Tokyo Shinjuku is a ward of entertainment, business and shopping area. It is one of the 23 city wards of Tokyo and one known for its buzzing nightlife. You might also know it for their Godzilla street. Let’s see what’s on at Shinjuku and visit catch some great sunset views of Mt Fuji too.

Buzzing Nightlife

If the nightlife is what you wish to experience in downtown Tokyo, there is no better way to do it right here in Shinjuku. Like Shibuya, what makes this area such a night hotspot is the variety of shops, restaurants and karaoke outlets which opens here till late. Also, upon exiting the expansive Shinjuku railway station, you are greeted by lines and lines of shopping outlets. Moreover, big store names includes, Donki, Kinokuniya books, Isetan basement food palace.

Downtown Shinjuku on a typical night. It is buzzing
Downtown Shinjuku on a typical night. It is buzzing!

Additionally, notably, for the record, Shinjuku station is the largest and the busiest railway station in Tokyo. Here, it sees an average of 3.5 million riders daily. Also, the station connects several major Tokyo subway as well as serving as a Shinkansen station. It is literally the heart of Tokyo rail transport.

There are lots of restaurants and eateries here
There are lots of restaurants and eateries here. Several are open 24 hours too.

24 hour nightlife

Moreover, with this high pedestrian traffic comes with the large infrastructure to support it. They goes hand-in-hand. Namely shops and entertainment which caters for the Japanese Salary people to hang out after work. Notably, chilling out with co-workers after work is a widely accepted norm here in Japan.

Don Quijote
Lots to shop here
Kinokuniya

Furthermore, if you in for Japanese bargain shops, you can also find the largest 100 yen shop here, Seibu and Takashimaya, Tokyu Hands. Moreover, as with every major Tokyo district, you can find electronics store such as a Yodabashi, Labi and Bicqlo discount stores.

Main street
Busy streets at night
Godzilla?

Moreover, notable eateries includes the popular Fuunji Ramen, and Shinjuku Gyoen teahouse at 220 yen pop in the National garden. Also, interestingly, new for Shinjuku is a new national stadium is a high-tech sports venue built for the 2020 Summer Olympics.

See Godzilla roar at Godzilla road

Godzilla doing his hourly roar thing at night
Godzilla doing his hourly roar thing at night.

Godzilla is synonymous to Japanese pop culture and monster history. He is immortalised right here in Shinjuku at the Shinjuku Godzilla street/road sitting on the top of a cinema/hotel building. Moreover, you enter the Godzilla street at the main crossing with a long shopping street leading to a Toho cinema building.

Tokyo Shinjuku Godzilla road street is best visited at night
Godzilla road/street is best visited at night. You can see Godzilla head on the far building.

Moreover, here, you can see his head peeking out at the top. Godzilla will roar at hourly timings starting from 12 noon until 8:00pm. Also, you get additional lighting and strobe effects at night on top of smoke and sounds.

Murals
Posters
Rawr!

Furthermore, Godzilla does looks best at night with lighting and sound effects of Godzilla roaring in the distance. Additionally, the lighting up here on the roof does cast a pretty neat shadow on the adjacent hotel building.

Spooky Shadows cast on adjacent hotel building at night
Spooky Shadows cast on adjacent hotel building at night.

Getting up to Godzilla

Moreover, to get up to Godzilla, you need to make your way on the roof of the Hotel Gracery. The entrance is located behind the cinema main escalator. Also, do not go up the escalator as that serves the cinema area.

Toho cinemas
Hotel entrance
Lobby area

You enter via a hotel lobby behind a Toho cinema, taking an elevator up to the hotel lobby. Here, a line of Godzilla posters and memorabilia greets you as you enter the hotel.

I think we are at the right place
I think we are at the right place!

The entrance to the Godzilla head is situated behind glass sliding doors on the far end of the lobby beside a hotel lobby café. Also, you can also have a vantage overlooking view of Godzilla street from up here.

Shinjiku Godzilla street from the top of the hotel building
Shinjiku Godzilla street from the top of the hotel building.

Sights from Tokyo metropolitan building

Moreover, Tokyo has a number of observation towers. Notable ones includes iconic landmarks such as Tokyo Tower and Tokyo Skytree. The Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building (Tocho) is one of the lesser heard off ones, but it is an interesting spot is that it also offers great scenic views with free observation deck entry.

Day view of Tokyo Shinjuku, look how dense the city is
Day view of Tokyo Shinjuku from the deck, look how dense the city is!

Having said that, entry to government metropolitan building observation decks are free. Interestingly, it is a proper viewing deck. Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building (Tocho) is a fairly modern building. Also, it houses two observation decks, one on each of the North and South towers.

Tokyo Metropolitan Towers
Building lobby
Elevator line

On some history, construction of the 243 meter tall government administrative building completed in 1991. Hence, this makes it one of the taller building in Shinjuku’s skyscraper district.

In the elevator
Adjacent tower
Observation deck cafe

Moreover, the building is connected from Tokyo Shinjuku station via a sheltered underground mall walkway, which makes the kilometer-long walk less of a pain.

Got Olympics?

Going pass a couple of Olympics displays in the building lobby, security is quick and fast. You are loaded on elevators bringing you directly up to the 45th floor of the tower, located 202 meters above ground level.

Tokyo tower
Skytree in distance
Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden

Additionally, there is a central gift shop and toilet facilities up here too. Moreover, the observation deck is located on only one floor. Also, there are all behind glass windows with no open air viewing areas.

Look down!
Gift shop
Viewing scope

You can see Mt Fuji from Shinjuku

From the Tocho viewing deck, it is possible to see Meiji Jingu, Tokyo Tower, the Tokyo Skytree and even a mountainous ridge line and Mount Fuji. A great time to visit is just before sunset where you can catch both day views, the sunset and watch the ward of Shinjuku slowly transform into a sea of city lights.

Mt Fuji in the sunset
Mt Fuji in the sunset.

Also, though the metropolitan building states to close 5pm daily, these are actually the government offices opening times. On the contrary, the observation deck actually opens till late, with the North Observatory opened from 9:30am to 11:00pm daily.

Tokyo Shinjuku Views at night
Views at night. Tokyo Shinjuku city in a sea of lights.

Additionally, the south observatory opens from 9:30am to 17:30pm. It is extended until 11:00pm on the days when North Observatory is closed. Also, do note that, admission at the metropolitan building ends 30 minutes before closing time.

All in all, Shinjuku is full of musings, from buzzing nightlife full of shopping, food and the resident Godzilla. Definitely a spot to check out on a night in the busy city of Tokyo.

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