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[2018 Edition] 30 Things to Do in Shinjuku, Tokyo from the Classics to Hidden Gems!

Shinjuku is a fascinating area of Tokyo that has everything from super-tall skyscrapers and bustling cutting-edge fashion spots, to peaceful parks and retro alleyways that will soothe your spirit. This article will introduce 30 fun things to do in this multifaceted area, updated for 2018!

2018.10.11
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What is Shinjuku?

The ever-evolving Shinjuku is one of the most iconic neighborhoods in the megacity of Tokyo. An average of 3.64 million people pass through the enormous Shinjuku Station each day, which is enough to give it the Guinness World Record distinction of being the busiest station in the world. Shinjuku can be divided into three areas - West Exit, East Exit, and South Exit - each with their own individual characteristics. This article will introduce well-known as well as relatively unkown activities and places for each of the three areas, so keep reading to find out more.

Access

There are no less than 17 train lines that pass through Shinjuku Station, including subway lines like the Tokyo Metro Marunouchi Line, conventional lines like the JR Yamanote Line, and private railways like the Keio Line. When coming from Tokyo Station, it is common to come by either subway or JR train, and depending on the time of day and the time in between connecting trains, it can take an average of 15 to 30 minutes to get to Shinjuku Station. It takes between 1 hour to 1 and a half hours by train or highway bus from Narita Airport, or about 1 hour from Haneda Airport. There is a large-scale bus terminal near the Shinjuku Station South Exit where several highway bus lines converge - it is called the Shinjuku Expressway Bus Terminal.

West Exit Area

The West Exit area of Shinjuku is packed with super-tall skyscrapers, such as the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building as well as various office buildings and hotels. The area around the station has many department stores, like the Odakyu Department Store Shinjuku Branch. At the same time, there are also many streets lined with old-fashioned bars that preserve the atmosphere and warmth of times gone by - such as from the 1940s to the 1960s - making this quite a fascinating area overall.

Look at All of Tokyo in a Panoramic View! Visit the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building Observation Deck (Short Walk from Tochomae Station on the Toei Oedo Line)

The Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building is the center of operations that governs over Tokyo. The observation deck on the 45th floor of Main Building No. 1 is a free scenic outlook that enjoys incredible popularity with tourists. There, you can see a stunning view including the city of Tokyo and even the far-off Mt. Fuji from a height of 202m. The best times to go are when the setting sun sinks behind the peak of Mt. Fuji (a phenomenon called Diamond Fuji), and at night, when the lights of Tokyo sparkle below. Visitors are also encouraged to download the TOKYO SKY GUIDE smartphone app, which links to the display panels in the observation deck to supply information about 32 spots automatically via QR Code technology. 15 languages are supported, including English and Simplified Chinese.

Look at All of Tokyo in a Panoramic View! Visit the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building Observation Deck (Short Walk from Tochomae Station on the Toei Oedo Line)

Take a Stroll Through Shinjuku Chuo Park, an Oasis in the Big City (1-minute Walk from Tochomae Station on the Toei Oedo Line)

Shinjuku Chuo Park, nestled up right against a cluster of skyscrapers that tower over the area, is loved by many for being an oasis of green in the middle of a huge city. On weekdays, it is packed with office workers who pour in from nearby buildings for some rest time, and on weekends it is popular for its free market and other events. While the park has beautiful scenery for all of the four season, it is especially popular in the summer for its Jabu Jabu Ike water-play pool, and you will see many parents who have brought their kids to the park to play in the water.


