In the previous page, we introduced the recommended tourist attractions in Harajuku.
In this page, we will show the tourist attractions in Shinjuku and Shibuya.
When you hear Shinjuku, you might think that there are busy entertainment area and downtown.
However, you can also enjoy “relaxing Shinjuku” spots for sightseeing.
One of the “relaxing Shinjuku” spots is the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building Observatory. The observation is on the top of the building where officers work. Let’s take a look at it.
Recently, the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building becomes one of the main tourist attraction in Tokyo.
The building is 48 stories high and easily found in Tokyo city.
In the building, you can see the night view from the observatory.
Within the tower, there can be separated into two district, North Observatory and South observatory. If you are lucky enough, you can see Mount Fuji from the West side!
The North Observatory is open till 11 pm. So you can enjoy it without worrying about the time.
The entry fee is free, so I recommend this place for those who do not want to pay a lot of money on the trip.
【Japanese Name】東京都庁展望室 (Tokyo Tocho Tenboushitsu)
【English Name】Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building Observatory
【Address】Tokyo Nishi-Shinjuku 2-8-1
【Access】Short away from Toei Oedo line “Tocho station.” 10 minutes walk from the South exit and the West exit of Shinjuku station.
The next tourist attraction is Shinjuku Hanazono Shrine.
This shrine is the symbol of Shinjuku and worshiped the God of commerce.
During the daytime, you will see many tourists, but when night comes the place is not well-known for many people. Thus you should go there.
The Hanazono shrine has protected Shinjuku even before the Edo era.
During the WW2, the shrine was damaged, but it had been fixed and the appearance was reconstructed as same as before.
To enjoy the shrine, visiting the shrine is not insufficient. Have a walk in a park where near the shrine.
In the nighttime, the fortress of the shrine is lighted up and creates very visionary atmosphere.
When you walk the through the Japanese lanterns street, you hardly believe that you are in the metropolitan area.
【Japanese Name】花園神社 (Hanazono Jinja)
【English Name】Hanazono Shrine
【Address】Tokyo Shinjuku district Shinjuku 5-17-3
【Access】Short walk from E2 exit of the Shinjuku 3 Chome Station of Toei Shinjuku line, Hukutoshin line Tokyo Metro Marunouchi line
Shinjuku Gyoen is consider as National park area and a lot of nature environment can be found there.
In the Edo era, the park was own as Takato Domain and the opened as Shinjuku botanical garden for Imperial House in 1879. After WW2 the garden has finally opened for public.
The park is an important historical place. Mourning ceremonies for Taisho, and Showa Imperial were held in the park too.
The park circumference is about 3.5 kilometers and has rows trees are implanted as English-style and French-style gardens. It is said the park is the Oasis of the Tokyo, so families and couples spend their time there for relaxation.
High building is surrounding the park, and the contrast seems like the Central Park in the New York.
In the July 2016, the innumerable number of people gather in the garden.
That is because of the “Pokemon GO” and one of the most popular Pokemon, “Pikachu” lives in the garden.
Pokemon Go made a massive social trend at the time. Now the garden is the nest for “Arbo” which is very easy to get.
After the shuffle of pokemons’ nest location, the Pokemon trainers have gone and the garden got back its peacefulness.
Makoto Shinkai is a movie director who is said to be the next position of Mamoru Hosoda, who made “summer wars,” “The Girl who Leapt Through Time” and “Spirit Away.”
Makoto Shinkai directed the “The Garden of Words” in 2013, and its story is taken place in the Shinjuku Gyoen. A 15 years old boy who wish to be a shoe artist, and 27 years old teacher who teach classic Japanese met with each other in Shinjuku Gyoen.
The movie becomes a hit because of its beautiful scene in the movie.
Since the story is related to rain season, there are many people go to Shinjuku Gyoen and take photos there for pilgrimage.
【English Name】Shinjuku Gyoen
【Address】〒160-0014 Tokyo Shinjuku district Naitou-cho 11
【Access】5 minutes walk from exit 1 of Tokyo Metro Marunouchi line “Shinjuku Gyoen Mae station.”
