Japan is on top of the list for many tourists around the world as it is arguably one of the most amazing countries to visit. You will see stunning well-preserved shrines and temples that date back hundred years ago. In addition, several of Japan’s Buddhist temples are UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
Tokyo is well known for its skyscraper buildings but natural landscapes are also beautiful in Japan. Anywhere you go, whether it’s the mountainous area, Riverside, or a forest fortress, Japan has a place for nature lovers. The day and nightlife of Japan are full of activities, food is amazing in this country, plus, shopping in Japan is way more fun! One of the places to visit in Japan is Shinjuku. Shinjuku Japan is largely separated into three different parts: east, south, and west areas.
Top Attractions and Things to do in Shinjuku Japan
You definitely cannot miss a visit for one of Tokyo’s biggest national parks. As previously mentioned, Japan has beautiful places in store for nature lovers and Shinjuku Gyoen is one of those places. A lot of people both tourists and local flock this place during cherry blossom season on the months of March and April. Hundreds and hundreds of cherry blossom trees can be found in Shinjuku Gyoen park and it is a wonderful sign to see as these trees bloom. Shinjuku Gyoen has three notable gardens within its premises: the traditional Japanese Garden, the English Landscape, and the French Formal. You can access Shinjuku Gyoen through its three different gates. A ten-minute walk from JR Shinjuku Station is the Shinjuku Gate of the park. You can also go through the Okido Gate, which is walking distance from the Shinjukugyoenmae station. While the Sendagaya Gate of Shinjuku Gyoen is near the JR Sendagaya Station. So whichever is most accessible to you would do as you can go to all the three gardens of the park regardless of where your entry point is. Shinjuku Gyoen would offer your peace and serenity away from the hustle and bustle of Tokyo City. However, with its popularity, the park can get a lot of visitors. People would come to have brunch, view the cherry blossoms, or come in just for a stroll. If you would really want to go with lesser people, it is suggested you come weekdays early morning. Admission fee to Shinjuku Gyoen is only 200 yen and you can stay in the park as long as you want.
Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building
This is one of the best observatories in Japan. Why? First off, admissions are free to go inside Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building. What a great bargain! Second, you can have best of both worlds by being able to see the Tokyo Tower and the Tokyo Skytree from this building. The Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building are divided into two areas: north and south observatories. In the north observatory, there are seats lined up by a vast glass where you can lounge and check the amazing view. If you would want to eat and have a drink, then you can head on to the cafe in the south observatory. Before you leave, do not forget to get yourself a souvenir!
Want to have a fun night? Then Kabukicho is the place to be. Kabukicho is known as Japan’s red light district. Just a word of warning, just like other red light districts in other countries, you must be extra careful in Kabukicho. Do not go with anyone who would try to lure into their bars. Just stick to the traditional and less aggressive bars. Do not worry, you are still in for an adventure! You can also go for a Godzilla tour as your will find the mighty dinosaur right at the center of Kabukicho or you can go brush up on your samurai knowledge and check the impressive samurai displayers in the Samurai museum. You can also gamble and try your luck in Pachinko parlors. You might just end up with more travel money.
Accommodations in Shinjuku Japan: Mapping Out the Hotels & Apartments
Transportation in Japan most especially in Tokyo is not cheap. Thus, it is common for tourists to walk around when traveling in Japan. Although of course there are times when riding a public transport is needed. You must avoid riding taxis as much as possible because taxi fare in Tokyo is sky high. It is highly advisable that you stay in a hotel or apartment conveniently located near a train station so that you can go around Shinjuku, Shibuya, Ginza, and Tokyo practically.
Shinjuku is arguably the best place to stay when traveling in Tokyo. Why? Shinjuku is everything you imagine Tokyo to be. All those buildings, neon lights, busy streets, and lively neighborhood that you see in movies is exactly what Shinjuku is. Shopping is also amazing in Shinjuku! All the branded shops that you know are most probably here, plus there are a lot of 100 yen shops that can be found here and cool vendor machines that are uniquely available only in Japan!
If you have money to spare for accommodation, then you must try out Hotel Sunroute Plaza Shinjuku. Rooms in this hotel start at around $150 USD and it is super worth it! You can never go wrongs with this hotel as it is conveniently located near the train station, shops, malls, and restaurants. The rooms are spacious with unlimited free wi-fi. Since this hotel is very popular, rooms get fully booked so make sure to make your reservations way in advance. The room that is first to get booked here it the Standard Twin Room with double beds. Other notable hotels that can host your stay in Shinjuku are JR Kyushu Hotel Blossom Shinjuku, Hotel Kent, Best Western Astina Shinjuku Hotel, Hotel Rose Garden Shinjuku, Citadanes Central Shinjuku Tokyo and Keio Plaza Hotel Shinjuku. All of these accommodations have raving reviews. If you are tight on the budget, you may opt to rent an apartment through Airbnb. There are a lot of options listed on Airbnb. Just make sure to choose one that is conveniently located near a train station and convenience store to avoid expensive transportation costs.
