Shinjuku is a central ward of Tokyo and home to one of the largest subway stations in the world. The place has a dense population and attracts a large number of tourists annually. It is a tourist destination that blends the modern beauty of skyscrapers and the ancient breath of many temples and old quarters. Let’s explore some new and interesting Japanese travel experiences at the busiest shopping area in “the country of cherry blossoms”.
So, is Shinjuku worth visiting, how to visit Shinjuku, what to do in Shinjuku and how to plan a budget trip to Shinjuku for the first-time perfectly? Let’s check out our Shinjuku travel blog (Shinjuku blog) with the fullest Shinjuku travel guide (guide to Shinjuku, Shinjuku guide) from how to get to Shinjuku, best places to visit as well as top things to do in Shinjuku to help you maximize your trip as follows!
Introduction to Shinjuku (#shinjuku travel blog)
Shinjuku is a special ward located in the center of Tokyo, Japan. With a population of nearly 350,000 and an area of approximately 18.23 square kilometers, Shinjuku is one of Tokyo’s most hustling and busy areas. It is known for its rich diversity in art, culture, cuisine, and entertainment, hence, the district became a popular must-visit destination for visitors to Tokyo.
Shinjuku was established in the 1600s when the area was still a rural enclave. However, Shinjuku became one of Tokyo’s largest economic centers in the 20th century. With many high-rise buildings, shopping centers, and entertainment zones, Shinjuku is one of the busiest neighborhoods in Tokyo.
Directions to Shinjuku
Traveling by plane
You can book flight tickets to Tokyo, Japan online. Major international airports have direct flights to Narita International Airport or Haneda International Airport in Tokyo. After arriving at the airport, you can get to Shinjuku by train or taxi.
Traveling by train
If you want to explore Japan step by step, you can use the train service to get to Shinjuku. From Narita International Airport or Haneda International Airport, you can ride the JR (Japan Railways) train to arrive at Tokyo Station. From there, you can take the JR Yamanote or Odakyu Train heading to Shinjuku. Travel time by train is about 1–2 hours, depending on the type of train and the route.
Alternatively, you can take a private taxi or shuttle service to get from the airport to Shinjuku. However, this means will cost you much more than traveling by train.
Before going to Shinjuku, you should have the necessary travel documents ready such as a passport, plane or train ticket, and cash or credit card to ensure a smooth and time-saving journey. In addition, you should also look for addresses, plan your schedules, and research interesting activities in Shinjuku in advance to have a memorable trip.
Popular landmarks near Shinjuku (#shinjuku travel guide)
Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden
This is one of the largest parks in Tokyo with an area of more than 50 hectares. This park is covered with a variety of trees, flower gardens, and ponds. Visitors can walk and relax, enjoying the fresh greenery. You definitely can’t take your eyes off the peaceful, poetic landscape here with the touch of the pink color of cherry blossoms or immerse yourself in the autumn atmosphere when the leaves turn red.
Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building (#shinjuku travel blog)
The tallest and biggest building in Shinjuku is located in the city center and has one of the best panoramic views in Tokyo. Visitors can go up to the 45th floor to admire the absolute beauty of Tokyo. Especially, on clear days, you will have the opportunity to see the grandiose and majestic Mount Fuji from the observation point of the building.
Shinjuku Performing Theater (#shinjuku travel guide)
The theater was built on a large area, a special complex offering concert halls, restaurants, and art galleries. Here, visitors not only have unique artistic experiences but also gain the opportunity to enjoy typical traditional Japanese cuisine. The theater is also home to extensive arts programs, including musicals, plays, pop music, and special events. This is the ideal destination for art lovers.
Sanrio Puroland Theme Park (#shinjuku blog)
This is the theme park for Hello Kitty and Sanrio characters. You will be lost in a lovely world and return to your childhood with famous cartoon characters, such as adorable Hello Kitty and chubby Sanrio. The park also has a lot of games, exciting activities, and souvenir stores selling toys related to famous characters so you can shop for gifts at the end of your visit.
Kabukicho Shopping District (#guide to shinjuku)
Restless Kabukicho is a place that attracts the attention of many travelers when coming to Shinjuku. Known as a notorious red light district and center of entertainment in Shinjuku, visitors can easily find a lot of bars, shops, restaurants, and cinemas and enjoy the exciting, bustling atmosphere here.
The museum preserves and displays historical items related to Samurai warriors, including helmets, swords, armor, and so on. Here, you can also try on the typical Samurai costumes. This is also a perfect place for you to learn more about the history and traditional cultural features of ancient Japan.
Enjoy a rich culinary experience in Shinjuku (#shinjuku blog)
Shinjuku is one of the central wards of Tokyo, Japan with many famous locations for cuisine. With a variety of dishes and unique culinary styles, Shinjuku is a paradise for you to discover Japanese cuisine. Following are some culinary experiences in Shinjuku that you cannot miss:
Enjoy sashimi and sushi at Tsunahachi Restaurant: This restaurant is famous for fresh sashimi and sushi, made with the freshest seafood.
