Monday, May 4, 2015

Tokyo Shinjuku

Updated on February-06-2016

Shinjuku will always be my favorite area in Tokyo. I often recommend travelers to visit Shinjuku as it is one of the representation of metropolis in Asia. Many 24-hour restaurants, lots of neon lights, and bars/pubs are all within short walking distances from the Shinjuku Station. If you have limited time in Tokyo/Japan, I recommend visiting Shinjuku or staying in Shinjuku.
Most bustling area of Tokyo, Shinjuku Kabukicho

- To read about my recommendations of affordable, Reasonable, Convenient hotels in Tokyo, visit: Affordable Cheap Reasonable Hotels in Tokyo
- To read about my recommendations of affordable and reasonable hotels in OSAKA, visit: Osaka Reasonable Affordable Hotels
- To read about my recommendations of reasonable, affordable, and convenient hotels in KYOTO, visit: Kyoto reasonable, affordable, and convenient Hotels
- To read about how to plan your trip to Tokyo, visit Planning for your trip to Tokyo
- To read about where you can find the best Ramen in Tokyo, visit Best Ramen in Tokyo

Access to Shinjuku
Because Shinjuku JR station is a major transportation hub, located on the west side of central Tokyo, visitors have easy access to Shibuya, Harajuku, Ikebukuro, Roppongi, and even Hakone areas. One can get to Shinjuku station by:
- JR train lines
- Subway lines
- Narita Express Train (takes you directly from and to Narita airport)
- Airport Limousine bus routes that drop you off at Shinjuku West Exit area.

First orient yourself with Shinjuku Station and its Directional Exits
It is the biggest train station in the world based on the sheer volume of passengers that use this station on a daily basis.
Orientation of the Shinjuku station could be very challenging; once you orient yourself with major Shinjuku station directional exits, you will have an easier time exploring the area.

Tips for exploring areas near Shinjuku
1. Follow the signs for major exits. All signs for directions are very well labeled in English at major stations.
2. There are a many of JR train lines, few Subway line, and a few private train company train lines that run through the Shinjuku area.
3. Do not confuse yourself with sound-alike stations such as Seibu Shinjuku station and Shinjuku Sanchome, and Higashi Shinjuku stations. These are all different stations.
4. Orient yourself with 3 major Shinjuku station exits and you will likely to be less confused.
5. If you realized that you have exited the wrong direction exit, try not to re-enter the station because it will only get more confusing inside of the station. I would recommend you to try to recognize the surrounding shops and building by circling around the station exterior.
6. To familiarize yourself with the area near the station, I recommend circling the station by walking around the actual station to orient yourself with shops, high rise building district and the direction for Gyoen National Garden.
7. Do not mistaken SouthEast exit as the South exit

Divide Shinjuku into a few different areas based on the Directional Exits
Google map of Shinjuku area.

Three main exits: EAST, WEST and SOUTH:

Shinjuku East
If you see these buildings, you know you have exited from Shinjuku East.
Pass by this alley and these shops, you will be on your way to Shinjuku Kabukicho.

-Kabukicho: Biggest entertainment district in Japan; Also one of the biggest red light districts in the world. I would not recommend solo female travelers to go near this area at night. One could probably look into Viator guided tour if you are really interested in knowing more about this special district.
Gate of the most interesting district in Tokyo, Shinjuku Kabukicho.
Advertisements for special venue "Host Clubs" in Shinjuku Kabukicho.

-Golden Gai: Cozy bar/pub area; very popular among foreign visitors. Customers and staff are usually friendly, however the Golden Gai area is located right by the red light district.
Cat taking a break at the Shinjuku Golden Gai pub/bar area

-Omoide Yokocho/Yakitori Alley (North of Shinjuku Station)
Friendly staff serving you delicious food at the Yakitori alley

-Korean Town: Biggest Korean town in Japan. A good place if you fancy authentic korean cuisine.

-Don Quijote: Your one-top shop for your general shopping needs.
Don Quijote, Building on the right, its almost like a Walmart.

-Tokyo Robotic Evening Cabaret Show: One of the hottest show in town.
-Shinjuku 0101 Marui Shopping Department Store
-Shinjuku Isetan Shopping Department Store
-Kinokuniya Bookstore Shinjuku

Shinjuku West
-Skyscraper area
Looking at the high rise building in Shinjuku West area.

-High end international hotels such as the Hotel in Lost In Translation: PARK HYATT Hotel
Lost in Translation Hotel, Tokyo Park Hyatt Hotel.

-Tokyo Metropolitan Buildings: Free of charge observatory deck.
Futuristic Tokyo Metropolitan buildings.
-Ramen Menya Musashi, Shinjuku: One of the best ramen shops in Tokyo.
Shinjuku South
Shinjuku Station South Exit

-Century Hotel Shinjuku Southern Tower: Somewhat upscale yet sometimes more affordable with a very nice view overlooking Shinjuku station and the most bustling area of Japan.
Overlooking busy Shinjuku Station from Century Hotel Shinjuku Southern Tower

-Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden: Similar to Central Park in Manhattan.
-Tokyu Hands: Craft, souvenir, and home improvement store.
-Shinjuku Takashimaya: Well known department store with a very good food court restaurant floor.
-Lumine Shopping Department Store: Shinjuku South Exit

Consider joining Viator night tours:
1. Shinjuku and Kabukicho Evening Walking Tour
2. Tokyo Robotic Evening Cabaret Show

Hotels in Shinjuku area
Citadines Central Shinjuku Tokyo (formerly Best Western) Shinjuku East
Shinjuku Prince Hotel Shinjuku East
Hotel Gracery Shinjuku Shinjuku East
Shinjuku Granbell Hotel Shinjuku East
Centurry Shinjuku Southern Tower Shinjuku South
Hotel Sunroute Plaza Shinjuku Shinjuku South
Keio Plaza Hotel Shinjuku West
Tokyo Hilton Hotel Shinjuku West
Hyatt Regency Shinjuku West

Movies filmed near Shinjuku area
Takeshi Kaneshiro's SLEEPLESS TOWN

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