Take a Stroll Through Shinjuku Chuo Park, an Oasis in the Big City (1-minute Walk from Tochomae Station on the Toei Oedo Line)

Bottoms Up! Go Drinking at Shinjuku Omoide Yokocho (Short Walk from JR Shinjuku Station)

Shinjuku Omoide Yokocho is a side alley that runs along the train tracks leading into Shinjuku Station near the West Exit. It started as a collection of food stalls that were set up in the ruins of a destroyed area directly after the end of World War II. The fact that there are so many shops selling grilled beef and pork offal and yakitori (grilled chicken skewers) is a remnant of the time after the war when even those with little money could come by such ingredients relatively easily. In addition, this narrow alley is full of a huge variety of other kinds of establishments, from ramen shops, to general restaurants, to bars with hideaway atmospheres. This is a totally unpretentious area where you can feel free to start up a conversation with the person sitting next to you. It's also a great place for bar-hopping, so give it a try!


Bottoms Up! Go Drinking at Shinjuku Omoide Yokocho (Short Walk from JR Shinjuku Station)

Enjoy the Nightlife at BAR Ben Fiddich (Around a 3-minute Walk from JR Shinjuku Station)

BAR Ben Fiddich is the place for those who want to calmly enjoy some alcohol. This bar was built with the concept of Scotland in the 1800s, and is decorated with antique medicine cabinets and distillers. Here, you can enjoy cocktails that were inspired by 19th Century literature and contain ingredients such as spices hand-ground with a mortar and pestle. The highlight here is the lineup of absinthe, including everything from carefully picked international brands to a homemade variety made using homegrown herbs. Popular choices include the mellow and sweetly scented Absinthe Marienhof (1,800 JPY (incl. tax)) and others.

Enjoy the Nightlife at BAR Ben Fiddich (Around a 3-minute Walk from JR Shinjuku Station)

Perfect for Ramen Lovers! Eat Tsukemen at Fu-unji (Around a 1-minute Walk from Shinjuku Station on the Toei Shinjuku Line and Other Subway Lines)

Shinjuku is home to several famous ramen shops. Among them, Fu-unji is a shop that is particularly popular with customers from overseas. The secret to their success that leads to long lines every day lies in the deliciousness of their tsukemen (800 JPY (incl. tax)), which is a type of ramen in which the noodles are dipped into a thick soup. The soup here is made from domestic chicken and seafood from the Seto Inland Sea, and has a very smooth, yet complex, flavor, and is thick while still having a light aftertaste. The noodles which are dipped into the soup are straight and a little thick, while having a bouncy texture and the aroma of wheat. Another great thing about this shop is that the regular size and large size are the same price!

Perfect for Ramen Lovers! Eat Tsukemen at Fu-unji (Around a 1-minute Walk from Shinjuku Station on the Toei Shinjuku Line and Other Subway Lines)

East Exit Area

The East Exit Area of Shinjuku is a bustling area that includes Kabukicho, the largest shopping district in Japan, and is full of shopping spots including department stores and fashion buildings, as well as long-established stores and new, trendy stores. There are a huge variety of eating and drinking establishments, as well as music halls, art museums, places to see traditional performances, and other facilities to take in the culture, making this a lively area that's always packed with people.

Be Charmed by the Adorable Cats at Cat Cafe Kyariko (Around a 3-minute Walk from Shinjuku Station on the Tokyo Metro Marunouchi Line)

This is the largest cat cafe in all of Tokyo, housing over 50 cats and covering two floors (the 5th and 6th floor). The 5th floor is the main floor. Here, you can enjoy some tea or read a book while looking at, petting, and taking photos of the adorable cats. There's also a menu that includes light dishes such as pasta as well as cake and other sweets. You're sure to become a hit with the many cats around if you buy a Cat Treat for 300 JPY!

