19 Best Things to Do in Shinjuku Tokyo | Shinjuku Attractions

Things to Do in Shinjuku Tokyo
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Ever thought about exploring Shinjuku, the pulsating heart of Tokyo? One visit here, and you’ll soon realize why it’s a must on any trip to Japan. By reading this article, you’ll uncover a treasure trove of unforgettable experiences tucked within Shinjuku’s bustling streets.

You’ll learn about the world’s busiest station, promising a truly unique sightseeing adventure. We’ll walk you around Shinjuku, unraveling the top things to see and do, including a sneak peek into the vibrant Korean town in Tokyo, nestled within this neighborhood.

From sky-piercing skyscrapers to charming hidden alleyways, our handpicked list of the best attractions in Shinjuku is designed to enhance your Tokyo journey.

Whether you’re a first-timer or a seasoned visitor, this guide promises to unlock one of Tokyo’s most dynamic and exciting districts like never before, answering your question about what to do in Shinjuku.

And if your adventure spirit craves more, explore our comprehensive guides on things to do in Tokyo and the thrilling experiences awaiting in Shibuya. Now, let’s dive right into the captivating world of Shinjuku.

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1. Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden

Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden, a renowned tourist attraction in Shinjuku, Tokyo, can be likened to a serene oasis amidst the bustling city, offering visitors a tranquil escape with its meticulously landscaped gardens and picturesque scenery.

Located near Shinjuku Station, the garden serves as a respite from the neon lights and the hustle and bustle of the city. The garden’s beauty lies in its diverse collection of plants, including cherry blossoms, Japanese maple trees, and tropical flowers.

Visitors can enjoy leisurely strolls on winding paths, relax on the grassy lawns, or even picnic under a tree’s shade.

The observation deck provides a breathtaking panorama for those seeking a bird’s-eye view of the garden and the surrounding cityscape.

Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden truly offers a refreshing experience for tourists and locals alike, providing an escape from the fast-paced urban environment of Shinjuku, Tokyo.

2. Shinjuku Central Park

Shinjuku Central Park

Located in the heart of the bustling metropolis, Shinjuku Central Park offers a tranquil escape from the urban chaos, providing visitors with a serene oasis of greenery and relaxation. Situated near the Shinjuku train station, this park is a hidden gem in the lively Shinjuku area.

Unlike its neighboring red light district, Shinjuku Central Park offers a completely different atmosphere, making it a popular spot for locals and tourists alike.

The park is especially picturesque during the cherry blossom season, when the trees burst into a beautiful display of pink flowers.

Visitors can enjoy strolling along the park’s pathways, finding a spot to have a peaceful picnic, or simply sitting on one of the benches to take in the scenery.

The park also offers opportunities for various activities, such as bar hopping and exploring nearby tourist spots.

For those who desire a more immersive experience, hiring a local guide can provide valuable insights into the history and culture of the park and its surroundings.

Overall, Shinjuku Central Park is a must-visit destination for those seeking a moment of tranquility in the vibrant city of Tokyo.

3. Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building

Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building

The Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building is a prominent landmark in Shinjuku, Tokyo. Situated near the busiest train station in the world, this building offers visitors a unique opportunity to enjoy panoramic views of Tokyo from its observation decks.

Its sleek and modern design stands out among the bustling cityscape.

The observation decks on the 45th floor of each tower provide breathtaking views of Tokyo, allowing visitors to see the vast expanse of the city and its iconic landmarks.

Whether you are a tourist or a local resident, a visit to the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building is a must-do when staying in Shinjuku. I

t is one of the best places to appreciate the beauty and magnitude of Tokyo from above, while also offering a brief respite from the busy streets filled with tiny bars and bustling crowds.

4. Shinjuku Golden Gai

Golden Gai: Nostalgic Alleys, Unique Nightlife

A visit to Shinjuku Golden Gai offers an intriguing glimpse into Tokyo’s historic past and a vibrant nightlife scene, as the area is dotted with narrow alleys lined with tiny bars and izakayas.

Shinjuku Golden Gai is located in the busiest entertainment district of Shinjuku, making it a must-visit destination for those seeking a taste of Tokyo’s vibrant nightlife.

