Shinjuku has it all.
In the east, you have shopping centers, bars, and restaurants while on the west, you’ll find lots of government and office buildings. In the north is the famous Kabukicho, filled with endless night entertainment, while in the south is the bus terminal that connects Shinjuku to the rest of Japan.
With over 3 million people using the station each day, Shinjuku is one of the biggest transportation hubs in Tokyo and definitely has something for everyone.
In this article, we want to guide you around Shinjuku and show you the various things you can do there!
Getting to Shinjuku
From Narita Airport
- Option 1: Take the Skyliner to Nippori Station. Then take the Yamanote line all the way to Shinjuku Station.
- Option 2: Take the Narita Express Train all the way to Shinjuku Station.
From Haneda Airport
- Option 1: Take the Haneda Airport Limousine Bus all the way to Shinjuku.
- Option 2: Take the Keikyu Airport Line to Shinagawa Station. Then take the Yamanote Line to Shinjuku Station.
From Tokyo Station
- Take the Chuo Line all the way to Shinjuku Station.
Things to do
Spend the Morning at Shinjuku Gyoen Park
Shinjuku Gyoen Park is one of the biggest and most beautiful parks in Tokyo. This 144 acre park was built on top of the land owned by a Feudal lord during the Edo Period and has various sections.
There’s 3 different types of gardens, a botanical greenhouse, and various restaurants spread throughout the park. The park has an early closing time of 4:30pm so it’s perfect for visiting in the morning or afternoon.
The park’s scenery changes with each season, so if you’ve visited before, make sure to come again during another season to see the change of scenery!
Hours: 9:00am – 4:30pm closed Mondays
Address: 11 Naitomachi, Shinjuku City, Tokyo 160-0014, Japan
Cost: 500 yen
Phone Number: 03-3350-0151
The Hanazono Shrine is a Shinto shrine located near the busy streets of Shinjuku. Despite being located in one of Tokyo’s most urban districts, the Hanazono Shrine is one of the oldest shrines in Japan, founded in the mid 17th century, before the Edo period.
Throughout the year, there are multiple festivals held here, and when there’s no festival, you can go to the shrine to pray to the Japanese gods and purchase some good luck souvenirs!
Shrine Hours: 24 hours
Reception Desk Hours: 9:30am – 4:30pm
Address: 5 Chome-17-3 Shinjuku, Shinjuku City, Tokyo 160-0022, Japan
Phone Number: 03-3209-5265
Watch the View From the Tokyo Metropolitan Building
The Tokyo Metropolitan Building has a free observation deck, from where you can get a nice panoramic view of Tokyo. On a nice clear day, you can see several distinct landmarks such as Tokyo Tower, Skytree, Tokyo Dome, and even Mount Fuji.
The Metropolitan Building has two symmetrical towers and the observation deck alternates between the two. It’s free to go up to the observation point and there are cafes and souvenir shops which help fund the government building.
The decks open at 9:30am and stay open until 10:30pm so we recommend going up to see a panoramic view of Tokyo during the sunset!
Hours: 9:30am – 10:30pm
Address: Japan, 〒163-8001 Tokyo, Shinjuku City, Nishishinjuku, 2 Chome−8−1, Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building, 45階 第一本庁舎
Phone Number: 03-5320-7890
Become a Ninja at the Ninja Trick House
Located just north of Kabukicho is the Ninja Trick House. Any fan of Naruto or any ninja related things would definitely love this interactive entertainment facility.
In the Ninja Trick House, you can take a tour of the place and take part in ninja training involving swordplay and shuriken throwing. The whole experience lasts anywhere from 40-60 minutes and is kid friendly as well!
Hours: 10:00am – 6:00pm, closed Tuesdays, Wednesdays
Address: Japan, 〒160-0021 Tokyo, Shinjuku City, Kabukicho, 2 Chome−28−13 第一和幸ビル
Cost: 1650yen per person, Free for ages 3 or younger
Phone Number: 03-6457-3337
Go Up Close and Personal with Godzilla
Located in the heart of Kabukicho is the Toho Cinema building with Godzilla peaking over one of the terrace. You may have heard about this famous Godzilla figure, but did you know that there’s a way to get up and close with the statue?
On the 8th floor of Hotel Gracery is Cafe Bonjour. The terrace of the cafe leads to the back of the mighty Godzilla figure and the cafe has a glass wall so the figure is viewable from inside as well. Don’t forget to take a memorable picture with Godzilla after your meal!
Hours: 6:30am – 9:00pm
Address: 1 Chome-19-1 Kabukicho, Shinjuku City, Tokyo 160-0021, Japan
Phone Number: 03-6833-1111
Window Shopping Around Shinjuku Station
Shinjuku has many department stores, each with their own distinct atmosphere. There’s so many that it’ll probably take longer than a day to go through them all. Casually walking around and window shopping as you go can be a great way to spend a nice afternoon or kill some time before your next plan.
Buy Souvenirs at Don Quijote
Right at the entrance to Kabukicho is a huge Don Quijiote selling all kinds of items from groceries to weird costumes. The Shibuya branch is the biggest one, but the Shinjuku one has a lot of interesting and unique choices for souvenirs. And the best part of it all? Tax-Free for tourists!
Hours: 24 hours
Address: 1 Chome-16-5 Kabukicho, Shinjuku City, Tokyo 160-0021, Japan
Phone Number: 03-5291-9211
Museums to Visit
Located at the northern side of Kabukicho is the Samurai Museum. This place is a great stop for those that want to learn the history of Samurai and take pictures in real samurai outfits!
