Shinjuku Superguide

Name: Shinjuku

Kind: Town

Free Wifi: Yes

Location: 35°41’29.39″ N 139°42’07.68″ E

Station: Shinjuku Station – JR Yamanote Line

Our Rating: ⭑⭑⭑⭑⭑

Worth it? Don’t miss it.

Updated 8/9/2021

©2019-2021 tenmintokyo.com

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The name Shinjuku means New Lodgings. The area became a busy commerce center during the Edo Period and later again after World War 2. The name derives from the older area Harajuku (Sun Lodgings) to the south.

A diorama depicting Shinjuku during the World War 2 era at the Edo-Tokyo Museum.

Access

Shinjuku Station

Shinjuku Station is the busiest train station on earth. Over 2 million people pass through the station every day. At rush hour the place is so packed it can be hard to move or even find your way around if you’re not familiar with it.

There are both Japan Rail (JR) platforms for common lines such as the Yamanote Line, as well as various subway lines. The station acts as an interchange + transfer point for many lines in Tokyo. There are at least 8 levels in the station, many of them buried deep underground.

There are also lots of shopping areas as well as a newly renovated outside shop area and courtyard (Shinjuku Southern Terrace). The station was vastly expanded in 2009-2010 and is now several times its former size on the south end.

Area Layout

The station is shown above, lower center. On both the north and south ends there are huge clusters of shopping centers, as well as an outdoor courtyard. To the northwest is the Cocoon building, and the Tokyo Metropolitain Gov’t buildings (which has a great free observation deck). Just northeast of the Cocoon Tower is the Odayku department store (depato) complex. To the northeast are the main streets with a dizzying array of outdoor shops, restaurants, and things to do and see. At night the area comes alive with lights + sounds – a photographer’s dream. There are also countless huge electronics shops such as Bic Camera and others.

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View of Shinjuku from the outdoor platform. The Mode Gakuen Cocoon Tower is on the left, and Odakyu (see below) is the orange building in the center. Ikebukuro is a few stops to the north from here.

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Info map at the station on a platform.

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From Shinjuku you can take your pick of 2 more interesting areas in either direction: Ikebukuro to the north, or Shibuya to the south.

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Madness at a station platform.

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At the north entrance of the station around 35°41’31.78″ N 139°42’03.26″ E is the famous Duckman street performer.

The surface-level of the station has several areas: the main (north) area bisected by Rt. 20 running east-west (this area has the LUMINE and NewWoman modifications made in the early 2000’s. The MyLord bldg. and open terrace to the west of that, the Cocoon bldg. area to the northwest, and the Takashimaya Square area to the south. Of course there are many more areas than this – the station area is huge and takes a whole hour to circumnavigate on foot. Just to the northeast of the LUMINE area is a huge OIOI (pronounced Marui) department store complex, and just to the immediate west on Rt. 20 is a huge Don Quijote discount store. Also at the very south end of the new station redevelopment is a huge outdoor open-air sitting area + cafés (Shinjuku Southern Terrace). You can sit and watch the trains come and go beneath you. Just to the east of the Takashimaya Square complex is the huge Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden – a must see. If you go to the gardens and have a few extra minutes, also pop in to Yoyogi just a few minutes’ walk to the south.

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Inside the crazy west end of the station.

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Heading down into the Metro Ginza line from the west side of the station.

Courtesy Virtual Japan.tv

The northwest terrace. The MyLord bldg. is straight ahead.

Tourist Info Offices + Currency Exchange + Coin Lockers

At the very south end of the LUMINE bldg. under the train tracks is a huge Shinjuku Tourist Information Office. If you want to pick up some brochures on things to do in the area, stop in when you first arrive.

The outdoor Tourist Info Office just under the tracks next to LUMINE.

There is another Tokyo Tourist Information Center on the 3rd floor near the south exit. There’s also a Sagawa luggage delivery service office here.

At the west exit there is the Odakyu Sightseeing Service Center which has all sorts of info about sightseeing.

There are also loads of currency exchanges around the info offices, but their rates may not be the best. You might be better off using a smaller exchange in places such as Akihabara, or the Sakura Exchange in Shibuya.

There’s also a large coin locker bank on the southern side of the info center shown above.

Seibu-Shinjuku Station

We should also mention that just to the north of the main Shinjuku Station a few blocks is the smaller Seibu-Shinjuku Station on the Seibu Shinjuku Line.

Flags Building + Green Peas Pachinko

Around 35°41’23.18″ N 139°42’05.80″ E is an east exit from the station, 2 long escaltors, and a huge department store called Flags. There’s a huge GAP that’s been here for over 20 years.

The Flags Building @ the east exit.

Incredibly, right next to the Flags building is a huge, 8-story pachinko parlor called Green Peas, which even has entire floors of Vegas-style slot machines. There is also a huge Taito Game Station arcade just behind it down a side street.

Courtesy Virtual Japan.tv

Green Peas Pachinko.

Odakyu Depato

Just northwest of the station is the Odakyu Depato (department store) area. There are plenty of things to do here, and there’s a food floor on the top floor, which includes Shinjuku’s part of the latest craze in Tokyo: pancakes. Rainbow Pancake is on the food floor. There are also elevated walkways to other department stores such as Keio just across the street (Keio‘s food basement is one of the best in Tokyo).

