Where To Go in Shinjuku? : Best 8 Places to Excite Your Senses

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shinjuku2

Source: Duane Walker

Shinjuku is a combination of modern and traditional Japan. It houses the busiest railway station in the world–Shinjuku Station and the administation centre of Tokyo–the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building. The current city of Shinjuku is comprised of several towns and villages which have retained their historical and traditional distinctions while growing together as part of the Tokyo metropolis.

1.Shinjuku Gyoen

shinjuku gyoen Source: St Stev

Shinjuku Gyoen is one of Tokyo’s largest and most popular gardens located near Shinjuku Station. It is comprised of three different garden types: Japanese, English, and French. Shinjuku Gyoen houses a large number of cherry (sakura) trees which also makes it one of the best places for cherry blossom viewing during the spring season.

Information

  • Name: Shinjuku Gyoen
  • Address: 11 Naitomachi, Shinjuku, Tokyo
  • Price: JPY200 for adults, JPY50 for children
  • Access: Shinjuku Gyoen has three gates–Shinjuku Gate, Sendagaya Gate, and Okido Gate. To see full information on access guide to Shinjuku Gyoen, please see https://www.env.go.jp/garden/shinjukugyoen/english/2_guide/access.html
  • Opening hour: 9:00 to 16:00
  • Holiday: Mondays
  • Website: https://www.env.go.jp/garden/shinjukugyoen/english/

2.Hanazono Shrine

hanazono shrine

Source: Emily Driscoll

Hanazono Shrine dates back to mid-17th century during the Edo period and is now one of the important Shinto Shrines in Tokyo.  Hanazono literally translates to Flower Garden as the land surrounding the shrine was once part of the Imperial Gardens. A number of festivals are held here throughout the year such as New Year’s and Tori no Ichi. There is a flea market every Sunday on the shrine grounds from 8:00 to 16:00.

Information

  • Name: Hanazono Shrine
  • Address: 5-17-3, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo
  • Price: Free
  • Access: 10-minute walk from the East Exit of Shinjuku Station
  • Website: http://www.hanazono-jinja.or.jp/mt/top/

3.Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building

tokyo metro

Source: Matthias Harbers

The Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building (referred to as Tokyo Tocho) in Shinjuku is known for its free observation decks (North and South) which provide panoramic views of Tokyo and even beyond (you can see Mount Fuji). Each observatory deck has a cafe, a shop, and even a bar (South). Aside from the two observatory towers, the building also houses a tourist information centre.

Information

  • Name: Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building
  • Address: 2 Chome-8-1 Nishishinjuku, Shinjuku, Tokyo
  • Price: Free
  • Access: To access the observation decks take the Observatory Elevator from the 1st floor of Main Building No. 1
  • Opening hour: South Observation Deck: 9:30 – 17:00 (until 22:30 on the 2nd and 4th Monday of each month); North Observation Deck: 9:30 – 22:30
  • Holiday: 1st and 3rd Tuesday of each month (South Observation Deck), 2nd and 4th Monday of each month (North Observation Deck)
  • Website: http://www.metro.tokyo.jp/

4.Shinjuku Central Park

shinjuku central

Source: plenty of flour

Just behind the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Office is the Shinjuku Central Park. The public park houses a shrine–Kumano Shrine and a man-made waterfalls. The park has a nice view of the skyscrapers and is a hub for skateboard enthusiasts. A local market is held here every Saturday.

Information

  • Name: Shinjuku Central Park
  • Address: 2-11 Nishi-Shinjuku, Shinjuku-ku Tokyo
  • Price: Free
  • Access: 15-minutes walk from the West Exit of the Shinjuku JR Station
  • Website: http://www.city.shinjuku.lg.jp/seikatsu/file15_02_00001.html

5.Kabukicho

kabukicho

Source: Dacchaman

Kabukicho, an entertainment district in Shinjuku, is one of the largest red-light districts in Japan. It features a plethora of restaurants, bars, nightclubs, love hotels, and other establishments great for hanging out for people travelling alone or in groups.

Information

  • Name: Kabukicho
  • Address: 2-11 Nishi-Shinjuku, Shinjuku-ku Tokyo
  • Access: 100 blocks away from the Shinjuku Station East Exit
  • Opening hour: Restaurants: 11:00 – 24:00 or 24 hours; Bars: 19:00 until morning

6.Golden Gai

golden gai

Source: Sandro Bisaro

Tucked away in a corner of skyscrapers and neon lights of Shinjuku lies a tiny fragment of old Tokyo–Golden Gai. Golden Gai is consist of six narrow alleys filled with over 200 small bars and eateries. The small establishments in the area provide intimate and cozy atmospheres good for socializing and meeting people in Tokyo.

Information

  • Name: Golden Gai
  • Address: Shinjuku-ku Tokyo
  • Access: a few minutes from the Shinjuku Station East Exit

7.Samurai Museum

samurai_museum

Source: Samurai Museum

The Samurai Museum is a place to go for people who are interested in Japanese history. The museum features a small but great display of samurai art, armor, swords and other weapons with informative descriptions available in Korean, Chinese, and English languages. The Samurai Museum also offers a variety of samurai features such as photoshoots, performances, and lessons (some come for a fee) for that real samurai experience.

Information

  • Name: Samurai Museum Shinjuku
  • Address: 2-25-6 Kabukicho, Shinjuku-ku Tokyo
  • Price: JPY1,500 for adults, JPY750 for children, free for 3 years old below
  • Access: 8-minute walk from JR Shinjuku Station East Exit; 4-minute walk from Seibuchu Shinjuku Station
  • Opening hour: 10:30 – 21:00
  • Website: http://www.samuraimuseum.jp/

8.Isetan Department Store

isetanshinjuku

Source: kamiya akihiko

The Isetan in Shinjuku is the flagship store of the department store with over a 100 years of history. The store consists of 10 floors with restaurants on the upper floors, a rooftop garden, and food hall and supermarket in the basement. The department store displays an array of everyday affordable items as well as luxury goods. There are also traditional and unique items suitable as gifts or souvenirs.

Information

  • Name: Samurai Museum Shinjuku
  • Address: 160-0022 3-14-1, Shinjuku, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo
  • Access: 5-minute walk from JR Shinjuku Station East Exit
  • Opening hour: 10:30 – 20:00
  • Website: http://isetan.mistore.jp/store/shinjuku/foreign_customer/index.html

Have a good trip and travel!

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Asia, Japan, Kanto Region, Shinjuku City, Tokyo Prefecture