Top 20 Places to Go in Shinjuku

Are you planning to spend your summer vacation in Japan, “the land of the rising sun”? If you are, Shinjuku should be on the top of your where-to-go list. This city district is popular for having the busiest train station in the world and being one of the major economic centers of Tokyo, the country’s capital city. 

But, aside from these facts, Shinjuku has a lot more to offer! In fact, it is home to numerous tourist spots and famous restaurants. To help you create an itinerary for your trip, here are 20 of the most beautiful places in this district that you may want to explore and fall in love with. 

Shinjuku Central Park

If you’re a fan of parks and places with lawns, Shinjuku Central Park might be the first place you will want to go. This lovely park is reminiscent of New York’s Central Park and even has its own version of Niagara Falls. Plus, the 80,000 trees add up to the greenery of the place, making it more relaxing, refreshing, and appealing to ride a bike, take a walk, or just relax! 

Omoide Yokocho

The Omoide Yokocho or “Memory Lane” is one of the must-go places when you visit the City of Shinjuku. Here, you can see various stalls selling delicious yakitori, oden, ramen, seafood, and fresh vegetables. On top of that, most bars and food stands offer menus in English, so that tourists won’t have a hard time choosing what to order. 

Furthermore, if you want to experience Omoide Yokocho in its full glory, it is highly recommended to visit the place at night. During this time, most of the minibars are open, the lights are beautifully illuminated, and a lot of tourists and entrepreneurs alike are out for a good drink or quick snack. 

Tokyo Metropolitan Building Observation Deck

Do you want to have a clear view of Tokyo City from above at a much more affordable price than visiting Tokyo Tower or Tokyo Sky Tree? If you do, Tokyo Metropolitan Building is the best place for that. The north and south observatories of this two-tower structure will allow you to see the overlooking beauty of Japan’s largest city without spending a fortune. 

In the daytime, you will be able to have a glimpse of numerous Tokyo landmarks including the Tokyo Dome, temples, Tokyo Tower, Tokyo Sky Tree, and even the breathtaking view of Mount Fuji. But, if you want to see the mesmerizing beauty of the city with all the lights up, visiting the Tokyo Metropolitan Building North Observation Deck at night is a perfect time. 

Park Hyatt Hotel New York Bar

If you love the 2003 movie Lost in Translation starring Bill Murray and Scarlett Johansson, you will probably want to visit the Park Hyatt Hotel New York Bar during your trip to Shinjuku. Since various scenes were shot at this bar, you will see and experience the exact spot where your favorite clip was taken. On top of that, you will also love the view of Tokyo from your seat, while enjoying good drinks, delicious foods, and live music.   

LOVE Statue 

Situated in front of the Shinjuku i-Land entrance, Love Statue is among the places you will want to go during your trip to Tokyo. This LOVE object is a famous meeting place at Nishi-Shinjuku Station since it can be easily seen and accessed from the station and other areas. 

Isetan Shinjuku Department Store

For fashionistas and foodies, Isetan Shinjuku Department Store is surely one of the places to visit when in Tokyo. If you’re among them, you might want to include a time for shopping in your itinerary. The store has several floors with high quality and stylish clothes, plus, there’s also an amazing food hall if you want to take a break while you shop.   

Kabukicho

Kabuchiko is one of the entertainment districts at Shinjuku where you can enjoy nightlife with bars, bright lights, pachinko parlors, and restaurants. This place is perfect if you want to experience the younger scene in Shinjuku and visit some of the popular spots in the city. As a bonus tip, you should check out any place that has Godzilla as an ambassador. 

Golden Gai

Wander into a bar and find that it only has five seats and that’s all that will fit. Maybe climb a few stairs to the second floor bar and notice that you’re two feet too tall to stand up. Despite the lack of space everyone is having an amazing time drinking and socializing. That’s the kind of experience you can find at Golden Gai.

Golden Gai has tiny buildings and narrow streets which are similar to Omoide Yokocho. It can be located in the eastern part of Shinjuku. This place allows you to experience the golden era of the city, in which wealthy artistic clients such as literary artists, directors, and manga artists drink expensive beverages in flashy bars.

PS: If you like drinking and partying, Shibuya is pretty cool too.

Robot Restaurant

If you’re looking for a crazy Japan experience for your Instagram and Facebook posts, the Robot Restaurant of Shinjuku is a must-go place for you. It is a perfect spot for party-goers who love loud music and flashing lights.

