Tokyo Series: Exploring Shinjuku
Lumine Est Location: East side of Shinjuku Station 3-38-1 Shinjuku, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo 160-0022
Hours: 11AM - 10PM Lumine is a massive shopping complex comprised of 11 floors (9 upper, 2 basement) for all your fashion and dining needs. Like many other department stores in Shinjuku, you'll find yourself lost for hours shopping in here. As I was creating a floor guide, I realized most of the floors were nearly identical in what it had to offer. You'd mainly find it catered to female fashion, accessories and cosmetics. A couple floors do offer male fashion and a stand alone cafe, with the the top three floors dedicated to restaurants.
Location: 1 Chome-1-3 Nishishinjuku, 新宿区 Shinjuku City, Tokyo 160-0023
Hours: 10AM - 9PM
Much like Lumine, Shijuku MYLORD is a smaller shopping complex that houses a lot of female apparel. It's located amongst a sea of other shopping complex, so if you can't find what you're looking for, you're sure to find it in another building near by. MYLORD comprises of 8 floors, with 3 floors exclusively dedicated to restaurants. At the Mosaic strip, you can also find a bakery, cafes and small restaurants along with several accessory shops. Worth checking out, as it's quite similar to the clothing shops you'd find in Shibuya!
Tokyu Hands Location: 151-8580 Tokyo, Shibuya City, Sendagaya, 5 Chome−24−２ Hours: 10AM - 9PM At Takashimaya Times Square, you can find one of the largest Tokyu Hands in Tokyo. Here you can browse several floors and find high quality souvenir goods for your friends and family back at home - all tax free! We went only half an hour before closing so we only had enough time to browse the first floor - here we managed to get a hat though (from photo). Tokyu hands is also located right in front of the East Deck Bridge. It's quite empty by 9PM so I would recommend this spot if you’re looking to do some city vibes shooting!
Don Quijote Location: 1-16-5 Kabukicho, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo & 1-12-6 Okubo, Shinjuku-ku, Shinjuku, Tokyo Hours: 24HRS
My favourite tax free discount store thats found nation wide. Here you can find nearly anything you need whether it be snacks, cosmetics, clothes, luggages, even second-hand designer goods. It's a great place to get lost for hours and discover a ton of knick knacks. Ever since I watched Nana, I've been a huge fan of Vivienne Westwood jewellery. The brand itself was a little difficult to find where I'm from, so I was super excited to find their rose gold orb necklace in nearly perfect condition for half the price ($179USD) compared to their flagship location in Harajuku.
Other large shopping complexes in Shinjuku
NEWoMEN Location: 4-1-6 Shinjuku, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo 160-0022 Hours: 11AM - 10PM
Shinjuku Marui Main Building Location: 3-30-13 Shinjuku, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo 160-0022
Hours: 11AM - 9PM
Studio Alta Location: 3-24-3 Shinjuku, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo 160-0022
Hours: 11AM - 8:30PM
Location: 7-9-15, Nishi-Shinjuku, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo 160-0023 Hours: 10AM - 11PM If you're looking for fresh udon noodles, look no further - this place makes their noodles right in front of you! It's a must to try udon at least once while in Tokyo. You have the option to try it hot or cold, but it's recommended that first timers try it cold to really experience the texture of the udon. A bowl of udon is rather cheap - only costing $5! You can add extra food by picking it A la carte style for an additional $1.
Fuunji Ramen Location: 〒151-0053 Tokyo, Shibuya City, Yoyogi, 2 Chome−14−3 Hours: 11AM - 3PM, 5PM - 9PM Recommended by nearly everyone I spoke to and all the Tokyo videos I binged, Fuunji Ramen was the one place I had on my list that I so desperately wanted to go, but just couldn't find the time to make it. However, you can! While it's only a six minute walk from Shinjuku Station, chances are you'd have to line up for about half an hour. The ramen is known to be extremely rich, with many opting for their famous Tsukemen bowl (dipping ramen style). Let me know if you had the chance to try this because I seriously regret not making the time for it!