Entrance fee (example): (Weekdays) Entrance fee: 1,000 JPY (incl. tax) for 1 hour, and 150 JPY (incl. tax) for every additional 10 minutes, and other pricing options.
*You have to be at least middle school age to visit

Be Charmed by the Adorable Cats at Cat Cafe Kyariko (Around a 3-minute Walk from Shinjuku Station on the Tokyo Metro Marunouchi Line)

Pay Respects to the Deity That Watches Over Shinjuku at Hanazono Shrine (Short Walk from Shinjuku-sanchome Station on the Tokyo Metro Marunouchi Line and Other Subway Lines)

This shrine has been beloved as the representative shrine of Shinjuku for many years. Many people visit here to pray for fortune, success, and riches. This shrine is also known for its famous Tori no Ichi festival, which takes place each year from late October to late November. Many temporary stalls are set up during the festival, and the shrine grounds become absolutely packed with people from dusk until midnight. The visitors hope to get their hands on a kumade (decorated bamboo rake), a lucky and lavishly decorated item that is said to "seize luck in business and bring happiness." The cheaper kumade sell for around 1,000 JPY, but the expensive ones can go as high as hundreds of thousands of yen. Make sure to visit the festival and buy one for yourself!



Pay Respects to the Deity That Watches Over Shinjuku at Hanazono Shrine (Short Walk from Shinjuku-sanchome Station on the Tokyo Metro Marunouchi Line and Other Subway Lines)

Visit the Samurai Museum, the Place where Japan's Soul Resides (Around a 4-minute Walk from Seibu-Shinjuku Station on the Seibu Shinjuku Line)

This museum aims to educate Japanese citizens as well as foreign visitors about the roughly 700-year role that samurai played in Japan's history as well as about the samurai spirit. In addition to displaying actual armor, helmets, headpieces, katana (samurai swords), and other equipment, this museum also lets you try on a jinbaori (battle surcoat) or kimono (traditional Japanese robes) for free in the Photo Corner. It's also fun to shop for souvenirs among the huge variety of T-shirts and other original goods. There are display captions written in English, Chinese, and Korean.

Admission: 1,900 JPY/Adult, 800 JPY/12 years old and under (children three and under get in free)

Visit the Samurai Museum, the Place where Japan's Soul Resides (Around a 4-minute Walk from Seibu-Shinjuku Station on the Seibu Shinjuku Line)

Play and Learn at the Tokyo Toy Museum (Around a 7-minute Walk from Yotsuya-sanchome Station on the Tokyo Metro Marunouchi Line)

This museum is built around the concept of "Play, Build, Talk" with toys from around the world. The museum, which used to be a school building, displays around 5,000 toys within 10 rooms. In addition, there are over 10,000 toys that can be picked up and played with, from Japanese toys to stylish toys made in Europe. With a large number of themed playrooms, this is a place where a parent and kids could spend an entire day!

Admission: 800 JPY/Adult (Middle school age and over), 500 JPY/Child (6 mos. to elementary school age), 1,200 JPY/Parent-child pair, Free/6 mos. and under *All prices include tax

Play and Learn at the Tokyo Toy Museum (Around a 7-minute Walk from Yotsuya-sanchome Station on the Tokyo Metro Marunouchi Line)

View a Traditional Artform at Shinjuku Suehirotei (Around a 1-minute Walk from Shinjuku-sanchome Station on the Toei Shinjuku Line)

Built in 1897, this is the only place in all of Tokyo where you can see a yose (storytelling performance) in an old-fashioned wooden building. The yose performed here include from rakugo (comic storytelling), manzai (two-person comedy act), kijutsu (sleight of hand), kyokugei (acrobatics), and more. Tickets are sold on the day of the show and there is no assigned seating, so it is best to arrive a little early so you can get a good seat near the front. Don't worry about the language barrier - this is the kind of show you can enjoy even without understanding the language!

Admission: Same-day Unreserved Seating - 3,000 JPY/General, 2,700 JPY/Seniors (65+), 2,500 JPY/High school students, 2,200 JPY/Elementary school students

View a Traditional Artform at Shinjuku Suehirotei (Around a 1-minute Walk from Shinjuku-sanchome Station on the Toei Shinjuku Line)

Relieve Your Stress at the Shinjuku Batting Center (Around a 4-minute Walk from Higashi-shinjuku Station on the Toei Oedo Line and Other Subway Lines)

This popular Shinjuku batting center has been filled with customers non-stop ever since it opened over 30 years ago. This facility has various difficulty settings for the speed at which the machines shoot out the baseballs for you to hit, from beginner level all the way up to level 12, letting you choose a ball speed from 70km/hr up to 130km/hr. The secret to their success is the affordable price. While most places charge 300 JPY for 20 balls, this place still offers its old-time price of 300 JPY for 26 balls! Furthermore, they're open very late - until 4:00 am. The facility is also equipped with a small game corner and vending machines for drinks.

