101 things to do in Shinjuku

From cult art to decadent ramen, this is our guide to Tokyo’s sprawling entertainment centre
Shinjuku Gyoen and NTT Docomo Tower | Time Out Tokyo
Choose from 101 things to do in Shinjuku
By Time Out Tokyo Editors |
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Trying to navigate your way through Shinjuku Station is hard enough, but when you finally find the right exit, figuring out how to make sure you don't miss out on any of Shinjuku's best shops, restaurants, bars and tourist sights is a challenge all on its own. You could live in Tokyo for years and still not discover everything it offers.

This is where we come in. Doing what we do best, we've scoured the area for the top hotspots and narrowed the list down to a healthy 101 things to do, including chilling in jazzy coffee shops, shopping in massive (and boutique) department stores, tasting the best sake, exploring rock bars, visiting popular shrines and getting the best views of the city. It should keep you busy for a while.

1
Attractions, Sightseeing

Gaze out over Tokyo, for free

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When you're looking to get up high but don't feel like paying for the privilege, head to the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building's two free 45th-floor observation decks, which provide beautiful sunset views and the chance to spot Mt Fuji. Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building Observatories

2
Restaurants, Tea rooms

Get jazzed up

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Dug is one of the celebrated establishments from the 1960s heyday when Shinjuku was sprinkled with jazz coffee shops, so it's got serious credentials. Dug

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3
Restaurants, Cafés

Have tea with cats

icon-location-pin Shinjuku-Nichome

Enjoy an elegant 'necone' scone, or filling lunch under the watchful eye of adorable pet cats Kaiser and Oujo – the shop's name means 'cat' in German – at this black tea specialist shop. Die Katze

4
Things to do

Lounge beneath a highway

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Found beneath the elevated highway outside of Shinjuku Station's southeast exit, artsy Sanagi opened in early December 2016. It somehow manages to combine a food court-like area with a gallery and a lounge, all kitted with very Insta-worthy décor. Sanagi Shinjuku

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5
Shopping

Snack on artisanal baguettes

icon-location-pin Higashi-Shinjuku

The Calpis Butter Baguette is so popular it sells out pretty much as soon as it hits shelves. But even if you miss out on this one, there are plenty of other delicious baguettes and creative breads at this bakery. Pan-ya no Don Suke

6
beamsjapan1
Shopping, Lifestyle

Get your Made in Japan fix

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The Beams Japan flagship in Shinjuku was re-opened in bigger and better form in April 2016 and now encompasses a total of six floors. You'll find a dizzying collection of Japan-made clothing, crafts and art, plus a gallery, restaurant and coffee shop. Beams Japan

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7
Bars and pubs

Sip rare whisky while watching vintage films

icon-location-pin Nishi-Shinjuku

Choose from 300 varieties of Japanese whisky, many of which are no longer on the market, then sip on your evening malt while owner Atsushi Horigami treats you to an old silent comedy or vintage animation. Zoetrope

8
Restaurants, Chinese

Eat Beijing style

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Swallow's nest is just one of the unusual ingredients at this Beijing cuisine restaurant, founded in 1963. For appetisers, try the Pidan Tofu (prepared at your table) and the saucy Special Boiled Gyoza. Zuien Bekkan

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9
Hotels

Spend the night Kabukicho-style

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One of the most stylish and convenient of Kabukicho's many love hotels, rooms at Atlas are spacious, clean, reasonably priced and equipped with all kinds of extras. Unlike most of its competitors, this one doesn't impose limits on guest combinations, meaning that same-sex couples are just as welcome as heterosexual ones. Hotel Atlas

10
Camera
Shopping, Fashion

Shop at a defunct love hotel

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Just getting here is a minor crash course in Kabukicho: you'll have to walk through the arches leading to a love hotel to actually find the entrance to select fashion shop The Four-Eyed, which deals in funky domestic and international brands. The Four-Eyed

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11
Restaurants, Juice bars

Get your (delicious) greens

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Broccoli and beans have never tasted this good. Get a nutrition boost during a long day of shopping with one of the 40 blends of naturally sweet vegetable juice on offer here – we recommend the 'Five-Vegetable Mix'. Piman