The dept. store complex on the west side. Odakyu is the orange bldg. on the right, and just to the right of that, the KEIO dept. store. Further to the left out of view is a huge Bic Camera. The Cocoon bldg. is just behind the camera to the west. The MyLord terrace area is just beind the KEIO bldg. to the east. There are actually 2 Odakyu complexes – the east side one shown here, and the Odakyu/HALC/Bic Camera annex to the north (out of frame to the left). There is also a major bus stop area here.

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Rainbow Pancake on the top floor of Odakyu.

If you’re really into pancakes, also check out Sarabeth’s Lumine Shinjuku just inside the new LUMINE building on top of the station at street level on the north side.

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Giant pie-sized cookies in KEIO‘s food basement.

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Heading in to the east-side Odakyu complex (right). The northern Odakyu/HALC annex is shown here on the left. This photo faces north.

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Standing on the northern Odakyu/HALC annex pedestrian overpass facing east. The huge UNIQLO is on the right.

Central Streets

From the station to the east, there are 3 main streets running west-east which parallel each other a few blocks apart. These are: 1), Yasukuni-Dori 2), Shinjuku-Dori, and 3) Koshu-Kaido Dori (Rt. 20).

By far, the most popular of these is Yasukuni-Dori. Several blocks to the east Meiji-Dori intersects all 3 and runs north-south all the way to the Imperial Palace. In this central area of about 3-4 long blocks, most of the action in Shinjuku happens. The west side is interesting too, but it’s more business/gov’t-oriented. A stroll around the east-side streets at night will floor you with its colors, lights, and dizzing array of things to do.

North Exit + Studio ALTA

The northeast station exit is a popular meeting spot for young people. Just across the street is a building called Studio ALTA with its massive TV display on the outside of the building. If you slip down the small side street to the left at night, you’re in for one of Shinjuku’s nightime delights – a small concrete pedestrian-only area with lots of shops and restaurants. There is also a huge Matsumoto Kiyoshi drug store here, and the rear entrance to the huge Yamada Denki LABi electronics shop (see below). As mentioned above, this is also where the infamous Duckman performs nightly. If you head through the small concrete park, in a few blocks you’ll come to a huge Don Quijote, described next.

Studio ALTA, right. Head down the small side street ahead.

Just north of the north exit. The station entrance is ahead.

Massive Don Quijote on Yasukuni-Dori

On Yasukuni-Dori 2 blocks from the station is a huge Don Quijote discount store. If you’re strolling this street at night, it’s worth a stop in to look around. The place is huge and has multiple floors of just about anything you could want, including a grocery.

Courtesy Nippon Wandering TV

Dazzling streets of east Shinjuku at night.

Heading Further East to Shinjuku Ohdori Shopping District

As a footnote, you can walk or bike all the way east on Rt. 20 back to Yotsuya (about 6 miles) – there are a lot of interesting things to see along Rt. 20 as well as several other subway station stops at various points – most notably Shinjuku-Sanchome Station around 35°41’26.01″ N 139°42’20.84″ E, and Shinjuku-gyoemmae Station – one more stop the east. All of them pop up onto Rt. 20 at various points. The coolest thing about Shinjuku-gyoemmae Station is its little retro 1950’s-styled entrance on the street around 35°41’19.17″ N 139°42’35.28″ E. There is also a large, cheap, excellent APA Hotel just 1 block west on the same side of the street. There is also a huge Tully’s Coffee just across from Shinjuku-gyoemmae Station.

Heading east on Rt. 20 towards Yotsuya. Note the JTB building on the right. Along this route around this area there are also huge massive department stores such as Isetan, OIOI (pronounced Marui), and Takishimaya. This part of Shinjuku is known as the Shinjuku Ohdori Shopping District. There is also a huge Apple Store here. One of the best kept secrets in this area is the hobby shop on the top floor of the OIOI.

Mode Gakuen Cocoon Tower

West a few blocks from the west side of the station is the odd-looking Mode Gakuen Cocoon Tower. It’s mostly offices, but there are a few interesting things on the ground floor. It’s a rather small building, so there’s not a lot to do here. But it’s worth walking to it just to have a look at the architecture.

If you head just northwest from the Cocoon, you’ll come to an iconic part of Shinjuku which includes many buildings from famous photos of Tokyo: such as Sampo Japan Building, and others. There is also a massive pedestrian walkway here which allows you to walk around several of the buildings elevated from the streets.

There is also a very nice massive concrete and green park 2 blocks to the west of Cocoon at the Sojibo Shinjuku Mitsui Building around 35°41’30.14″ N 139°41’38.23″ E.

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Mode Gakuen Cocoon Tower northwest of the station. KEIO dept. store is behind the camera to the east. If you continue far enough west from here, you’ll come to the Tokyo Metropolitain Government complex which has one of the best observatories in Tokyo.

Mode Gakuen Cocoon Tower at street level facing east.

Outside Takashimaya Times Square. MyLord is the triangular bldg. center left, and beyond that, the Cocoon Bldg.