Hours: 10:30am – 9:00pm
Cost: Adults 1900yen, Children under 12 800yen, Children 3 and under free
Address: Japan, 〒160-0021 Tokyo, Shinjuku City, Kabukicho, 2 Chome−25−6 1F・2F 永和ビル 6
Phone Number: 03-6457-6411
Tokyo Fire Museum
The Fire Museum is an exhibit displaying the history of fire fighters in Japan. They have various displays that show the evolution of vehicles and equipment as well as major fires that broke out in Japan’s history.
The Fire Museum is located at Yotsuya Sanchome Station and is a bit of a distance from Shinjuku, but it’s a free exhibition and may be worth a visit!
Hours: 9:30am – 5:00pm, closed Mondays
Address: 3 Chome-10 Yotsuya, Shinjuku City, Tokyo 160-0004, Japan
Phone Number: 03-3353-9119
Get Weirded Out at the Robot Restaurant
The Robot Restaurant in the streets of Kabukicho is a place that gets mixed reviews. The experience is so unique that some say they had a blast while others disagree. Once you go downstairs, you’ll see stadium-like seats where you can enjoy your meal while a parade of robots and exotic costumes bring you a hell of a show. You can check out their website and see if it’s right for you.
Address: Japan, 〒160-0021 Tokyo, Shinjuku City, Kabukicho, 1 Chome−7−7 新宿ロボットビル B2F
Phone Number: 03-3200-5500
Experience the Streets of Omoide Yokocho
Omoide Yokocho is a small alleyway on the northern side of Shinjuku Station and has over 20 different izakaya. The name directly translates to “Memory Lane” because the alleys resemble how the area was during the post World War 2 period. Back in the day, it was also known as “Piss Alley” because many drunk people would relieve themselves on the streets of this alleyway. Rest assured, it doesn’t smell like piss anymore.
Hours: 24 hours
Address: 1 Chome-2 Nishishinjuku, Shinjuku City, Tokyo 160-0023, Japan
Go Barhopping at Golden Gai
After warming up for the night at Omoide Yokocho, head over to Golden Gai to experience another throwback of Japan. Golden Gai is another old landmark of Tokyo that survived through World War 2, major earthquakes, and economic crisis.
There’s over 200 tiny bars squeezed into this small area and barhopping in this small town of bars is incredibly fun, but not cheap. Most places have a cover charge of a couple 1000 yen and drinks in most bars are quite pricey as well.
Address: 1 Chome-1-6 Kabukicho, Shinjuku City, Tokyo 160-0021, Japan
Phone Number: 03-3209-6418
Finish your Day at the Mannekyu Onsen
After a long day of traveling and sightseeing, you can wind down Japanese style by soaking in a hot spring bath near the busy Shinjuku area. The bath costs less than 500 yen and comes with a towel. Hot springs in Japan usually don’t allow tattoos, but this bathhouse does and there is also wifi access.
Address: 1 Chome-15-17 Okubo, Shinjuku City, Tokyo 169-0072, Japan
Hours: 3:00pm – 12:00am, closed Saturdays
Phone Number: 03-3200-4734
Restaurants to Try
There’s lots of restaurants in Shinjuku (too many to count!) but here are some places that we think are worth trying!
- Momo Paradise – All you can eat sukiyaki and shabu shabu
- Konjiki Hototogisu – Michelin star ramen restaurant
- Kappo Nakajima – Cheap Michelin star restaurant
- Shinpachi Shokudo – Set Japanese food
- Bittersweets Buffet – All you can eat sweets
Where to Stay in Shinjuku
When choosing where to stay in Tokyo, Shinjuku is a solid choice. Not only is there a lot to do, it’s also super convenient and has easy access to a number of different places. Here’s are some places where you can easily access from Shinjuku:
- Mt. Fuji
- Shimo Kitazawa
- Tokyo Tower
- Imano Tokyo Hostel – Affordable hostel with wifi, cafe/bar, and both dorm and private room choices.
- Book and Bed Tokyo Shinjuku – Library themed hostel with capsule-like beds hidden in the bookshelves with a cafe and library.
- E Hotel Higashi Shinjuku – Convenience option. Hotel has wifi, 24 hour convenience store, and located less than a minute from Higashi Shinjuku Station.
- APA Hotel Shinjuku Gyoenmae – Standard western style Hotel with a restaurant and a hot spring.
Mid Range Hotels
- Hotel Gracery Shinjuku – Western style hotel located in the heart of Kabukicho, behind the famous Godzilla Statue.
- Shinjuku Granbell Hotel – Hotel with clean interior design and a rooftop bar. Located a couple minutes from Seibu Shinjuku Station.
- Keio Plaza Hotel – 4 star hotel with various amenities such as an outdoor pool, shopping arcade, and a gym. Located next to the famous Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building.
- Park Hyatt Hotel – 5 star hotel with a clear view of Mt Fuji and an indoor pool. Famous for being the film location for the movie Lost in Translation.
- Anshin Oyado Capsule Hotel – Capsule Hotel with wifi and hot spring, located in the heart of Shinjuku.
- Nine Hours Shinjuku North – Slightly cheaper Capsule Hotel with wifi, individual showers, and great location.
- Onsen Ryokan Yuen Shinjuku – Budget/Mid Range ryokan located in the middle of Shinjuku. Great for couples.
These are some of the many recommended or popular things to do in Shinjuku. We hope that our guide was helpful and that you have an awesome time when you come to Shinjuku!
What are you most excited about in Shinjuku? Let us know in the comments!