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15 Best Things to Do in Shinjuku City, Tokyo

Top Tourist Spots in Shinjuku City

Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden by Kakidai via Wikimedia cc

Bucket List: 15 Best Tourist Attractions in Shinjuku City, Tokyo

Tokyo Metropolis is one of the world’s largest and most populous cities. The city comprises villages, towns, cities, and special wards governed by the Tokyo Metropolitan Government. Special wards are a unique form of a municipality in Japan that exists only in the Tokyo Metropolis. One of the several special wards in Tokyo is Shinjuku City.

Shinjuku City is considered to be Tokyo Metropolis’ second center. The special ward is known for its diverse nightlife and bustling entertainment district around the world’s busiest railway station, Shinjuku Station. Alongside its transport link, Shinjuku’s smaller neighborhoods are notable for its bars, restaurants, and nightclubs for being inclusive and LGBTQ+ friendly.

Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden

Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden by Kakidai via Wikimedia cc
Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden By Kakidai – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, cc

Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden, or simply Shinjuku Gyoen, is one of Tokyo’s largest parks and the best cherry blossom viewing sites. The park first served as a garden for the Imperial Family in 1903 before it opened to the public in 1949. Shinjuku Gyoen has various plants that bloom seasonally, like the chrysanthemum in the autumn and the cherry blossom in the spring. The park comprises three different gardens; the Japanese garden is the oldest, where a chrysanthemum exhibit is held every November; the French garden is abundant with symmetrically arranged flowers; and the English garden with more than 1,000 cherry trees. Other points of interest in the park include an authentic Chinese pavilion constructed for Emperor Showa Hirohito’s wedding and a Western-style greenhouse with tropical and subtropical plants.

Location: 11-15 Nait?machi, Shinjuku City, Tokyo, Japan
Visiting Hours: 9AM to 4PM, October 01 to March 14; 9AM to 5:30PM, March 15 to June 30 and August 21 to September 30; 9AM to 6:30PM, July 01 to August 20
Entrance Rates: FREE, Children and students below 15 years old; 250 yen, Students and Senior Citizens; 500 yen, Adults

Shinjuku Central Park

Shinjuku Central Park by Christophe95 via Wikimedia cc
Shinjuku Central Park By Christophe95 – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, cc

Shinjuku Central Park, or Shinjuku Chuo Koen, first opened in 1968 before ownership was transferred to the Shinjuku ward in 1975. The urban oasis is a refreshing escape from the busy Shinjuku City. The quaint park is popular among residents and workers near the park. Shinjuku Central Park has ample play areas for children, green lawns for picnics, and fitness facilities such as a bouldering gym and a yoga studio.

Location: 2-11 Nishi-Shinjuku, Shinjuku City, Tokyo, Japan

Hanazono Shrine

Hanazono Shrine by Carbonium via Wikimedia cc
Hanazono Shrine By Carbonium, CC BY 3.0, cc

Another oasis from the urban madness of Shinjuku City, Hanazono Shrine, is a Shinto shrine that dates back to the Edo period. The shrine hosts various festivals and entertainment events, such as the weekly flea market and the annual Bird Festival. The shrine grounds are also famous for cherry blossom viewing or simply as an escape from the busy city.

Location: 5-17-3 Shinjuku City, Tokyo, Japan

Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building Observatory

Yoyogi Park from TMG Observatory by KimonBerlin via Wikimedia cc
Yoyogi Park from TMG Observatory By KimonBerlin /, CC BY-SA 2.0, cc

The Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building observation deck offers sweeping views of Shinjuku City. The observation decks from the 45th floor of the 243-meter-tall twin towers were meant to educate visitors about Tokyo and Tokyo Metropolitan Government policies. On a good day, visitors can see the Tokyo Skytree, Tokyo Tower, Meiji Shrine, and Mount Fuji from the observation decks.

