Shinjuku can be quite intimidating with its bright lights, enormous train station, glamorous people and an array of host clubs and bars. It is also a unique district of Tokyo; it is the gay capital and the home of the red light district. If you’re visiting Tokyo, this fascinating area is well worth a visit. Here are 50 things to do in Shinjuku.
The Robot Restaurant is one of the coolest themed restaurants in Tokyo with dazzling shows, dances, lasers, and more. You will enter a completely different world at this popular attraction. When you book with Voyagin, you can get discounts, seat upgrades, and exiting freebies. Check out the below tickets and find the best deal to visit one of the most hyped restaurants in downtown Kabukicho!
Booking details: 34% OFF Robot Restaurant Shinjuku Tokyo Discount E-Tickets
One of the most famous places in Shinjuku is Kabukicho, Japan’s most famous red light district. If you want to fully experience Shinjuku, Kabukicho and Golden Gai are a must-visit. Although it isn’t openly dangerous, it is recommended you go with a guide to ensure you stay completely safe. The two tours below offer tours of these areas as well as introductions to local food and bars.
Booking details: Kabukicho and Shinjuku Golden Gai Night Tour
If you’re the superstitious type, why not get your fortune told while you’re in Shinjuku? A fortune-teller will use palm-reading and tarot cards to tell your future and even guide you to increase your good luck! For something a little unusual, give this a try.
Booking details: Experience Fortune Telling in Shinjuku
Do you love Disney? There are several Alice in Wonderland themed cafes in Tokyo, and Shinjuku is home to “Alice in a Magical Land”. If you’re a fan of Alice and Disney, definitely pay a visit to this cute cafe! If you’d like to reserve a table so you can visit with complete peace of mind, check out the link below.
Booking details: Reservation for Alice’s Cafes in Tokyo
At a restaurant in Shinjuku, you can taste the freshest fish you’ve ever seen! You have the option to catch and even cook your own sea bream, flounder, and lobster. If this quirky way of dining appeals to you, book your reservation below.
Booking details: Reservation for Fishing and Cooking in a Restaurant – Zauo!
Looking for a girls’ night out, Japanese-style? It wouldn’t be a real night out in Shinjuku without a visit to a host club! These masters of entertainment will treat you like a princess, engage in great conversation, and ensure you have a fantastic night.
Host clubs can get very expensive, so it is recommended you take the tour below with a local who will show you their favorite club and also introduce you to some great food!
Booking details: Visit a Host Club in Shinjuku: Lady’s night life with locals
If you enjoy spooky or Halloween-themed restaurants, definitely visit the LockUp in Shinjuku. You’ll be served by zombies and experience a thrilling show! All-you-can-drink set options are also available, so have a scary night out with your friends!
Booking details: Reservation for “Locked Up in Prison Restaurant” in Shinjuku
Japanese dyeing is an old tradition that is fought to be preserved. This lesson below gives you a kimono workshop and the opportunity to dye your own fabric.
Booking details: Experience dyeing textile at Futaba-en, Tokyo
As a metropolis, Shinjuku has some great night sights. This tour will introduce you to some famous buildings of Shinjuku and take you to the Tokyo Metropolitan Government office, where you can see a breathtaking night view of the city.
Booking details: Enjoy an Awesome Night View of Shinjuku
The kimono is a gorgeous Japanese dress. In Shinjuku, there’s an opportunity to dress in a kimono and have a photo shoot! This includes the makeup and hair, too, so you’ll get a real authentic experience and breathtaking pictures so you’ll never forget this special day. This is unmissable if you’re interested in Japanese history and fashion.
Booking details: Dress Up in Kimono & Take Gorgeous Pictures in Shinjuku!
At the Black Swan Lake bar in Shinjuku, you can enjoy a fantastic dance performance. With this set, you can choose from a variety of meals and drink packages to ensure you have a great night out.
Booking details: See a dance performance at Black Swan Lake in Kabukicho!
Dive into the Sengoku days at the samurai-themed restaurant! You can select a set meal and feel the lifestyle of old Japanese warlords. With this tour, there is also an option to visit the famous Robot Restaurant and see their show!