Here are four key aspects to consider when exploring this unique area:

  1. Historic Atmosphere: Shinjuku Golden Gai dates back to the post-war era and has managed to preserve its historic charm. The narrow alleys and the traditional architecture of the bars create an ambiance that takes visitors back in time.
  2. Diverse Bar Scene: With over 200 bars packed into six narrow alleys, Shinjuku Golden Gai offers a wide range of drinking establishments to choose from. Each bar has its own distinct style and atmosphere, catering to different tastes and preferences.
  3. No Cover Charge: Unlike many other nightlife areas in Tokyo, most of the bars in Shinjuku Golden Gai do not charge an entrance fee. This makes it an attractive option for those looking to explore the nightlife without breaking the bank.
  4. Cultural Significance: Shinjuku Golden Gai was once known as a red light district in Tokyo. While it has evolved over the years, the area retains some gritty charm and is a testament to the city’s ever-changing cultural landscape.

Visiting Shinjuku Golden Gai promises an immersive experience into Tokyo’s vibrant nightlife and a chance to explore its rich history.

5. Omoide no Nukemichi (Kabukicho)

Omoide no Nukemichi in Kabukicho, serves as a nostalgic pathway that transports visitors into the rich cultural heritage of Tokyo’s entertainment district.

Located in the bustling area of Shinjuku, Tokyo, Omoide no Nukemichi, also known as Memory Lane or Piss Alley, offers a unique and immersive experience for those seeking to explore the city’s hidden gems.

As one of the most popular things to do in Shinjuku, this narrow alleyway is lined with small, traditional izakayas where visitors can indulge in local delicacies and savor authentic Japanese flavors.

The vibrant atmosphere of Omoide no Nukemichi truly comes alive in the evenings, as the neon lights illuminate the area, creating a captivating ambiance.

Conveniently located near the Shinjuku train station, this hidden treasure is a must-visit destination for anyone looking to embrace the true spirit of Shinjuku at night.

6. Kabukicho Nightlife

To truly understand the allure of Kabukicho’s nightlife, one must delve into its history and explore its cultural significance. Located in the vibrant area of Shinjuku, Tokyo, Kabukicho is known as the entertainment district of the city.

It offers many things to do for locals and tourists alike.

The Kabukicho nightlife scene is renowned for its lively atmosphere and diverse entertainment options. From karaoke bars and nightclubs to hostess clubs and izakayas, there is something for everyone to enjoy.

Tourists flock to Kabukicho to experience the excitement and energy that the district exudes. It is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Tokyo, known for its vibrant nightlife and bustling streets.

Whether you are looking for a night of dancing, socializing, or simply exploring the best spots in Shinjuku, Kabukicho’s nightlife is sure to provide an unforgettable experience.

Discover the best tokyo night activities with our guide.

7. Tokyo Kabukicho Tower

Shinichi’s World

Moving on from the vibrant nightlife of Kabukicho, visitors to Shinjuku in Tokyo should not miss the opportunity to visit the Tokyo Kabukicho Tower. This iconic landmark offers a unique perspective of the bustling city, allowing tourists to admire the panoramic view from its observation deck.

As the tower stands in close proximity to the busiest train station in the world, Shinjuku Station, it is easily accessible for travelers.

The Tokyo Kabukicho Tower boasts a modern architectural design, which captivates visitors upon arrival. Once inside, visitors can take an elevator to the observation deck, where they will be greeted with a breathtaking view of the city.

To enhance the experience, the tower also offers an audio guide that provides insightful information about the landmarks visible from the observation deck.

For those seeking freedom and an unforgettable experience in Shinjuku, the Tokyo Kabukicho Tower is a must-visit attraction.

Markdown List of Attraction Features:

  1. Panoramic view of the city
  2. Proximity to the busiest train station
  3. Modern architectural design
  4. Audio guide for an enhanced experience

8. SOMPO Museum of Art

The SOMPO Museum of Art in Shinjuku offers visitors a refined and culturally enriching experience through its collection of exquisite artworks. Located in the heart of Tokyo, this museum is a must-visit for art enthusiasts and those seeking to explore the city’s vibrant cultural scene.

The museum showcases diverse art pieces, including paintings, sculptures, and ceramics, representing both traditional and contemporary Japanese art.

The collection is carefully curated to provide a comprehensive overview of the artistic heritage of Japan.

With its spacious galleries and expertly designed displays, the SOMPO Museum of Art provides a serene and contemplative atmosphere for visitors to immerse themselves in the beauty and creativity of Japanese art.

