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Why Shinjuku is special ?
Shinjuku (新宿) is one of the 23 city wards of Tokyo, but the name commonly refers to just the large entertainment, business and shopping area around Shinjuku Station.
Shinjuku Station is the world's busiest railway station, handling more than two million passengers every day. It is served by about a dozen railway and subway lines, including the JR Yamanote Line. Shinjuku is also one of Tokyo's major stops for long-distance highway buses and city buses.West of the station is Shinjuku's skyscraper district, home to many of Tokyo's tallest buildings, including several premier hotels and the twin towers of the Metropolitan Government Office, whose observation decks are open to the public for free.
Northeast of the station lies Kabukicho, Japan's largest and wildest red light district, while department stores, subterranean malls and electronic shops surround Shinjuku Station on all four sides, including the recently redeveloped Southern Terrace.
What to explore at Shinjuku?
Tokyo Metropolitan Government Office
Hours: 9:30 to 23:00 (South Observatory until 17:30)
Closed: Dec 29 to Jan 3 (except Jan 1) and occasional inspection days, the 2nd and 4th Mondays (North Observatory) and the 1st and 3rd Tuesdays (South Observatory) of each month except on holidays
The 243 meter tall twin towers and surrounding buildings contain the offices and the assembly hall of the metropolitan government of Tokyo, as well as observatories on the 45th floor of each tower. The view from the southern tower is considered slightly more interesting.
Japanese Sword Museum
Hours: 10:00 to 16:30 (entry until 16:00)
Closed: Mondays and New Year holidays
Admission: 600 yen
The Japanese Sword Museum is a sword enthusiast's dream. Along with the countless blades on display, there are also exhibits on sword making and care as well as excellent English pamphlets.
Hours: 9:00 to 16:30 (entry until 16:00)
Closed: Mondays (or the next day if Monday is a holiday), and December 29 to January 3. There are no closure days from late March to late April (cherry blossoms) and in the first half of November (chrysanthemums).
Admission: 200 yen
Shinjuku Gyoen is one of Tokyo's largest and most pleasant parks and one of the city's best cherry blossom viewing spots. It was opened to the public in 1949, after it had served as a garden for the Imperial Family since 1903.
Hours: Always open
This public park directly behind the Tokyo Metropolitan Government twin towers houses Kumano Shrine (Kumano Jinja) as well as a sizable homeless population living in blue tarp shanties and cardboard box homes.Hours: Always open
This public park directly behind the Tokyo Metropolitan Government twin towers houses Kumano Shrine (Kumano Jinja) as well as a sizable homeless population living in blue tarp shanties and cardboard box homes.
How to get to Shinjuku?
From Tokyo Station
The frequently departing, orange trains on the JR Chuo Line (Rapid Service) take less than 15 minutes and cost 200 yen from Tokyo Station to Shinjuku Station.
From Ueno Station
By JR Yamanote Line it takes 25 minutes and costs 200 yen to get from Ueno to Shinjuku. A slightly faster alternative is to take the JR Yamanote or JR Keihin-Tohoku Line from Ueno to Kanda Station, and then the JR Chuo Line from Kanda to Shinjuku.
- Beautiful Park, Crowded Streets
- Shopping Heaven
- A mix of traditional and modern features
- For temple lovers
- Lots of things to explore
Shinjuku, Tokyo Prefecture, Japan
Tips for you
Dazzling, office buildings, hugely crowded.
Shinjuku - a must when you visit Tokyo. A great neighborhood with lots of little restaurants and bars. Lots of attractive people here as well. The lights really bring this part of the city alive at night.My favorite neighborhood in Tokyo. So much going on. You could explore it for a week without seeing everything.