Booking details: Sengoku-style Izakaya dinner with a Robot Restaurant Ticket
A professional dyer is holding an intermediate fabric dyeing lesson in Shinjuku. Dye your own coasters or handkerchiefs to take home, and learn how the process works. You can also try painting and dyeing hand towels in any color you choose.
Booking details: Take an Intermediate Lesson on Dyeing Fabric
This tour is great if you’d like to try Shinjuku’s best foods but are not sure where to start. This tour will introduce you to the yummy Japanese dishes okonomiyaki and monja. You can have a go at making them yourself at the traditional restaurants.
Booking details: Enjoy an amazing private night tour in Shinjuku for foodies
A gym in Shinjuku is offering the chance to learn to become a ninja for a day! You can rent the special wear, choose a weapon and be shown how to use it. Afterwards, you can have pictures taken so you’ll have a souvenir to take home!
Booking details: Experience ninja weapons and martial arts in Tokyo
While you’re at the gym, why not brush up on your kickboxing skills? Whether you’re a budding athlete or a complete beginner, this course can give you a little exercise while having fun!
Booking details: Practice kickboxing in Tokyo
— カプコンカフェ (@Capcom_Cafe) March 28, 2017
Shinjuku is also home to the Capcom bar. If you’re a fan of Resident Evil and Monster Hunter, definitely pay this unique bar a visit and try food with themes of your favorite video games!
Booking details: Reservation for the Game World at the Capcom Bar in Tokyo
In Shinjuku, you can take a singing lesson that will not only train your pitch and rhythm, but also teach you how to sing a Japanese song. They have some for you to choose from, or you can provide your own CD or YouTube video beforehand. Learn Japanese the fun way and enjoy this singing lesson in a studio in Shinjuku!
Booking details: Sing Japanese songs on a singing lesson in Tokyo!
Calligraphy, or “shodo” is another Japanese tradition that is being preserved well. Learn how to write complicated kanji characters at this fun calligraphy class! You can join local people and even try some Japanese food afterwards.
Booking details: Try the unique experience “Calligraphy with locals”
This is another themed cafe in Shinjuku, but this time it’s themed in medieval European style! Visit this cafe to enjoy themed cocktails and the medieval-style atmosphere. Click the link below to reserve your table.
Booking details: Reservation for Medieval Europe Christon Cafe Shinjuku,Tokyo
Shinjuku is just bursting with cultural experiences, and this is no different. Ikebana, or flower arrangement, is a long-standing tradition that is said to help people heal mentally and help them find their inner peace. Try “ikebana” in Shinjuku!
Booking details: Experience Ikebana, a Flower Arrangement Class!
You can go to the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building Observatory free of charge and see a gorgeous view of Tokyo. It’s an affordable alternative to Tokyo Skyree and to get there, you walk through the peaceful and classy neighbourhood of Shinjuku’s ultra-modern office buildings.
You may have heard of these unusual cafes and you can find plenty of them in Tokyo! Cat cafes are becoming extremely popular in Japan and beyond, and if you love cats, you should definitely check out a cafe where you can pet and play with cute kitties to your heart’s content! Cat cafes in Shinjuku include Cat Cafe Calico, Cat Cafe Nyankoto, and Cafe Arles.
You haven’t been shopping in Japan until you’ve been to Don Quijote. It’s easy to get lost in this mecca for shoppers, which is filled to the brim with household goods, costumes, clothes, seasonal items, cosmetics, food, over-the-counter medicine, toys, alcohol, and more. For great deals, give this vast and interesting store a visit.
Japanese arcades are abundant, but at Shinjuku Batting Centre, you can test your skills by practising hitting baseballs! Challenge your friends and work up a sweat without having to leave the city. The arcade also has taiko drums, UFO catcher machine games, arcade games, and vending machines.
Okadaya in Shinjuku is a haven for cosplayers! Here, you’ll find clothing, accessories, and materials for just about any outfit for cosplay conventions, Halloween, and even special events. If you or someone you know loves making and wearing special and unique outfits, Okadaya is a great place to stop at and explore.