This museum is truly a gem in the bustling district of Shinjuku and should not be missed by anyone looking for things to do in Tokyo.

9. Grab Yakitori at Omoide Yokocho

Grab Yakitori at Omoide Yokocho

One notable aspect of Omoide Yokocho is its popularity among locals and tourists, with an estimated average of 15,000 yakitori skewers consumed daily.

Located in Shinjuku’s vibrant Tokyo district, Omoide Yokocho is a must-visit destination for those seeking an authentic culinary experience.

This narrow alleyway is lined with small, traditional yakitori stalls, where visitors can grab a seat and enjoy a variety of grilled skewered meats.

The atmosphere is lively and bustling, with the sizzling sounds of yakitori being cooked over hot charcoal adding to the excitement.

The aroma of the smoky grilled meats wafts through the air, enticing passersby to indulge in this popular local delicacy.

Omoide Yokocho truly captures the essence of Tokyo’s street food culture, making it a perfect addition to any list of things to do in Shinjuku.

10. Visit the Korean Town in Shin-Okubo

Visit the Korean Town in Shin-Okubo

Continuing from the delightful experience of savoring yakitori at Omoide Yokocho, Shinjuku, Tokyo has yet another captivating destination that should not be missed—Shin-Okubo, a vibrant Korean town definitely worth a visit.

Situated just a short distance from Shinjuku Station, this bustling neighborhood effortlessly combines the richness of Korean culture and the flavors of its cuisine.

As you venture into the vibrant streets of Shin-Okubo, you’ll encounter a myriad of Korean restaurants, shops, and entertainment venues that create a truly captivating atmosphere.

Allow yourself to become fully immersed in this lively ambiance by exploring the Korean grocery stores, beauty shops, and fashion boutiques that beautifully line the streets.

Satisfy your palate with the delectable flavors of authentic Korean barbecue, spicy kimchi, or bibimbap at one of the many restaurants. Alternatively, unleash your culinary skills by joining a local cooking class to learn the art of preparing Korean dishes.

Whether you deeply appreciate Korean culture or crave a fresh and exhilarating experience, a trip to Korean Town in Shin-Okubo promises to tantalize your senses and create cherished memories that will endure.

11. Hanazono Shrine

Hanazono Shrine

Located near Korean Town in Shin-Okubo, Hanazono Shrine is a serene and sacred place that offers visitors a tranquil escape from the bustling city. Situated in the heart of Shinjuku, Tokyo, this hidden gem is a must-visit for those seeking a peaceful retreat.

The shrine’s tranquil atmosphere is enhanced by its beautiful Japanese gardens, which feature meticulously manicured landscapes and vibrant flora.

As one of the oldest shrines in Tokyo, Hanazono Shrine holds great historical and cultural significance. Visitors can explore its traditional architecture, admire the intricate details of the shrine’s structures, and learn about the customs and rituals practiced here.

Additionally, Hanazono Shrine is conveniently located near the busiest train station in the world, Shinjuku Station, making it easily accessible for tourists. Whether you are a history enthusiast, nature lover, or simply seeking a moment of serenity, Hanazono Shrine is a must-visit attraction in Tokyo.

12. Park Hyatt Tokyo

Perched high atop a towering skyscraper in the bustling metropolis of Shinjuku, Tokyo, Park Hyatt Tokyo offers a luxurious and sophisticated retreat for discerning travelers seeking unparalleled views and impeccable service.

This five-star hotel is renowned for its breathtaking panoramic vistas of the city skyline and the majestic Mount Fuji in the distance.

The elegant and spacious rooms and suites are tastefully designed, featuring modern amenities and plush furnishings.

Guests can indulge in a culinary journey at the hotel’s various dining establishments, offering a diverse range of international and Japanese cuisines.

The tranquil spa and fitness center provide a perfect opportunity for relaxation and rejuvenation.

For those looking to explore the vibrant neighborhood of Shinjuku, Park Hyatt Tokyo is conveniently located near popular attractions, shopping districts, and vibrant nightlife.

13. Shinjuku Southern Terrace

Moving on from the opulent Park Hyatt Tokyo, a visit to the bustling Shinjuku Southern Terrace should be on the itinerary of any traveler seeking an authentic experience in Tokyo.