12
Things to do, Games and hobbies

Score a home run

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Work out some frustration at a batting cage. One game of 26 balls is ¥300, the place stays open from 10am to 4am the next morning, and instructions for first-timers are available in five languages. Shinjuku Batting Centre

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13
Cinemas

Watch a midnight movie

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This 'theatre that doesn't sleep' offers midnight showings and is equipped with digital movie projectors, enhancing the visuals and making this cinema the first of its kind in Japan. Shinjuku Wald9 Cinema

14
Shopping

Keep it handmade

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This textile and crafts shop is a haven for haberdashery enthusiasts, offering buttons, threads and fabrics. It also stocks wigs, cosmetics and stage make-up, attracting plenty of tourists who come to buy quality cosplay outfits. Okadaya

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15
Museums

Travel through the costume ages

icon-location-pin Yoyogi

Belonging to Bunka Gakuen, this is one of a handful of costume museums in Japan. It holds unique quarterly exhibitions that show the history of countries through fashion, and boasts a massive collection of outfits from all over the world. Bunka Gakuen Costume Museum

16
shin
Restaurants, Sanuki udon

Try the smoothest noodles

icon-location-pin Yoyogi

This little udon shop, with six seats at the counter and just two tables, serves freshly made noodles that go down nice and smooth, plus great side dishes like tempura and deep-fried tofu. Shin

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17
Restaurants, Italian

Act like an Italian

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Enjoy Venetian cuisine and wine at the standing bar ('banco'), where you can order grilled vegetables, marinated sardines and prosciutto for around ¥100 each. There's a lunch menu too and extra portions are free. Il Bacaro

18
Sport and fitness

Bowl like no-one's watching

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If you thought ten-pin bowling was passé, check out this 24-hour bowling alley that's livened up the game with 'Fantasic Lanes' featuring sound and lighting. Night owls can take advantage of their late-night deal. Shinjuku Copa Bowl

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19
パンとサーカス
Restaurants, Steakhouse

Combine your reds

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The combo of perfectly aged meat and wine will hack your brain. At least that's what they claim, but B&C's 'Assorted Grilled Meat' really does merit consideration. The long opening hours make it a great after-work joint. Bread and Circus

20
Theatre, Performing arts space

See a puppet show

icon-location-pin Shibuya

Tokyo's Puppet Theatre Puk has been going since 1929 (check out the wall relief for the story of their long history) and its troupe performs to an audience of all ages in a charming 1971 theatre complete with miniature furniture and stage. Puk Pupa Teatro

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21
Restaurants, Cafés

Taste time-honoured, subtle sweetness

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The signature goodie at this old-school wagashi (Japanese sweets) shop, founded way back in 1834, is a carefully crafted creation filled with red bean paste and wrapped in thin dough made with rice, flour and Japanese yam. Hanazono Manju

22
Shopping

Go crazy for gadgets

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Centring on the multimedia tower, which seems to stock just about every computer-related contraption in existence, the Yodobashi empire’s home base spreads out over a total of 11 buildings, including departments for cameras, watches and games. Yodobashi Camera Shinjuku West

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23
Restaurants, Seafood

Fish for your dinner

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Tokyo takes fresh seafood to the next level at Zauo, the restaurant chain where you can catch your own dinner. At the Shinjuku branch you're greeted by a giant, boat-shaped seating area, and surrounding that is a moat teeming with all kinds of fish (and one mean-looking shark – mind your fingers!). Zauo

24
Bars and pubs

Share a futuristic tipple

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Push open the graffiti-covered door and enter a dazzling, futuristic bar with fanciful decor created by the many arty characters who've visited in the past. Settle in with a drink (¥800) and enjoy the tranquil atmosphere. Nightingale

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25
Hotels

Sleep where you shop

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The main bonus about this hotel is that the rooms come equipped with cooking facilities, but we also love that it's close to Shinjuku Station; you can choose between 'simple' and 'renovated' rooms; and there's an antiques store with Japanese vintage clothing and furniture on the premises. Apartment Hotel Shinjuku