Kabukicho is one of the famous downtowns where has many theaters and restaurants.
Since there are many bars, clubs, and hotels, the area is called “sleepless town” and “the best downtown in East.”
As it says, the neon doesn’t end, and there are countless people cross the streets even in the midnight.
For those who are from the countryside (include the author), perhaps it is a breath-taking scene for us.
In the nighttime, you get the talk from by canvassers of bar and clubs.
You might follow them, but Kabukicho is also known as Swindle city, so please don’t follow them easily.
Recently, you hear caution announcement that tells us to be careful about the swindlers in Kabukicho.
It might be the right thing to feel the atmosphere but pay attention to your actions, especially when you are drunk.
The story of the game “Yakuza” is based on Kabukicho.
The game is for Japanese male adults, so I do not recommend this game to female.
The game is specifically targeted for Japanese male adults, so I do not recommend this game to female players.
In the game, the restaurant and entertainment areas are almost the same as the real Kabuki-Cho.
I started playing “Yakuza” before I have actually been there, but somehow I remember the map of Kabukicho. Surprisingly, I knew most of the places even it was the first time visit.
The game is design for Japanese male player, but please try if you are interested in even you are a female player.
【Address】〒160-0021 Tokyo Shinjuku district Kabukicho
【Access】10 minutes walk from JR line the Shinjuku station
From now on, we will introduce tourist attractions in Ikebukuro
With the 10 minutes train by the JR Yamanote line, you can get to Ikebukuro. Ikebukuro is one of the busiest city which lies next to Shinjuku and Shibuya. Ikebukuro seems to be the place for young people. However, families, couples, and oldsters can enjoy there.
One of the recommended place is Konica Minolta Planetarium “Manten”.
The way to enjoy the planetarium is little bit different from others.
The planetarium can sometimes be very annoying, so you fall asleep especially it only focus on explanations.
However, In “Manten” you can see about 400,000 stars on the screen.
The stars look like real stars, and they are so beautiful.
After 7pm., you can enjoy the stars with perfume so I recommend it for couples’ dating!
There is another Minolta Planetarium near by the Tokyo Sky Tree and its program is different.
Hope you enjoy the romantic mood in Minolta Planetarium “Manten”.
【Japanese Name】コニカミノルタプラネタリウム”満天” in Sunshine City
【English Name】Konica Minolta Planetarium
【Address】Tokyo Toyoshimaku Higashi Ikebukuro Sunshine City World Import Mart Building Rooftop
【Access】10 minutes walk from Ikebukuro station East exit. 5 minutes walk from Higashi Ikebukuro station of Tokyo Metro Yurakucho line.
【Open】Everyday. 11 am to 8 pm (10 shows per day)
【Fee】Planetarium (40 minutes) 1,100 JPY. Healing Planetarium (50 minutes) 1,400 JPY.
The next recommended place is Ikebukuro Sunshine Aquarium
The aquarium is famous for unique events.
In the past, there was “poison exhibition” which gathers sea animals that have poison.
So I will introduce this unique aquarium.
The recommended spot in Sunshine aquarium is Sunshine lagoon.
Sunshine lagoon is the symbol of this aquarium.
They were initially plan to set a bigger water burial, but they quite due to the geographical limitation, so they used virtual technique to make it looks bigger.
You can see rays and sharks swimming in the water burial.
In the nighttime, the whole aquarium light up. The best part is the courtyard.
Please visit there!
【English Name】Sunshine Aquarium
【Address】Tokyo Tokyoshimaku Higashi-Ikebukuro 3-1-3
【Access】10 minutes walk from East exit of Ikebukuro station. 5 minutes walk from “Higashi Ikebukuro station” of Tokyo Metro Yurakucho line.
This SKY CIRCUS Sunshine 60 Observatory is in the same building as well as the aquarium.
The concept of this observatory is “Have fun in Tokyo from the sky.”
In usual observatory, you only “see” the view but in SKY CIRCUS, you can actually “experience” the view.
In its name, there is “60” and this is named after the building is 60 stories high.
Surprisingly, the elevators’ speed is also up to 60 meters per minutes!