Must-Try Restaurants in Shinjuku Japan
Shinjuku is blessed with a lot of food choices. From the simple ramen to the extravagant sushi bars, this area has everything that one might look for in an authentic Japanese meal.
For those looking to eat ramen, Shinjuku is home to many famous ramen joints where you can bring your family for a great meal. Ichiran is a cheap ramen joint that serves its signature tonkatsu ramen. The interesting part of Ichiran is that a person can have the privacy to eat without having to see anyone else. These booths allow guests to focus all their attention in savoring the bowl of ramen that is served to them. Fu-Benji is another famous ramen shop where it is not uncommon to see a long line of people waiting to get seated. The most famous dish served here would be the tokusei tsukemen. This is a dipping ramen whose broth is made from both chicken and fish.
Tonkatsu is another Japanese dish that has grown in popularity outside of Japan. Katsukura is an affordable restaurant whose tonkatsu are to die for. The best thing to order would be the prix fix, an affordable lunch set meal. Aside from the pork loin or pork fillet tonkotsu, the prix fix allows guests to order an unlimited amount of rice, cabbage, and miso soup. It is often recommended to choose the pork loin as the meat for the tonkotsu as it packs in more flavor with its higher fat content.
Sushi lovers should definitely head on over to Kyubey. This sushi bar allows guest to fully immerse themselves in the craftsmanship and process behind making each sushi piece. As all seatings in Kyubey are at the bar, all eyes are on the sushi and the chef. The best set to order would be the Imari set. This contains 7 nigiri pieces and a roll. The nigiri that comes with the set usually includes fatty tuna, squid, and mackerel
For those looking to have a meal while drinking at night, look no further than Hajimeya. Now regular grilled meat and vegetables might not sound so impressive, but Hajimeya has one dish that sets it apart from the rest. This restaurant serves the best chicken, also known as the toriwasa, The chicken used for this dish is as fresh as it can be thus adding more flavors.
Shinjuku Japan Weather by Month
January: Weather in Shinjuku, Japan for the month of January is generally cold and sunny. In this month is ironically when you will experience the coldest weather in Japan and as well as the sunniest.
February: Similar to the month of January, it is also generally cold and sunny during the month of February in Shinjuku Japan. However, it is just a tad bit gloomier in the month of February as compared to the previous month.
March: March is the sunny weather in Shinjuku Japan. First signs of spring also come out during this month and people are just extremely excited for Sakura season to start around March 30.
April: The month of April is officially the spring season in Shinjuku, Japan! It is arguably the favorite weather of most people living in Japan and even to tourists visiting.
May: The amazing spring weather of Japan continues up until the month of May. Thus, the month of May is also a great time to visit Japan!
June: The month of June marks the start of rainy season in Japan. Spring is officially over once June hits!
July: The rainy season in Japan continues up until around third week of July. By end July, the weather starts to transition as the rain stops and the sun comes up!
August: August is when it is hot and humid in Japan. Summer officially starts in Japan and the beaches are jam packed! If you want to save money when you visit Shinjuku, Japan then I suggest that you do not go for the month of August as this month is known to be one of the most expensive months to visit Japan.
September: September is also rainy in Japan! Although the official rainy season in Japan happens June and July, after the sunny August, it starts raining again during the month of September.
October: Same as September, it is also rainy during the month of October and the weather starts to become cold again.
November: Say goodbye to the rainy days as the autumn season hits Japan on November. It is dry and breezy in Japan during this month. Parks in Shinjuku is a must visit during November as beautiful autumn colors fill the parks.
December: December is still autumn in Japan. It is somewhat a sunny winter but definitely not as cold as Japan. If you want to go to Japan in a perfect cold weather then December is the perfect month to go to!
Just a few reminders as you visit Japan. It is very important for you to take note of the weather and be prepared. Additionally, Japan is prone to typhoons and earthquakes, thus, it is also a must to be prepared when these horrible situations happen during the time of your trip. Take note that typhoons in Japan usually happen between the months of July and September. During typhoon season, occasional flooding and landslides happen when there is really heavy downpour of rain. When heavy rains occur, make sure to get yourself out of basements, close all doors, windows, and shutters of your house or hotel, and have a flashlight with you on hand. These things will also be of great help when an earthquake occurs. Always pay attention to weather forecasts when visiting the country, always be aware of emergency contact numbers, and always be mindful of your location.