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26
Restaurants, Cafés

Hang out like a hipster

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This roomy basement café imitates a New York hipster hangout, with open plan seating, brick walls, a library of art books, and a burger-and-pancake menu. The beer on tap, naturally, is Brooklyn Lager. Brooklyn Parlor

27
Shopping

Shop for subculture

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Kaiho-ku (meaning 'liberated zone'), the department store known for innovation, has been reborn in the Isetan Honkan building with an unshackled mix of fashion and art that's set to be a new sanctuary of Japanese subculture. Tokyo Kaihoku

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28
Restaurants, Cafés

Retreat to a retro café

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The retro sofas and antique furniture hark back to this café's '70s roots. Far removed from the bustle of Seikoku-dori, it's the perfect place for passing the time with a cuppa and a comic. Cafe Arles

29
Attractions, Religious buildings and sites

Spot the shrine among the skyscrapers

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Since being built in the Edo period, this shrine has served as the 'landlord spirit' of Shinjuku. Its Tori no Ichi (Day of the Rooster) fair draws six million visitors – pop by and pick up a 'Daruma mikuji', a fortune-telling wooden doll. Hanazono Jinja

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30
LGBT

Feel a little fabulous

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First-time visitors to Tokyo's famous gay district could do far worse than shimmying into this ooh-la-la joint run by celeb cross-dresser Bourbonne. The ‘gay mix’ policy means straight customers won't feel out of place. Campy! Bar

31
Suehirotei
Theatre, Performing arts space

Listen to some comic storytelling

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There are only a few places in Tokyo to watch rakugo (comic storytelling), and this venerable Shinjuku theatre is one of them. First-timers should try the Saturday night performances, which cost just ¥500. Suehirotei

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32
Shopping, Grocery stores

Cook like you're in Bangkok

icon-location-pin Shin-Okubo

Stocking an impressive range of fresh Thai herbs and vegetables, this shop has everything you need for a fancy Southeast Asian feast. You can also pick up dried and canned staples such as jasmine rice, dried noodles and juice, or invest in Thai-style kitchenware and bath products. Asia Super Store

33
Shopping

Do some surreal late-night shopping

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Pile ’em high, sell ’em cheap gets taken to the extreme at Don Quijote. It's cluttered, disorganised and disorientating, but you’ll find everything from snacks to washing machines, 24 hours a day. Pick up some souvenirs or a suitcase here if leaving from the Busta bus terminal. Don Quijote Shinjuku Southeast Exit

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34
books kinokuniya
Shopping, Bookshops

Read in another language

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Kinokuniya's other Shinjuku outpost is still one of the best bookstores in Tokyo for foreign-language publications. Head to the sixth floor (the other floors now house a Nitori) for books, magazines and more in English, French, German, Italian, Spanish and many other languages. Books Kinokuniya Tokyo

35
CoCoLo cafe
LGBT

Chat into the night

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Ideal for a late-night rendezvous, this café and restaurant is a popular LGBT hangout that gets points for its 18 different kinds of tea, Vietnamese coffee and homemade fruit cake that changes monthly. Cocolo Cafe

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36
Shopping

Fall in love with books again

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This warm and welcoming store offers all things book-related, including old and new novels, essay collections, photo books, magazines, bookshelves and a selection of gifts based on the concept 'a life with books'. Bibliophilic & Bookunion Shinjuku

37
Bars and pubs

Pair sake with snacks

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Those partial to sake can’t go wrong at this shrine to rice wine, located right next to an actual shrine (Hanazono). The owner knows his stuff and has a great selection of snacks too. Open from 3pm on weekdays and from noon on weekends. Moto

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38
Art, Galleries

Gaze at a range of art

icon-location-pin Hatsudai

The focus at this gallery is on modern and contemporary art, and in addition to exhibitions by international and Japanese artists, it hosts special features four times a year showing architecture, design, fashion and more. Tokyo Opera City Art Gallery

39
Black Swan Lake
Nightlife, Cabaret and burlesque

Meet Kabukicho's drag queens

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A pioneer in the transsexual show pub biz, this bar has been entertaining audiences with its drag-queen shows for 40 years. There are two shows daily (at 7.30pm and 10pm). Great for (after-)dinner fun. Black Swan Lake

