last update: May 09, 2019
Shinjuku station, as recorded also in the Guinness World Records, is the world's busiest train station, used daily by between 3.5 and 4 million people. For a tourist in Tokyo, this station is not only an important hub for public transport, but also a shopping paradise.
Shinjuku station lines
When people talk about Shinjuku station they often refer to the JR station (Japan Railways), the largest and most important one. In reality, the huge building of Shinjuku station is the union of different railway stations of five companies: JR
, Odakyu Keio
, Tokyo Metro
and Toei Metro
Japan Railways (JR)
The JR station is by far the most used one. If you are a tourist, you will often use it.
- JR Chuo line
- JR Chuo-sobu line
- JR Saikyo line
- JR Shonan-Shinjuku line
- JR Yamanote line
- Narita Express (to Narita airport)
- Odakyu Odawara line (connecting Shinjuku with Odawara and then with Hakone)
Two suburban lines towards the western suburbs of Tokyo.
- Tokyo Metro Marunouchi line
- Toei Oedo line
- Toei Shinjuku line
How to get out of Shinjuku station without getting lost: all the exits
Exit this side if you want to go to the skyscraper area
(here you will find for example the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building
) or to Omoide Yokocho
In the vicinity of the station there are also several shopping centers and a small area of narrow streets full of restaurants, cafés and izakaya, very popular among office workers both for lunch and for drinking with colleagues after work.
On this side you'll find also the railway station of Odakyu
, the railway station of Keio
, and the Marunouchi Line
of the subway.
On this side the JR station has two entrance/exit gates, a hundred meters from each other:
- West gate, from here it will be very easy for you to continue along the underground tunnel towards the skyscraper area.
- Central West gate, by following this exit you can more easily reach the Keio and Odakyu train stations.
Both exits are located below street level (B1 floor
). After the gates, you can immediately climb the stairs to reach the street level or reach the area of the skyscrapers through underground tunnels, which connect Shinjuku station with the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Office. Along this underground walkway, you can also enter many other skyscrapers in the area, without ever going outside. All the skyscrapers are well marked with directions in English. The walkway makes the life of thousands of office workers very easy on rainy days, and hopefully yours too.
The area in front of Shinjuku station's west exit, surrounded by department stores
Exit this side if you want to go to the heart of shopping, entertainment and nightlife of Shinjuku.
, Golden Gai
and Shinjuku Nichome
are all located on this side.
In this area you will also find Seibu Shinjuku station
and Shinjuku Sanchome Station
. Unlike the Keio and Odakyu stations on the other side, directly connected with the JR Shinjuku station, the Seibu and Shinjuku Sanchome stations are a little distant (but also connected by undeground walkways).
On this side the JR station has two entrance/exit gates:
- East gate, the closest one to Kabuki-cho.
- Central East gate, a hundred meters further south.
Both exits are below street level (B1 floor). After the gates, you can immediately climb the stairs to get to the street level, or try to explore the labyrinth of underground tunnels under the Shinjuku district.
Shinjuku station's east exit
Exit this side if you want to go to Shinjuku Gyoen
, to the Southern Terrace
and Takashimaya Times Square
or to the bus terminal
In this area you will also find the Toei Shinjuku Line
and the Toei Oedo Line
of the subway, and the Keio New Line
. The Odakyu Shinjuku station
can be accessed from this side too.
On this side the JR station has five entrance/exit gates. Two are located north of Koshu-kaido Street
- South gate, straight in front of the street (Koshu-kaido Dori). If you turn left you will go towards Shinjuku East, if you turn right you will go towards Shinjuku West; in front of you, after crossing the street, you'll find the entrance to the Southern Terrace and the bus terminal.
- Sourh East gate, a hundred meters further east. This is the nearest exit for Shinjuku Gyoen Park.
Three more gates are located on the opposite side of the street (Koshu-kaido Dori), inside the large building housing the bus terminal and the NEWoMan shopping mall:
- Koshu-kaido gate
- Miraina Tower gate
- New South gate
All these gates are located a short distance from each other, all at street level. They are the most convenient for reaching the Southern Terrace, the Takashimaya department store and the bus terminal.
Koshu-kaido Dori: the South Gate of Shinjuku on the left, the building of the bus terminal and the NEWoMan shopping mall on the right
Shinjuku station is so large that seven shopping malls and department stores have been built above the railway tracks and the passengers' space. And all of them are huge!
