Why Shinjuku Is The Greatest Space to Keep in Tokyo

It’s tough deciding the place to remain in Tokyo, particularly on your first time right here, because it’s such an enormous metropolis with many various neighbourhoods. Though it’s simple to get round by practice and metro, I desire to stroll the place doable so needed to remain in an space with tons to do and engaging eats close by.

The primary precedence when selecting the most effective space to remain in Tokyo is sweet transport hyperlinks. The scale of the town might be overwhelming and sights are unfold out, so that you want to have the ability to get round simply. Taxis are costly so it’s finest to make use of the trains and metro—there’s a large difficult community within the metropolis.

Ideally select someplace to remain on the JR Yamanote practice line which makes a loop across the metropolis and lots of the foremost points of interest are accessible from it.

On our final two visits, we additionally selected to remain inside strolling distance of a serious JR practice station—Shinjuku and Shibuya—in order that arriving and leaving the town can be simple, with out an additional practice journey.

You’ll additionally lower your expenses on transport prices by selecting Tokyo lodging in an space with loads of issues to do, purchasing, and eating places inside strolling distance.

We’ve stayed in three completely different areas on our three visits to Tokyo—Nishi Ogikubo, Shinjuku, and Shibuya. I believe Shinjuku is by far the most effective place to remain in Tokyo and right here’s why:


Why Shinjuku Is The Greatest Space to Keep in Tokyo

It Appears Like Basic Tokyo

The view from the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building in Shinjuku, the best place to stay in Tokyo

Shinjuku view from the Tokyo Metropolitan Authorities Constructing

Shinjuku is the fashionable Tokyo you dream of—a futuristic metropolis of neon lights, towering skyscrapers, large digital shops, noisy arcades, gaudy pachinko parlours, and busy practice stations.

There’s an excellent mixture of enterprise, purchasing, leisure, meals, and quiet parks. There’s a bustling environment and simply strolling the streets is thrilling—particularly in your first go to to the town when you possibly can’t recover from the truth that you’re lastly right here!

There’s at all times loads occurring, however we didn’t discover it overwhelmingly crowded, and there are quiet streets and parks to flee to. Shinjuku is the world’s busiest station, although, so keep away from it at rush hour.

Arcades near Shinjuku Station, Tokyo

Arcades close to Shinjuku Station

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Reminiscence Lane

Memory Lane in Tokyo

Reminiscence Lane

One of many issues I really like most about Shinjuku is the combo of recent and conventional. Reminiscence Lane (Omoide Yokocho) is my favorite avenue in Tokyo, and though it’s proper subsequent to Shinjuku Station and neon billboards tower over it, it feels such as you’ve stepped again in time as you wander the slim alleyways which have barely modified since WW2. It’s an excellent place to seize some yakitori from one of many tiny eating places that seat only a few folks on the counter.

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Scrumptious Different Meals

Spicy vegan ramen in Tokyo at Shinjuku Gyoen Ramen Ouka

Spicy vegan ramen at Ramen Ouka

Shinjuku is among the finest areas for foodies in Tokyo. Whilst vegetarians we had an enormous quantity of alternative inside a 15-minute stroll of our Airbnb from high-end kaiseki to merchandising machine ramen joints. There’s something for each style and finances.

Listed here are our favorite locations to eat in Shinjuku:

  • Zen – Scrumptious okonomiyaki cooked on the grill in entrance of you with conventional and fashionable varieties together with vegetarian choices.
  • Shinjuku Gyoen Ramen Ouka – Halal and vegan ramen ordered from a merchandising machine—the spicy ramen is so good!
  • Tsunahachi – Excessive-end tempura with out the excessive costs. Get the lunch set for the most effective deal.
  • Milk Land – A cute vegetarian cafe with an excellent worth lunch set.
  • Curry Home CoCo Ichibanya – The Reminiscence Lane department of this curry chain has a vegetarian menu.

See my information to vegetarian eating places in Tokyo for extra particulars.

