It’s incredibly easy to spend an entire day in Shinjuku and never even think about doing the same thing twice. One of the busiest areas in all of Tokyo, Shinjuku is always alive, and always full of adventures.
Just wandering around the streets feels like you’re exploring an immersive new world. Everything in the hectic and colorful neighborhood seems somehow weird and wonderful simultaneously.
Shinjuku is home to many of the biggest department stores in Tokyo. Isetan is my personal favorite, mostly because of the fantastic food court on their basement floor. The massive Kinokuniya bookstore is also a great way to waste some time, especially if you like melancholy Japanese literature (which I love)!
Pachinko parlors are wildly popular in Japan. They come in all shapes and sizes, with varying games. The most interesting one I ever found was this one in Shinjuku, where you play for a sack of potatoes.
Shionzushi is my favorite spot for a quick lunch in Shinjuku. The conveyor belt sushi restaurant is hidden in a small basement venue just one block from the main thoroughfare. The sushi is fresh and delicious, and it never ends. It’s perfection.
Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden is one of the most beautiful parks in the world, and a great way to spend a sunny afternoon in Shinjuku. It offers some much needed variety to the hurried city streets.
…and once you’re done enjoying nature, it’s probably already late enough to enjoy a nice cocktail!
Shinjuku is full of fun little bars and restaurants. You definitely won’t go hungry or thirsty here. The tiny bars of Golden Gai are perfect for a quick drink, and one of my favorite options for dinner is yakiniku, where you get to grill your own meal. No blaiming the chef here!
Shinjuku’s streets show no signs of slowing down after nightfall
Robot Restaurant in Shinjuku’s Kabuki-cho district is a weird mix of music, half-naked women and robots
But you could always head to one of the many karaoke bars nearby and star in your own show!
Shinjuku looks wildly different after dark, with the endless sea of neon signs coming to life
The Don Quijote department store – much like Shinjuku itself – is open 24/7