- 1. The Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building (Tocho)
- 2. Shinjuku Gyoen
- 3. Godzilla (Toho Cinemas Shinjuku)
- 4. The Samurai Museum
- 5. Arakicho
- Looking for more?
1. The Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building (Tocho)
With its iconic, skyline-defining design, the twin towers of Tocho are a sight to behold. Since Tocho is located on the western edge of Tokyo proper, the skyscraper offers one of the best views in the city—a panorama that includes many of the city’s most famous landmarks, including Tokyo Skytree, Tokyo Tower, and Roppongi Hills. You can even see all the way to Odaiba on the edge of Tokyo Bay. Best of all, since this is a government facility, you can enjoy this experience entirely for free. Read more about Tocho and other Nishi-shinjuku skyscraper observatories here.
2. Shinjuku Gyoen
The fact that Shinjuku Gyoen is mentioned in 13 of my 2018 articles should give you an idea of just how important and beloved this national garden is.
While some may be deterred by its entry fee (200 yen) and comparatively strict conduct rules, these minor inconveniences are part of what makes Shinjuku Gyoen such a serene place to relax and hit the pause button on the constant din of Tokyo’s daily grind. Learn more about this one-of-a-kind escape by clicking here.
3. Godzilla (Toho Cinemas Shinjuku)
Even if you aren’t a fan of the King of the Monsters, there’s just something awe inspiring about witnessing the legendary beast come to life, complete with his iconic bellow of discontent and billowing steam in the middle of Kabukicho, Shinjuku.
Whether you pay Godzilla a visit out of respect, or just for kicks, the detour will be well worth it. Although pictures can’t do a life-sized Godzilla head justice, I did my best to capture the experience for you here.
4. The Samurai Museum
As someone who is trying to learn more about Japanese history in entertaining ways, I may be a little biased toward the Samurai Museum. That being said, if you are interested in samurai and the role they played in Japanese history, the Samurai Museum offers a superb crash course. Although some may argue that the price to enter is a little high, the convenient location and English-language guided tours (included in the price) make the experience worthwhile. Get a preview of what to expect by clicking here.
OK, I’m kind of cheating by including an entire neighborhood on this list. However, since it’s a small neighborhood, packed to the brink with amazing bars and restaurants, you can visit several different places in one evening. So, let’s consider Arakicho, in its entirety, as one of Shinjuku’s greatest attractions. With so many things to do in so little time, it’s nearly impossible to figure out where to get started. Allow me to give you two suggestions:
- – Bar C-Shell: Fostering Communication through Pop Culture and Fine Spirits
- – Vowz Bar: Spirits for the Spirit
Looking for more?
From the historic backstreets of Arakicho and Kagurazaka to the pristine, ultra-modern Nishi-Shinjuku skyscraper district, Shinjuku is vast and diverse. This top-five list only scratches the surface of what you’ll find in this special ward of Tokyo. Your tastes and preferences may vary, so I encourage you to take a deeper dive into our Shinjuku content and stay tuned for even more in 2019 and beyond.