Located in the center of Tokyo, Shinjuku is an area packed with places for sightseeing, shopping, and dining. Here is a carefully selected list of things to do and places to eat in Shinjuku!
Visit the Observatories at the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Buildings
The famed Japanese architect Kenzo Tange designed the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Buildings. Many people work in this multi-building complex, which is made up of the TMG No.1 Building , TMG No.2 Building, and the Assembly Building. It is popular as a sightseeing destination, as the interiors are open to visitors, with restaurants, shops, and promotional tourism booths for local areas across Japan. The observatory deck on the 45th floor of the TMG No.1 Building is particularly popular. From there you can get a panoramic view of Tokyo, and you can even see Mt. Fuji from December to February when the low temperatures allow for better visibility. Don't worry if you don't understand Japanese, as there is a viewing guide smartphone application that is available in 15 languages.
Observatories at the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Buildings
: 9:30 am - 11:00 pm (Last entry 10:30 pm)
*The South Observatory is currently closed for renovation, and will reopen in spring 2019Closed
: North Observatory closed every 2nd and 4th Monday of each month
*If that day is a national holiday, it will be open on that day and close the following day instead
*Both observatories are closed from December 29 - 31, and on building inspection days
*The South Observatory is closed until spring 2019Average price
: Free entryAddress
: 2-8-1, Nishi Shinjuku, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo (Map
: Tokyo Metropolitan Government Official Homepage
HIGASHIYAMA - Shinjuku Main branch - Japanese Cuisine with private room (Creative Japanese Cuisine)
Located just 4 minutes from the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Buildings on foot, Higashiyama is a long-established Japanese restaurant that was founded 90 years ago. Its 29th floor location provides stunning panoramic views of the Shinjuku area to its customers. All seating is within private rooms so that you can enjoy an elegant meal in a calm atmosphere. The various luxurious dishes are prepared with high-quality ingredients such as seasonal produce from Kyoto and Kobe beef. Particularly popular is the shabu-shabu (sliced meat parboiled with vegetables). The dashi (stock) prepared by the expert chef is a clear, golden color and matches perfectly with ingredients like Kobe beef and Iberico pork. Get your fill of this dish while enjoying a selection of local sake (Japanese alcohol) from around the country.
HIGASHIYAMA - Shinjuku Main branch - Japanese Cuisine with private room
: [Weekdays] Lunch 11:30 am - 2:00 pm (L.O. 1:00 pm) / Dinner 5:00 pm - 11:00 pm (L.O. 10:00 pm)
[Saturday, Sunday, National Holidays] Lunch 11:30 am - 3:00 pm (with reservations only) / Dinner 5:00 pm - 10:00 pm (L.O. 9:00 pm)Closed
: None Average price
: [Dinner] 6,000 JPYAccess
: 7 minutes walk from South & West Exits of [Shinjuku Station] / 3 minutes walk from Exit A3 of [Tocho-mae Station] Address
: 29F (North Block), Shinjuku NS Bldg., 2-4-1, Nishi Shinjuku, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo
)More Details Reservation
Have a Picnic at Shinjuku Gyoen
Shinjuku Gyoen is a large public park measuring 580,000 sq.m. in the area. It is full of nature to the extent that you forget you're in the middle of a city and is beloved by Tokyoites as a spot for rest and relaxation. There are many things to see within the park, such as the expertly arranged French Formal Garden, Japanese Traditional Garden, and English Landscape Garden, as well as a collection of valuable buildings carrying on the legacy of the Imperial family. Cherry blossom season is from mid-February to late April, and autumn foliage season is from early November to early December. This is a popular spot to get a seasonal landscape view with skyscrapers in the background.
: 9:00 am - 4:00 pm (last entry 4:00 pm, park closes at 4:30 pm)Closed
: Monday (open if it is a national holiday, and closed the following day), Beginning and end of the year (December 29 - January 3)Average price
: Entrance fee: (General) 200 JPY, (Elementary and middle school students) 50 JPY, (Pre-school and younger) FreeAddress
: 11, Naito-machi, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo (Map
: Official Homepage (Japanese only)
Rose Shanghai Tokyo (Chinese Cuisine)
This restaurant is located near the north side of Shinjuku Gyoen and serves creative Chinese dishes prepared by Chef Xiao Wei, a top Chinese chef. There are several dishes on offer, such as [Green Asparagus Shark Fin Soup], all of which are as beautiful as they are delicious. This restaurant is also notable for their conscious efforts toward healthy cooking, such as incorporating elements of yakuzen (medicinal cuisine based on traditional Chinese medicine) into the dishes. For drinks, there is a selection of natural wines carefully selected from 300 varieties. You can see the high level of attention paid to every dish within the stylish interior of the restaurant, which is designed with a fusion of Chinese and Western elements.
Rose Shanghai Tokyo
: Lunch 11:30 am - 3:00 pm (L.O. 2:30 pm), Dinner 6:00 pm - 11:00 pm (L.O. 10:00 pm)Closed
: IrregularAverage price
: [Dinner] 8,000 JPY / [Lunch] 1,500 JPYAddress
: B1F, Gyoen Hanachu Bldg., 1-2-6, Shinjuku, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo (Map
Go Bar-Hopping at Golden Gai
Shinjuku's Kabukicho, said to be the best entertainment district in all of Asia, is packed with countless bars and is full of the hustle and bustle well into the night. Even if you don't enter a bar or shop, you can still have an enjoyable time just walking around the area. Golden Gai (Golden Street) is a bar-filled street within the Kabukicho area that has a unique ambiance. Small, wooden shops line both sides of this narrow street, which evokes the atmosphere of the olden days. In recent years, the number of stylish and welcoming shops have increased, making it a popular place to go bar-hopping. The recommended spot for first-timers is "bar araku," which serves as a place for fellow travelers to exchange information.
