Translated by Hanni T.
7 Activities To Enjoy In Multicultural Shinjuku
There are many different ways to enjoy one of Tokyo's most prosperous areas, Shinjuku. We will highlight here some of the activities you must do whie in Shinjuku!
Written by Inubushi Yoshiyuki
One of the most prosperous cities in Japan and extremely accessible, Shinjuku attracts people from all walks of life including students, salarymen and tourists everyday. Owing to the fact that many cultures interweave with each other here, one can enjoy Shinjuku in a variety of ways. In this article we will be introducing the seven things you must do while in Shinjuku.
1. Enjoying Tokyo’s Landscape For Free
As the symbol of Shinjuku, the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building has a unique shape with a height of 200 m, housing an observatory deck on the 45th floor. This particular deck provides free entrance to the public, allowing viewers to enjoy a spectacular, unparalleled 360-degree view of Tokyo. A cafe and a souvenir shop are available up here as well, so one can enjoy a meal while taking in the fascinating scenery.
2. Experiencing the Four Seasons of Japan in Shinjuku Gyoen
Tall skyscrapers and shopping malls adorn Shinjuku. Yet among this seemingly endless concrete jungle lies a spot where one can feel the tranquil beauty of nature - Shinjuku Gyoen. As there are different flowers in bloom every season, one can enjoy a different landscape each time. Visitors can expect to see sakura blooming brilliantly in spring, verdant green during summer, beautiful autumn foliage in fall as well as withered leaves among carpets of snow during winter.
3. Enjoy Shopping
Japan is well known for its excellent quality electronic products. As it is more convenient buying them here than overseas, foreign visitors seek good electronics stores. Numerous shops selling such products can be found near the train station in Shinjuku. These shops offer tax-free services and are often tended by staff who are well-versed in foreign languages.
There are also many departmental stores, shopping facilities and accessory shops throughout Shinjuku. Whatever you can think of, it will probably be in the shops! Or if window shopping suits you better, then that is fine too!
4. Enjoy the Most Famous Entertainment District in Japan
Kabukichō is known as the largest entertainment district in Japan. Countless bars are to be found within Kabuki-chō and the place really comes alive when night falls. Many establishments are well-adapted to dealing with foreign customers, resulting in thriving multilingual businesses popular with both locals and tourists.
A new shopping mall has opened recently in Shinjuku, called Toho Building. Consisting of restaurants and shops, there is even a baseball batting center, a cinema, a game center and a hotel to boot. Countless ways for tourists to enjoy charming Kabukichō.
5. Experience Something Entirely New!
One particular Robot Restaurant in Shinjuku’s Kabukichō has been gaining popularity among tourists in recent years. Flashy, gaudy shows are held every night and the restaurant is always packed to the brim with tourists. Probably the only one of its kind in the world, be treated to a dazzling technological light-filled experience.
6. Enjoy the Old Japanese Style Bars
A five-minute walk from Shinjuku Nishiguchi station lands you in Memory Lane, one of the few spots in Japan where you can savor the traditional Japanese atmosphere. Tourists account for the majority of visitors to this fascinating part of Shinjuku, and shop attendants are versed in foreign languages. Aside from enjoying traditional Japanese foods, tourists who are feeling a little adventurous can also opt to try out bizarre delicacies that are rarely, if ever, served in other restaurants. This is one truly unique experience you shouldn’t miss out!
7. Experience Retro-Japan in Shinjuku Golden Gai
Located within Kabukichō, Shinjuku Golden Gai is an alley brimming with bars and pubs that have long existed. Most bars practice what is called “table charge” in which the customer has to pay for sitting down at a table but in Shinjuku Golden Gai, there are some bars that waive this fee. Most pubs employ staff who speak English so tourists can be at ease when visiting this part of Shinjuku.
Read also: Shinjuku Golden Gai's Top 3 Stores
Shinjuku is an amalgamation of different cultures, producing one of the most interesting areas in Tokyo. From the traditional to the new, from the tranquil areas to the bustle, one can surely find something to do. We have only listed seven things here but there are still countless hidden spots that aren’t covered in this article so it’s best you come over and discover them for yourself!