Located just a short walk from Shinjuku Station, the busiest train station in the world, this pedestrian-friendly promenade offers a welcome respite from the chaotic city streets.

Lined with trendy shops, cafes, and restaurants, the Shinjuku Southern Terrace is ideal for leisurely strolls, people-watching, and indulging in retail therapy.

With its vibrant atmosphere and modern architecture, this open-air shopping district captures the essence of Tokyo’s vibrant energy.

Whether searching for unique souvenirs, delectable cuisine, or simply a place to unwind, the Shinjuku Southern Terrace promises to deliver an unforgettable experience amidst the hustle and bustle of the city.

14. Godzilla Head

Godzilla Head

The Godzilla Head, an iconic landmark in Shinjuku Southern Terrace, stands tall and commands attention with its imposing stature, symbolizing the district’s vibrant and energetic atmosphere.

This larger-than-life statue of the famous fictional monster is a must-see attraction for visitors exploring Shinjuku, Tokyo. The Godzilla Head is located on the rooftop terrace of the Hotel Gracery, providing a unique perspective of the cityscape. Visitors can marvel at the intricate details of the sculpture, from its ferocious expression to the scales on its skin.

At night, the Godzilla Head comes alive with special effects, emitting smoke and flashing its red eyes, creating an awe-inspiring sight that captures the imagination. This impressive structure not only pays homage to the iconic movie monster but also adds to the allure of Shinjuku as a destination for endless entertainment and excitement.

15. Shinjuku Isetan

Located in Shinjuku, Isetan is a prominent shopping destination known for its modern architecture and extensive selection of high-end fashion and luxury goods. This upscale department store stands as a testament to Shinjuku’s reputation as a bustling commercial district. With its sleek design and spacious layout, Shinjuku Isetan offers a sophisticated shopping experience for discerning customers.

Here are some of the highlights:

  • Fashion: Shinjuku Isetan boasts a wide range of designer brands, including renowned Japanese labels and international fashion houses. Shoppers can explore the latest trends and find unique pieces to add to their wardrobe.
  • Beauty: The store features a dedicated beauty section that offers a diverse range of cosmetics, skincare products, and fragrances. Visitors can discover top-notch beauty brands and indulge in luxurious beauty treatments.
  • Gourmet Food: Shinjuku Isetan is also known for its exceptional gourmet food selection. From premium imported ingredients to local delicacies, food enthusiasts can savor a variety of flavors and indulge in a culinary adventure.

Shinjuku Isetan is undoubtedly one of the best spots in Tokyo for those seeking a luxurious and sophisticated shopping experience.

16. Sneaker Hunting

Sneaker Hunt in Shinjuku

Symbolizing the pursuit of urban style and individuality, sneaker hunting at Shinjuku Isetan unveils a world of coveted footwear where enthusiasts can uncover rare releases and limited editions. Located in the bustling city of Tokyo, Shinjuku Isetan offers a unique experience for those seeking to expand their sneaker collection.

This article section aims to inform readers about one of the many things to do in Shinjuku, Tokyo. With its vast selection of sneakers from both local and international brands, Shinjuku Isetan caters to a diverse audience of sneakerheads. From iconic classics to cutting-edge designs, the store showcases the latest trends in sneaker culture.

Whether one is a seasoned collector or a casual enthusiast, sneaker hunting at Shinjuku Isetan is an exciting adventure that promises to satisfy the desires of those seeking freedom in expressing their personal style.

17. Shinjuku Southern Terrace

Nestled amidst the vibrant cityscape of urban Tokyo, Shinjuku Southern Terrace offers a captivating setting where visitors can immerse themselves in a bustling outdoor space adorned with stylish shops, trendy cafes, and inviting greenery.

Located near the busiest train station in the world, Shinjuku Station, this hidden gem provides a welcome escape from the hustle and bustle of the city.

Whether you are a shopaholic looking for the latest fashion trends, a food lover seeking unique dining experiences, or simply someone who enjoys strolling through charming streets, Shinjuku Southern Terrace has something for everyone.

Take a leisurely walk and explore the array of shops offering a variety of goods, from boutique fashion to specialty items.

Indulge in a cup of coffee at one of the trendy cafes, or relax on one of the benches surrounded by lush greenery.