Tokyo Metropolitain Government

If you continue west for a few blocks, you’ll next pass the Shinjuku Keio Plaza Hotel, and 2 blocks west of that, you’ll come to the Tokyo Metropolitain Government buildings. These twin buildings house the entire central government for Tokyo. There is a massive open-air concrete courtyard surrounding the buildings, and a free observation deck on the top floors – but be warned, because it’s free, there are usually huge lines for the observatory – even on weekdays. Plan on spending several hours in line – more if it’s peak season such as in the spring or late fall.

Electronics (Denki)

The Japanese word for electronics is Denki. There are several huge electronics stores in Shinjuku: There are 2 Yamada Denki LABi stores – one near Studio ALTA mentioned above, and one just west of the MyLord building near the station’s central exit. The one near Studio ALTA is closing soon.

There are 3 huge Bic Camera stores – one in the Odakyu Annex mentioned above, one in the huge UNIQLO store (called BicQLO) around 35°41’29.45″ N 139°42’11.45″ E, and Bic Camera Shinjuku Station East Store just southeast of the Studio ALTA location.

The other big electronics store is the huge Yodobashi Camera Shinjuku West Main Store around 35°41’23.30″ N 139°41’52.96″ E. It’s just a few blocks southeast of the Cocoon Building. There’s also lots of interesting other small shops around the Yodobashi store.

All of the electronics shops are worth a look – if for no other reason than to marvel at their scale and selection.

Yodobashii Camera Shinjuku.

Mosaic Street

Jammed in between the MyLord + Keio Dept. Store bldgs. is the excellent Mosaic Street. Definitely worth a stop. We have a full post on it here.

Kinokuniya Book Store

Just across from the BicQLO store mentioned above is a huge Kinokuniya Book Store around 35°41’30.98″ N 139°42’09.99″ E. Kinokuniya is one of the largest book chains in Japan, and this one doesn’t disappoint. If you have any extra time, be sure to pop in and look around. They also have a web store where you can order online.

Takishimaya Times Square + The Bubble Building + Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden + Cafe La Boheme

Just to the south of the station and the Southern Terrace area is the epic Takashimaya Times Square complex – a huge multi-story shopping/food/entertainment complex, TTS is a must-see in Shinjuku. There are also plenty of interesting shops in the complex’s open-air below-ground area, and the large Tokyu Hands department store (depato) on the south side. To get to TTS, go outside to the southern terrace (on the west side of the station) and head south to the large foot bridges which lead to the complex.

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Takashimaya Times Square, left, and the NTT “Bubble building”, right.

Takashimaya Times Square at night.

Just south of TTS is the NTT DoCoMo “Bubble BuildingHQ. It was nicked-named the Bubble Building because it was built during Japan’s “bubble” economy in the late 1980’s-1990’s. The building’s design was inspired by the Empire State Building in Manhattan, New York.

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West of TTS is the Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden – a huge Japanese garden with several ponds, trees, and long walkways. Many of the paths afford excellent photo spots of various parts of Tokyo. There is also a large impressive greenhouse. Admission price is around $6 USD, but it’s worth it. Be sure to check it out.

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Entrance to Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden.

Cafe La Boheme

If you’re in the mood for a brew, just across the street to the north of the greenhouse is the excellent European-themed Cafe La Boheme at 35°41’15.14″ N 139°42’46.09″ E. If you love coffee + have the time, be sure to check it out – it’s excellent.

Shinjuku Historical Museum

If you’re willing to walk a few more miles northwest, around 35°41’23.90″ N 139°43’31.25″ E you’ll find the Shinjuku Historical Museum (see Totally Drew’s video below).

Courtesy Totally Drew

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J2ZCoVSVSnQ

Samurai Museum

To the north of the station a bit (oddly in a seedy nightclub area) around 35°41’43.84″ N 139°42’12.63″ E, is the excellent Samurai Museum Shinjuku. This is one of the best samurai museums in Tokyo, and you can even buy swords and take caligraphy lessons there if you want.

Walking to Other Parts of Tokyo from Shinjuku

As mentioned, you can actually walk to other parts of Tokyo (or ride a bike) such as Yotsuya or Akasaka. Ebisu is just to the south and worth a walk. Plan on a few hours, however, and the walk east is a quite a ways. On bike it will take about 30-45 minutes.

Yoyogi is just to the south also, and Nakano just to the northwest.

Food

There are so many food options in Shinjuku it’s hard to know where to start. The options are endless. There are conbini (convenience stores) in the station and they are all good. There are many good places just outside the station, and there are huge and upscale restaurants in the area and in TTS.

The Maple Diner waffle shop near the MyLord building.

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Kinokuniya Entreé conbini near the Saikyo Line in the station.

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HOKUO the Garden also in the station.

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Watch them carbs.

Shake Shack @ Southern Terrace.

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Soup Stock Tokyo.

Courtesy Virtual Japan.tv

American Bar + Grill, TGI Friday’s jammed down some side street.

More cool places hidden down side alleys.

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Food Hall BLAST! – 2 blocks west of TTS.

Sanagi Shinjuku Food Hall

http://sanagi.tokyo/

3 Food Halls Where You Can Casually Dine in Shinjuku – Shinjuku Guide

A Happy Pancake Shinjuku @ 35°41’26.01″ N 139°42’13.58″ E.

