Shinjuku: 15 Best Things to Do in 2021

From Kabukicho to Robot Restaurant, Best Things to Do in Shinjuku, Tokyo

The bustling street with neon lights in Shinjuku

Shinjuku is one of the must-visit areas in Tokyo, best known as the best entertainments districts in the city. The district offers lavish nightlife decorated with flashy neon lights and it’s considered as the biggest red light district in Tokyo.

There are numbers of entertainments and attractions available in Shinjuku area where visitors can play, eat and shop till very late night.

In this article, I’m sharing the best things to do in Shinjuku Tokyo in 2021, including the best photo spots, a nostalgic Izakaya alley and the famous Robot Restaurant!

1. Robot Restaurant

38% OFF Robot Restaurant Shinjuku Tokyo Discount E-Tickets - 2
© Voyagin, Inc.

Arguably, the craziest restaurant in the world! Robot Restaurant is a 10-billion-worth restaurant located in the heart of Shinjuku red light district, offering an eccentric entertaining show with robots and dancers with neon lights and music. The show is held 3-4 times daily and it’s extremely popular among tourists in all generations.

It’s one of the best places in Tokyo to explore only-in-Japan kind of experience! Check the link below for more details and get discount tickets!

More info ▶ Robot Restaurant Shinjuku Tokyo : Get up to 34% Discount Tickets!

2. Kabukicho

The iconic Kabukicho Gate at night

Kabukicho area is known as the biggest red light district in Tokyo where hundreds of restaurants, bars, night clubs and other red light establishments are located. It’s also popular as a night photography spot as the streets are lit up by colourful neon light all night long!

More info ▶ Kabukicho: Shinjuku’s Red Light District Ultimate Guide

3. Golden Gai

Golden Gai Alley at night

Golden Gai is a tiny yet atmospheric nightlife alley near Kabukicho area. There are over 200 small bars and eateries crammed, and most of them have only seats for a few customers. Some of bars have unique  themes that attracts regulars and particular customers.

If you want to explore the deep drinking culture/underground culture in Tokyo, do not hesitate to hop by at some of tiny bars in Golden Gai!

More info ▶ Ultimate Guide of the Unique Bar Alley Golden Gai

4. Omoide Yokocho

The retro and nostalgic, Omoide Yokocho alley in Shinjuku

Omoide Yokocho is a narrow and rustic alley packed with numbers of Japanese style small Izakaya pubs. The smokey alley with red lanterns is nowadays a popular spots for foreign tourists as they can experience the old-fashioned Japanese drinking culture with authentic pub food and drink like locals. It’s also one of the most popular photo spots in Tokyo today.

More info ▶ Ultimate Guide of the Retro Izakaya Alley Omoide Yokocho

5. Izakaya Hopping

Bar hopping at Shinjuku's Izakaya alley

Photo by Magical Trip

To enjoy the nightlife in Shinjuku, joining a bar hopping tour is the best idea. Tokyo Bar Hopping Night Food Tour in Shinjuku by Magical Trip offers the best bar hopping experience for international tourists. The local guide will take you to hidden local Izakaya and bars which may be hard to enter for visitors.

You can enjoy drinking with authentic Japanese bar foods and chatting with locals! Please check the link below for more details!

▶︎ Tokyo Bar Hopping Night Tour in Shinjuku

6. Tokyo Metropolitan Government Buildings

Tokyo Metropolitan Government Buildings

The west side of Shinjuku station is often called the “Skyscraper District” as numbers of modern high-rise buildings gather. Tokyo Metropolitan Government Buildings is an iconic building within the area and it’s been one of the most popular tourist attractions in Tokyo for the past decade.

The twin building have observation decks offering the panoramic city view of the city and surroundings, and it’s FREE entrance! You can also see Mount Fuji when the visibility is good.