“Wagashi” are traditional sweets that go well to couneract the bitterness of green tea. You can check out “wagashi” at Hanazono Manju, a speciality shop located inside Keio Department Store. Browse unique confectionary and find the perfect gift to take home.
This Shinto shrine is home to many festivals in Shinjuku and is a great place to find some tranquility among the crowds of Tokyo. Walk under the red torii gate and explore the charming grounds of this well protected gem just ten minutes on foot from Shinjuku Station’s east exit.
CoColo Cafe not only has coffee, but delicious dishes such as roast beef, sandwiches, curries, spaghetti, and beer as well. This hip cafe/bar also has some fantastic desserts and is open for lunch and dinner. It’s a great place to fill up on good food and drink after a busy day of sightseeing in Shinjuku.
— ブックユニオン新宿 (@bookunionshinju) December 5, 2017
This welcoming shop has everything book-related, including magazines, bookshelves, old and new novels, photo books, and accessories. Book reading and appreciating isn’t dead! Buy the perfect gift for an avid reader you know or find something special for yourself at this book heaven.
Those who love dressing up and who like to admire different costumes would appreciate a visit to the Bunka Gakuen Costume Museum. See how western influence has affected Japanese fashion and military wear, witness traditional ethnica wear from Japan and other parts of Asia, and check out the museum’s ever-expanding collection of garments, old and new.
Admission is 500 yen for adults, 300 yen for university, college, and high school students, and 200 yen for children and junior high school students.
If you love comedy and want to brush up your Japanese, Suehirotei in Shinjuku is one of the few places in Tokyo where you can watch a real rakugo show! Rakugo is an entertaining monologue where the comedian tells a story in a funny way. It’s very popular in Osaka and in Suehirotei, you can enjoy this branch of comedy in the heart of Tokyo.
Asian Superstore in Shinjuku sells food and ingredients from Thailand. A lot of the products here, which include tinned food, fresh herbs, jars, and bags, as well as tableware and cooking products.
This small bar has a huge collection of vintage whisky. The bar itself is film-themed and a casual place where you can enjoy different kinds of whisky tasting and a friendly environment. Bring someone who loves scotch and absorb the friendly and intimate atmopshere!
Akihabara isn’t the only place to get gadgets and innovative electronics that Japan is famous for! Yodobashi Camera is one of the most well-loved places to get computers, laptops, and computer accessories, video games, cameras and camera accessories, household items, and beauty products. Shop for great deals, souvenirs, and unique items at the main store, which is just a four-minute walk from Shinjuku Station.
There are also plenty of things to do that not only include Shinjuku, but other areas too. Check out the following for things to do that cover several areas in one!
If you’d like to go drinking during your time in Tokyo, why not join a pub crawl and let the host take care of everything? With so many bars, pubs, clubs and host bars, it can be difficult to know where to go that’s good without being too expensive. On this Tokyo pub crawl, you can enjoy the best drinking places in Shinjuku and meet local people at the same time.
What’s actually great about this tour is that the host knows some great areas in a lot of places, not only Shinjuku. So if you’d like to see other areas, too, you can adjust the plan to suit you.
Booking details: Join hidden Izakaya＆Sake Pub Crawl Tour in Tokyo
See the best spots of Tokyo all in one day with this private tour. Here you will get to see popular spots such as Ueno Park, Shibuya, Shinjuku, and Asakusa, and finish it all off with drinks at a Japanese izakaya (居酒屋) pub. If this sounds like something you’d be interested in, check out the link below.
Booking details: Tour all the popular places in Tokyo with a local!
If you’re up for more than just a few drinks and would like a full Tokyo-style night out, consider booking this guide’s time! You can pick and choose things you’d like to whether it be eating, drinking, visiting certain places or karaoke.
Booking details: Spend an Exciting Night Out in Tokyo!
If you are taking the cruise ship to Yokohama, there’s a great tour that picks you up from Yokohama port and shows you round Tokyo in the comfort of a car. If you’re going to be in Yokohama port, consider booking this so you can see the best spots of Shinjuku, Asakusa, Akihabara, Ginza and more with a guide.
