Shinjuku is a classic sightseeing spot in Tokyo. It is located almost in the center of Tokyo's 23 speicla wards, and the terminal station, Shinjuku Station, has excellent access as many train lines, such as the Yamanote Line, run through. There are many large shopping malls around the station, and it is popular both domestically and internationally as a spot for shopping and eating.
This time, we will divide the area around Shinjuku Station into six areas and deep-dive into each. In addition, we will provide you with the latest information on recommended sightseeing spots, shopping and gourmet spots in Shinjuku!
Main sightseeing areas around Shinjuku
The area around Shinjuku Station is lined with skyscrapers and has a modern atmosphere. Although it is called a tourist spot, it is not a retro cityscape like Asakusa.
However, if you go a little further from the station, you will find parks and gardens rich in nature. Shinjuku's sightseeing areas are roughly divided into 6 areas. They are summarized in the following table.
|Around Shinjuku Station East Exit||A shopping area with a mix of large stores such as shopping malls, department stores, brand shops, and electronics stores.|
|Around Shinjuku Station South Exit||A lively area with a mix of department stores and gourmet spots.|
|Around Shinjuku Station West Exit||An area with many skyscrapers, including the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building, office buildings, and hotels.|
|Kabukicho||An area that is said to be the best entertainment district in the East, where all kinds of entertainment facilities such as restaurants, movie theaters, and amusement spots are gathered.|
|Shinjuku Sanchome||An area where cultural facilities such as large bookstores, art supply stores, and mini theaters gather. Near Shinjuku Gyoen.|
|Shinjuku Nichome||There is an area called Tokyo's gay town, where various bars and restaurants centered on the LGBTQ+ community are lined up.|
5 must-see sightseeing spots in Shinjuku
There are various ways to enjoy Shinjuku, such as shopping and gourmet food. Below, we will be introducing you to the popular sightseeing spots in Shinjuku that you should visit when traveling to Japan.
Tokyu Kabukicho Tower
The Tokyu Kabukicho Tower, which opened in April 2023, is a complex skyscraper with a height of about 225m, and is the latest spot where various genres of facilities such as hotels and entertainment facilities like movie theaters, theaters, and live concert halls gather.
- Address: 1-29-1 Kabukicho, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo
- 1 minute walk from Seibu Shinjuku Line "Seibu Shinjuku Station"
- 6 minutes walk from Toei Oedo Line "Shinjuku Nishiguchi Station"
- 7 minutes walk from JR Lines, Odakyu Line, Keio Line, Tokyo Metro "Shinjuku Station"
- 8 minutes walk from Shinjuku Sanchome Station on the Tokyo Metro/Toei Shinjuku Line
- Business hours: Please refer to the detailed information of each store
Shinjuku Gyoen is a garden located about 10 minutes on foot east of Shinjuku Station. It is a popular spot where you can enjoy the scenery of each season, with beautiful flowers such as someiyoshino and Yaezakura cherry blossoms in spring, roses in summer, and osmanthus and camellias in autumn. It's close to Shinjuku Sanchome, so you can go sightseeing together in the same trip.
- Address: 11 Naito-machi, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo
- Access: About 10 minutes on foot from Shinjuku Station South Exit
- Entrance fee: 500 yen for adults, 250 yen for seniors over 65, 250 yen for students (high school students and older), free for children (junior high school students and younger)
- Business hours:
- October 1st - March 14th: 9:00am-4:00pm
- March 15th - June 30th, August 21st - September 30th: 9:00am-5:30pm
- July 1st - August 20th: 9:00am-6:30pm
Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building Observatories
The Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building Observatories are observatories on the 45th floor of the Tokyo Government Building. Divided into a South Observatory and a North Observatory, you can look out over Tokyo from a height of 202m. From December to February, when the temperature is low and visibility is good, you can even see Mt. Fuji. At night, the night view with the illuminated Tokyo Skytree® and Tokyo Tower in the background is also recommended.
- Address: 2-8-1 Nishi-Shinjuku, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo (First Government Building)
- Access: About 10 minutes on foot from Shinjuku Station West Exit
- Entrance fee: Free
- Business hours: South Observatory 9:30-22:00 (Last entry 21:30) *North Observatory is currently closed
Shinjuku Central Park
Shinjuku Central Park is the largest urban park in Shinjuku Ward. It is a place where you can take a break and relax your tired body during your trip in nature such as forests and grassy plazas. In addition, various events are held, including a flea market, and the slop-slop pond, which is held in the summer, is popular with children.