More info ▶ Tokyo Metropolitan Government Buildings

7. Shinjuku Gyoen Gyoen is a vast park located in the heart of Shinjuku area. Although the surrounding area is one of the busiest and the most hectic areas in Tokyo, the park offers a massive green space with peaceful and serine atmosphere. Shinjuku Gyoen is one of the most popular spots in Tokyo for cherry blossom viewing.

More info ▶ Shinjuku Gyoen: the Most Popular Park in Tokyo

8. Samurai Museum

Samurai Museum in Shinjuku

Samurai Museum is a historical museum dedicated to Samurai culture. The museum is not only where you can learn about Samurai history, but also to experience actually to be Samurai by learning swordsmanship or wearing costumes.

More info ▶ Guide of Samurai Museum

9. Ramen

Ramen at Shinjuku Taketora

Shinjuku is home to hundreds of restaurants with a wide variety of dishes. Especially, Shinjuku is known as one of Tokyo’s most competitive Ramen districts and countless Ramen restaurants gather in this area. If you want to taste a great bowl of Ramen, try one of Ramen restaurants that have long queues in front of the shop!

More info ▶ 10 Best Ramen Restaurants in Shinjuku

10. Yayoi Kusama Museum

Yayoi Kusama

The queen of pop art, Yayoi Kusama’s very own museum has opened in Shinjuku, Tokyo a couple of years ago. The 5-story museum displays the classic to rare artworks of Yayoi Kusama at the gallery on each floor, and also consists of a library and museum shop.

Tickets are not available at the door, so all tickets must be purchased in advance through the museum website.

More info ▶ Yayoi Kusama Museum in Shinjuku

11. Park Hyatt Tokyo

The restaurant in Park Hyatt Tokyo
© 2015 Hyatt Corporation

Park Hyatt Tokyo is a hotel in Shinjuku known as the filming location of the famous movie: Lost in Translation. Since the movie has a lot of fans across the world, the hotel and its bar lounge also become popular landmarks in town.

More info ▶ New York Grill and Bar: PARK HYATT TOKYO in Shinjuku

12. Sneaker Hunting

The collection of cool kicks at a sneaker store in Shinjuku

Sneakers are popular items to shop in Tokyo among foreigners, and Shinjuku is one of best spots to hunt for the most trendy and cool kicks. From brand stores to small boutiques, a larger number of sneaker stores gather in Shinjuku area, and sometimes you can find very rare ones!

More info ▶ Coolest Sneaker Shops in Shinjuku

13. Shinjuku Bus Terminal BUSTA

Shinjuku Bus Terminal Busta

Shinjuku Bus Terminal “BUSTA” is a newly renovated bus terminal next JR Shinjuku station. When it comes to travelling a long distance, bus is one of the best option as it’s inexpensive and there are many routes available. BUSTA is a hub to numbers of long distance buses connecting Tokyo and hundreds of destinations all over Japan. The terminal is connected to a department store “NEWoMan”.

More info ▶ BUSTA : Shinjuku Expressway Bus Terminal

14. Shin Okubo

Don Quijote Shin Okubo Ekimae

Quick train ride or 15 mins walk from Shinjuku Station, Shin Okubo is the neighbour of Shinjuku which is trending among young generation thank to the current K-Pop boom. Shin Okubo is the largest Korean town in Tokyo where hundreds of Korean restaurants and shops gather.

More info ▶ Shin Okubo: Korean Town in Tokyo

15. Takadanobaba

Takadanobaba Station

Takadanobaba is a small neighbourhood within Shinjuku district situated around 1.3 km north of Shin Okubo area. It’s popular among students, and there are numbers of inexpensive local eateries. Just like Shinjuku, Takadanobaba is home to numbers of great Ramen restaurants.

More info ▶ Best Ramen Restaurants in Takadanobaba

If you are wondering what to do in Tokyo, check this article below!
▶︎Things to Do in Tokyo

Are you also looking for the things to do in the areas near Shinjuku?
▶︎Best Things to Do in Harajuku
▶︎Best Things to Do in Shibuya

Check out how to explore Shinjuku in one day!

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