Where to stay in Shinjuku: 6 Best areas

In this post, I will help you to find Where to stay in Shinjuku, best areas to stay in Shinjuku and best hotels to stay in each neighborhood for first-time visitors.

Shinjuku along with Shibuya is widely considered one of the best areas to stay in Tokyo for first-timers due to their central location, and excellent connections to public transportation.

While Shibuya is Tokyo’s shopping paradise, Shinjuku has a better nightlife scene and a lot of skyscrapers. It is where you can find the red light district of Kabukicho, the Golden Gai Izakaya alleys, Omoideyokocho, and the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building.

Shinjuku offers many areas and neighborhoods for travelers seeking the perfect place to stay. Whether you crave nightlife, shopping, or tranquility, Shinjuku has an area that suits every taste.

Where to stay in Shinjuku?

The best areas to stay in Shinjuku are Shinjuku Station, Kabukicho & Golden Gai, Shinjuku West Area (Nishi-Shinjuku), Shinjuku Gyoen, Higashi-Shinjuku Station, and Takadanobaba. 

Each area has its unique charm and advantages, so consider your preferences and priorities when choosing where to stay in Shinjuku.

Here is an overview of recommended areas in Shinjuku for first-time visitors: 

Best areas in Shinjuku for touristsWhy should you stay in this area?
Shinjuku Stationis ideal for those who want to be at the heart of the action and have easy access to transportation. It’s perfect for travelers who value convenience and close proximity to the main train station.
Kabukicho and Golden GaiLocated just east of Shinjuku Station, Kabukicho is a renowned red-light district and entertainment area. It offers a vibrant nightlife scene with bars, clubs, and restaurants. Nearby is Golden Gai, a historic area with narrow alleys packed with small bars and pubs, known for its retro atmosphere.
Shinjuku West Area (Nishi-Shinjuku)the western part of Shinjuku, known for its modern high-rise buildings and commercial centers. The area features several luxury hotels, corporate headquarters, and shopping complexes like Takashimaya. It’s a great choice for business travelers and those seeking a modern atmosphere.
Shinjuku Gyoenoffers a more serene and natural setting as it’s a vast park with beautiful gardens, ponds, and cherry blossom trees. The area offers a quieter environment while still being within walking distance of Shinjuku Station.
Higashi-Shinjuku located east of Shinjuku Station and offers a mix of residential and commercial areas. It’s known for its shopping streets, smaller restaurants, and a slightly quieter atmosphere compared to other parts of Shinjuku.
Takadanobabais adjacent to Shinjuku and is a vibrant area known for its student population due to its proximity to Waseda University. It offers a lively atmosphere, affordable eateries, and a range of entertainment options.

Map of areas and neighborhoods in Shinjuku for tourists:

map of 6 Best areas to stay in Shinjuku
map of 6 Best areas to stay in Shinjuku
where to stay in Shinjuku
where to stay in Shinjuku
where to stay in Shinjuku

6 Best areas to stay in Shinjuku are:

1. Around Shinjuku Station

The area around Shinjuku Station is one of the best areas to stay in Shinjuku for travelers due to its combination of excellent transportation links, diverse accommodation options, shopping and entertainment opportunities, culinary delights, and proximity to attractions.

Shinjuku Station is one of the busiest railway stations in the world and serves as a major transportation hub, connecting various train lines, including the JR Yamanote Line, which loops around central Tokyo, as well as the JR Chuo Main Line, JR Saikyo Line, JR Shonan-Shinjuku Line, and the private Odakyu Line and Keio Line.

Staying near Shinjuku Station provides easy access to other parts of Tokyo and beyond, making it convenient for exploring numerous destinations, such as Shibuya, Ikebukuro, Akihabara, and Tokyo Disneyland.

As a busy station, Shinjuku offers a wide range of facilities to cater to the needs of commuters and visitors. It has a vast array of shops, restaurants, convenience stores, department stores, and other amenities within its complex.

Shinjuku is a bustling commercial and entertainment district, and the station is situated in the heart of it all. Around the station, you’ll find numerous shopping centers, office buildings, hotels, entertainment venues, and restaurants. 

From the tranquil Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden and the Kabukicho red light district to the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building with its observation decks offering stunning city views, many popular landmarks are within reach.

Due to its extensive network and central location, Shinjuku Station is often crowded with commuters and visitors. It is advisable to be prepared for large crowds and to plan your journey in advance, especially during peak hours.

Shinjuku Station is surrounded by a wide range of hotels, guesthouses, and hostels, catering to different budgets and preferences. Whether you’re looking for luxury accommodations or more affordable options, you’ll find plenty of choices in this area.

