Shinjuku Japan is one of the 23 Tokyo wards, and is comprised of several districts, including the notorious Kabukicho Red Light District. It is also home to Shinjuku Station that is a central hub for subways and trains connecting all parts of the city. Shinjuku Station is considered to be the busiest train station in the world, with close to 3.5 million passengers passing through every day, and is in the Guinness Book of World Records. It boasts a large underground arcade and has more than 200 exits, some of which lead right into above-ground and underground department stores and shopping centers.
Most of the things to do in Shinjuku are concentrated in the vicinity of Shinjuku Station and its adjacent skyscraper district. In fact, many people out on shopping tours may travel to the train station, do all their shopping, and technically not leave the station at all. Even the Shinjuku nightlife found in Kabukicho is near the station to the northeast.
The Shinjuku Japan skyscraper district is the geographic and governmental center of the city and is home to many of Tokyo’s tallest buildings, including the Metropolitan Government Building, which boasts two of the city’s observatories. Unlike many of the other observatories, including the Tokyo Tower, admission to ascend in the Government Building is free. You will also find several luxury hotels in this district.
Just to the east of the Government Building is Shinjuku Gyoen, one of the largest and loveliest of the many parks and gardens in the city. One of the things to do in Shinjuku is come here during the months of March and April to view the cherry blossoms at their finest. There are hundreds of cherry trees here, as well as a French formal garden, a traditional Japanese garden with teahouses, and a pleasant English landscape garden. One of the special events here is the Chrysanthemum Exhibition, which occurs in November.
In the mid-seventeenth century when the moat for the Edo Castle was being excavated, several shrines and temples were moved here, and you will find them primarily in the western part of the ward. However, the Meiji Shrine, one of the finest in the city, is located on the southern edge of the ward, next to Harajuku. In addition to visiting these sacred sites, things to do in Shinjuku include visiting museums. The Shinjuku Historical Museum boasts fascinating collections relating to the history of Tokyo, including the Edo Period. There are a few other interesting museums, including the Shinjuku branch of the National Museum of Nature and Science and the Tokyo Fire Department Museum.
The city has been shaped by two recurring disasters—fire and earthquake. Until after World War II, almost all buildings in Japan were made of wood, and fires repeatedly devastated the city. Firefighting is an important technical art in the city, and the museum gives great insight into how fires played a part in the city’s history.
Located to the south of Shinjuku Japan is the Shibuya Ward, with its famous Harajuku District, center of a unique fashion subculture. Just to the east is Chiyoda Ward where the Imperial Palace and the Tokyo Bay Harbor area are located.