Relieve Your Stress at the Shinjuku Batting Center (Around a 4-minute Walk from Higashi-shinjuku Station on the Toei Oedo Line and Other Subway Lines)

Visit the Yayoi Kusama Museum (Around a 6-minute Walk from Ushigome-yanagicho Station on the Toei Subway Oedo Line)

This is the art museum dedicated to world-famous avant-garde artist Yayoi Kusama. This museum presents two exhibitions each year, and visitors are able to see Kusama's work up close from various angles. Entrance to the museum is only available through reserved tickets, and visitation is limited to 90-minutes per guest, with only 70 guests in the museum at one time. Tickets go on sale at 10:00 am on the first day of each month for entry in the month after next, and sales end when all the tickets are sold. Tickets cannot be bought on the day of the visit, and cancelled tickets are not resold. Furthermore, tickets can only be purchased with a credit card (there is no handling fee). Please check the official homepage for further details.

Admission: 1,000 JPY (incl. tax)/General, 600 JPY (incl. tax)/Elementary-high school students
*There are no discounts for groups
Days open: Thursday - Sunday, National Holidays

Visit the Yayoi Kusama Museum (Around a 6-minute Walk from Ushigome-yanagicho Station on the Toei Subway Oedo Line)

Savor the French Toast at Cafe AALIYA (Around a 1-minute Walk from Shinjuku-sanchome Station on the Tokyo Metro Marunouchi Line)

This cafe is renowned for the deliciousness of its french toast. This popular item has an incredible texture - crispy outside and springy yet soft in the center. You can add sauces such as caramel, vanilla, and maple to the Plain French Toast (from 550 JPY). Their seasonal French toast offerings, topped with things such as gelato or fruit jam, are also popular. While there, make sure to try out the coffee as well, as it is roasted over direct heat and boasts an amazing aroma.

Savor the French Toast at Cafe AALIYA (Around a 1-minute Walk from Shinjuku-sanchome Station on the Tokyo Metro Marunouchi Line)

Go Bar-hopping Around Shinjuku Golden-gai (Around a 5-minute Walk from JR Shinjuku Station

Shinjuku Golden-gai is a narrow alley packed with over 200 eating and drinking establishments. Many of the buildings were built starting in the 1950s and after, giving the whole area a retro vibe. While this area was a meeting place for intellectuals such as writers and photographers in the past, now it has a more casual atmosphere that makes it welcoming to young people and foreign tourists. However, note that there are still a few places that refuse walk-in customers as a way to preserve their atmosphere. Many of the shops are small establishments with counter seating only, so they are not suitable for a large number of guests, but that also contributes to the ease and charm of striking up conversation of the person sitting next to you.

Go Bar-hopping Around Shinjuku Golden-gai (Around a 5-minute Walk from JR Shinjuku Station

Explore the Huge Entertainment District of Kabukicho (Around a 7-minute walk from JR Shinjuku Station)

Known as "the street that never sleeps," Kabukicho is one of the foremost entertainment districts in the world. In addition to izakaya (Japanese pubs), bars, lounges, and nightclubs, there are also an assortment of restaurants from fast food to fine dining, manga cafes, bowling alleys, karaoke centers, game centers, and more in this bustling area. It is a very Tokyo-esque sight, full of flashy neon lights, music pouring out from establishments, and people dressed in all sorts of colorful clothing. This is a fun area to just stroll leisurely around, however be careful at nighttime as there are some establishments that take part in illegal soliciting activities.