- Address: 2-11 Nishi-Shinjuku, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo
- Access: About 10 minutes on foot from Shinjuku Station West Exit
- Admission fee: Free
- Business hours: 24-hour admission (park management office 9:00 – 17:00)
Shinjuku Southern Terrace
Shinjuku Southern Terrace is a promenade of about 350 meters lined with cafes and restaurants offering cutting-edge gourmet food and popular retail stores. During the winter season, the illumination at night creates a magical atmosphere. More people visit during such time.
- Address: 2-2-1 Yoyogi, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo
- Access: About 1 minute walk from Shinjuku Station South Exit / New South Exit
- Admission fee: Free
- Business hours: 24 hours admission (Please refer to the detailed information of each store for the business hours of the store)
In addition, there is also "Godzilla Head" installed on the 8th floor of the Shinjuku Toho Building in Kabukicho, and a 3D image of a cat projected on the Cross Shinjuku Vision in front of the East Exit of Shinjuku Station, called the "Cat of Shinjuku East Exit", has become quite a hot topic recently. Let's go there as a nice photo shooting spot.
A quick look of shopping spots around Shinjuku Station!
Shinjuku is a fun shopping town with shops of various genres such as clothes, fashion goods, cosmetics, daily goods, and food. In addition, there are shops and duty-free counters that offer tax-free services, so you can purchase products at great prices. In this section, we will introduce recommended shopping spots by genre.
Fashion malls in Shinjuku
There are many shopping malls around Shinjuku Station that have fashion-related shops for women, such as cosmetics, clothes, and miscellaneous goods. For young people in their teens and twenties, “LUMINE EST Shinjuku” and “shinjuku MYLORD” are recommended. All of them are located just outside the ticket gate, and the prices of the products in the shops are relatively cheap.
“Lumine Shinjuku LUMINE1” and “Lumine Shinjuku LUMINE2” have brand shops for people in their 20s and 30s.
Also, if you're looking for high-end lifestyle goods, Japanese food, seasonings, and more, go to "NEWoMan SHINJUKU". Simple and sophisticated lineups are lined up.
Department stores in Shinjuku
In Shinjuku, department stores such as "Isetan Shinjuku", "Keio Department Store, Shinjuku", "TAKASHIMAYA SHINJUKU STORE", and "Shinjuku Marui Main Building" are tightly packed, and there are brand cosmetics, luxury clothes, and high brand shops are gathered in one place. It is the best shopping spot for those who value high quality and brand. In addition, "Isetan Shinjuku Men's Building" and "Shinjuku Marui Men" are men's specialty stores, so men can also enjoy shopping here too.
In addition, the basement of Japanese department stores is often a food section. This is the so-called "depa-chika" floor, where you can purchase a variety of foods, including Japanese snacks and sweets, side dishes, bento boxes, and fresh food.
Cosmetics, medicine, daily necessities, electrical appliance stores
Shinjuku is also dotted with drugstores and electronics stores.
There are "Don Quijote" which operated 24-hour, "Matsumoto Kiyoshi", and "Daikoku Drug" stores.
Electronics stores also have stores at both the east and west exits of the station, and the area in front of the west exit is a home appliance town. We recommend “Yodobashi Camera Shinjuku West Main Store”, “Bic Camera Shinjuku West Exit Store”, and “Yamada Denki LABI Shinjuku West Exit”, which have a wide variety of products.
Flagship stores and large-scale stores opened in Shinjuku in recent years
In Shinjuku, there are many shops that have opened in recent years, such as character-related shops, the Disney Store flagship stores "Disney Flagship Tokyo" and "Sanrio Shinjuku", and the sporting goods store "Alpen TOKYO". If you haven't been yet, don't miss it!
Where are the gourmet spots in Shinjuku?
Shinjuku is dotted with many restaurants where you can enjoy a variety of gourmet foods. In addition to Japanese restaurants such as ramen, yakiniku, sushi, shabu-shabu, and izakaya, you can also enjoy foreign cuisine such as Korean, Chinese, and hamburgers.