: 1-1-6, Kabuki-cho, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo (Map
: Official Homepage (Japanese only)
Robatayaki Zekkocho Teppen Shinjuku (Japanese Izakaya)
This izakaya (Japanese pub), located just 1 minute by foot from Golden Gai, is popular for robatayaki, a style of cooking which is grilling vegetables, seafood, and meat over charcoal. They have dozens of varieties of carefully selected sake on offer as well, all of which were chosen by the four sake experts on staff to match perfectly with the charcoal-scented, grilled seasonal ingredients. There are plenty of other unique dishes to order besides robatayaki as well, such as [Fresh Whole Fish]. With this dish, you can enjoy the fish cooked however as you like, salted and grilled, simmered, or fried.
Robatayaki Zekkocho Teppen Shinjuku
: 5:00 pm - 1:00 amClosed
: IrregularAverage price
: [Dinner] 4,000 JPYAccess
: A five minute walk from JR Shinjuku Station's Central East Exit, the building before you come to Golden Gai on Kuyakusho StreetAddress
: 9F Sankei 55 Bldg., 1-2-6 Kabukicho, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo
)More Details Reservation
Shop for Household Appliances Near Shinjuku Station's West Exit
The area around Shinjuku Station, particularly the area around the West Exit, is full of electronics stores specializing in household appliances. Starting with YAMADA Denki LABI Shinjuku West Exit Branch, which carries the latest in energy-saving and eco-friendly appliances, there are several stores of various kinds. Among them, the one you absolutely must visit is Yodobashi Camera Shinjuku West Main Store. It is made up of 11 buildings, each with their different themes, such as the Smart Phone Building, the Camera Building, and the Multimedia-kan North Building, which mostly sells daily-use appliances, so there is a huge variety of goods on offer. You will also be happy to know you can purchase goods duty-free.
: 9:30 am - 10:00 pmAddress
: 1-11-1, Nishi Shinjuku, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo (Map
: Yodobashi Camera Official Homepage
Kobe Beef Teppanyaki Pandora Takumi (Teppanyaki)
This is a long-established, teppanyaki (ingredients grilled on an iron griddle) restaurant with over 40 years of history. You can savor the highest quality of marbled Kuroge Wagyu (a type of high-quality beef) within the luxurious interiors. Its menu is popular for dishes that include naturally sweet and tender fillets made with particularly rare beef from Kobe. All the seats are counter seats, and you can see the chef cook your food right before your eyes, creating a luxurious, lively atmosphere where you can get your fill of a variety of luxury foods that are not only delicious but look and smell amazing as well. There is a wide selection of full-bodied red wines that pair well with Kuroge Wagyu. This restaurant is located just 1 minute on foot northward from the Yodobashi Camera Watch Building.
Kobe Beef Teppanyaki Pandora Takumi
: [Monday - Wednesday, Friday - Sunday, National Holidays, Day before National Holidays] Lunch 11:30 am - 2:30 pm (L.O. 2:00 pm) / Dinner 5:30 pm - 11:00 pm (L.O. 10:30 pm)Closed
: ThursdayAverage price
: [Dinner] 15,000 JPY / [Lunch] 5,000 JPYAccess
: 3 minutes walk from the west exit of JR Shinjuku StationAddress
: 4F, Nishi-shin Bldg., 1-13-3, Nishi-shinjuku, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo
)More Details Reservation
Go Shopping at a Department Store
NEWoMan opened recently in 2016 and is popular as a new shopping hotspot in Shinjuku. The large-scale facility comprises of 6 floors of JR Miraina Tower, 1st floor of the JR Shinjuku Station New South Exit station building, and 3rd floor that extend over the railway tracks, and it includes around 100 retailers selling everything from fashion to cosmetics and miscellaneous goods. You can find a variety of luxurious items discerningly imported from all around the world. It's also the perfect place for souvenir shopping, as there are plenty of sweets shops, both Western and Japanese.
: Operating hours are different for each storeAddress
: 4-1-6, Shinjuku, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo (Map
: NEWoMan Official Homepage
Sushi Iwase (Sushi)
This shop is located around 12 minutes on foot westward from NEWoMan. Within the classy interior, you can enjoy sushi prepared by a chef who trained at many famous sushi restaurants. The [Chef's Choice Course] is the only option during dinner time and includes sushi and small dishes served alternately. The skills of the chef are apparent in each dish, as he uses techniques like using different types of shari (sushi rice) for different ingredients. The [Rose Chirashi], available for lunch, is a rice bowl topped with various thinly sliced ingredients. It is popular for luxuriously using a large number of ingredients. It's limited to just 10 orders per day, though, so it is recommended to stop by the restaurant just after it opens.
: [Tuesday - Sunday, National Holidays, Day before National Holidays] Lunch: 11:30 am - 13:00 pm / Dinner 6:00 pm - 10:30 pmClosed
: MondaysAverage price
: [Dinner] 16,000 JPY / [Lunch] 1,700 JPYAccess
: 1-minute walk from JR Shinjuku Station South ExitAddress
: Shinjuku Youth Bldg. "PAX" 6F, 4-1-9 Shinjuku , Shinjuku, Tokyo
If you're thinking about going sightseeing in Shinjuku, feel free to use this list as a reference!
Disclaimer: All information is accurate at time of publication.