Explore the Huge Entertainment District of Kabukicho (Around a 7-minute walk from JR Shinjuku Station)

Visit Robot Restaurant, Japan's Craziest Experience (Around a 5-minute Walk from JR Shinjuku Station)

This popular night spot is one of the premier entertainment shows in the world, and cost 10 billion yen to create! The interior is a flashy space filled with neon, chandeliers, and video screens. The stage show lasts around 75 minutes, and it will drown you in light and sound amid dancing performers dressed in ornate outfits and fighting robots. There are typically 3 to 5 performances per day (subject to change). While it is possible to view a performance without a reservation if there are open spaces, note that this is a popular establishment so it is best to make a reservation just in case. You can also eat sushi and other dishes while you watch (charged separately/by advance reservation only)!

Admission: 8,000 JPY per person

Visit Robot Restaurant, Japan's Craziest Experience (Around a 5-minute Walk from JR Shinjuku Station)

Eat at Genkai, a Mizutaki Restaurant Over 80 Years Old (Around a 5-minute Walk from Shinjuku-gyoenmae Station on the Tokyo Metro Marunouchi Line)

Mizutaki is a type of hot-pot cuisine, originally eaten in the Kyushu and Kansai regions of Japan, that consists of chicken that is simmered in broth and eaten with vegetables as the flavor is extracted, giving the broth more and more flavor as time goes on. Nowadays, it is eaten widely all over Japan. At Genkai, you can enjoy their long-preserved traditional flavor that they describe as "white and scent-less, but still with richness." Their milky-white broth is cooked in a large pot for over 5 hours, and is full of collagen and the natural flavor of chicken, while also being high in nutrients. You can order the Mizutaki Course to enjoy chicken along with seafood and vegetables while enjoying the traditional Japanese vibe of a private room. There is an English menu available. Expect to pay 6,000 JPY for lunch or 10,000 JPY for dinner.

Eat at Genkai, a Mizutaki Restaurant Over 80 Years Old (Around a 5-minute Walk from Shinjuku-gyoenmae Station on the Tokyo Metro Marunouchi Line)

You'll Definitely Want to Try Moyan Curry! (Around a 5-minute Walk from JR Shinjuku Station)

Shinjuku is a veritable battleground for curry restaurants, with everything from authentic places to hidden famous shops. Among them, Moyan Curry Shinjuku East Exit Branch stands out as a place you have to try! While most curry in Japan is thickened with a roux made with flour and oil, this shop is unique for using a roux made mostly from fruits and vegetables. This leads to a more concentrated flavor that draws out the sweetness and savoriness of the ingredients, and also leads to fewer calories! Amazingly, this type of curry takes 2 weeks to make. Onion, celery, apple, mango, and other aromatics are roasted for 2 days. Then, over 25 different spices are added to the mix before it is allowed to mature even further, leading to a well-rounded and rich flavor. Expect to pay 1,000 JPY for lunch or 2,000 JPY for dinner at this establishment.

You'll Definitely Want to Try Moyan Curry! (Around a 5-minute Walk from JR Shinjuku Station)

Try Some Tempura at the Long-established Tempura Tsunahachi Main Shop (Around a 3-minute Walk from JR Shinjuku Station)

Tempura (battered and fried seafood, vegetables, and other ingredients) is one of the foods you'll definitely want to try while in Tokyo. It is one of Japan's most iconic foods, having been one of the "Three Tastes of Edo.*" At Tempura Tsunahachi Main Shop, a shop established around 90 years ago, you can taste tempura made with various seasonal ingredients picked up from the market each morning or directly delivered by partnered farms. The tempura is fried carefully one at a time, creating a superb dish that combines the umami (Japanese savory taste) of the ingredients with the aroma of the oil. They also have a variety of original menu items, such as Tempura Ice Cream, which has an amazing combination of the crunchy and hot batter with the cold mouthfeel of the ice cream. Expect to pay 1,500 JPY for lunch or 4,000 JPY for dinner. English, Traditional Chinese, and Korean menus are available.

