station is

Mostly tall buildings including Tokyo Metropolitan Government building, which is known for free observatory. 

And East side is mainly shopping streets, the iconic Isetan department store is on the corner of Shinjuku san chome.  

A little information about addresses of Tokyo

When you are in Japan, you might hear this san-chome, or number followed by the word  ”Chome “. San is a number 3, and chome is the word used to explain the address. So most of the address

In the city has this “chome” in the address. ONE is icchome, TWO is nichome, THREE is sanchome…. 

Shinjuku 2 chome and 1 chome is an area in the north of Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden, with many condos and offices mixed. 

Shinjuku 2 chome is know as area represent lgbt scene of Japan, and 1 chome is rather quiet area and you see local places to eat and small supermarkets. 

The north side of this major street called Yasukuni, is Kabukicho mostly known as a night town. 

Now that we understand the map of Shinjuku, let’s go to the city. 

Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden

Let’s start the day in fresh aired Shinjuku Gyoen National garden. 

Shinuku Gyoen National Garden is the large garden with several different themed garden inside. You can see Japanese style garden, 

Western style garden, and lots of glass field. 

If you are visiting from mid March to early April, it’s a must visit spot since Shinjuku Gyoen is famous for cherry blossom. 

There are many famous spots to see cherry blossom in Tokyo, but there aren’t many places that you can open your picnic  blanket and enjoy lunch box under the trees. 

So Shinjuku Gyoen is the perfect spot to enjoy what we call Ohanami “seeing cherry blossom” The only con is… alcohol and sports are prohibited since its not considered as a park. 

Another great thing about Shinjuku Gyoen is, you can enjoy different types of cherry blossom tress. So even if you come a little too early or too late, you can enjoy some flowers. 

Even if it’s not the cherry blossom seasons, you can still enjoy the greenery and have a relaxed moment. It’s also a good idea to purchase lots of foods in department store and enjoy in the park. 

The admission to enter is 500 yen. In case you enter the park several times, you can make this annual pass for 2000 yen too. 

For more details, please read Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden

What to eat in Shinjuku

You see lots of restaurants that has always line of people in Shinjuku. The Michelin star ramen shop – hototogisu, and tempura shop – Tsunahachi, tsukemen’s Fuunji, beef katlets Yoshimura,,, 

And The restaurant I picked is this, “Yamashita Honki Udon”, which I noticed people are lining up recently. They have two store in Shinjuku, and I tried this one in 3 chome. 

It’s an Udon shop, but not just udon shop. Their special is … this Udon coverd with mentaiko (fish egg) and… whip cream. 

I didn’t know what to expect and when I saw the photo, I thought it’s just meringue, but it was a sweet whipcream – the same as we see on the cake.

And it was really good. 

Shopping in Shinjuku

Some stores you might want to drop by is Isetan on the corner of Shinjuku san chome. There is also Shinjuku san-chome subway station in underground. 

This Isetan is the most selling department store in Tokyo, the underground food section is vibrant and it’s spectacular to see

All the different deli and Japanese and Western sweets. 

On the same Shinjuku street, there is a store called Sekaido, this is a stationery shop that you can see all the different Japanese stationeries. 

On the first floor, there are lots of pens and notebooks that you can get for a dollar or a few dollars, so it might be fun to look around. 

Shinjuku Station

Now let’s look at Shinjuku Station. Shinjuku Station is the most busy station in the world, it has record that 3.5 million people use per ONE DAY. Not a month. A day.  ( in 2018)

In addition to Yamanote Line, The JR Shinjuku station has major commuter lines to suburb.  and there are 2 private railways ODAKYU and KEIO’s terminal is also connected.

Above the new south exit of Shinjuku Station, there is a bus terminal called, BUSTA. It’s a hub of bus to the airports, and all over Japan, and the major routes going to Osaka

Leaves from Tokyo Station and stop by here before laving Tokyo. In case you go to Kawaguchiko or Hakone by bus, this will be where you come.  