Location: 2-8-1 Nishi-Shinjuku, Shinjuku City, Tokyo, Japan
Visiting Hours: 9:30AM to 10PM, Daily (Last entry until 9:30PM)
Entrance Rates: FREE

Meiji Memorial Museum

Meiji Memorial Museum by Ame Museler via Wlimedia cc
Meiji Memorial Museum By Arne Müseler /, CC BY-SA 3.0 de, cc

Meiji Memorial Museum, also called the Meiji Memorial Picture Gallery, is a picture gallery that honors the achievements and significant events that occurred between the birth and death of Emperor Meiji. The museum was designated as a National Important Cultural Property in June 2011, with several paintings and historical archival records depicting the events in the Meiji period.

Location: 1-1 Kasumigaoka, Shinjuku City, Tokyo, Japan

Jingu Gaien Ginkgo Avenue

Jingu Gaien Ginkgo Avenue by Kakidai via Wikimedia cc
Jingu Gaien Ginkgo Avenue By Kakidai – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, cc

Meiji Jingu Gaien is a multi-use complex with several sports facilities, such as a baseball stadium, batting cages, and an ice skating rink. The complex is perhaps best known for the Meiji Memorial Museum, and the avenue lined with gingko trees is called the Jingu Gaien Ginkgo Avenue. The 300-meter-long avenue is considered to be an iconic autumn scenery in Tokyo. Every year, the Jingu Gaien Ginkgo Festival attracts thousands of visitors that admire the autumn trees and the fallen leaves that cover the ground.

Location: 1-1 Kasumigaoka, Shinjuku City, Tokyo, Japan

Shinjuku Ni-chome

Shinjuku Ni-chome by LittleT889 via Wikimedia cc
Shinjuku Ni-chome By LittleT889 – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, cc

Shinjuku Ni-chome, or simply Ni-chome or Nicho, is considered the gayborhood of Shinjuku City. The booming and welcoming nightlife scene is filled with gay bars and clubs, making it the hub of Tokyo’s LGBTQ+. One of the district’s most popular gay bars and clubs is Dragon Men, where customers can drink to one’s heart while drag queens and DJs perform.

Aside from bars and clubs, Ni-ch?me’s Pride House Tokyo Legacy is the first permanent LGBTQ+ support center in Japan that raises awareness on LGBTQ+ issues through creative events. Visitors can also visit Irregular Rhythm Asylum, an art gallery, record store, and bookshop combined that sells products inspired by social movements.

Omoide Yokocho

Omoide Yokocho photo via Wikimedia cc
Omoide Yokocho photo via Wikimedia cc

The narrow street of Omoide Yokocho is sometimes called “Piss Alley” or “Memory Lane,” with dozens of small bars and restaurants. Its name, “Omoide,” means “nostalgia,” as the alleyway dates back to pre-World War II when it first started as a black market. Its nickname, Piss Alley, stems from the lack of public restrooms where inebriated customers would relieve themselves in the street. Today, the alleyway is filled with bars and restaurants that sell beef tendon stew, skewers, sushi, and an extensive list of sake.

Location: 1-2 Nishi-Shinjuku, Shinjuku City, Tokyo, Japan

Tokyo Toy Museum

Tokyo Toy Museum by koji_h via Wikimedia cc
Tokyo Toy Museum By koji_h, CC BY 3.0, cc

Tokyo Toy Museum displays different types of toys and serves as an indoor playground for young children. Each floor in the museum follows different themes and exhibits more than 10,000 toys worldwide, from traditional to mainstream. The museum is situated in the former Shinjuku Kuritsu Yotsuya Elementary School, where each playroom was a former elementary classroom.

Location: 4-20 Yotsuya, Shinjuku City, Tokyo, Japan
Visiting Hours: 10AM to 4PM, Mondays to Wednesdays, and Fridays to Sundays (Last entry until 3:30PM)
Entrance Rates: 1,100 yen per person

Ninja Trick House in Tokyo

Ninja Trick House in Tokyo
Ninja Trick House in Tokyo

Deep in the busy district of Kabukich? is a small building that brings visitors to a different world. Ninja Trick House in Tokyo is a ninja training house where visitors can learn to throw ninja stars and master various sword tricks. The training house is in a traditional-style tatami mat room where the staff teaches the guests about Japan’s ninja history.

