The bustling centre of Shinjuku is the closest thing Tokyo has to a "downtown". Centred around the world`s largest train station, which swallows and spits out 2 million people every day, Shinjuku is the unmissble beating heart of the metropolis.
Like much of Tokyo its thin on "sights" but rich in experiences. The surprises start almost immediately. Starting from the East Gate of the train station, head under the little passageway directly to the left and you`ll come up in the area known as "P*ss Alley" - this little block, in the heart of the busiest district in one of the world`s busiest cities, has preserved a ramshackle little labyrinth of smoky bars, and down at heel restaurants untouched since the 1950s. Garish decorations hang over the streets, and the smell of yakitori fills the air. Local salarymen sit for an afterwork beer. Atmospheric.
Kabukicho- a 5 minute walk down buzzing streets of neon, hawkers and pachinko parlors, is Tokyo`s notorious vice distrinct but worth a stroll if only for the vibe of bright lights, busy streets, and hookers and small time crooks from all over the world.
If you walk down the main strip (so to speak!) you`ll come to a Subway sandwich-shop - just opposite is an easy to miss but lovely spot- a quiet little alleyway lined with bamboos and trees, like a little forest in the middle of the urban jungle. Notice the laundry hanging above in the branches?Homeless people wash their clothes here. Walk up this little laneway and you`ll come to "Golden Gai" - another atmospheric quarter of tiny , postwar bars cramped together, under the shadow of the beautiful Hanozono Temple (famed for its outdoor theatre performances and its Sunday kimono market).
Linger a minute n the temple garden and then walk through its red torrii gates, and soon youre back on the Vegas-like blazing canyon of Yasukuni Dorii- one fo Shinjuku`s main drags- almost a full loop back to the station!
Nestled in the dirty and dangerous sex streets of Kabukicho is the 'Suntory Shot Bar'. I promise there is nothing special about this bar - same liquor, same bar stools - but its the customers that warrant a visitor's recommendation. Late at night you will find prostitutes, hostesses, and pimps taking a break from their sketchy careers and having a drink. Be careful though, the charming girl next to you is really just trying to find her next client.
Shinjuku is 1 of the wards of the metropolis of Tokyo. It’s become a most Asian country drop by point in Tokyo. Shinjuku is full of entertainment and shopping areas. Department store, electronics, restaurants and bars can be found most in this area. Shinjuku Station is also a busiest railway station in Tokyo. About 5 different Japan railway companies are running in this Shinjuku Line.
My house is in Shibuya area but it is nearer to reach in Shinjuku than Shibuya. I can find everything here I want like, dentist, hospital, hair saloon, restaurant, amusement, leisure and excitement. This street is crowded with young people from age 20s till 40s. Do feel free to come here and feel the environment where o00o lives.
The keywords is : city never sleeps at night.
The pseudo-twin towers of the Tokyo Metropolitan Government offices has an observatory near the top, which unlike almost everything in Tokyo, is absolutly free!
The views from the top are as good as that of Tokyo Tower, and are much lighter on your pocket as well.
The observatory is open until 10:00 pm, allowing time to see the city at night as well.
This is the standout memory I have of Tokyo. We would sometimes take the bus to Tokyo from Mishima and the let off station was at Shinjuku Station. So while waits were a plenty, Yukijohn would roam around the area. Directly next to the station, don't ask me what exit, a neighborhood exists that is in much a sense old Tokyo. Walking through, you'll pass a ton of noodle shops, inhabited by businessmen sipping away at the bowls. Wires, twisted metal and sign nearly graze your scalp. A taer in your skin here is sure to give you Rabies or worse yet, Tetnus.
If one is pressured for time I would strongly recommend taking along the free to obtain Tokyo Walks map and info guide. Comming out of the bussy train station its a bit dazzling and from my brief wander about the area a bit of a dissapointment. None the less I had wanted to see this part of Tokyo since viewing the late 1960s Japanese new wave film "Diary of a Shinjuku Thief", back at art school in the 1980s.
Walk around Nishi ('west') Shinjuku - the self-proclaimed 'City of the Future'.
See my separate travelogue for more photos.
People say that Tokyo reminds them of Blade Runner. Perhaps that's not too surprising, as apparently some of it was filmed in west Shinjuku...
The Tokyo Metropolitan Government is housed in a huge skyscraper in the Shinjuku area. On the 45 th floor are twin observatories. One in the north tower and one in the south tower. The observatories are at 202 meters above streetlevel. A fast elevator (240 meters/ min) will take you to the 45th floor in 45 sec.
The observatories are open 9:30 - 22:00. (entrance close 30 min before)
It is closed on dec 29,30 and 31. And januari 2 and 3.
The entrance is free!
Shinjuku is probably the loudest, most vibrant part of Tokyo. As the main business section of Tokyo, it is probably the most crowded place in the city, and this is where you can see thousands of people rushing off to work. At night, Shinjuku turns into a happening spot full of restaurants, bars, and sex clubs. If you want to see how a regular Tokyo-ite lets their hair down after work, Shinjuku at night is the place to see it.
Shinjuku has always had a reputation as one of Tokyo's pleasure quarters. After the Second World War, plans to build a kabuki theater never materialized but the name stuck, and Kabukicho's neon-lit streets continue to uphold a reputation for some of the most unfettered nightlife in the city. The area also boasts countless restaurants with excellent examples of virtually every Asian cuisine, and bars of every size and description.
In the days of the shogunate, Shinjuku was still a day's march from the capital, Edo (now Tokyo). Weary travellers coming from the west would stop at its inns to bath and rest, dine and visit one of the many houses of pleasure. With the coming of the railways, Shinjuku became a major junction. As late as 1970, Shinjuku was known mainly for its station, red-light district and sewage farm. When investors looked for alternatives to central Tokyo, Shinjuku had an important advantage: it seemed to survive earthquakes better than other areas. The first highrise was the KEIO PLAZA HOTEL.
Subway lines and JR railway lines meet at Shinjuku, plus the private lines feeding customers to their own department stores right above the station. The famous people-pushers operate as many bodies as they can into each carriage, giving them a final shove to let the doors close and then bowing as the train pulls out. It's worth experiencing - ONCE!! You will never wants to do it again! You can walk more than a kilometre underground (much more if you are lost like me!!!)
Shinjuku for shopping, night lights, and futuristic urban sceneary
Also Ikeburo, and Ginza are also good for this.
Imperial Palace, is beautiful and lies in a beautiful park setting in the middle of Tokyo near Tokyo Station
LIGHTS LIGHTS LIGHTS need i say more
21st century Tokyo in your hands!!!
The imperial Palace is really scenic
Most Americans have seen pictures of Times Square. Well, try to imagine a thousand Times Squares, each with ten times as many lights, and you'll perhaps get an idea of Tokyo by night. As the sun sets beyond a distant Fuji, the lights click on and the city becomes a wonderful kaleidoscope of colours and impressions.
Remember when you picked up that travel brochure and there was the picture of a demure kimono-clad beauty in the serene setting of a Japanese garden, with a pagoda rising gently behind her? Well, you can forget that in Tokyo. The modern cityscape is more reminiscent of New York than of samurai and geisha. But it's a New York without the crime and the dirt, the potholes in the street and the constant tension that comes as different cultures clash. Monocultural Tokyo is the 21st century, perhaps already edging into the 22nd.