As much as I’ve dreamt of going to Japan since I was a little girl, I know very little of the specific touristy things that can be done per area in Tokyo.
So you can just imagine how stressed I was because of the ton of researching I had to do before our trip in October/November. Thankfully, it pays off, my friends. Because if you’re traveling on a budget, knowing where to go will definitely come in handy.
I’ve listed down some places worth checking out in the Shinjuku area. Enjoy!
- Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building
The first touristy spot we went to was the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building. It’s a skyscraper that has an observation deck at the top floor. You might hear of Sumitomo Building, where you can also get a view of the cityscape, but go here instead. It’s free!
There’s also a little shopping area on the same floor as the observation deck. Definitely souvenir-friendly finds!
The Tokyo Metropolitan Building is located at 2 Chome-8-1 Nishishinjuku, Shinjuku, Tokyo 163-8001, Japan, and is open Mondays to Fridays, 8 am to 6:45 pm. Best to go before sunset, so you get the best photos, and glare-free, at that!
Walking outside, my friend Kim and I saw that there was a food truck and outdoor mini-concert happening:
2. Tokyu Hands in Takashimaya Mall, Shinjuku
On our second day in Shinjuku, we headed straight for the Tokyu Hands branch nearest to our AirBnb. It was in Takashimaya Mall, a famous Japanese mall chain that I’ve also been to in Singapore.
I’ve heard a lot about Tokyu Hands–it’s a crafts store slash supplies store slash accessories store slash everything! If I were to liken it to stores found in the Philippines, it reminds me of National Bookstore and local department stores. I saw gloves, smartphone cases, stationery, facial care products and more!
Here are a few of my favorite products from Tokyu Hands:
Tokyu Hands has several branches throughout Japan. This branch is located in Times Square Building 2-8F, 5-24-2 Sendagaya, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo. It is open 10 am to 9 pm daily.
3. Shinjuku Gyoen Garden
Shinjuku Gyoen Garden is a haven for both locals and tourists–and it is breathtaking in autumn. I spent a good two to three hours walking its expanse, and it is hands down my most unforgettable memory during my Tokyo trip. Taking time off and just navigating Shinjuku on my own was a bit scary, but with handy GPS, I was able to find my way here. It was the perfect place where I found time to reflect, rest and recharge.
Shinjuku Gyoen Garden is located at 11 Naitomachi, Shinjuku, Tokyo 160-0014, Japan, and is closed on Mondays and during national holidays. The entrance fee costs 200 yen.
4. Robot Restaurant
One of the things I was most excited about was seeing the Robot Restaurant show. It’s basically a robot show where scantily-clad girls ride robots and fight and stuff. I have no idea what exactly the shows are about, but I thought my boyfriend would enjoy it, so I bought tickets as a birthday gift. These cost us 6500 yen each.
Robot Restaurant is located at the West side of Shinjuku JR station (the place with the Godzilla peeking out behind a building!). It’s a bit of a walk, maybe 15 to 20 minutes (at least for tourists like us who don’t walk as fast as the Japanese do). It was a busy night, what with it being Halloween.
I am absolutely poor with directions and it was a good thing I had my boyfriend with me to locate Robot Restaurant using GPS (we tried asking directions, but to no avail). Thankfully, we found a “Robot Restaurant” sign and as it turns out, it’s just where you confirm your reservation for which show. The actual show is located across at the next street.
There are three shows each night, and you get the cheapest rate for the very last show. The only problem is by the time the show is over, the train stations might already be closed and you’ll be forced to get a cab (which can cost you as much as 5000 yen).
As you can see, the performance hall is actually very small–3 rows each on each side. Customers can order snacks, drinks and bento boxes to enjoy while they watch the show.
If you’re looking for something unique, then Robot Restaurant is for you. Don’t expect a deep plot line or anything; it’s a show full of senseless fun, cute girls and electronic props, mostly inspired by popular anime series. It can get campy, so just don’t take anything seriously and just enjoy the silliness of it all–6500 yen and all (burned a hole in my pocket, haha).
Robot Restaurant is located at Kabukicho, 1 Chome−7−1, Shinjuku, Tokyo, Japan, and has shows every 7 pm, 8:30 pm and 10 pm. You have to be there 30 minutes before the show.
I hope this list of things to see in Shinjuku has been helpful, if you’re planning on visiting Tokyo. Please leave a comment below or share this link if you liked this post! 🙂