Strolling Distance to Sights

Swinging guitarist at the Robot cafe in Tokyo

The insane Robotic Restaurant present

There are many issues to do in Shinjuku:

  • Tokyo Metropolitan Authorities Constructing – Get a free view of the Tokyo skyline. Within the mornings you may see Mt Fuji and at night time you possibly can see the town lit up.
  • Shinjuku Gyoen Nationwide Backyard – Considered one of Tokyo’s most stunning parks.
  • Robotic Restaurant – Essentially the most insane present you’ll ever see. Learn our Robotic Restaurant assessment.
  • Yoyogi Park and Harajuku – It’s a longish however nice stroll from Shinjuku. 

Learn my information to chill issues to do in Tokyo for extra particulars.

Shinjuku is extraordinarily effectively related for exploring the town. The practice traces we discovered most helpful had been the Yamanote line which makes a loop round lots of the metropolis’s foremost areas and the Chuo line which heads to Tokyo Station (for bullet trains) and out to the Ghibli Museum.

There are additionally metro traces, direct entry to the airport on the snug Narita Specific, and direct entry to Hakone (good if you wish to take a day journey to see Mount Fuji).

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Golden Gai

Golden Gai in Shinjuku, Tokyo

The slim streets of the Golden Gai (earlier than it will get busy later within the night time).

In case you are searching for nightlife, Shinjuku has loads of choices. Essentially the most atmospheric place to bar hop is the distinctive Golden Gai, a community of slim lanes with dozens of tiny bars.

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We’re not customers however even we couldn’t resist exploring Shinjuku’s many shops. There are large electronics retailers like BIC Digital camera and Yobobashi the place you could find an unimaginable vary of laptop and digicam gear; department shops like Takashimaya and Isetan for garments, homeware, and improbable meals basements; and Uniqlo for reasonably priced however high quality fundamental clothes. There’s one thing for everybody from high-end trend to low cost souvenirs.

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Inexpensive Lodging

What shocked me most about Shinjuku is how reasonably priced lodging is contemplating it’s the most effective space to remain in Tokyo. Once more you’ve got one thing for everybody from luxurious inns to finances hostels plus a few of Japan’s extra quirky lodging like love inns, capsule inns and manga kissa.

Learn our Japan Lodging Information for particulars on the vary of choices.

The place to Keep in Shinjuku

When selecting the place to remain in Shinjuku, take into accout the completely different areas—west of the station is the enterprise space, east is for purchasing and nightlife, and northeast is the Kabukicho pink gentle district and Golden Gai for nightlife and leisure. That is Japan, so the pink gentle district doesn’t really feel harmful and even that seedy, though we had been by no means there late at night time.

We stayed in east Shinjuku, near Shinjuku Gyoen Nationwide Backyard, which was the best location for us.

Airbnbs in Shinjuku

We discovered renting Airbnb flats in Tokyo to be higher worth and extra handy than inns. The most cost effective are studio flats which might be very small (you must pay quite a bit for house in Tokyo) however well-equipped.

We stayed on this Central Shinjuku condominium and had a tiny kitchen, washer, quick WiFi, cozy chairs, and a semi-double (quite exhausting) mattress. The useful host supplied detailed directions on easy methods to discover the condominium which is in a quiet space a 10-minute stroll from Shinjuku Station and some minutes from two metro stations. We had been in a position to self-check in by selecting up the keys from the mailbox. It value about $100 per night time together with service and cleansing charges.

Lodges in Shinjuku

Should you’d desire a resort in Shinjuku, listed here are some choices that look preferrred:


  • Lodge Park Hyatt Tokyo – If my finances had been limitless I’d keep right here for luxurious rooms (from $500) and improbable views of the town. It’s the place the film Misplaced in Translation was filmed and is among the finest inns in Tokyo.


Price range

  • Imano Tokyo Hostel – Japanese-style double rooms with shared loos from $74 and dorm beds from $30.

Search right here for extra inns in Shinjuku.

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The place to Keep in Tokyo: Different Areas to Think about

Though I like to recommend Shinjuku as the most effective place to remain in Tokyo for most individuals, you may need to take into account one among these different neighbourhoods.