The world-famous Omoide Yokocho Alley around 35°41’33.97″ N 139°41’58.12″ E.

Taming The Beast

Shinjuku is one of the biggest, busiest, and most overwhelming parts of Tokyo – you could easily spend several days exploring it all and not see everything. It’s a must-see part of Tokyo, so plan on spending a few days at least seeing it.

Conclusion

We can’t recommend Shinjuku enough – and you absolutely can’t miss it if you’re in Tokyo. From the station area to vast electronics stores, depatos, the TMG + Cocoon buildings, and the streets, there is more than enough to do here. Be astounded, and be amazed.

Enjoy!

Additional Photos

©2019 tenmintokyo.com

The fire trucks are coming up around the bend. You live, you learn. The NTT “Bubble Building” towers in the distance at dusk.

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A typical exit info sign in Shinjuku Station.

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Inside the Odakyu complex heading down into the station below.

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The Yamanote Line heading north for Ikebukuro and Omiya.

Facing the Odakyu/KEIO complex from the taxi stand @ the west side of the station.

Also @ the west side of the station.

At the LUMINE/NewWoman side of the renovations at street level.

The Odakyu Line cuts through the Shinjuku night.

Courtesy Nippon Wandering TV

One of many endless excellent restaurants on the backstreets.

There are endless things to discover on the streets of Shinjuku.

A hidden place to park your bike for free in a small underpass.

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Stumbling around Shinjuku’s streets in the dark, every once in a while the perfect photo opportunity hits you smack in the face.

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Or if you prefer – the B+W version.

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Inside Odakyu HALC. This ain’t Walmart.

Outside Odakyu HALC.

Inside Shinjuku Station near MyLord.

Epic view outside Shinjuku Station. LUMINE is on the left, and MyLord is just behind the camera on the left.

On Southern Terrace. MyLord is just ahead behind the trees. The huge bldg. on the left used to be Microsoft‘s Japan HQ.

LINKS

Shinjuku Station – Wikipedia

Shinjuku Station

Shōnan–Shinjuku Line – Wikipedia

Shinjuku Station Building Facilities

Seibu-Shinjuku Station

Shinjuku Guide

Odakyu Sightseeing Service Center

Sightseeing Without Baggage|Sagawa

Shinjuku Shopping Guide | The Official Tokyo Travel Guide, GO TOKYO

JTB USA

Shinjuku Area Overview – Shinjuku Station

Shinjuku Southern Terrace – Wikipedia

southernterrace.jp

TOKYO POCKET GUIDE

Tokyo Metropolitain Government

Keio Department Store, Shinjuku

Shinjuku Mylord – Shinjuku Guide

Shinjuku Marui Honkan (OIOI)

Hotels near Shinjuku Station

5 Must-Try Restaurants in Shinjuku Mylord

Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden

新宿御苑 Shinjuku-Gyoen | Cafe La Boheme

Quick Guide to Shinjuku’s Department Stores

Takashimaya Square

https://trulytokyo.com/takashimaya-times-square/

https://www.japan-talk.com/jt/new/takashimaya-shinjuku

https://tokyocheapo.com/place/takashimaya-times-square/

Sarabeth’s Lumine Shinjuku

Don Quijote

Don Quijote | Shopping in Shinjuku, Tokyo

Yoyogi

https://www.samuraimuseum.jp/

VIDS

The main area to the northeast. The huge Don Quijote store is shown in this thumbnail on the right.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kln6afdUpH4

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Va5yljaIObE

Yurakucho Superguide

Name: Yurakucho

Kind: Town/City

Location: 35°40’34.56″ N 139°45’40.29″ E

Stations: Yurakucho Station, JR + Yurakucho Metro Line

Free Wifi: Yes

Our Rating: ⭑⭑⭑⭑⭑

Worth it? A must-see, and as a gateway to Ginza.

Updated 8/2/21

©2019-2021 tenmintokyo.com

Yurakucho is a very small tiny area in central Tokyo sandwiched in between Yurakucho Station to the west, and Ginza to the east. The area is tiny – just one major square with an array of shops, restaurants, and bldgs. around it. There’s a Bic Camera store to the northwest of the station, and just north of that, the Tokyo International Forum, which also contains = Mitsuo Aida Museum =, a calligraphy museum.

The main small central area is around 35°40’28.54″ N 139°45’43.25″ E and is to the east of Yurakucho Station. You can also cut through the station’s open passages to the west side on ground level. The Bic Camera is just to the north on the west side. Along the east side of the station at ground level is a long row of restaurants and shops. At the very north end is a Doutour coffee shop, and past it a small tunnel leading to a hidden side street lined with fabulous restaurants (see below). To the southeast end of the station on the east side is a huge LUMINE + OIOI (pronounced Marui) shopping complex. If you slip past it to the south along the tracks, you’ll come to another shopping complex called Ginza 5 Five.

To the east across the street is Ginza | Nz– another shopping complex, and beyond that to the east, the gateway to world-famous Ginza. Most of this is described below.

Tokyo Creative Travel has a very nice page about the Yurakucho area and things to do.