*Three popular foods during the Edo Period (1603 - 1867) in Japan: tempura, soba (buckwheat noodles), and sushi.

Try Some Tempura at the Long-established Tempura Tsunahachi Main Shop (Around a 3-minute Walk from JR Shinjuku Station)

Stop by BICQLO, the Collaboration of BIC Camera and UNIQLO (Directly Connected to Shinjuku-sanchome Station on the Toei Shinjuku Line and Other Subway Lines)

BICQLO was born out of the collaboration between BIC Camera, which sells a variety of electronic and household goods for affordable prices, and the popular fast fashion brand UNIQLO, and is based around the concept of "wonderful chaos." You can really see this theme put into practice in the UNIQLO section from Floors 1 - 3. There, you will find gaudy price tags all over the place, creating a BIC (the name "bic" comes from a slang word meaning "large size that matches the contents") Camera-like atmosphere, and there are appliances and various goods on display among the apparel. There's also an area devoted to Tokyo souvenirs and toys that are limited to this location. The BIC Camera floors are from B3F to B1F and then Floors 4 - 6. They offer duty-free purchases, and are equipped with a currency exchange machine.

Stop by BICQLO, the Collaboration of BIC Camera and UNIQLO (Directly Connected to Shinjuku-sanchome Station on the Toei Shinjuku Line and Other Subway Lines)

Enjoy Cutting-edge Amusement at VR ZONE SHINJUKU (Around a 2-minute Walk from Seibu-Shinjuku Station on the Seibu Shinjuku Line)

VR ZONE SHINJUKU is the largest VR experience facility in Japan where you can enjoy this white-knuckled, scream-inducing form of entertainment! In "Mario Kart Arcade Grand Prix VR," you can climb into a kart-shaped machine and enjoy the world of the popular game Mario Kart as if you are really there! There are 16 VR experiences in total, including the "Big Fear of Heights Experience," where you take on the terrifying task of crossing a plank 200m high in the air, and "Hospital Escape Horror," in which you have to escape from a cursed hospital. Note that this is a temporary facility that will only remain open through the end of March, 2019.

Fee (example)
Same-day Entrance Ticket: 800 JPY/Adult, 200 JPY/Child (between 7 - 13 years of age
VR Activity Same-day Ticket: 1,200 JPY
1day6 Ticket Set (6 entrance tickets and 6 activity tickets) (Priority given to prior reservations): 6,200 JPY
*All prices include tax

Enjoy Cutting-edge Amusement at VR ZONE SHINJUKU (Around a 2-minute Walk from Seibu-Shinjuku Station on the Seibu Shinjuku Line)

Very Popular with Foreign Tourists! Look for Souvenirs at Isetan (Around a 1 minute Walk from Shinjuku-sanchome Station on the Tokyo Metro Marunouchi Line)

The long-established department store Isetan is the place to go when looking for souvenirs. The basement floor of this building is a large collection of places selling traditional Japanese sweets, trendy sweets shops, and places selling local alcohol from all around Japan. The women's apparel section on the 2nd floor includes Tokyo Closet, which collects the influential brands of Tokyo fashion, Tokyo Kaihoku, a concept shop that conveys the fashion, culture, art, and lifestyle of Tokyo to the world, and other shopping areas. There are also many items targeted to men in the neighboring men's section. This department store is equipped with a duty-free counter, interpreting attendants (English, Chinese, and Korean only), a currency exchange service, and free Wi-Fi.