They have JR east service counter and also English speaking tourism center on the 3rd floor, so you might want to drop by for finding information. 

There are several department stores and shopping center connected to the station, BUT Odakyu department store closed recently, and others are expected to close down too

Because Shinjuku station is planning to reconstruct completely in next 10 year or 20 years. That’s the reason Shinjuku station doesn’t have doors on Yamanote Line’s platform even though it’s the busiest station. 

Odakyu is going to be demolished soon, and planned to be a tall building which is higher than Tokyo Metropolitan government buildings, and Keio’s terminal building, 

And Lumine, which is operated by JR is also going to follow. So probably I shouldn’t talk much about each facility here, because probably you’ll see different situation

In the next 2 decades depends on when you visit. 

Nishi Shinjuku

Now let’s head to the west exit and see Nishi Shinjuku area. Nishi means west in Japanese. 

This area has lots of tall buildings, and the oldest building is Keio Plaza hotel which is build in 1971. There are other large hotels like washington hotel, Hyatt Regency, hilton and Park Hyatt.

You can walk through underground, but the underground connecting east to west of Shinjuku is called “Shinjuku dungeon”. Because everyone get lost. 

So it might be nice to walk on the ground level if sunny.

Something you might want to see next is the Tokyo Metropolitan government bulidings observatory deck. 

It’s free, and you can see the view from 202 meters high. 

Under the building, you see Shinjuku Chuo Park. Chuo means central. The park is a good place to walk around with coffee, and just chill looking at the buildings. 

If you want to take a rest, there is Starbucks in the park, and denny’s in front of the park. 

If you have children with you and they are bored, there are some place to play around in the south-side of the Park, in front of Park Hyatt. 

Night Scene in Shinjuku


Now it’s getting dark… so let’s go to see the night of Shinjuku. Probably this is the image of Shinjuku for many people. 

Kabukicho, is a town with lots of drinking bars and …some adult funs. 

It’s not very clean place in day time, but recently, some hotels opened, so there are lots of tourists staying this area.

Tokyu, is opening new theaters and two more new hotels in Kabukicho soon.

The Godzilla looking down the town is the symbol of Kabukicho now.

You see all the selection of chain restaurants and izakaya (Japanese style dining bar) , so you have lots of choices to eat. 

Tokyo dosen’t have much of tourist trap or scams, but be careful not to follow someone talk to you even if that is the restaurants. 

Omoide Yokocho

Omoide Yokocho is a small alley that many dining bars are gathering. 

There are lots of stores by the railway too. 

Japan is not so famous for clubbing or night market, but you find tons of places to drink.

I picked some stores before I go, but it was’t really atmosphere to shoot video, so I … ended up easy going looking store 

one lady talked to me. 

I feel like I’m trapped as tourist, but food was actually good. Something to know when you go drinking in Japan is, 

Some stores has rule, that you have to order minimum two or three per order. 

So this store, you had to order 3. That means if I order this bell pepper with pork, I have to eat 3 at least. 

The price is shown is per one stick, so that’s the tip to know so you don’t feel like you are ripped off. 

Some chain shop like Torikizoku, the price is for two. … 

It looks reasonable but price can adds up, especially when you have lots of alcohol, so just be aware and enjoy. 

Let’s eat yakitori now. 

I’m not so strong to alcohol, so just one drink. 

It was really fun, and I hope you enjoyed too. Thank you for reading. Have a great day. 

For more information about all over Tokyo, Please also read  The Complete Guide to Tokyo


Tokyo’s other Neighborhoods



Tokyo Kenchan’s Youtube Videos that you might be interested

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10 Must See Areas of Tokyo :

UENO – A Must See Area for Sight Seeing in Tokyo :

HARAJUKU – What’s in Harajuku ♢ A Must See Area in Tokyo for Sight Seeing:


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