The grand powerhouse of Tokyo, Shinjuku City Ward is the master of its domain. Entertainment, shopping, food and wild sights are a dime a dozen in the city. Here is an introduction to just some of the many landmarks and historical spots of Shinjuku and how to reach them.
In a city bursting with character, the massive 80 tonne Godzilla Head takes the cake. Peering out from the roof o the Toho Cinema building some 50 metres above the ground, this monstrous head sends out hideous screams several times per day. The glowing eyes and steaming atomic breath assure it of cult tourist status.
A 4-minute walk from Seibu-Shinjuku Station on the Seibu-Shinjuku Line.
Scratch the surface and the modern shopping street that Kagurazaka appears to be soon reveals its historical Edo pedigree. Head down any one of the many backstreets and hints start appearing, revealing the area's rich samurai, geisha and cultural past. A wonderful destination for strolling about and bumping into surprises.
A 4-minute walk from Iidabashi Station on the JR Chuo Line.
Arguably the most famous of the city's traditional nightlife lanes, Omoide Yokocho is a literal relic of the difficult post-WWII era. A former black market, everything is now above board though the area remains decidedly blue-collar. Tight counter-stall spaces featuring izakaya-style pub food, all flavoured with a proper down-to-earth ambience.
A 1-minute walk from the West Exit of Shinjuku Station on the JR Yamanote Line.
Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building
Hitting the hights at over 200m, the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building is an iconic city landmark. A huge, twin-towered local government office building, it's actually the free observation deck found on its 45th floor that draws out the accolades. With its stunning views over Tokyo, the building has become a must-visit destination.
A 1-minute walk from Tochome Station on the Toei Oedo Line or a 10-minute one from Shinjuku Station on the JR Yamanote Line.