50 Things to Do in Shinjuku, the Party District of Tokyo, in 2018!

  • TOKYO
  • SHINJUKU
  • RECOMMENDED
  • 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.

    For more things to do in other areas, check this list out!
    Would you like to stay in Shinjuku? Check out all the hotels in the area here!

    1. Visit the Robot Restaurant

    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

    2. Stroll the Streets of Kabukicho and Shinjuku Golden Gai

    shinjuku-tour

    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

    3. Get Your Fortune Told

    shinjuku-fortune

    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

    4. Step into the World of Alice in Wonderland

    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

    5. Catch and Cook Your Own Food at Zauo

    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!

    6. Visit a Real Host Club

    shinjuku-host

    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

    7. Visit the Terrifying LockUp Restaurant

    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

    8. Dye Your Own Fabric

    shinjuku-dye

    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

    9. Experience Shinjuku’s Breathtaking Night Views

    shinjuku-view

    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

    10. Wear a Kimono and Take Pictures

    shinjuku-kimono

    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!

    11. See a Dance Performance With Unlimited Drinks Included!

    shinjuku-dance

    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!

    12. Check Out the Samurai-Themed Restaurant

    shinjuku-samurai

    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

    13. Learn “Yuzen-zome” Dyeing and Drawing Techniques from a Professional

    shinjuku-dyeing

    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

    14. Take a Special Food Tour

    Japanese Traditional Pizza Okonomiyaki

    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

    15. Become a Ninja for a Day

    shinjuku-ninja

    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

    16. Try Kick-Boxing for All Levels

    shinjuku-kickbox

    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

    17. Visit the Capcom Bar

    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

    18. Take Singing Lessons and Learn Japanese Through Music

    shinjuku-singing

    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!

    19. Try Japanese Calligraphy

    shibuya-calligraphy

    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”

    20. Visit the Christon Medieval Cafe

    shinjuku-medieval

    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

    21. Try Out Ikebana, Japanese Flower Arranging

    ginza-ikebana

    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!

    22. See Shinjuku from Up High

    Rồi phiêu linh hát để gió cuốn Em đi mãi xa vời. Làm mây phiêu lãng nơi cuối trời tìm Anh.

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    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.

    Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building Observatory website
    Access

    23. Play with Cute Felines at a Cat Cafe

    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.

    24. Explore an Enormous Discount Store

    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.

    Don Quijote website
    Access

    25. Practise Your Baseball Skills

    初めてのバッテングセンター⚾️ なかなか面白い😂5/25 #baseball #battingcenter #dayoff

    A post shared by asami watanabe (@asami_26) on

    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.

    Shinjuku Batting Centre website *Japanese only
    Access

    26. Shop for Cosplay Items and Unusual Clothing

    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.

    Okadaya website *Japanese only
    Access

    27. Buy Authentic Japanese Sweets

    かき氷終わってた(´༎ຶོρ༎ຶོ`) #2017 #お茶 #花園茶房 #来年食べるかき氷

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    “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.

    Hanazono Manju website *Japanese only
    Access

    28. Visit Hanazono Shrine

    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.

    Hanazono Shrine website
    Access

    29. Check Out One of Shinjuku’s Coolest Cafe Bars

    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.

    CoColo Cafe Tabelog page
    Access

    30. Fall Back in Love with Books at BIBLIOPHILIC & bookunion

    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.

    BIBLIOPHILIC & bookunion website *Japanese only
    Access

    31. See Different Kinds of Costumes at the Bunka Gakuen Costume Museum

    A post shared by @transsiberia on

    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.

    Bunka Gakuen Costume Museum website
    Access

    32. Watch a Real Rakugo Show

    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.

    Suehirotei website
    Access

    33. Buy Ingredients from Southeast Asia

    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.

    Asia Superstore website
    Access

    34. Drink Vintage Whisky at Zoetrope

    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!

    Zoetrope Tabelog page
    Access

    35. Shop for Gadgets at Yodobashi Camera

    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.

    Yodobashi Camera website *Japanese only
    Access

    Shinjuku Tours for Those Who Also Want to Go to Other Areas

    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!

    36. Join a Tokyo Pub Crawl

    shinjuku-pub

    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

    37. See Popular Places in Tokyo With a Local

    shibuya-tokyotour

    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!

    38. Have a Night Out in Tokyo

    shinjuku-nightout

    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!

    39. Yokohama Port Excursion

    Parked car and Rainbow Bridge at night 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

    40. Enjoy Japanese Dishes with Locals at an Izakaya in Tokyo!

    ginza-izakaya

    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!

    41. Discover Music in Tokyo

    harajuku-music

    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

    42. See Tokyo by Electric Bicycle

    shinjuku-bike

    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

    43. Book a 5-Day Package Guided Tour

    ginza-sakura

    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

    44. Package Tour Including a Tokyo Day Tour

    shinjuku-hoteltour

    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

    45. Try a 5-Day Package Tour with a day trip to Fuji Q Highland Theme Park

    asakusa-fujiQ

    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!

    46. 5-Day Package tour with trip to Hakone

    asakusa-fuji

    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

    47. See the City on a Half-Day Bus Tour

    Tokyo tour

    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!

    48. See the Cherry Blossoms in Spring

    shinjuku-sakura

    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!

    49. Try Out Some of Tokyo’s Recommended Restaurants

    Japanese SOBA noodle

    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

    50. See all of West Tokyo in One Day

    shinjuku-city

    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

    If you need transportation from Haneda Airport to Tokyo, consider taking the pre-booked shuttle service. If you take a cruise to Yokohama Port, there is also transportation to Tokyo from there.

    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!

    For more things to do in other areas, check this list out!
    Would you like to stay in Shinjuku? Check out all the hotels in the area here!