Access

To get to Yurakucho, hop on the Yurakucho Metro Line or Ginza Line, or the JR Yamanote Line. Yurakucho Station is just one stop south of Tokyo Station on the JR Yamanote Line. Another important point for reference is that Yurakucho is just 2 stops east of Nagatcho/Akasaka on the Yurakucho Metro Line. Nagatcho/Akasaka is well worth a look if you have time.

In the station, head for the east exit – which puts you smack in the town center facing east towards Ginza.

Area Layout

Central Tokyo facing west. The Imperial Palace is the green area above. Tokyo Station is in the center at the bottom. The Tokyo International Forum is the long small slender bldg. on the left. Yurakucho is just south (left) of that, out of frame.

Overhead view. Up is north. Yurakucho is in the center. Imperial Palace and Hibiyabori Moat is to the upper left out of view. Marunouchi is at the top out of view. Ginza and Maronnier Gate are to the lower right. The LUMINE/OIOI complex is lower center. The small central square is just above that. Upper right center is Tokyo International Forum – its long courtyard on its west side is full of great restaurants and cafés. The small bldg. just south of the pink bldg. is Tokyu Kotsu Kaikan which has the rotating Ginza Sky Lounge restaurant on top.

A small Koban (police box) with a pointed roof facing north into Ginza on the left. Yurakucho is just behind the huge LUMINE bldg. on the left. Just up the street to the right is MARRIONER GATE – the gateway to Ginza. Ginza | Nz runs up the left side of the street. Even in this huge metropolis, the streets are spotless.

LUMINE complex facing northwest. Yurkucho is just behind it. Ginza 5 Five is just below. You can pass through the 2 large bldgs. at ground level to get to Yurkucho Station.

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Yurakucho as it appeared about 20 years ago – 2001. Back then, SEIBU, not PARCO occupied the large buildings on the south side. This photo is facing northwest at sunset. The bldg. on the left no longer exists.

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Facing south back towards Yurkucho Station which is down on the right. A row of shops is on the right. The large OIOI complex is on the left, and behind that, LUMINE. Left down the street out of view is Ginza | Nz. A few blocks to the east is Ginza.

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Tokyo Kotsu Kaikan in fall.

Facing back the other way (north). Tokyo Kotsu Kaikan is the round bldg. on the right. Ginza is a few blocks to the right (east). The station is just to the left and behind the camera is the OIOI/LUMINE complex. The long slender glass bldg. behind the station is the Tokyo International Forum, and lots of restaurants, shops, and cafés including a Shake Shack and Brooklyn Roasting Company. Also note the large Bic Camera on the left. If you head straight, then left, you will come to an alleyway which leads to a side street of lots of restaurants which runs behind the Bic Camera (see below). If you head straight up this street you’ll come to the small Doutour Café, and past that, the tunnel that leads to the hidden side street with restaurants. You can also cut over to the Bic Camera from here by taking the station tunnels to the left, out of view.

Tokyo Kotsu Kaikan, ahead. The station is to the left.

Head straight, then left to find the hidden side street. Also note the tiny private Izakaya (bar) on the right.

Yurakucho Mullion + Tokyo Kotsu Kaikan

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Tokyo Kotsu Kaikan at Christmas time.

As you exit the station to the east you’ll be in a small square called Yurakucho Mullion. Here there are roughly 4 areas: 1) a row of restaurants on the left to the north, 2) Doutour and a tunnel north of that, 3) Tokyo Kotsu Kaikan on the east side of the squarejust to the west of Ginza | Nz, and 4) OIOI/LUMINE complex on the south. That’s it. At the base of the OIOI complex there are also a nice handful of restaurants to enjoy.

Tokyo Kotsu Kaikan was built in the 1970’s and it shows. The inside has a very 1970’s-ish retro vibe. There are lots of shops here, a post office, and a large grocery in the basement. On the roof is the Ginza Sky Lounge restaurant and bar.

Oddly, the tiny square is considered one of the best trainspotting places in Tokyo. Shinkansen heading both south and north via Tokyo Station run right on the tracks overhead. If you stand in the square and wait, facing west, you’ll see them:

Yurakucho Station is straight ahead, facing west. Tokyo Kotsu Kaikan is just behind the camera to the right and OIOI/LUMINE is out of view just to the left (south). If you head west through the station tunnels and turn right, you’ll come to the Bic Camera. You can also cut down the tiny alley left next to the lighted buildings on the left to get to Ginza 5 Five.

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The west side of the station looking back east at the square on the other side. The Bic Camera is on the left. Pass through the tunnels ahead to get back to the square.

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Another view of the west side facing northeast. The 2 pass-through tunnels are on the left. Ginza Sky Lounge is the round structure on the rooftop on the other side.

The new facadé on the station is complete in 2021.

The Stand coffee joint at the south end of the station on the left.

Ginza | Nz

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Just to the west of the center square + station, but before crossing Rt. 405 east into Ginza proper, you’ll find Ginza | Nz – a long row of shops + restaurants which lines 405, which runs north-south. Just to the left out of view is the 1st large gateway shopping center into GinzaMARRIONER GATE. The last tall bldg. to the south in this photo is the new Tokyu Plaza Ginza which has a great open-air roof garden + lots of restaurants. The LUMINE complex is the tall bldg. in the center. Ginza Sky Lounge is the round bldg. on top, right. Ginza | Nz runs the length of the street back south to the Koban shown in a photo previously. Turning just to the right from the photo above, you’d see the street leading back to the station to the west:

The Doutor is just up this street to the right. There is a another Doutor to the east in Ginza. Flipping around 180 degrees from this view is MARRIONER GATE to the east:

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MARRIONER GATE just to the east of Ginza | Nz and Yurakucho, facing east. Just east down this street is Ginza Six and many other Ginza attractions. Prepare to spend at least one full day walking around Ginza.