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40
Restaurants, Coffeeshops

Make every sip count

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The search for true coffee excellence is pursued with surprising vigour at this pricey but popular Shinjuku basement. The cheapest choice from the menu will set you back a cool ¥1,000, but at least the cups will be bone china. Bon

41
Mizutaki Genkai | Time Out Tokyo
Restaurants, Japanese

Combine hotpot with dessert

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This Shinjuku hotbed of chicken hotpot has been in business since 1928. While the focus is on mizutaki, a simple and traditional dish of chicken boiled in water for several hours, there’s plenty of evidence of the chefs’ flair and imagination in the dessert options. Mizutaki Genkai

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42
Bars and pubs, Cocktail bars

Go underground for whisky and cocktails

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At the bottom of a long staircase lies this chandelier-lit bar that's been delighting patrons with its fresh fruit cocktails and speciality whiskies for 47 years. An abundance of Japanese, Western and Chinese dishes complement the spirits. Suntory Lounge Eagle

43
Restaurants, Turkish

Take a day trip to Turkey

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For real Turkish cuisine in an equally authentic environment, Hasan is your stop. Veg aficionados will love the appetiser plate with its hummus and other healthy pastes, best enjoyed with freshly baked bread. Bosphorus Hasan

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44
Tokyo135° Shinjuku Alta
Shopping

Buy a funky kimono

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An offshoot of the nationwide Tansuya chain, Tokyo135's Alta branch attracts a diverse crowd looking for slightly funkier kimono for all occasions. Their style is decidedly more pop art-y and modern than traditional, and they also sell a large selection of vibrant accessories. Tokyo135° Shinjuku Alta

45
Restaurants

Meet Ms Roboto

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Bikini-clad women battle it out using enormous female automatons at this glitzy, gaudy and utterly bonkers tourist attraction, a neon-decked wonderland with a ¥10 billion price tag. Robot Restaurant

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46
Music

Watch first-class jazz

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All chairs here face the stage, in reverence to the most respected jazz groups in town. The music is always first class, and regular 2.30pm and 7.30pm slots offer the stage to emerging bands. Shinjuku Pit Inn

47
Restaurants, Yakitori

Chomp on giblet skewers

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A small roast giblet restaurant in a corner of Omoide Yokocho (aka 'Piss Alley') where fresh giblets are served as roasted skewers. Popular choices include chire (spleen) and hatsu (heart). Motsu Yaki Utchan Shinjuku

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48
Bars and pubs

Crawl the pubs

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More than 270 tiny drinking dens are crammed into seven ramshackle streets here. Each place has a unique vibe – ranging from high-end cocktails to hard rock – and the atmosphere can be anywhere from friendly to downright hostile. Shinjuku Golden Gai

49
Restaurants, Chinese

Try some Shanghainese fare

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Located in a dinky Kabukicho alleyway – you basically have to walk through the outdoor kitchen to enter – Xiaochi serves up a wide variety of delectable Shanghainese dishes, as well as some more unorthodox offerings. Go for the clams in vinegar, served with deep-fried bread. Shanghai Xiaochi 

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50
Nightlife

Gather the girls

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A state-of-the-art sound system and artistic visuals create a stimulating atmosphere at this fresh (lesbian-friendly) location where you can get DJ lessons from the owner and cheap drinks thanks to the ticket vending system. Bar A-Un

51
Restaurants, Central Asian

Eat lamb like the Uyghurs

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A halal restaurant specialising in Uyghur cuisine is rare, even for Tokyo. The folksy interior and juicy lamb and noodle dishes will make you feel like you're on a trip through Central Asia. Uyghur Restaurant Silkroad Tarim

52
ヤマモトコーヒー店
Shopping, Specialist food and drink

Educate yourself in coffee

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Shinjuku's premier coffee specialist draws you in with the aromatic beans (both roasted and fresh) sold at the entrance, while the shop interior is littered with countless coffee-related contraptions – from hand-driven coffee grinders to espresso machines and roasters. Yamamoto Coffee

