Kind of opened for business on March 26, much-ridiculed but admittedly attractive Shinjuku shopping shrine Newoman and the forces behind it are apparently determined to turn a construction delay into a major PR win. You see, the complex had to give up on an all-at-once opening due to some of the tenant areas not being completed in time for late March, but this unfortunate state of affairs also meant the facility could promote its April 15 completion as a second 'opening', accompanied by all the requisite bells and whistles.
That's not to say Newoman, Take Two is just a huge blast of hot air: in addition to the ever-amusing Busta bus terminal, the structure now boasts an even mightier collection of cafés, restaurants and shops, including several stores found only here. Read on for our top ten picks...
1. 800° Degrees Neapolitan Pizzeria
Popular LA pizza joint that lets you choose your own toppings before baking your pie to order. The range of choices may be overwhelming, so first-timers might just want to go for mozzarella with bacon jam. The fresh cheese is cheesier than ever, while the bacon jam adds a nice sweet-and-sour touch.
Santa Cruz-born Verve Coffee is an ever-present on 'America's best coffee shops' rankings across the media spectrum, but now takes the big step across the ocean with its first Tokyo outpost. Can the shop find its own niche on the city's already crowded craft coffee scene?
3. Janice Wong
Award-winning Singaporean pastry chef Janice Wong brings her artistic circus of lollipops, chocolates and marshmallows to town, serving up pieces inspired by the Japanese spring alongside desserts made with red miso and mustard.
A collaborative effort by top chefs Alain Ducasse and Christophe Michalak, this cream puff purveyor has earned rave reviews among Parisian foodies and now takes on Tokyo with a selection of six flavours of choux à la crème: in addition to traditional choices like vanilla, chocolate and caramel, these include a Japan-only matcha flavour and a seasonal special.
5. Oyster Bar Wharf
Also hailing from Singapore, Wharf deals in fresh Japanese oysters, tuna from Wakayama's Nachi-Katsuura, and Tiger Beer from its native city-state. Open 21 hours daily (7am to 4am), it looks like a spot for every occasion.
Add a little bean paste to your life at wagashi veterans Toraya's new venture, where anko paste sold by the jar is the main attraction. Make sure to also try the Ankoppe pastries, filled with ample quantities of cream cheese and the aforementioned paste, and the Anboro cookies.
Infusing a simple sandwich with the refined flavours of washoku sounds like a great idea, so we're eager to try out creations like miso pork belly BLTs and 'wiches stuffed with egg steamed in tuna and kombu seaweed broth at this small shop offering both delicious-looking and surprisingly voluminous combinations.
8. Butter Butler
You guessed it – top-quality butter is the name of the game at this cake shop, whose ultra-rich and decadently moist pastries are sure to attract lustful looks from passers-by.
9. Koko Lumine Store
Lumine's new concept store features handmade Japanese products from beautifully crafted cups to sewing kits and hairpins made out of kimono fabric, inviting you to hunt for fancy home décor.
10. Ca Ca O
Chocolate lovers, rejoice – these ganache tarts just might change your life. Ca Ca O specialises in chocolate tarts made with cacao sourced from Colombia and available in milk (Shinjuku only), bitter and white chocolate flavours.