Now, we will teach you how to enjoy SKY CIRCUS Sunshine 60 Observatory.
For those who visit the observatory first time, I recommend you to go “Tenku 251.”
You can see the shock Tokyo from 251 meters above as if you are on the cloud.
There is also tricks on the floor. From “SKY holes,” you can see Ikebukuro 251 meters up.
You will feel that there are real holes in the floors.
You can experience fantastic tricks in SKY CIRCUS Sunshine 60 Observatory.
Why don’t you visit there and make the trip memorable.
【Japanese Name】SKY CIRCUSサンシャイン60展望台
【English】SKY CIRCUS Sunshine 60 Observatory
【Address】Tokyo Toyoshimaku Higashi Ikebukuro 3-1 Sunshine City Sunshine 60 Building 60F
【Access】10 minutes walk from East exit of Ikebukuro station. 5 minutes walk from Tokyo Metro Yurakucho “Higashi Ikebukuro station.”
I live in Ikebukuro but I have no idea about any famous place in South Ikebukuro.
North Ikebukuro has entertainment trades, East Ikebukuro has Sunshine City, and West Ikebukuro has Ikebukuro Nishiguchi Park. Now South Ikebukuro got the place to be proud of.
In the park, you can see many couples taking pictures, sitting on the benches. Besides that, you will see the people sleeping on the ground, families having a picnic, reading the book, etc.
Such a peaceful and ordinary city for you to forget the fact that you are actually in Ikebukuro.
The park is the very suitable place for walking with pets.
There are cute cafe “RANCINES” so you can go and eat something when you get hungry.
The menu changes based on time so you can have fun with that too.
The photo was taken in the dinner time.
On this day, I ordered “Spare Ribs with pepper berry source.”
You can get full and be relaxed at this place.
I think there is no place like that in Ikebukuro, so I highly recommend going there!
【Japanese Name】Minami Ikebukuro Park
【English】Minami Ikebukuro Park
【Address】Tokyo Toyoshimaku Minami Ikebukuro 2-21-1
【Access】8 minutes walk from JR Ikebukuro station
【Open】8am to 10pm
Nanja Town is on second floors of Sunshine City.
It is the theme park run by NAMCO. It is made up with three different sections, Dokkingam Hiroba, Hukubukuro Nanachome Shotengai and Mononoke Bangaichi.
Most of the attractions are for kids and families. But recently, they started collaborating with famous anime and manga so you can enjoy several different attractions.
In addition, Nanja town had 20th anniversary in 2016. Also, they renewed the facilities in 2013 so it seem very new.
In Nanja Gyoza stadium section, you can enjoy many kinds of dumpling (Gyoza) from all across Japan.
The section has many stands so you can enjoy the atmosphere.
Tetsu Nabe Are Honten (Hakata)
Those four above are the best four Gyoza (I cannot believe that there is no Gyoza from Shizuoka and Tochigi)
As well as Gyoza, you can enjoy ice-creams come from all over Japan
These are the flavors. There are ordinary flavors such as milk and citrus fruits, but there are also unique one such as soybean flour, charcoal, grated yam and crabs.
It comes with bowls and not cups.
I did not try the unique ones even I was there for the report.
From right side, golden vanilla, Konkan sherbet, strawberry mille-feuille, double cheese, pearl ice cream, and mascarpone.
They are all delicious♪
The price is different depend on flavors, but total price for my ice creams was 520 JPY.
【Japanese Name】Nanja Town
【Address】Tokyo Toyoshima Ku Higashi Ikebukuro 3 home Sunshine City World Import Mart Building 2 floor
【Access】8 minutes walk from 35 exits in Ikebukuro station
【Open】Everyday 10am to 10pm (last entry 9pm)
【Fee】Entrance (500 JPY for adults, 300 JPY for kids), Entrance and Free Attractions (3300 JPY for adults, 2600 JPY for kids) ※there are several kinds of discount
【Caution】Many events about manga and anime are held. Please check the Official website for more information
In this section, we introduced the tourist attractions in Shinjuku and Ikebukuro
Next is about Ueno and Nippori area.