Shinjuku is one of the busiest areas in Tokyo and your classic snapshot of modern Japan – neon, skyscrapers, shopping malls and a convenience store on every corner. It’s also the location of many business and chain hotels so it’s quite likely you’ll be staying in this area. While there’s plenty of shops and restaurants, they’re spread over a large area with a huge train station in the middle so it can be difficult to navigate. It makes a great base for exploring Tokyo as you can get a lot of things ticked off here.
Shopping in Shinjuku
Your one stop shop for just about everything – art and craft supplies, homeware, stationery, party goods, luggage, cookware, furniture and DIY tools – and perfect for weird gifts and souvenirs. See my full post »
Huge craft store close to Shinjuku station with 6 floors of fabric and 7 floors of sewing supplies, craft books, kits and much more. See my full post »
Small branch of this much-loved craft store (visit the huge branch in Kichijoji if you can). You’ll find a good range of fabric, craft supplies and kits. See my full post »
Kit Kat Chocolatory
Fancy little boutiques dedicated to KitKats and selling exclusive flavours. Website »
Art supplies store with everything you could possibly need. The huge flagship store is near Shinjuku Gyoen. Website »
A haven for book, mook and magazine lovers, not to mention all the stationery. It would be easy to spend a few hours here, and no-one will mind if you do! There are two branches in Shinjuku. Website »
Where to Eat
Pay your entry fee and you get 70-90 minutes to eat all the cake, desserts and pasta you can manage! They promise over 30 types of seasonal cakes and portions are tiny so you can try as much as possible before falling into a sugar coma. Website »
Muji Cafe & Meal
The Shinjuku branch of this famous minimalist lifestyle goods store also has a cafe serving deli lunches and desserts. You can pick up own-brand packaged foods. Website »
Art, Culture & More
For just ¥200 you can escape the madness of Shinjuku for this beautiful garden. The entrance fee means it’s better looked after and less crowded than the free parks and it has very photogenic ponds and lakes. It’s pretty big too so you can get some exercise or just put your feet up. Website »
Metropolitan Government Building
Head here for the tourist office (with English maps) and the free observation floor. Considering the prices charged for Mori Tower or Sunshine 60, this is well worth doing. It also has a pretty good gift shop for traditional and kawaii souvenirs. Website »
You can find just about anything in Shinjuku (including the red light district). There are many many shopping malls for fashion and beauty, lots of big brand and electronics stores and Studio Alta is great for teenage girls. There’s also plenty places to eat (try the restaurant floor at Times Square) and lots of little alleys to explore.
Shinjuku station is apparently the busiest train station in the world and it’s very easy to get lost in. Make sure you know which of the hundreds of exits is closest to your destination and follow the signs faithfully, otherwise you could end up on the wrong side of the railway lines.
The main East Exit will take you out to Studio Alta, Okadaya and lots of shops and restaurants. For Takashimaya Times Square, take the New South Exit or South Terrace exit. For Shinjuku Gyoen, you’re best to take the subway to Shinjuku-gyoemmae.
Last updated: 15 May 2017
Useful Links & Guides
- My Tokyo Shopping Guide (craft & kawaii shopping in Tokyo and beyond)
- My Japan Trips (more links and guides)
- Planning For Japan (my Japan guide with 200+ shops, cafes and places of interest plus tips and resources to help you plan the perfect trip!