6 reasons Shinjuku is the most exciting area of Tokyo | Top Universities

6 reasons Shinjuku is the most exciting area of Tokyo

By Chloe Lane

Updated April 26, 2021 Updated April 26, 2021

Sponsored by Waseda University

The Shinjuku ward is a bustling metropolis in the heart of Tokyo. There’s an estimated 337,500 people living in the area and Shinjuku is home to the largest number of international residents in Tokyo.

Why do so many students love studying in the Shinjuku area? Aside from the fact that this teeming ward is a major commercial centre offering large shopping malls, tons of restaurants and bars and some of the tallest buildings in Tokyo, the area contains many scenic green parks to relax in after lectures.

Need more convincing? Here are six reasons why Shinjuku is the most exciting area of Tokyo.

Shinjuku has some of the best transport links in the world

Not only does Shinjuku have plenty to offer students, but its transport links are unmatched, making it easy for students to travel around Japan in their free time.

Shinjuku station is the world’s busiest railway station, with more than three million passengers every day. The station itself has 13 train lines and serves as a way to connect central Tokyo with the surrounding suburbs.

Cross city trains can get you to the Shinkansen at Ueno, Tokyo and Shinagawa stations if you fancy a trip out of Shinjuku.

Conveniently located on the roof of the train station is one of Tokyo’s major stops for long-distance highway buses, the bus terminal, Busta Shinjuku.

The area’s skyscrapers offer an incredible view of Tokyo

The area’s skyscrapers offer an incredible view of Tokyo

Towards the left of Shinjuku station is the area’s skyscraper district. Here you will find some of Tokyo’s tallest buildings. Many of these are hotels, but the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Office stands out with its two towers reaching 243 meters.

Take the elevator to the 45th floor of this impressive building and you will be greeted with incredible views of Tokyo.

If you’re a movie fan, it’s worth a visit to the Park Hyatt Tokyo, the hotel known for being the filming location for the 2003 movie: Lost in Translation. Each year, thousands of tourists visit this famous hotel and its bar lounge, making them popular landmarks in Shinjuku.

But if it’s food with a view that you’re looking for, you might want to look around the selection of restaurants located on the top floors of the skyscrapers in the area, which offer incredible views of the city. Those afraid of heights might instead opt for the ground floor, where you can still find a wide choice of bars and restaurants.

Shinjuku has lots of tasty food on offer

Shinjuku has lots of tasty food on offer

If dinner in a skyscraper isn’t for you, don’t worry, you won’t go hungry in Shinjuku. Dotted around the area are exquisite eateries offering a diverse selection of food to suit every taste.

A particularly popular dish in Shinjuku is Ramen and the area is known for being one of Tokyo’s most competitive Ramen districts, with people forming long queues outside the area’s popular restaurants.

Omoide Yokocho (translating to ‘memory lane’ in English) can be found towards the northwest of the Shinjuku Station. It is made up of a selection of alleyways lit by red lanterns. Omoide Yokocho contains restaurants and market stalls offering a range of traditional Japanese food, including ramen, soba, sushi, kushiyaki and yakitori. It also makes for an excellent photography spot!

Takadanobaba is known for its affordable bars, cafes and restaurants, making it a popular area for students, particularly students from Waseda University which is only a twenty-minute walk away.

Koreatown in Shin-Okubo has an assortment of Korean shops and restaurants along its main road, selling K-Pop music and merchandise, Korean groceries and other Korean food.

Explore the area’s diverse nightlife

Explore the area’s diverse nightlife

Alongside the Korean town in Shin-Okubo, the Shinjuku Ni-chōme neighbourhood is a popular location for those looking to enjoy the area’s nightlife.

The Shinjuku Ni-chōme area is known for being particularly inclusive and LGBT friendly, with a blend of bars, restaurants, and nightclubs. The neighbourhood is known for its good food, drinks, and atmosphere. It’s estimated that the area contains around 300 LGBT bars and nightclubs.

If you’re looking for small bars and eateries, Golden Gai is the place for you. This small but atmospheric nightlife district has more than 200 restaurants and bars, many of which only seat a few customers at a time. Many have unique themes, making it a popular destination for students from nearby Waseda University.

Escape the hustle and bustle in Shinjuku’s green spaces

Escape the hustle and bustle in Shinjuku’s green spaces

If you feel like you need a break from the busyness of the city, Shinjuku contains many famous green spaces where you can unwind.

Shinjuku Gyoen is arguably one of the most famous parks in Tokyo and is known for being one of the city’s best places to view the gorgeous cherry blossom each year.

This relaxing haven is located in the center of the Shinjuku area, offering a mass of greenery and a calming atmosphere. Students from Waseda University enjoy coming to the park to unwind after a busy day in the city and take in the incredible views of the cityscape.

Meiji Shrine Outer Garden was created in 1926 as a memorial site for the Emperor Meiji. In its grounds is a picture gallery, depicting the culture and politics of the Meiji era, which students interested in the city’s history might want to visit. The garden was also the primary site of the Tokyo Olympic games in 1964.

Shunjuku Central Park is a mid-sized park located at the edge of the skyscraper district, behind the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building. Home to an artificial waterfall, the Kamano Shrine and plenty of sakura trees, the Central Park is the perfect place to calm down after a hectic day in the city.

Experience top quality education

Experience top quality education

Image credit: Waseda University

Shinjuku is home to Waseda University, a private research university. Ranking joint 189th in the QS World University Rankings 2021 and ninth in Japan, students at Waseda University benefit from Tokyo’s global prestige.

Waseda University is also one of Japan’s most global campuses, with more than 8,000 international students from 120 countries. This enables students to learn about different cultures and meet people from all around the world.

Additionally, students benefit from the university’s partnerships with more than 800 prominent institutions in more than 80 countries.

It’s undeniable, Shinjuku is a great place to be a student.

This article was originally published in January 2021 . It was last updated in April 2021

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Written by

As Content Editor for TopUniversities.com and TopMBA.com, Chloe creates and publishes a wide range of articles for universities and business schools across the world. Chloe has a Bachelor’s degree in Economics from the University of Reading and grew up in Leicestershire, UK. 

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