Location: 1 Chome-2 Nishishinjuku, Shinjuku City, Tokyo 160-0023 Golden Gai Location: 1 Chome-1-6 Kabukicho, Shinjuku City, Tokyo 160-0021 Iconic locations of Izakaya dining for your late night eats and drinks. These are narrow alleys filled with hundreds of small restaurants. Traditionally popular amongst salary men for after-work leisure, it is becoming extremely popular amongst the younger crowd and tourists. They often charge a cover fee for your seats - so be aware. From what I heard, Golden Gai is more of a tourist trap and is quite expensive. Give these places a try if you’re craving that authentic late night Japanese experience!
Dean and Deluca Location: 〒160-0000 Tokyo, Shinjuku City, Shinjuku, 3 Chome−38−2 Hours: 8AM - 11PM Stop by this quaint bakery right at Shinjuku Station for a variety of baked goods. You can also ask them to heat up the food so you can eat them at their designated cafe spot right across the shop. I purchased their deep fried curry bun here, which actually tasted like a samosa. It was super flavourful and crispy on the outside.
Shake Shack Location: 151-0053 Tokyo, Shibuya City, Yoyogi, 2 Chome−2−1 Hours: 11AM - 10PM Okay, I suppose if you are American, you might be wondering what is this is doing on the list. But where I'm from, we don't have Shake Shake - and I love Shake Shack. This location is actually quite beautiful, with a really outstanding view if you choose to eat out on their patio. I'm not going to say too much, because this isn't distinctly Japanese of course - but all i can say is that this place had the best fries out of all the Shake Shack locations I've tried in LA and NY. Also sharing a pitcher of beer and watching the time go pass (but not past the last train) is always fun.
ViTO 西新宿店 Location: 7-chōme-18 Nishishinjuku, Shinjuku City, Tōkyō-to 160-0023 Hours: 8AM - 10PM I wouldn't recommend getting a full blown meal here, but I'd definitely tell you to stop if you've exhausted yourself from wandering around the city. Have a seat and relax with a nice cold ice coffee in this Parisian themed cafe. The worker we encountered spoke perfect english and wrote 'Welcome to Tokyo', accompanied by a drawing of a bear. If that's not cute service, I don't know what is. Also, I believe you can see the Godzilla statue from here!
THINGS TO DO
Shinjuku Mocha Cat Cafe Location: 〒160-0022 Tokyo, Shinjuku City, Shinjuku, 3 Chome−31−5 Hours: 10AM - 10PM Mocha Cat Cafe is my favourite cat cafe franchise in all of Tokyo. Granted they are a little more expensive, but the quality of the cafe and what it has to offer more than makes up for it. While I do plan to create a post dedicated entirely to this, I will say Shinjuku has one of the better locations. It is beautifully decorated with unlimited drinks (as with all Mocha Cat Cafe), with a PLENTY of space to roam about. There are designated sleeping areas, hammocks to lie in, tables to do your work on, and best of all a massive selections of books and mangas to read accompanied by a furry friend. For $1 you can bribe the cats to gather around you with treats from their vending machine.
Snap a Picture with Godzilla
Location: 1 Chome-2-2 Yurakucho, Chiyoda City, Tokyo 100-0006, Japan
Fans of Godzilla can snap a photo with their iconic Godzilla. For a better view, visit the cafe next door to gain access to their top floor - here you can stand right next to Godzilla’s head! Show times to see Godzilla move and blow steam starts at 12PM and happened every hour until 6PM.
Location: West Exit Shinjuku Station
Located right across Yodobashi camera you can find these iconic Pokémon seats, accompanied by a mural of your favourite Pokémon’s. During the peak of Pokémon Go, residents would hang out at this very location during the rare shiny Eevee event.