Are you soon planning a stay in the amazing modern metropolis of Tokyo? Are you possibly studying about Japan and its society for a class in school or maybe even simply to fulfill your own personal curiosity? One place that you are likely going to want to learn a lot about, which is a kind of business and entertainment hub of Tokyo, is the area known as Shinjuku.
Home to the “busiest train station in the world”, the Japan Railways section of Shinjuku Station alone reportedly handles an average of around 1.5 million passengers each day. In the year 2007, all other private and metro lines included, the station is recorded to have been used by 3.64 million people per day and is thus registered with Guiness World Records. Shinjuku Station is a hub for many train companies, including JR, Odakyu, Keio, Tokyo Metro, and Toei. The station is so large and elaborate that a guide book could easily be written about the station alone. One should be warned that it is also architecturally elaborate and occasionally confusing enough to warrant such a guide book. As an example, there are supposedly more than 200 exits. It is an especially amazing sight to see considering that the station opened rather humbly in 1885 as a simple train stop in a then small and quiet community.
Shinjuku is a spectacular example of modern Japanese architecture and other feats of engineering. Some of the city’s most famous skyscrapers are found in the area near Shinjuku station. A recent addition well known for its space-age look and similarity to a “rocket ship” is the HAL Building which is appropriately prime ground for progressive software and game design. Yet another well known piece of Shinjuku architecture is the connected pair of twin buildings known as the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building, or in Japanese as “Tocho”. Its architectural design is reportedly intended to resemble a computer chip, and is yet another example of futuristic Japanese design. Its two top floors feature panoramic observation decks, which are open to the public and are also free of charge. This is a great place to enjoy a wonderful view of Tokyo. Cameras are allowed, but tripods are supposedly not.
Another area of Shinjuku that is a really popular destination for Tokyo residents in the evenings and on the weekends is the famous entertainment district known as Kabuki-cho. It is named for a traditional Japanese Kabuki theater that had been planned in the area, but never built. Although there may be no Kabuki, there are plenty of entertainment options in the area and the crowds of people it attracts on a daily basis are a testament to its popularity. Movie theaters, Karaoke, restaurants, cafes, shopping and more are abundant and there is likely something for just about anyone to enjoy!
Shinjuku is a place that you will almost undoubtedly visit during a stay in Tokyo. It is often the first place that people go straight from the airport after arriving in Japan. Hopefully you now know a little more about this modern district of Tokyo and its many wonders.