A visit to Shinjuku Southern Terrace is a must for anyone planning a trip to Tokyo, as it offers a unique and enjoyable experience in one of the busiest and most exciting places in the city.

18. Samurai Museum (Temporarily Closed)

Moving on from the previous subtopic of Shinjuku Southern Terrace, the Samurai Museum is another notable attraction in the vibrant district of Shinjuku, Tokyo. Located in the heart of the city, this museum provides visitors with a unique glimpse into the rich history and culture of the samurai warriors of Japan.

Unfortunately, it is currently temporarily closed due to unforeseen circumstances. Nonetheless, when the museum reopens, it promises an immersive experience, showcasing an extensive collection of authentic samurai artifacts, including armor, swords, and other weapons. Visitors can also enjoy interactive displays and live performances, further enhancing their understanding of these iconic figures.

With its strategic location near the busiest train station in Japan, Shinjuku offers a plethora of attractions, making it a must-visit destination for those seeking to explore the vibrant culture of Tokyo.

19. Robot Restaurant (Closed)

Located in the vibrant district of Shinjuku, the Robot Restaurant is a popular attraction that showcases an extravagant display of robotic performances, captivating audiences with its dazzling lights, vibrant colors, and energetic music, attracting over 300,000 visitors annually. The Robot Restaurant is a must-visit destination for anyone seeking a unique and immersive experience in Tokyo.

Here are three reasons why this attraction stands out:

  1. Spectacular Visuals: The Robot Restaurant offers a visual feast with its mesmerizing display of lights, lasers, and neon colors. The vibrant and futuristic atmosphere creates an otherworldly experience for visitors.
  2. Energetic Performances: The energetic performances at the Robot Restaurant are a perfect blend of technology and entertainment. The skilled dancers, clad in flashy costumes, synchronize their moves with the robots, creating a high-energy spectacle that keeps the audience engaged throughout.
  3. Unforgettable Ambiance: Situated in the bustling district of Shinjuku, the Robot Restaurant provides a one-of-a-kind ambiance. Its location near the world’s busiest train station, Shinjuku Station, offers easy access for visitors. Additionally, the Toho Building, known for its unique architecture, and the JR Shinjuku Station are nearby attractions worth exploring.

With its captivating performances and vibrant atmosphere, the Robot Restaurant promises an unforgettable experience for visitors in Shinjuku, Tokyo.

Frequently Asked Questions About Best Things to Do in Shinjuku

Shinjuku, one of Tokyo’s vibrant and bustling wards, is brimming with top attractions. If you’re pondering on what to see in Shinjuku, consider the Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden, a stunning park, especially during cherry blossom season.

You also have the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building, offering panoramic city views. For culture, the Samurai Museum is a must-visit. Finally, don’t miss out on the Kabukicho district, home to the Robot Restaurant and Golden Gai, known for its dense network of tiny bars.

When the sun sets, a different side of Shinjuku comes alive with various nocturnal activities. This area, including Shinjuku and Shibuya, is famous for its lively nightlife.

You can enjoy an evening at the Robot Restaurant for a unique dining experience, explore the neon-lit streets of Kabukicho, or enjoy a drink in the cozy bars within Golden Gai. Love hotels, a distinctive feature of Tokyo nightlife, can also be found in abundance in this district.

Absolutely, Shinjuku is a haven for shoppers. It offers a wide range of shopping options, from high-end department stores like Takashimaya Times Square to popular electronics stores like Yodobashi Camera. You can also find several boutiques and specialty shops within Shinjuku.

Despite being home to the busiest station in the world, with millions of passengers every day, Shinjuku is known for its safety. Like most parts of Japan, Shinjuku maintains a low crime rate. However, it’s always prudent for tourists to stay vigilant, especially in crowded areas.

In Shinjuku, accommodation options are diverse to cater to different budget levels and preferences. You’ll find luxury hotels like Park Hyatt and Keio Plaza, mid-range options such as the Shinjuku Granbell Hotel, and even budget-friendly love hotels. There are also several hostels and guesthouses available for budget-conscious travelers.

The best time to visit Shinjuku is one that aligns with your interests. Spring (March to May) is ideal to witness cherry blossoms in Shinjuku Gyoen. Autumn (September to November) offers pleasant weather and colorful fall foliage. However, Shinjuku is a vibrant district all year round, full of energy and many things to see and do.