Location: Daiichi Wako Building, 4th Floor 2-28-13 Kabukich?, Shinjuku City, Tokyo
Visiting Hours: 10AM to 6PM, Mondays, and Thursdays to Sundays (Last entry until 5PM)
Entrance Rates: 2,000 yen per person

Toyama Park

Toyama Park by Mawaruneko via Wikimedia cc
Toyama Park By MawaruNeko – Own work, CC0, cc

Toyama Park is a beautiful verdant refuge in urban Shinjuku, but the quiet park is more known for its haunting past. To those familiar with the park’s history, it was said that Toyama Park was the site of several medical facilities during World War II, one of which that first served as a biological and chemical weapons development site before it became the dumping grounds for the Imperial Army’s Unit 731. Today, the park continues to be a delightful place to visit during the daytime and ghost hunting grounds at nighttime.

Location: 3 ?kubo, Shinjuku City, Tokyo, Japan

Tomihisa Sakura Park

Equally equipped with essential facilities, such as play areas for children, picnic areas, and public restrooms, Tomihisa Sakura Park, or Fukuhisa Sakura Park, is another verdant oasis from urban Shinjuku. The park is a popular gathering place for intimate and public events, such as the symbolic cherry blossom viewing.

Location: 21 Tomihisa-cho, Shinjuku City, Tokyo

Fire Museum

Tokyo Fire Museum by Suikotei via Wikimedia cc
Tokyo Fire Museum By Suikotei – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, cc

The Tokyo Fire Museum offers a gripping insight into the destructive history of fire and how it shaped Tokyo. The museum is devoted to showing the history of firefighting and can be accessed from the Yotsuya Fire Station. The museum features different models of fire engines, the firefighting samurai from the Edo period, and the specialized uniforms, banners, and tools used by firefighters throughout its history, from the horse-drawn fire wagon to the modern firefighting helicopter.

Location: 3-10 Yotsuya, Shinjuku City, Tokyo, Japan
Visiting Hours: 9:30AM to 5PM, Daily
Entrance Rates: FREE


Kabukicho red gate and colorful neon street signs at night, Shinjuku by Basile Morin via Wikimedia cc
Kabukicho red gate and colorful neon street signs at night, Shinjuku By Basile Morin – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, cc

Kabukicho is considered the largest red-light district in all of Japan, with a wide variety of bars, nightclubs, and love hotels. Although the district is relatively safe for tourists, the general consensus is to avoid club hostesses, restaurant promoters, and street hawkers. Despite this, the district continues to attract tourists and visitors to its bars and cabarets. When in Kabukicho, drop by Hotel Gracery to spot the life-sized Godzilla that overlooks the district. Baseball fanatics can visit Oslo Batting Center and Shinjuku Batting Center, while risk takers can try their luck at a pachinko parlor. One of the most recommended places in Kabukicho is Golden Gai.

Golden Gai

The charming nightlife bar alley of Golden Gai is packed with over 200 unique bars and restaurants. Most bars require a cover charge that starts from 1,000 yen and are usually open from 8PM onwards. Because of the limited space of each establishment, most of these can only seat a few customers. Despite the cramped space, the intimate atmosphere of the alley brings back its post-war history as a drinking area for hard-working employees.

How to get there

The best way to get to Shinjuku is to take the train to Shinjuku Station, the world’s busiest railway station. The massive terminal has more than 200 exit points, ticket gates, and more than 30 platforms. Some major train lines at Shinjuku Station include the JR Yamanote Line, JR Chuo Line, Narita Express, Keio Line, Odakyu Odawara Line, and the Toei Oedo Line. Other ways to get to Tokyo is by plane, into Haneda Airport or Narita Airport, and from there, an airport bus or pre-booked taxi. Visitors should bring cash as most ATMs in Tokyo don’t accept international cards.

Shinjuku City Travel and Tour Packages

Check out our list of affordable Shibuya City hotels and resorts via Agoda and Booking, or you may also see available Airbnb properties in the city.

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Written by Melo Villareal

Melo Villareal is the Online Publisher of He is an Accountant by profession who left the corporate world at the age of 23 to explore his beautiful country and the rest of the world. Today, Melo works as a part-time Social Media Manager for local and international clients. His full-time work focuses on discovering interesting culture, explore different cuisines and take memorable photos from local and international destinations he's visiting.

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