Not only that! You can also see crazy creations like giant robot cyborgs dancing in front of you! Sounds exciting, right? Here, you can enjoy a few drinks with a bento box while watching dazzling light shows with robot monsters and many other performances.      

Izakaya-themed Pubs

Aside from the extraordinary experiences you may enjoy in Shizuku Japan, you will also love to try its izakaya-themed pubs and cafe. Among them is the Christon Cafe which was inspired by a European Church of the olden times and Alice in Wonderland Cafe which gives every customer a magical vibe. Indeed, Shinjuku is home to various themed restaurants and bars. Thus, if you have a particular style of anime in mind, be sure not to miss it during your trip. 

Shinjuku Gyoen National Park

Besides bars and restaurants with urban chaos, Shinjuku has also a place where you can relax amidst nature—the Shinjuku Gyoen National Park. Here, you can enjoy the beautiful view of over 20,000 cherry blossom trees for a nominal fee of 50 yen for children and 200 yen for adults.  

Furthermore, the Shinjuku Gyoen is one of the most important parks in Tokyo as it was once an imperial garden way back in 1906. After World War II, it was opened to the public as a National Garden. 

Hanazono Shrine

If you’re a history-lover, you would probably want to visit the Hanazono Shrine which holds a lot of history about the city. It was built in the mid-17th century located only a few minutes on foot from Shinjuku Station. Usually, tourists and businessmen alike visit the shrine to pray to the fox deity of success and fertility, Inari. 

Godzilla Head

Located at Kabukichō, Shinjuku, Tokyo, Japan, the Godzilla head has become a famous landmark and tourist attraction. The 80-ton head was based on Godzilla’s appearance in the 1992 movie, Godzilla vs. Mothra and was exposed in the year 2015. So, if you’re a huge fan, you shouldn’t miss it during your stay in Shinjuku. 

Shinjuku Musashinokan

Do you want to watch some of the most appreciated films in Japan? If you do, you must visit the Shinjuku Masashinokan while you’re in the “Land of the Rising Sun”. You will surely get nostalgic while seating at the long-standing theater while watching one of the all-time favorites, Teinosuke Kinugasa’s A Page of Madness.

Taito Station – Shinjuku Game World Shop

If you’re a gamer, the Taito Station – Game World Shop can be your new favorite place, It is a   

game center situated near Shinjuku Station south exit. Here, you can play famous games such as “otoge,” and even classic games including fighting games and crane games.

Samurai Museum

Samurai Museum is one of the most famous tourist spots in Shinjuku, where you can take pictures while wearing samurai armor and helmet. Aside from that, you can also learn Japanese Calligraphy through various lessons from the professional calligraphers of the city. Plus, you can enjoy music shows and sword performances during your visit.   

Tokyo Opera City 

Tokyo Opera City is a complex with art galleries, concert halls, restaurants, and more. It is located in the Nishi Shinjuku where you can enjoy various exhibitions and concerts. Furthermore, you can also have an overlooking view of the entire city when you’re in the observatory restaurant on the 54th floor.  

Shinjuku Chuo Park

With an area of 80,000 square meters, Shinjuku Chuo Park is a place of greenery located near the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Office Building. Here, you can see various facilities for locals and travelers alike such as kid’s water area, futsal courts, and basketball courts. Moreover, Kumano Shrine inside the park is the most visited and recommended place within Chuo Park.  

Don Quijote Shinjuku Higashiguchi Honten

located in Kabuki-Cho, Shinjuku Don Quijote Shinjuku Higashiguchi Honten is a general discount store based throughout Japan. Aside from household goods, foods, and electronics, this place also offers a rich variety of stuff such as party items, Cosplay outfits, and souvenir products. 

Shinjuku-Matsumoto Kiyoshi

Complete your itinerary in Shinjuku by visiting the Matsumoto Kiyoshi which is not only loved by the locals but also by the visitors of Japan. Here, you may find various stuff from medicine and cosmetics to food products and daily necessities – all at affordable prices. On top of that, Matsumoto Kiyoshi is also your go-to place if you want to look for good-quality souvenirs for your loved ones.   

Takeaway

When you think Shinjuku only offers great nightlife to tourists, you surely got it all wrong. The places listed above are just some of the great spots you may want to visit in Shinjuku – whether it’s daytime or nighttime. However, if you want to visit all the beautiful places in Japan, you should plan an extra time to stay and be sure to taste all the delicious foods Shinjuku can offer.