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Is Shinjuku overrated?

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Is Shinjuku overrated?

I am staying in Shinjuku for 4 nights in October on my own, but I am worried about not having anything to do while I'm there.

What is there actually to do in Shinjuku? I don't necessarily mean big palaces or whatnot, but is there places to shop, eat etc?

It seems Ginza or Roppongi Hills are the happening places in Tokyo, or even Maranouchi. Shinjuku just seems...kinda boring by comparison.

I am in need of some reassurance.

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1. Re: Is Shinjuku overrated?

Plenty of places to eat, shop, and sleep in Shinjuku. When I think of "happening" places in Tokyo, Marunouchi area would fall below Shinjuku, Shibuya, Roppongi and Ginza.

You don't have to spend all four days in Shinjuku of course, Roppongi, Shibuya etc are literally minutes away by bus.

It entirely depends on what you are looking forward to do and see.

I hardly ever go to Roppongi, for me personally, I don't find it to be an interesting place.

Remember Shinjuku Station area is split into the East and West sides, the west side is all the "boring" areas of the sky scrapers etc, and east side is where many of the stores, entertainment, food places are located at.

Edited: 25 September 2011, 21:17
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2. Re: Is Shinjuku overrated?

Jump on a train to Roppongi Hills then!...or even Marnouchi ..

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3. Re: Is Shinjuku overrated?

Never thought of it as boring, rather too intense for a person of my age (66). But I still go there on just about every visit.

Here's a small sample of the eating choices in Shinjuku East: http://www.bento.com/gmaps/shinj.html For more, just wander the labyrinth of concourses under and around the station, or the side streets outside.

For shopping, six department stores, three big camera/electronics stores. Specialty stores for all kinds of things.

For sheer intensity: The train station at rush hour, the signs and lights of the entertainment areas,.

For city views (morning, evening and night) the free observation decks at Tokyo Metro Gov't Building.

But what really makes Shinjuku a good base of operations, as others have hinted, is the transportation, with a dozen or so rail and subway lines. Just as an example, the Yamanote line has trains about every 2-4 minutes most of the day (almost 300 a day) in each direction. Shibuya is about 7 minutes away, Harajuku only 4. Other trains will take you to Akihabara or Tokyo Station in 17 minutes.

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4. Re: Is Shinjuku overrated?

You can probably see all the shops in Ginza and Ropongi Hills in a day, but in Shinjuku you can go four days without visiting the same shop twice. Whereas Ginza and Ropongi Hills are more upscale, Shinjuku has more variety in shops, such as several big electronic stores, but also all the big and upscale brands. The choice of restaurants is seemingly unlimited.

Tokyu Hands is a store you should definitely visit. It has all kinds of unique stuff. It is connected to Takashimaya Times Square

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5. Re: Is Shinjuku overrated?

It seems Ginza or Roppongi Hills are the happening places in Tokyo, or even Maranouchi. Shinjuku just seems...kinda boring by comparison.

====

You have not been there yet and you have already determined this?

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6. Re: Is Shinjuku overrated?

For such a short visit, I doubt you could get bored in Shinjuku. Are you staying near the station or far from there? It is very lively around Shinjuku Station.

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7. Re: Is Shinjuku overrated?

In my case, Shinjuku was such a good base of operations that I barely had a chance to scratch the surface of the area in the 5 nights I was there, and most of that was on the day I was leaving Japan.

If memory serves correctly, you've already got one full day planned for Tokyo Disney Sea, so I think you're going to find even less time to get bored with Shinjuku...

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8. Re: Is Shinjuku overrated?

Having read several of your posts, I think you seem to have the idea that just because you are staying in Shinjuku, you are stuck with Shinjuku for all four days. Remember that Shinjuku is just one area of Tokyo. The station itself is a transportation hub so you can easily get to Ginza, Shibuya, Harajuku, Odaiba, Roppongi within 10 to 30 minutes on a simple subway or train ride. Therefore, you are never limited to just Shinjuku.

Shinjuku itself isn't particularly about sights. The best attraction is the atmosphere on the streets, particularly in the evening shopping and heading to restaurants, karoake, etc. Kabuku-cho is worth wandering around in the evening once just to see what it's all about. At the Skyscraper District (West), the observation decks at Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building gives a marvelous free view of the city. The office district also has interesting architecture that could be nice for a morning stroll before the shops open.

Edited: 26 September 2011, 03:39
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9. Re: Is Shinjuku overrated?

There is lots to do in Shinjuku. More importantly it's a perfect staging ground to go anywhere else in Tokyo.

I stay in Shinjuku everytime I go to Tokyo. It's my home base, it's perfect.

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10. Re: Is Shinjuku overrated?

And in Shinjuku you'll be near Kabukichō--worth just walking around in at night even if you don't want to personally "experience" everything (or anything) the area offers.

Edited: 28 September 2011, 18:31
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