Another view at Ginza | Nz facing north.

Ginza 5 Five

Heading south past Ginza | Nz on the right you’ll come to Ginza 5 Five – a small shopping mall. Just next to that is the new Tokyu Plaza Ginza which is a must-see:

Ginza 5 Five is on the right. Tokyu Plaza Ginza is the tall black bldg. behind it. This is facing southeast.

Tokyu Plaza Ginza

At the very south end of Yurakucho is a brand new complex called Tokyu Plaza Ginza. This complex is a must see – it has an external escaltor leading into the bldg. which has endless great restaurants. There are upscale places and a really great Hawiian burger place. Also be sure to check the cool dessert place TSUJIRIHEI-HONTEN GINZA out. But the most interesting parts of the complex are the view from the huge indoor bar + café which provide incredible nightime views out over Ginza, as well as a very large open-air rooftop garden. After stopping at Ginza 5 Five, be sure to check out Tokyu Plaza Ginza just across the street.

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Entrance to Tokyu Plaza Ginza.

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View of the Hermes Bldg. from the indoor café across the street in Tokyu Plaza Ginza.

The Hidden Restaurant Side Street

At the north end of the station, just at the north end of the Bic Camera bldg. you’ll find the Tokyo International Forum. If you pass through the small tunnel next to the Doutour and turn left (west), you’ll be on this street. You can also get to it by exiting the Bic Camera bldg. at the very north side. But instead of heading straight across the street, head down the small side street just to the right which runs the length of the Forum south to north. Along this street on the right hand side are endless great restaurants of all kinds – dozens of them all neatly packed into a row. At night in Yurakucho, this stroll is a must-see. You can’t go wrong at most of these places and they are full of people every night. The south entrance to the street is around 35°40’32.52″ N 139°45’49.21″ E.

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The south tip of the Tokyo International Forum. Instead of heading left into the Forum’s courtyard, head down the hidden side street to the right. This photo is facing north.

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The Hidden Restaurant Side Street

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Ren Ren Ren Chinese Restaurant

As you come to the north end of the Forum along the hidden side street, you’ll come to a skyscraper across the street. There is an extremely good and upscale Chinese restaurant on the ground floor in the corner called Ren Ren Ren Tokyo. One of the best restaurants in the area if you want Chinese food. Also note this restaurant is just 1 block south of Tokyo Station.

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Mitsubishi Ichigokan Museum

Just 1 block to the west of Ren Ren Ren, is the Mitsubishi Ichigokan Museum – a huge multi-floor spectacular museum, which is a must-see in the area.

Tokyo Midtown Hibiya

Just a stone’s throw 2 blocks to the west of the station is the newly-opened Tokyo Midtown Hibiya shopping complex which has a spectacular winter illumination every year. Not to be missed.

Yurakucho is a tiny little part of Tokyo but there’s a surprising amount to do within just a few blocks. That and its close proximity to a major station on the Yurakucho Line means you can get quick access to other parts of Tokyo. Yurakucho is well worth a visit for a day or night, or if you plan on seeing Ginza too, several nights. It’s a must-see in Tokyo for any traveller.

Enjoy!

Additional Photos

Another view of the square facing southeast. The station is on the right. The tall bldg. in the center is the OIOI complex. MARRIONER GATE is just one block down the side street on the left.

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Facing south towards Ginza 5 Five between the OIOI bldg. on the left and LUMINE bldg. on the right. The station is to the left.

Entrance to the LUMINE complex.

Flipping back 180 degrees from the previous photo, you’ll discover this small secret elevator on the right which leads to walkways on upper floors which are fabulous photo spots.

Another view of the OIOI/ITOCiA complex facing back north. The station is straight ahead. If you turn left here and head a few blocks west, you’ll discover a hidden bike locker under the tracks. In fact, just to the left of the Uno pachinko parlor shown on the left here is a large brand new bike locker right on the sidewalk.

The bike locker under the tracks is just ahead.

Another night view in the courtyard east of the station.

Another view of Yurakucho Station and the Shinkansen.

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Looking north into Ginza.

The newly renovated corridor under the tracks. New white LEDs make the area an evening paradise.

Another view of the west side of the station.

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The area behind the Tokyo International Forum. Lots of nice restaurants on this street.

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Yurakucho Concourse – a small overpass with restaurants.

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Another view looking south towards Yurakucho Station. The OIOI is just on the left out of view.

Looking back to the south just east of the station. The station is out of view to the right. The LUMINE complex is just down the small corridor on the center left.

Another hidden side street full of restaurants.

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Under the tracks.

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The Bic Camera @ night.

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Christmas illuminations at dusk in Dec. facing back south towards the OIOI + the entrance to Yurakucho Station, which is down on the right. The small row of restaurants is on the right. The Doutor and small tunnel are just to the right behind the camera.