The popularity of Shinjuku Station means that accommodation prices in the immediate vicinity may be higher compared to other areas in Shinjuku. If you’re on a budget, you might want to explore options slightly farther away from the station to find more affordable accommodations.

The lively atmosphere of the area means that it can be noisy, especially in the evenings. If you prefer a quieter environment, you may want to consider staying in a different area of Shinjuku, such as the Shinjuku Gyoen or Nishi-Shinjuku districts.

Despite these potential disadvantages, many travelers find staying near Shinjuku Station to be a convenient and exciting choice due to its accessibility, amenities, and vibrant atmosphere.

Best places to stay near Shinjuku Station:


2. Kabukicho and Golden Gai 

Kabukicho and Golden Gai are popular areas located to the east side of Shinjuku Station, known for their vibrant nightlife and unique atmosphere. 

Kabukicho is one of Tokyo’s largest entertainment districts, featuring numerous bars, nightclubs, restaurants, and entertainment venues. It is particularly famous for its host and hostess clubs, as well as its vibrant red-light district. 

If you enjoy a lively and energetic nightlife scene, Kabukicho might be a good choice for you. However, it’s important to note that the area can be crowded and noisy, especially during the evening hours.

Golden Gai, located nearby, is a small area comprising narrow alleys and tiny bars. It has a unique, retro atmosphere and is a popular spot for bar-hopping and experiencing the local drinking culture. 

The area is known for its traditional izakayas (Japanese pubs), and many of the bars in Golden Gai have a cozy and intimate ambiance. If you are interested in exploring small, eclectic bars and experiencing a more local and intimate atmosphere, Golden Gai could be a great option.

Both Kabukicho and Golden Gai are situated in the heart of Shinjuku, which is one of Tokyo’s major transportation hubs. This means you’ll have easy access to various train lines, making it convenient to explore other parts of Tokyo and beyond.

While Shinjuku, including Kabukicho and Golden Gai, is generally safe, it’s important to be cautious and aware of your surroundings, especially in crowded areas and during late hours. As with any popular nightlife district, it’s advisable to take necessary precautions and follow common-sense safety measures.

Accommodations in Kabukicho and Golden Gai tend to be more expensive compared to other parts of Shinjuku or Tokyo. If you’re on a tight budget, you may need to consider alternative areas for accommodation.

Overall, staying in Kabukicho and Golden Gai can be an exciting and dynamic experience, especially if you enjoy nightlife and want to immerse yourself in Tokyo’s vibrant entertainment scene. However, if you prefer a quieter or more relaxed atmosphere, you might want to consider other areas in Shinjuku such as Nishi-Shinjuku or Shinjuku Gyoen.

Best places to stay in Kabukicho:


3. Shinjuku West Area (Nishi-Shinjuku)

Nishi-Shinjuku is situated in the western part of the Shinjuku district, making it easily accessible to various attractions and transportation options. It is within walking distance to Shinjuku Station, allowing you to easily explore the city and other parts of Japan.

Nishi-Shinjuku is renowned for its impressive skyline filled with modern skyscrapers, including the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building. These towering structures offer breathtaking views of the cityscape, especially from observation decks located on the upper floors.

Nishi-Shinjuku is a bustling business district, hosting numerous corporate headquarters and office buildings. As a result, the area boasts a vibrant atmosphere with a wide range of restaurants, cafes, and shops catering to professionals and visitors alike.

Nishi-Shinjuku is home to numerous department stores and shopping malls like Isetan and Takashimaya, and Lumine. Additionally, the area offers various entertainment venues, such as theaters, cinemas, and karaoke establishments.

While Nishi-Shinjuku may not have the same nightlife intensity as Kabukicho, it still offers a wide range of restaurants, bars, and entertainment venues. Visitors can enjoy diverse dining options, from upscale restaurants to casual eateries.

Despite being a bustling urban area, Nishi-Shinjuku is home to several green spaces such as the Shinjuku Chuo Park and the tranquil gardens surrounding the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building provide opportunities to unwind amidst nature.

Nishi-Shinjuku offers a slightly quieter environment compared to the bustling areas near the station, while still providing convenient access to transportation and amenities.

Nishi-Shinjuku offers a wide selection of accommodation options ranging from luxury hotels to affordable business hotels and guesthouses.

Overall, Nishi-Shinjuku’s convenient location, modern skyline, business district atmosphere, shopping and entertainment options, green spaces, and diverse accommodation choices make it an attractive area to stay in Shinjuku.

Best places to stay in Nishi-Shinjuku:


4. Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden 

Shinjuku Gyoen is a beautiful park known for its serene atmosphere and picturesque landscapes. If you prefer a peaceful and green setting, staying in this area can provide a refreshing retreat from the bustling city.