Odakyu Department Store
(shops 10:00-20:00, restaurants 11:00-22:30)
The department stores owned by Odakyu Railways, directly connected to the west exit of the station, specialized in cosmetics, fashion and accessories of high-end brands.
There are sixteen floors in the main building above the station, the last 3 floors are for restaurants (restaurants list). On the 9th floor there is a small open-air garden with a playground for children. Another building (Odakyu Halc), located in front of the main one, specializes in sporting goods on the first two floors, and houses Bic Camera (electronics store) from the 3rd floor up.
Keio Department Store
(shops 10:00-20:00, restaurants 11:00-22:00)
The department stores owned by Keio Railways, directly connected to the west exit of the station. Unlike the Odakyu department stores, Keio cater to more price-sensitive customers.
Eleven floors in all. On the 6th floor you will find a large section of typical Japanese handicraft, excellent to buy souvenirs. On the 8th floor there are several restaurants (details). On the roof, in summer, a beer garden is opened.
(shops 11:00-21:00, restaurants 11:00-23:00)
A shopping center at the southwest corner of the station. It is near the west and south exit, and connected via a pedestrian bridge to the Southern Terrace. It specializes mainly in youth women's fashion (target 20-30 years).
The real mall starts on the 2nd floor. Eight floors in all. On the 2nd floor, bags, shoes and accessories. From the 3rd to the 6th floor, clothing stores. The last 3 floors are for restaurants (restaurants list). The Mosaic Street also belongs to this shopping mall.
A narrow pedestrian street nestled between the Keio, Odakyu and MyLord department stores and the railway station buildings, it can be used as a small shortcut to go from the west side to the south side of the station.
Along the street there are some small shops, but also a bakery, a cafe and a restaurant.
Mosaic street has a completely different atmosphere than the rest of the station and the large streets around it. The environment is very calm and polished (shops list).
(shops 11:00-21:30, restaurants 11:00-22:30)
A shopping center at the south-west corner of the station, next to the MyLord. Near the west and the south exit. The shops sell mainly women's clothing and accessories, but there is also something for men.
Eleven floors in all. In the basement B2 there is a small Seijo Ishii, a high-level supermarket chain with many imported products. The 7th floor is for restaurants (shops and restaurants list). On the roof there is a terrace.
Not to be confused with the Lumine 2 in the opposite corner.
(shops 11:00-21:30, restaurants 11:00-22:30)
A shopping center at the south-east corner of the station. Near the south and the south-east exit. The shops sell mainly clothing and accessories for women, cosmetics, household items, men's clothing. This center caters to more mature people (over 30).
Seven floors in all. On the 6th floor there is a Muji store (shops and restaurants list). On the seventh floor there is a stage where sometimes there are some cabaret shows.
Not to be confused with the Lumine in the opposite corner.
(shops 11:00-22:00, restaurants 11:00-23:00)
The largest Lumine shopping mall in the area, located above the station's east exit. It has around 300 shops. Most, as usual, of women's clothing and accessories, but also much more. This center caters mainly to teenagers and young people.
Ten floors in all. The 7th and 8th floor are for restaurants (shops and restaurants list). An outdoor restaurant opens onto the roof in summer.
(shops 11:00-21:30, restaurants 7:00-25:00)
Shinjuku Station's newest shopping mall. It is located in the first eight floors of the JR Shinjuku Miraina Tower, along Koshu-Kaido Dori, opposite the main station building (south side), next to the bus terminal and Southern Terrace.
Inside there are several fashion boutiques for "mature women who are looking for truly fine items". The 2nd floor is much larger because it also extends to the building next door, and is home to many delis, coffee shops, bakeries and restaurants (list of shops and restaurants).
The complex has several terraces overlooking the trains going to and coming from Shinjuku station.
Best places to watch trains
If you are a trainspotter
, or more simply you are curious to observe the continuous coming and going of the trains of the busiest railway station in the world, these are the best panoramic points:
- the bridge connecting the Shinjuku Southern Terrace with the Takashimaya Times Square shopping complex (East Deck Bridge, 新宿イーストデッキ);
- the terraces of NEWoMan shopping mall
- the windows of the Odakyu Hotel Century Southern Tower hotel. If you want to see the trains you should ask for a room on the east side.
Don't forget that what you see are only the 16 external platforms of the JR station, but there are many other underground platforms. In total the station has 36 platforms.
view from the terraces of the NEWoMan. In the distance you can see the East Deck Bridge
Guided tours, activities and other things to do
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