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One of many interesting streets in Ginza.

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View from the Forum facing back south. Bic Camera is straight ahead, the station is to the left.

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800 Degrees in the Forum courtyard.

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©2019 tenmintokyo.com

Brooklyn Roasting Company also in the Forum courtyard. The place for coffee in Yurakucho.

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Yet another view of the Bic Camera west of the station facing north.

The Oriental Hotel northwest of the station.

Another view facing south next to Ginza | Nz

Approaching Tokyo Station from the south. The KITTE bldg. is on the left.

Reverse view of the photo above. KITTE bldg. is on the right.

Entrance to KITTE bldg.

Tokyo Station itself above facing east. See our other blog post on it.

LINKS

Yurakucho @ Wikipedia

Yūrakuchō Station – Wikipedia

Yurakucho Line

Ginza 5 @ Tripadvisor

Tokyo Kotsu Kaikan

shakeshack.com/location/tokyo-japan-tokyo-international-forum/

Yurakucho Marui

Ginza 5 Five

MARRONNIER GATE Guide

Tokyo Midtown Hibiya

Tokyu Plaza Ginza

= Mitsuo Aida Museum =

Yurakucho’s curiosity market: Discover products from all over Japan!

https://mimt.jp/english/

Ginza

Yurakucho Building Reconstruction

https://www.franks-bbc.com/

VIDS

Tokyo International Forum

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Name: Tokyo International Forum

Kind: Venue

Where: Yurakucho, Tokyo 35°40’35.92″ N 139°45’51.03″ E

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Just south of Tokyo Station and just west of Ginza is the Tokyo International Forum – a huge modern venue for all kinds of conferences, performing arts, concerts, talks, trade shows, and other activities.

The Forum was completed in 1997 and is spectacular.

Inside there are elevated walkways, a huge cavernous interior and a few restaurants on the lower level. The Forum’s main tourist attraction is its architecture which is designed to look like a large ship and is ultra-modern.

Outside the Forum are all sorts of great restaurants, shops, and other activities. At the South end of the Forum is a large Bic Camera, and Yurakucho Station – the gateway into Ginza which is just to the east.

To get to the Forum you can either get the JR line to Tokyo Station, exit the west (Maronuchi) side and walk south on the sidewalk, or you can get off at Yurakucho Station and then head north under the train tracks, then west and 1 block north to the Forum. Both are very easy to get to and are accessibile.

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You can also take the Metro Ginza Subway Line to Ginza Station and exit there, then walk a few blocks south to get to the Forum. The Ginza Station exit is just outside the north Maronuchi-side exit at Tokyo Station, roughly at 35°40’55.82″ N 139°45’57.01″ E. You can also get to the Ginza Line inside Tokyo Station but it requires a long hike through various underground corridors and stairs like this:

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©2019 tenmintokyo.com

Ginza Metro subway line. Ginza (G09) is in the middle of the line, Shibuya on the west, and Asakusa on the east. Another alternative is to take the Maronuchi Line and exit at its Tokyo Station (M17) exit onto the surface and then walk south from Tokyo Station to the Forum:

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Maronuchi Line Tokyo Station (M17)

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Yurakucho Station. Tokyo International Forum is straight ahead past the tracks. Bic Camera is on the left next to the Forum.

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The Forum has a huge lighted glass floor on its north side.

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Inside the cavernous Forum.

Restaurants/Coffee/Shops

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In the basement of the Forum is the Cafe Lexcel, an upscale division of Doutour. There is also one in Yokohama.

On the west side of the Forum there is an outdoor patio with a line of excellent restaurants, coffee houses, and shops. Definitely worth checking out.

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There is also a Shake Shack and an 800 Degrees Woodfired Kitchen on the patio promenade.

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©2019 tenmintokyo.com

Brooklyn Roasting Company is not to be missed.

At the very north end of the promenade there is a JR entrance and downstairs is a New York Perfect Cheese:

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©2019 tenmintokyo.com

Entrance to Tokyo Underground Concourse. You can actually walk underground here all the way to Tokyo Station to the north. Behind it is a Le Meré Poulard – a very upscale French restaurant. The original one is in France and also has a hotel in it. Thanks to Tokyo Drew for this tip.



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©2019 tenmintokyo.com

There is plenty more to do in the area – don’t be afraid to wander around.

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Yurakucho Station Christmas illuminations.

Bic Camera + Ginza to the East

If you walk south from the Forum + cross the street, first you’ll come to a large Bic Camera on the corner – well worth a stop:


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South end of Bic Camera. Yurakucho Station is on the right.

If you then head east (left) at Yurakucho Station, you’ll come into a small area at the east exit of the station filled with department stores, such as OIOI (pronounced Marui). This is Yurakucho. To get to Ginza, head directly east for 2 blocks. The two areas are right next to each other.

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Underneath Yurakucho Station. Ginza is straight ahead (facing east).

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Yurakucho Station. Ginza is on the other side. The Forum is 2-3 blocks to the left (north). Under the 2 arches on the left you can cut to the other side. The area on the other side is one of the best trainspotting places in Tokyo – you can watch bullet trains come in and out in both directions.