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53
Shopping, Second-hand shops

Get a cheap mamachari

icon-location-pin Sangubashi

If you're looking for something a little cheaper, head to Recycle Garden Yoyogi for a range of secondhand bicycles. You'll find plenty of mama chari bikes in different colours and at prices from around ¥10,000. Recycle Garden Yoyogi

54
NTTインターコミュニケーションセンター [ICC]
Art

See art and tech intersect

icon-location-pin Hatsudai

One of the city's more innovative exhibition spaces, this dedicated media art gallery opened in 1997 to commemorate the 100th anniversary of Japan's NTT telephone network, and brings futuristic technology and virtual reality into everyday life. NTT InterCommunication Center

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55
Shopping

Remember the joy of film cameras

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At this museum-like used camera store, most products are brought in by customers and if they aren't sold within two months, the price drops. You'll find new and vintage models, as well as 'junk' items sold for parts. Shinjuku Chuko Camera Ichiba

56
Restaurants, Cafés

Line up for French toast

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The signature French toast at this underground café is so popular that customers queue up for it even on weekdays. The crustless bread is sliced thick and toasted in butter until golden and simply irresistible. Cafe Aaliya

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57
Shopping

Go Victorian in a corset

icon-location-pin Shibuya

Relax on the antique-style sofa and enjoy the ambience of this corset shop while sipping on a cup of tea (or a whisky at night) and choosing from the pretty corsets, tights and accessories. Abilletage

58
Restaurants

Dine on a rowdy rooftop

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You'll feel like a first-time backpacker at this warren of Asian restaurants that enjoys fleeting glimpses of the sky from the roof of an aging Kabukicho tower block and invariably involves a lively night of drinking. Shinjuku Asia Yokocho 

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59
Attractions, Parks and gardens

Revel in a city park

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This city park gets a natural makeover each time the season changes and is made all the more special by its contrast with the surrounding skypscapers. Look out for regular events and festivals. Shinjuku Central Park

60
Bars and pubs, Wine bars

Taste wine from around Japan

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At this local wine bar and shop you can sample carefully selected wines from all over Japan, then choose from 20 different types of plonk by the glass, starting at ¥500 each, and a selection of about 300 bottles. Jip Wine Bar

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61
Gifuya 岐阜屋
Restaurants, Chinese

Feast on eggs and mushrooms

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Found near the entrance to Omoide Yokocho ('memory lane') on the Seibu station side, this counter-only Chinese eatery serves cheap food and drinks from early morning to late at night. Try the egg-and-mushroom stir fry. Gifuya

62
Restaurants, Indian

Fill up on tender curry

icon-location-pin Shinjuku-Sanchome

Imagine a curry of spare ribs, beef and shrimp, simmered for hours till it's as tender as can be, and then topped with juicy red tomatoes. This long-standing Indian restaurant sells this satisfying dish as its 'Mixed Curry' for just ¥1,400. Dig in. Gandhi

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63
Shopping

Shop like a man

icon-location-pin Shinjuku

Tokyo certainly matches women's fashion with men's and at this department store you'll find eight floors overflowing with clothing, accessories and home furnishings all dedicated to the gentlemen among us. Isetan Men's

64
Benfiddich
Bars and pubs, Cocktail bars

Indulge in a medicinal tipple

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Hiroyasu Kayama opened BenFiddich in 2013 after working for years as the head bartender at Nishi-Azabu mixology bar Amber. Try one of the apothecary-style cocktails based on traditional elixirs and herbal liquors, often using ingredients – anise, fennel, wormwood – grown on his family’s plot. Bar Benfiddich

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65
Bars and pubs

Have an arty drink

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This tiny three-storey bar with gallery attached attracts an eclectic mix of customers and serves upstairs customers through a hole in the floor, an operation that becomes increasingly perilous as the night progresses. Albatross

66
Restaurants, Chinese

Get hot 'n' spicy

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Spice fans will love dishes like the stir-fried lotus root with homemade dried meat and a prominent flavour of mala ('hot and numbing'), as well as the classic dandan noodles served with a merciless amount of Sichuan peppers. Senkoen Kabukicho