Try the famous ramen at Ichiran: Ichiran is a renowned ramen chain in Japan where you can enjoy great ramen with authentic regional flavors.
Have Wagyu beef at Yakiniku Like Restaurant: Wagyu beef is an exceptional type of meat, raised by a special diet and delicately prepared. At Yakiniku Like Restaurant, you can enjoy fresh Wagyu beef in various preparation styles.
Enjoy yakiniku at Han no Daidokoro Restaurant: Yakiniku is a dish grilled on a charcoal stove and served with vegetables and sauces. Han no Daidokoro is one of the top popular places for yakiniku in Shinjuku.
Challenge your taste buds with shellfish vermicelli at Shinjuku Menya Kaijin Restaurant: This dish is made from fresh shellfish and broth. Shellfish vermicelli is a popular dish in Shinjuku, and Shinjuku Menya Kaijin is one of the great places to enjoy it.
Where to stay in Shinjuku
Hyatt Regency Tokyo impresses visitors with its luxury and sophisticated design. Enjoy a relaxing moment with a variety of services, including a spa, swimming pool, bar, banquet, and so on. At this Tokyo hotel, you will have a great sleep, wake up and enjoy a hearty breakfast to get ready for a memorable Shinjuku exploration. Hyatt Regency Tokyo is always welcoming and offers services with the utmost care in each of them.
- Address: 2-7-2 Nishi-Shinjuku, Shinjuku-Ku, Tokyo, Shinjuku, Kanto, Japan
- Price range: From USD 470/room/night
Keio Plaza Hotel Tokyo is situated in a busy area, convenient for moving and exploring every corner of the city. At the hotel, you will experience all the comfortable services with excellent service quality. From Keio Plaza Hotel Tokyo, guests can conveniently visit famous destinations, such as Ueno Park or Disneyland Tokyo.
- Address: 2-2-1 Nishi-Shinjuku, Shinjuku-Ku, Tokyo, Shinjuku, Kanto, Japan
- Price range: From USD 200/room/night
If you are looking for a fancy and elegant resort, Citadines Central Shinjuku Tokyo is definitely an ideal suggestion. The hotel offers spacious, ventilated rooms with impressive interior decoration. At the same time, Citadines Central Shinjuku Tokyo is located in the city center where you can fully visit the entire Shinjuku and have great dining experiences.
- Address: 1-2-9, Nishi-Shinjuku, Shinjuku-Ku, Tokyo, Shinjuku, Kanto, Japan
- Price range: From USD 200/room/night
E Hotel Higashi Shinjuku is rated as an accommodation with excellent services, improved facilities, and full amenities, giving you a perfect vacation. You can also enjoy your favorite dishes in special culinary styles at E Hotel Higashi Shinjuku. With those highlights, E Hotel Higashi Shinjuku is really a top pick for your trip.
- Address: 2-3-15 Kabukicho, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo, Shinjuku, Kanto, Japan
- Price range: From USD 155/room/night
Hotel Gracery Shinjuku offers a truly relaxing and comfortable place to stay with modern facilities, such as a sauna and massage machine. Located in a tourist zone, you can explore the bustling surrounding area with interesting shopping and entertainment activities. In addition, the hotel is also a genuine check-in point to take some wonderful photos for the trip. At a reasonable rate per night, Hotel Gracery Shinjuku deserves to be on the recommended accommodation list for you to choose from.
- Address: 1-19-1 Kabukicho, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo, Shinjuku, Kanto, Japan
- Price range: From USD 163/room/night
Undoubtedly, Shinjuku is a prominent tourist destination in Tokyo that you can add to your list of attractions for exploring and experiencing. Don’t forget to visit our website to update some useful information about itineraries and hotels in Japan to schedule your perfect trip.
Some best day tours, trips, activities and transfer services, tickets in, to and from Tokyo you can refer to
- Private Narita International Airport Transfers (NRT) for Tokyo 23 Wards, Hakone, or Karuizawa
- Private Haneda International Airport Transfers (HND) for Tokyo 23 Wards, Hakone, or Karuizawa
- Airport Limousine Bus Transfers from/to Narita and Haneda International Airport (Free Wifi Onboard)
- Tokyo Amazing Sightseeing Bus Day Tour
- Tokyo Highlights Private Day Tour
- Nikko Day Tour from Tokyo
- Mt Fuji & Hakone Day Tour: Lake Ashi & Ropeway Day Trip from Tokyo
- Nikko Cultural Day Tour from Tokyo
- Tokyo Subway Ticket (24, 48, or 72 Hours)
- Tokyo Skyliner and Tokyo Subway Ticket
- Shuttle Bus Transfers (One Way/Round Trip) from Shinjuku/Ikebukuro to Tokyo Disneyland or Tokyo DisneySea
- Sky Hop-on and Hop-off Bus Pass
- 4G Prepaid Sim Card (JP Airports Pick Up) for Japan
- 4G WiFi (BKK and DMK Airport Pick Up) for Japan (Unlimited Data)
- JR Pass for Whole Japan (7, 14, or 21 Days)
Are you finding more top things to do in Japan: Tours, activities, attractions and other things? Let’s check it out here.