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Ginza east of Yurakucho Station.

Well that’s it for now. Enjoy your trip. There’s loads to do near Tokyo International Forum + the surrounding area.

LINKS

Tokyo International Forum Official (this page also has a floor guide PDF).

Tokyo International Forum: Marunouchi – Where In Tokyo

JR East

Cafe Lexel

800 Degrees

Ginza-Itchome StationYurakucho Line

Yurakucho Line

VIDS

©2019 tenmintokyo.com

John Daub @ TIF.

Tokyo Drew did a walkthrough of TIF in this video around 40:00.

Tokyo Dome City – Part 2: Enjoy Tokyo Dome City

Courtesy Totally Drew

Name: Tokyo Dome City (TDC)

Kind: Town

Free Wifi: Yes

Location: 35°42’16.95″ N 139°45’10.95″ E

Station: Korakuen Station (M22) on the Metro Maronuchi Subway Line.

Worth it? Do not miss it.

Our Rating: ⭑⭑⭑⭑⭑

Updated 3/14/2021

©2019-2021 tenmintokyo.com

Now that you’ve got your bike parked (or took the train and walked) it’s time to head to Tokyo Dome City. From the bike park mentioned in Part I, head south on foot, and at the next light hang a left. This puts you onto a sidewalk which has an entrance to the Tokyo Dome City courtyard.

Shops (the LaQua area) are on the right, including a great nana’s green tea on the 2nd floor on your left, and the ticket booth in a few yards ahead on the right. There’s also a Baskin Robbins nearby as well as a host of other shops. nana’s green tea is known for their huge matcha green tea sundaes.

You can buy an individual attraction ticket, or a pass for around $40. There’s a roller coaster, ferris wheel, and water ride. After purchasing your ticket(s), keep heading south for the stairs or elevator to the rides. Some are up on the 4th + 5th floors.

You can walk the shopping + food levels before or after the rides. Most of them are on the left.

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LaQua shopping + food levels.

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©2019-2020 tenmintokyo.com

nana’s green tea is on the 2nd floor – a must-visit.

The food court level near LaQua.

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A map of the LaQua area on the 1st floor.

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Map of TDC overall. Up is north.

MeetsPort area with Tokyo Dome Hotel behind it.

Another night view of MeetsPort.

JR Suidobashi Station just south of TDC area.

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The Big O ferris wheel is on the 5th floor.

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©2019-2020 tenmintokyo.com

After you’ve enjoyed the rides + shops, head further south on the 2nd flood and you’ll come to Tokyo Dome Stadium. There are more shops + food here, including a brand new Shake Shack burger place. There’s also a ballaprk store.

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Tokyo Dome Stadium – photo taken from the 4th floor of the La Qua mall.

Hallway leading to Korakuen Station. There is also a spa + KFC at the end.

Korakuen Station. TDC is just to the left. The Maronuchi Line runs overhead.

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©2019-2020 tenmintokyo.com
Courtesy Tokyo Drew

Sidewalk looking south outside TDC.

A MOS Burger to the north of TDC on the east side of Hakusan Dori. Just to the north is Sugamo, and then Itabashi.

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Tokyo Dome Hotel is right across the street to the south.

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Off to the east 14 miles is the fabulous Tokyo Sky Tree.

Keep walking, and eventually you’ll come to an overpass walkway. There’s a Denny’s and even a First Cabin capsule hotel, shown on the right below.

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Courtesy Tokyo Drew
©2019-2020 tenmintokyo.com

Look to your left on the walkway and you’ll see the MeetsPort shopping mall a block to the east..

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On an overpass to the south. MeetsPort is the lighted circular building on the left. Suidobashi Station is to the right. This is facing east.

Another view of MeetsPort.

This is where things get interesting. If you exit the walkway down to the street, you’ll see Suidobashi Station right in front of you. Walk past it, then hang a left onto Suidobashi Blvd.

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©2019-2020 tenmintokyo.com

This gets more into the business district, but there are endless restaurants + shops on Suidobashi Blvd. as well.

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©2019-2020 tenmintokyo.com

There’s also a small coin locker behind the station where you can stash your stuff – if you can find a empty one.

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The side streets and the alleyways.

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There are endless fascinating restaurants such as Cheese Meets Meat on Suidobashi Blvd.

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There’s also the ubiquitous MOS Burger a few blocks down.

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You can easily walk 5 miles down Suidobashi Blvd. and not get bored.

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Also – behind Suidobashi Station there is another massive hidden bike parking area.

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Circle back to Suidobashi Station and your journey is complete – well, almost.

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Climb up onto the pedestrian walkway next to Suidobashi Station for a bird’s eye view. Including another great restaurant below: No Noodles, No Life.

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One last stop you may want to make on your way home: another mega Don Quijote discount store right across the street to the northeast of Tokyo Dome City.

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Tokyo Dome City from the southeast. The Hub British pub is shown on the corner.

Another view of the above scene, but approaching from the south. Don Quijote is on the right. If you turn right (east) here, you’ll be on the street that eventually takes you to Ueno:

LINKS

https://whereintokyo.com/venues/25352.html

VIDS

Tokyo Drew has a few nice vids on the Tokyo Dome area:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2_kOKCbV77U&feature=share