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67
Restaurants, Cafés

Linger over a midnight cuppa

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Perched on the outskirts of Kabukicho, this café offers as many as 20 varieties of coffee, including high-end brews such as ‘Hawaii Kona’ (¥1,380) and ‘Royal Blend’ (a snip at ¥3,000). Servings are generous, while they also have free wi-fi. Edinburgh

68
Shopping, Specialist food and drink

Acquaint yourself with Japanese whisky

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Having been in business since the end of the war, Minatoya stocks an exquisite and varied range of domestic and international liquors. Head to the whisky-centric basement bar afterwards for a few; if you find something you fancy, go back up to buy a bottle. Minatoya & Harry's New York

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69
Shopping

Get a taste of Seoul in Tokyo

icon-location-pin Shin-Okubo

Head north of Shinjuku and the streets take on a rather different flavour. Welcome to Shin-Okubo, Japan’s biggest Koreatown, and the go-to place for everything from K-Pop to kimchi. Shin-Okubo Koreatown

70
Shopping

Shop endlessly

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Lumine 1 and Lumine 2, as well as Lumine Est on the east side of the station, together feature over 200 shops and restaurants, and thanks to frequent remodels and introduction of new stores, they always offer the newest and most popular brands. Shop till you drop until 10pm. Lumine Shinjuku

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71
Shopping

Jam to some reggae, mon

icon-location-pin Nishi-Shinjuku

This is Tokyo’s best reggae store, with every conceivable genre of reggae and ska on original vinyl. The stock is expertly and meticulously categorised, and customers are welcome to listen to any of it. Dub Store

72
Shopping, Chocolate and sweets

Eat a sweet bell

icon-location-pin Shinjuku

Japan has a way with confection, no doubt. Try the bell-shaped, azuki bean-filled 'Suzu no Monaka', presented in a pretty woven basket and sold at this basement-floor food store at Shinjuku Isetan. All their sweet recipes still follow the original ones from 70 years ago. Suzukake

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73
Restaurants, Eclectic

Savour some old-school cuisine

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This yoshoku restaurant has been in business since 1963 and specialises in very homey cabbage rolls – the recipe hasn't really changed in over half a century. Have some as part of a set meal, order a draft beer and pretend you've slipped back to the ’60s. Shinjuku Acacia

74
Shopping

Immerse yourself in fine fashion

icon-location-pin Shinjuku

Arguably the trendiest department store in Japan, the flagship Isetan Shinjuku is renowned for having its window displays created by leading artists and offers only the finest in food, clothing and homeware. Isetan Shinjuku

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75
Bars and pubs, Hotel bars

Peak before 9pm

icon-location-pin Shinjuku

Head up to the 41st floor of the Park Hyatt Tokyo and marvel at the west Shinjuku cityscape. If you're there between 5pm and 9pm, take advantage of the 'Peak of Joy' or 'Twilight Time' options where you pay a set fee for nibbles and unlimited drinks. For a daytime option, try the delicatessen shop on the ground floor. The Peak Bar; Park Hyatt Delicatessen

76
Restaurants, Russian

Try some Russian fare

icon-location-pin Shinjuku

Never tried borscht or piroshkis? Now's your chance to sample Russian cuisine at this long-established restaurant that serves a variety of dishes. Be sure to end off with some Russian tea and jam. Sungari

77
Hotels

Stay in an arty hotel

icon-location-pin Higashi-Shinjuku

This stylish Kabukicho hotel has an art lounge that exhibits works by up-and-coming Asian artists and hosts live events. The rooms are understated but comfy, while the (rooftop) restaurant/bar is a great warm-up for a night out. Shinjuku Granbell Hotel

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78
Art

View contemporary art

icon-location-pin Shinjuku

Get your fill of contemporary art at this gallery exhibiting photographs, installations, video art and the like, then stop by the nearby calming Hanazono Shrine on your way home. Shinjuku Ophthalmologist Gallery

