Shinjuku: 14 Best Things to Do in 2020

From Kabukicho to Robot Restaurant, Best Things to Do in Shinjuku, Tokyo 2020

The bustling street with neon lights in Shinjuku

Shinjuku is one of the must-visit districts in Tokyo which is best known for lavish nightlife decorated with flashy neon lights as it’s the biggest red light district in the city. 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 2020, 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
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Arguably, the craziest restaurant in the world! The 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!

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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!

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3. Golden Gai

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!

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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.

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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!

6. 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!

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7. Shinjuku Gyoen

Shinjuku Gyoen Park 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 peaceful and serine atmosphere. Shinjuku Gyoen is one of the most popular spots in Tokyo for cherry blossom viewing.

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8. Samurai Museum

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.

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9. Ramen

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!

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10. Yayoi Kusama Museum

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.

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11. 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!

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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.

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13. Shin Okubo

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.

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14. Takadanobaba

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.