Very Popular with Foreign Tourists! Look for Souvenirs at Isetan (Around a 1 minute Walk from Shinjuku-sanchome Station on the Tokyo Metro Marunouchi Line)

A Sanctuary for Cheap Goods! Go Shopping at Don Quijote (Around a 1-minute Walk from Shinjuku-sanchome Station on the Tokyo Metro Marunouchi Line)

Don Quijote is a general goods discount store with several locations around the world, most of which are in Japan. In addition to having cheap prices, this store is renowned for its huge variety of products, late hours (the Shinjuku Kabukicho Branch is open 24 hours), unique display style, and flashy decor, making it a form of entertainment just as much as a store. Household appliances, sundries, daily goods, foodstuffs, and a huge variety of other items are all displayed in a tightly packed fashion. The registers even accept foreign currency (Chinese yuan, Taiwan dollar, Korean won, Thai baht, Hong Kong dollar, American dollar, and Euro), and there are duty-free counters as well. There are also staff trained to help foreign customers.

A Sanctuary for Cheap Goods! Go Shopping at Don Quijote (Around a 1-minute Walk from Shinjuku-sanchome Station on the Tokyo Metro Marunouchi Line)

Have an Asian Night at Korean Town in Shin-Okubo (Short Walk from JR Shin-Okubo Station)

Shin-Okubo is just one stop away from Shinjuku on the JR Yamanote Line. This area is a place where many Asian immigrants, particularly Koreans, started to move to and live in since around the 1980s. If you leave the ticket gate of Shin-Okubo Station and turn right, you will enter Korean Town, an area packed with Korean restaurants and shops selling Korean groceries and cosmetics. If you want to eat something while you walk around, you must try pick up some Hotteok (sweet filled pancake made with wheat or rice flower) from a food stall! In recent years, Thai and Vietnamese restaurants have opened up in the area as well. Please do enjoy this multifaceted area which has turned from Korean Town into "Little Asia."



Have an Asian Night at Korean Town in Shin-Okubo (Short Walk from JR Shin-Okubo Station)

South Exit Area

The South Exit Area is packed with large-scale shopping facilities where you can shop and eat to your heart's content, including LUMINE Shinjuku, Flags, Takashimaya Times Square, and more. Many of them are directly connected to the station, making access a breeze! The South Exit Area is also home to the Shinjuku Expressway Bus Terminal.

Get Your Fill of Authentic Udon at Udon Shin (Around a 3-minute Walk from Shinjuku Station on the Keio Line)

Udon Shin is an udon (thick noodles) restaurant that is popular with both the locals and foreign tourists, and has long lines of customers day after day. This restaurant is very particular about the dough for its noodles, down to carefully choosing the quality of the flour, and receives a fresh shipment of ingredients each day. They let the dough sit overnight and then add water and salt, but they don't actually cut the dough to make the noodles until the orders start coming in. They even adjust the boiling time to each day's temperature and humidity in order to ensure the best smooth and tender texture. The tsuyu (dipping sauce) is made with authentic soy sauce from Kagawa, Japan. The richness of the sauce really brings out the flavor of the udon. The menu includes items like Niku Bukkake (udon with meat and sauce) (950 JPY), and others.

Get Your Fill of Authentic Udon at Udon Shin (Around a 3-minute Walk from Shinjuku Station on the Keio Line)

Have a Picnic at Shinjuku Gyoen, an Oasis in the City (Around a 5-minute Walk from Shinjuku-gyoenmae Station on the Tokyo Metro Marunouchi Line)

Shinjuku Gyoen was constructed in 1906 as a garden for the Imperial household. Nowadays, it has been turned into a public park and is visited and loved by many. With an area of 583,000sq.m., there are a variety of garden styles to see in this park, including a French-style garden with roses and sycamore trees, and an atmospheric Japanese circuit-style garden. The English-style garden, which has a spacious lawn and tall tulip poplar trees, has an open atmosphere and is the perfect place for a picnic! Here, you can enjoy a special "city oasis" scenery, with views of tall skyscrapers peeking out from between the many trees.