Usually, the west aspect of the town together with Shinjuku and Shibuya are busy and fashionable, and the east is quieter and extra conventional.

This map reveals the principle stations within the areas talked about under.


Shibuya Crossing in Tokyo, Japan

The busy Shibuya Crossing

Like Shinjuku, Shibuya is a handy place to stick with good transport hyperlinks and plenty occurring. It’s dwelling to the well-known Shibuya Crossing and is standard for purchasing and nightlife, particularly with youngsters. It’s in strolling distance of Yoyogi Park and Harajuku for different trend retailers and youngsters in loopy outfits.

We didn’t like staying in Shibuya as a lot as Shinjuku, although. The crowds had been overwhelming, and though we stayed in a quiet space we needed to stroll down a busy avenue to get to the station. Lodging is dearer and we didn’t discover the meals pretty much as good.

We stayed in an Airbnb studio condominium a 10-minute stroll from Shibuya Station. It was tiny and just a little darkish however well-equipped with a kitchen, washer, quick WiFi, desk, sofa, and double mattress. Self-check-in was simple. 

Lodges are normally fairly costly in Shibuya (and much more so in Harajuku). Shibuya Lodge En has small rooms within the coronary heart of the motion from $125.

Seek for inns in Shibuya right here.

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Sensoji Temple, one of our favourite cool things to do in Tokyo

Sensoji Temple in Asakusa

In case you are questioning the place to remain in Tokyo on a finances, take into account Asakusa, a quieter, extra conventional neighbourhood within the east of the town. It’s dwelling to the well-known Sensoji temple and also you’ll discover many conventional eating places on this space. It’s just a little out of the way in which, so it’ll take longer to get across the metropolis, however there are nonetheless many transport hyperlinks.

Asakusa has some good worth hostels like Okay’s Home Hostel which has twin rooms with shared toilet from $65 and dorm beds from $20. 

Seek for inns in Asakusa right here.

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Tokyo Station

The largest benefit of staying close to Tokyo Station is the transport hyperlinks as you possibly can simply get across the metropolis in addition to take the bullet trains across the nation to locations like Kyoto. It’s additionally close to the Imperial Palace and park. There isn’t as a lot of an environment or many issues to do on this a part of the town, although.

The five-star Marunouchi Lodge is among the finest inns close to Tokyo Station. It’s only a few minutes stroll away and has double rooms from $250. 

Seek for inns close to Tokyo Station right here.

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Off the Crushed Observe

Should you don’t thoughts having to take the practice to all of the sights it can save you cash, get more room, escape the crowds, and expertise native life by staying in a neighbourhood off-the-beaten-track. This will work effectively for stays of per week or extra.

On our first week-long journey to Tokyo, we stayed in an excellent worth condominium in Nishi Ogikubo. We beloved the quiet however fascinating neighbourhood with its vintage retailers, classic garments shops, and slim streets filled with tiny eating places. It was solely a 15-minute practice trip from Shinjuku, however we did find yourself discovering the additional distance inconvenient.

Airbnb is an effective way to seek out flats and personal rooms off-the-beaten-track.

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Tokyo Suggestions

  • See our publish on 17 cool issues to do in Tokyo.
  • For our meals suggestions see our information to the most effective vegetarian eating places in Tokyo.
  • Guide Tokyo lodging effectively prematurely in case you are travelling within the late March to mid-April cherry blossom season or November autumn foliage season. 
  • Get a Suica card to make use of on all trains and metro traces in Tokyo. It’s a lot simpler than determining which ticket you want for a selected line.
  • Use Google Maps and Hyperdia to test practice occasions and distances and to see how far your lodging is from the locations you need to go to.

I undoubtedly assume Shinjuku is the most effective place to remain in Tokyo, particularly for first-timers, because it’s reasonably priced, accessible, and has loads occurring. However Tokyo is such a beautiful metropolis with nice transport hyperlinks so I’m certain you’ll have a improbable time wherever you select to remain.

The place is your favorite space to remain in Tokyo? Depart a remark under. 

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What's the best area to stay in Tokyo, Japan? We think it's Shinjuku, and here's why.

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