By staying near Shinjuku Gyoen, you’ll have easy access to the park’s expansive gardens, cherry blossoms (during the spring season), walking trails, and peaceful ponds. It’s an ideal location for nature lovers and those who enjoy outdoor activities.

Shinjuku Gyoen combines traditional Japanese garden design with international influences, creating a unique cultural experience. You can explore different garden styles, including Japanese, French, and English, within the park.

Shinjuku Gyoen is best suited for families and couples seeking a relaxing retreat within the city, nature enthusiasts, relaxation seekers, and cherry blossom enthusiasts. 

Shinjuku Gyoen is located a bit farther from the main Shinjuku Station compared to other areas. It may require a slightly longer walk or a short train or bus ride to reach the station. However, this can also be seen as an advantage if you prefer to be away from the hustle and bustle of the station area.

Best places to stay in Shinjuku Gyoen:


5. Higashi-Shinjuku 

Higashi-Shinjuku is a neighborhood located east of Shinjuku Station, and is close to Kabukicho. While it may not be as well-known as other areas in Shinjuku, it has its advantages and can be a great place to stay for certain individuals.

Higashi-Shinjuku is within a short train ride away from Shinjuku Station, which provides excellent transportation links to other parts of Tokyo. This makes it easy to explore the city and access popular attractions.

Compared to the central Shinjuku area, accommodations in Higashi-Shinjuku may offer more affordable options. If you’re looking for budget-friendly accommodation, this area might be a good choice.

Higashi-Shinjuku offers a mix of residential and commercial areas, providing a glimpse into the daily life of locals. You can find smaller restaurants, local shops, and a slightly quieter atmosphere compared to the bustling areas near Shinjuku Station.

Higashi-Shinjuku may not offer as many nightlife and entertainment options compared to areas like Kabukicho or Shinjuku Station. If you’re seeking vibrant nightlife, you may need to travel to other nearby areas.

While there are shops and stores in Higashi-Shinjuku, it may not have the extensive shopping centers and department stores found in other parts of Shinjuku. If shopping is a priority, you might need to travel to nearby areas.

Higashi-Shinjuku is best suited for Budget-conscious travelers looking for more affordable accommodation options and travelers seeking for a slightly quieter environment while still being within reach of Shinjuku’s main attractions.

Best places to stay in Shinjuku in Higashi-Shinjuku:


6. Takadanobaba

Takadanobaba is situated just north of the busy Shinjuku area and is known for its vibrant atmosphere and student population due to its proximity to several universities.

Takadanobaba is just one train stop away from Shinjuku Station, making it conveniently close to the bustling heart of the district. You can easily access the shopping, dining, and entertainment options of Shinjuku while enjoying a slightly quieter neighborhood to retreat to.

Takadanobaba is particularly famous for being home to Waseda University, one of Japan’s most prestigious universities. The presence of the university gives the area a youthful and energetic vibe, with many affordable eateries, izakayas (Japanese-style pubs), and karaoke establishments catering to the student population.

The main transportation hub in Takadanobaba is Takadanobaba Station, which is served by the JR Yamanote Line, Seibu Shinjuku Line, and Tokyo Metro Tozai Line. This makes it a convenient location for commuting to other parts of Tokyo.

Compared to the more commercialized areas of Shinjuku, Takadanobaba has a local, neighborhood feel. You’ll find smaller, family-owned restaurants, local shops, and a sense of community that can provide a more authentic experience.

While there are hotels and accommodations in Takadanobaba, if you’re seeking luxury options, you might find more choices in other areas of Shinjuku, such as the Shinjuku West Area.

Takadanobaba is best suited for budget travelers, students and young travelers, and those seeking a local experience.

Best places to stay in Shinjuku in Takadanobaba:


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In conclusion, Shinjuku offers a diverse range of neighborhoods to suit different preferences. Shinjuku Station provides convenience and access to major attractions, while Kabukicho and Golden Gai offer vibrant nightlife. 

Nishi-Shinjuku boasts modern skyscrapers, Shinjuku Gyoen is a serene escape, Higashi-Shinjuku is known for shopping, and Takadanobaba offers a youthful atmosphere. Choose the area that aligns with your interests and enjoy your stay in this vibrant district of Tokyo.

About Author: Linda Smith

I'm Linda Smith, the Hotel Expert, an experienced travel blogger who passionate about traveling. I'm here to share with you all my travel experiences and tips. I cover a wide range of travel topics, specializing in sharing information about the best areas, neighborhoods, and hotels in each city. I hope all these things will make your travel easier.

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