Entrance fee: 200 JPY/General, 50 JPY/Elementary and middle school students

Have a Picnic at Shinjuku Gyoen, an Oasis in the City (Around a 5-minute Walk from Shinjuku-gyoenmae Station on the Tokyo Metro Marunouchi Line)

Enjoy the Seasonal Scenery at Meiji Jingu Gaien (Around a 5-minute walk from Aoyama-itchome Station on the Toei Oedo Line and Other Subway Lines*)

Meiji Jingu Gaien is the location where several sporting facilities for the 2020 Olympics and Paralympics are being constructed, including the New National Stadium, which will be the main stadium for the event. This is a great place to walk around while enjoying the green nature and scenery that changes with the seasons. Especially beautiful is Ginkgo Avenue, a line of ginkgo trees that stretches for around 300m from the Aoyama-dori Exit of the park. The entirety of this avenue turns a golden color from late November to early December, making this one of the most impressive autumn foliage spots in all of Tokyo. This area is also gorgeous in early spring when new leaves are budding, and in the winter when it is covered in a blanket of snow. The beautiful landscape including Meiji Memorial Picture Gallery is also well-worth a look!

*This time is measured from Ginkgo Avenue


Enjoy the Seasonal Scenery at Meiji Jingu Gaien (Around a 5-minute walk from Aoyama-itchome Station on the Toei Oedo Line and Other Subway Lines*)

Have Fun Eating with Your Hands at Dancing Crab (Around a 1-minute Walk from JR Shinjuku Station)

Dancing Crab is a restaurant that originated in Singapore and serves Southern United States Louisiana-style seafood. Here, you can forget about knives and forks while you chow down on crab, shrimp, and other shellfish with your hands. The highlight of their menu is the Seafood Combo, in which you can enjoy crayfish, lobster, and other extremely fresh seasonal seafood along with a sauce with the spiciness level of your choosing. You will surely become addicted to the Asian spice flavor that was inspired by the Cajun cuisine that is beloved in the American South. The average cost of a meal is 5,000 JPY. There is an English menu, as well as staff who can speak English.

Have Fun Eating with Your Hands at Dancing Crab (Around a 1-minute Walk from JR Shinjuku Station)

Popular with People of All Ages! Shop 'til You Drop at LUMINE Shinjuku (Around a 1-minute Walk from JR Shinjuku Station)

LUMINE Shinjuku is made up of two buildings, LUMINE1 and LUMINE2, and is absolutely packed with popular fashion brands and shops for women, men, and youths. There are around 230 shops where you can shop duty-free, including MUJI, which sells simple design and interior goods as well as general daily-use goods. At the shop run by @cosme, the largest cosmetics and beauty website in Japan, you can find over 10,000 cosmetics goods on display. Its other good points include an easy-to-understand rankings board that displays the popular products of the moment, and a "powder space" where you try on products that have caught your attention. There is a counter where you can pay duty-free for your whole bill (some stores are excluded), as well as free Wi-Fi and telephone translation services.


Popular with People of All Ages! Shop 'til You Drop at LUMINE Shinjuku (Around a 1-minute Walk from JR Shinjuku Station)

Go Shopping at Takashimaya Times Square (Around a 1-minute Walk from JR Shinjuku Station)

Takashima Times Square is a shopping complex centered around the department store Shinjuku Takashimaya*. From luxury Japanese and international brands to high-quality Japanese goods, there is a huge variety items on display in this large-scale facility. In addition to specialty stores such as the urban home center Tokyu Hands*, the fast fashion store UNIQLO*, the affordable interior goods store Nitori*, there is also Takashimaya Duty-Free SHILLA & ANNA**, which employs Airport delivery-style duty-free goods.

*These stores are eligible for duty-free purchases (in addition to Books Kinokuniya Tokyo)
**These goods have to be delivered to the airport and picked up there in order to quality for tax exemption.


Go Shopping at Takashimaya Times Square (Around a 1-minute Walk from JR Shinjuku Station)

Shinjuku is a wonderful area that is sure to dazzle anyone, regardless of age, gender, or nationality. Please visit Shinjuku to discover the many charms of this multifaceted area for yourself!

*Please note that the information in this article is from the time of writing or publication and may differ from the latest information.

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Writer: nakamura

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