Booking details: Shore excursion from Yokohama Port to Tokyo
If you’re not proficient in the local language, it can be easy to stick with restaurants that look tourist and English-friendly; however, are you getting a real local experience? Luckily, in Shibuya you can meet a local person who will take you to a real Japanese pub, called an “izakaya”, recommend dishes you may not have tried before, and show you how ordinary Japanese people party! If you’d like to immerse yourself in the culture while you’re here, check out this tour!
Booking details: Enjoy Japanese Dishes with Locals at an Izakaya in Tokyo!
If you’re into Japanese and Korean music, definitely don’t miss out on all the amazing music shops Tokyo has to offer! This tour offers a tour of all the best places across Harajuku and Shin-Okubo, as well as any live events you’re interested in attending.
Booking details: Music Experience around Tokyo
Tokyo’s transportation is efficient and safe, but alternatively, you could consider seeing Tokyo by bicycle! Visit some great places including Shinjuku Gyoen Park, the 2020 Olympics site, and the imperial palace. These bikes are electric bicycles, ensuring that you are comfortable throughout the journey and don’t tire yourself. Best of all, a camera will record everything as you go, and you can take your own personal video of Tokyo home with you as a souvenir!
Booking details: Cycle around Tokyo with an electric bike and a camera
If you’d like to be able to relax and let a guide take care of your entire trip, this package deal is for you. With this deal, you will be transferred from the airport to your hotel (as long as you’re staying in Tokyo), and take you on tours on each day of your trip. These include all the must-see spots in Tokyo such as Tsukiji, Asakusa, the Imperial Palace, Shinjuku, Shibuya, and Harajuku. On the 4th day, you will also get to visit Hakone for a special day trip. Check out this 5-day tour!
Booking details: Tokyo Guided Tour – 5 day Affordable Package
A complete tour with airport transfer, 3-night hotel accommodation with breakfast, and a walking tour of Tokyo on your second day is also available. Take a look at this tour if you’d like a completely all-inclusive stay in Tokyo.
Booking details: Enjoy Tokyo in a free & easy package
This 5-day tour includes a trip to Fuji Q Highland Theme Park, and a trip to locations such as Harajuku, Odaiba, and Asakusa. An airport transfer is also included.
Booking details: Discover Tokyo in an affordable 5-day package tour!
This similar trip also offers airport transfer, Tokyo’s best sightseeing spots and a trip to Hakone, but also includes a trip to Mt. Fuji and a ride on the Komagatake Ropeway! If you’d like to see Fuji up close and take a cruise on Lake Ashi, consider this tour!
Booking details: Avail a Tokyo 5-day Package Tour with a day trip to Hakone
You may prefer to see Tokyo by bus so you can enjoy the sights and sit comfortably in between. If this is the case, consider taking a half-day bus tour where you can see the Imperial Palace, Sensoji Temple, Tsukiji Fish Market and more.
Booking details: Enjoy Half Day Bus Tour Around Best Tourist Spots in Tokyo!
You might have heard of Japan’s cherry blossoms, or “sakura”, which are extra special because they only bloom a few weeks out of the year. If you’re visiting Japan in late March or early April, don’t miss this tour of Tokyo’s best sakura spots!
Booking details: Visit Tokyo’s best sakura (cherry blossom) spots!
Want to try some great food in the city but you’re not sure which places are good to go? This affordable option lets a local recommend their favorite places based on what you’d like to eat. They will also book a table for you if you’d like. Check it out.
Booking details: Restaurant Reservation with Recommended Dishes
Finally, you can select a tour that covers all the best spots on the west side of Tokyo, including Ikebukuro, the Korean town of Shin-Okubo, Shinjuku (including a city view from the Government Building), Yoyogi Park, and more.
Booking details: Discover the essentials of Tokyo’s western side, 1-day tour
Train and subway is the easiest way to get around in Tokyo, so don’t forget to purchase a prepaid travel card to make your travels easier. Shinjuku is packed with fun things to do that you’re sure to never forget. Whatever you decide to do, we hope you have a fantastic time!