Restaurants are mainly distributed in the shopping malls and department stores around the station, or in the Kabukicho and Shinjuku Sanchome areas, shopping streets, and restaurant street areas.
Recommended gourmet spots in Shinjuku
|Types of gourmet spots||Locations|
|Shopping mall (restaurant floor)||LUMINE EST Shinjuku (7F, 8F), Lumine Shinjuku LUMINE1 (B1, 7F), Shinjuku Mylord (7-9F)|
|Department store (restaurant floor)||Isetan Shinjuku store (7F), TAKASHIMAYA SHINJUKU STORE (12-14F)|
|Shopping streets, restaurant streets, Yokocho||Kabukicho area (Shinjuku Golden Gai, Kabukicho Red Noren Street), Shinjuku 3-chome area (Shinjuku East Exit Shopping Street, Tatsunomiya Restaurant Street – Shinjuku East Exit Yokocho), Shinjuku West Exit Omoide Yokocho|
If you want to know more, take a quick read at the Shinjuku gourmet guide article♪
7 recommended hotels in Shinjuku
In Shinjuku, there are every kind of hotels: from five-star hotels to budget hotels. Overall, the east and south exits of Shinjuku Station are more fulfilling than the west exit. Shinjuku has convenient transportation and abundant sightseeing facilities around the station, and there are many hotel options that meet various needs, so we recommend a hotel in Shinjuku as a base for your trip to Tokyo.
List of recommended hotels in Shinjuku
- Shinjuku Prince Hotel (about 5 minutes on foot)
- Hotel Gracery Shinjuku (about 5 minutes on foot)
- Hotel Sunroute Plaza Shinjuku (about 3 minutes on foot)
- JR Kyushu Hotel Blossom Shinjuku (about 3 minutes on foot)
- Shinjuku Washington Hotel (about 8 minutes on foot)
- Keio Plaza Hotel (about 5 minutes on foot)
- Hilton Tokyo (about 10 minutes on foot)
There are three Shinjuku stations? How to access Shinjuku
Speaking of the station in the Shinjuku area, it has got to be "Shinjuku Station", but there are multiple lines of railway companies, and there are "Shinjuku Station" of various lines. Depending on the line, the location of the station may differ, so please be careful when boarding. If the stations on each line are not connected, you will need to exit the ticket gates when changing trains or have to go all the way to another station's exit. Therefore, it is better to know whether it is possible to move to the nearest exit, ticket gate, or exits from the station.
List of train routes
|Railway Company||Train Lines||Nearest Exits Inside the Station|
|JR East||Yamanote Line, Saikyo Line, Shonan-Shinjuku Line, Chuo/Sobu Line, Chuo Main Line, Chuo Line, Narita Express||East Exit, South Exit, West Exit|
|Odakyu Electric Railway||Odawara Line, Romancecar||South Exit, West Exit|
|Keio Corporation||Keio Line, Keio New Line||West Exit|
|Tokyo Metro||Marunouchi Line||West Exit|
|Toei Transport||Oedo Line, Shinjuku Line||West Exit|
There are other stations in the Shinjuku area such as "Shinjuku Sanchome Station", "Shinjuku Nishiguchi Station", and "Seibu Shinjuku Station", so it is easy to get confused. When using trains, be aware of each train line and the station where you get off.
In addition, there is a highway bus terminal "Busta Shinjuku" (official English name is 'Shinjuku Expressway Bus Terminal') at the south exit (new south exit) of Shinjuku Station, making it convenient to access the airport and travel to other prefectures by bus.
List of bus routes from the airport to Shinjuku
|Airport||Bus Company, Routes||Stops|
|Narita International Airport||Tokyo Airport Transport (limousine bus)||Shinjuku Expressway Bus Terminal (Busta Shinjuku), Shuku Station West Exit, Shinjuku area hotels, etc.|
|Haneda Airport||Tokyo Airport Transport (limousine bus)||Shinjuku Express Bus Terminal (Busta Shinjuku), Shinjuku area hotel|
|Haneda Airport||Tokyo Airport Transport (limousine bus)||Tokyu Kabukicho Tower (Shinjuku Kabukicho)|