79
Bars and pubs

Rock back to the '80s

icon-location-pin Nishi-Shinjuku

With moody indigo lighting, a stage set with drums and keyboard, the owner’s 50-odd guitar collection on the walls, and even a Picasso print or two, this rock bar attracts ’80s music lovers and mingling singles. Gravity

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80
Nightlife, Late-night bars

Get your mani and drink

icon-location-pin Shinjuku

Where but Kabukicho could you expect to find a late-night, multi-floor complex that combines a café/bar, nightclub and hair salon? Be-Wave also boasts a nail and beauty salon, though you'll have to turn up during the daytime to take advantage of that. Be-Wave

81
Restaurants, Ramen

Experiment with bold flavours

icon-location-pin Shinjuku

The speciality at this restaurant is pungent niboshi ramen (¥820), made by boiling dried sardines. For something different, the tsukemen (¥870) offers an alternative way of enjoying this potent concoction. Sugoi Niboshi Ramen Nagi Shinjuku Golden Gai

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82
Shopping

Find all you need in one place

icon-location-pin Shinjuku

This variety store is so big you could spend a day browsing its seven floors of bags, travel accessories, stationery, health and beauty products, DIY tools and materials, and much much more. Tokyu Hands Shinjuku

83
Ain Soph. Journey
Photo by Keisuke Tanigawa
Restaurants, Vegan

Travel to heaven on a pancake

icon-location-pin Shinjuku-Sanchome

In between all the meat-and-fried foods restaurants there's this calm and lovely veggie/vegan spot. Most popular on the menu are the 'Heavenly Vegan Pancakes' which, as their name suggests, are simply not of this world. Ain Soph. Journey

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84
gameboy 8bit cafe
Bars and pubs

Play '80s video games

icon-location-pin Shinjuku-Sanchome

Longing for some good ol' Super Nintendo action? This Shinjuku café is heaven for every '80s video game fan. Besides the classic consoles, it serves drinks like 'Princess Peach's Temptation' and 'Dr Mario'. 8bit Cafe

85
オカマルト
Restaurants, Cafés

Browse some LGBT-lit

icon-location-pin Shinjuku-Nichome

Tokyo’s only shop dedicated to LGBT literature, Okamalt is run by Japanese gay culture pioneer To Ogura, a writer and magazine editor who is known as Margarette in drag queen circles. 500-600 titles from his collection of 10,000 publications can be freely browsed at the café. Okamalt

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86
Shopping

Let's get arty

icon-location-pin Shinjuku-Sanchome

Specialising in art supplies, this store stocks paints, brushes, frames and more. The brand has 12 outlets but the Shinjuku flagship boasts the best selection – all reasonably priced too. Sekaido Shinjuku

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Bars and pubs, Wine bars

Put your beret on

icon-location-pin Shinjuku

With a glass of red from ¥390 and meals from ¥200, this is a top spot for authentic, reasonably priced French cuisine. Wear flats as it has standing room only. Provencale

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88
LGBT

Raise your hands in the air

icon-location-pin Shinjuku-Nichome

Hailing all partygoers, this bar in Shinjuku Nichome regularly hosts fabulous parties and other events, with plenty of surprise celebrity performances thrown in. Aisotope Lounge

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Cinemas, Independent

Catch some cinema nouveau

icon-location-pin Shinjuku

With a penchant for arthouse films, Cinema Qualite includes two snug auditoriums that are equipped to screen both digital and 35mm films, with punch Dolby DR-S sound compensating for the small space. Cinema Qualite

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90
Music

Listen to retro J-pop

icon-location-pin Shinjuku

Specialising in 'Showa Kayo' (old Japanese pop music), this store offers a unique introduction to the charms of this genre, which continues to delight today. It also has a good stock of rare secondhand vinyl, CDs and greatest-hits compilations. Disk Union Showa Kayo-Kan

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The OPEN BOOK
Bars and pubs, Cocktail bars

Contemplate your lemon sour

icon-location-pin Shinjuku

The humble lemon sour (the Japanese kind, not the cocktail base) isn't the kind of drink one would think merits a specialist bar – yet that is exactly what The Open Book is. Pick up a tome from the massive bookcase and sip away. The Open Book

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