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Region
Kanto
Island
Honshu
Largest City
Tokyo
Population
12,059,237

Shinjuku

You better lose yourself.

As expected of the place with the busiest train station in the world, Shinjuku has a lot going on. So what exactly is there to entertain the 3.5 million tourists, commuters and residents? Let’s use Shinjuku Station as our base and go from there.

Tokyo Shinjuku Station is the world's busiest railway station

Don’t be afraid to get lost in Shinjuku – it’s pretty much impossible not to.

Should you choose the East Exit you’ll find yourself in the midst of the biggest metropolis on earth. A giant HD screen, like in Shibuya, overlooks an area often filled with live music, promoters and shoppers. In the evenings, crowds flock to Golden-Gai (an artsy shanty town lined with tiny bars) in the heart of the slightly dodgy area of Kabuki-cho (well, it is the red-light district) to pass the night away. The infamous Robot Restaurant is also situated in this area – think giant robots, dinosaurs and scantily-clad women with a double dose of LED lights. Beware of the hawkers and those trying to extort obvious-looking tourists around here.

For a cheap, local bite to eat, head to Omoide Yokocho, affectionately (?) known as Piss Alley.

Top-ranking universities such as Meijiro, Keio and Waseda inject a lively student-geared atmosphere to the east side.

Rediscovering Tokyo’s Robot Restaurant

Big department stores are never in short supply, as well as endless streets of arcades (to take Purikura of course) and karaoke joints (some with all-you-can-eat ice cream).

On the other hand, if you take Shinjuku Station’s West Exit, you’ll find yourself in one of the rare places in Tokyo that is dominated by skyscrapers, in the aptly named Skyscraper District. Weirdly enough, Shinjuku is one of the most seismically stable areas of the city meaning large earthquakes have usually left this area relatively unharmed. Thus, you can build tons of ridiculously tall, fancy buildings that are well worth strolling among during an evening.

The highlight is a trip to the top of the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building, whose two towers’ 360 degree views are both free and spectacular, even on the haziest of summer days.

Skyscrapers in Shinjuku, Tokyo

The Shinjuku Skyscraper District also functions as a major national bus terminal.

On the way to the Skyscraper District are all the terminals for the highway buses, one of the easiest and cheapest ways to get around Japan. Big names like Willer Express have their main stop-offs in this area, making it not only your gateway the capital, but also the rest of the country.

Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden can also be found on this side of the station and was once part of the estate of an old feudal lord. During spring, Shinjuku Gyoen’s cherry blossoms (there are over a dozen different varieties) are some of the best in Japan; likewise in autumn, its large collection of maple trees make it the perfect environment to kick back and relax before the cold weather sets in.

Shinjuku Station is the world's busiest.

Shinjuku Station is the world’s busiest.

For fans of Korean food and pop-culture, Shin-Okubo Korea Town is only a short walk or train ride away. Neighbouring Shinjuku-sanchome is where the hipsters hang out and a good place to find bistro eats and more boutique bars. Shinjuku-nichome is known as one of Tokyo’s best districts for LGBT nightlife – there are tons of small clubs within a compact area that make for a great night out.

There are also lots of art installations and cool looking festivals such as the Okinawan Dance festival held in August, that can be found in Shinjuku throughout the year.

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Trivia

Rediscovering Tokyo’s Robot Restaurant

The adventure begins at Robot Restaurant’s dazzling lounge, which—with its red, seashell-shaped sofa chairs, gaudy ceiling lights, garish screens and imitation gold across the entire floor—is reminiscent of a themed international hotel and casino.

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How To Get There

Address

Shinjuku, Tokyo, Japan

By train

Shinjuku can be easily accessed via JR’s Yamanote Line, Chuo-Sobu Line, Saikyo Line, Shonan-Shinjuku Line and the Narita Express. Also, Odakyu’s Odawara Line, the Keio Line, Keio New Line and Seibu Shinjuku Line.

Three subway lines run via Shinjuku, these are the Toei Oedo Subway Line, the Tokyo Metro Marunouchi Subway Line and the Tokyo Metro Shinjuku Subway Line.

By bus

Highway buses run from most big cities such as Kyoto, Mt. Fuji, Osaka and Nagoya to Shinjuku station.

Where To Stay

Shinjuku Kuyakusho-mae Capsule Hotel
  • Kabukicho 1-2-5 Shinjuku-Ku, Tokyo 160-0021
  • 7.6/10
  • 0.0 km
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Citadines Central Shinjuku Tokyo
  • Kabuki-Cho 1-2-9 Shinjuku-Ku, Tokyo 160-0021
  • 8.5/10
  • 0.1 km
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Capsule Hotel Hatagoya (Male Only)
  • Kabukicho1-16-9 Shinjuku-Ku, Tokyo 160-0021
  • 7/10
  • 0.1 km
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Booth Netcafe & Capsule
  • Kabuki-cho 1-15-5 Shinjuku-Ku, Tokyo 160-0021
  • 7.7/10
  • 0.2 km
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