Office workers, tourists and locals all pass under the neon lights of Shinjuku. For the best views of the area, head to the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building’s free observation tower. Then wander through the sub-neighborhood of Kabukicho, one of the city’s busiest entertainment and red-light districts, or relax in Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden, a peaceful spot famous for its cherry trees.
In the evening, you can enjoy Tokyo’s street food scene at Memory Lane, an alley that runs behind Shinjuku Station and is packed with little stalls selling yakitori skewers and steaming bowls of ramen. Alternatively, join a nightlife tour to enjoy local izakayas or go bar hopping with a guide who can help you find the best spots and tell you what to order.
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Things to Know Before You Go
Shinjuku Station connects to an underground mall that has stores selling nearly anything you can imagine.
The area is easy to navigate in a wheelchair.
Shinjuku railway station welcomes more than 2 million passengers every day, and the surrounding area gets very crowded.
How to Get There
The easiest way to get to Shinjuku is by train; a dozen different metro and intercity train lines serve Shinjuku Station, including the JR Yamanote line. Intercity buses also stop at the Busta Shinjuku station.
When to Get There
The Shinjuku district never sleeps. No matter what time of day or night you visit, you’ll find stores, bars, cafes, and pachinko (pinball) parlors open for business. The street-side food stalls on Memory Lane tend to fill up with customers from 6pm onwards.
Visit Sanrio Puroland
Once you’ve enjoyed Shinjuku’s urban landscape, head to Sanrio Puroland (also known as Hello Kitty Land) for a taste of classic Japanese kawaii (cute) culture. Small children and Hello Kitty fans will love the gentle rides and meet-and-greet opportunities with giant plush characters. The park is also a great place to stock up on unusual Sanrio souvenirs, such as Gudetama bags and Cinnamoroll headbands.
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- Memory Lane (Omoide Yokocho)
- Tokyo Metropolitan Government Office (TMG)
- Robot Restaurant
- Jindai Botanical Gardens
- Thunder Gate (Kaminarimon)
- Oedo Onsen Monogatari
- Sky Circus Sunshine60 Observatory
- Hanazono Shrine (Hanazono Jinja)
- Shinjuku Golden Gai
- Shinjuku Park (Shinjuku Gyoen)
- Japanese Sword Museum (Token Hakubutsukan)
- Yoyogi Park (Yoyogi Koen)
- Meiji Jingu Stadium