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Where You Should Stay in Shinjuku: Best Areas & 23 Hotels For Visitors

Where You Should Stay in Shinjuku: Best Areas & 23 Hotels For Visitors

Last updated: 13 November 2023

When considering where to stay in Shinjuku, it's worth noting that this bustling area isn't the center of Tokyo, but its capital. Shinjuku boasts everything from compact izakayas in cozy alleys to sprawling shopping malls, making it the hub of shopping and entertainment in Tokyo. It embodies the essence of a city that's always alive, offering endless choices of malls, department stores, cafes, izakayas, restaurants, karaoke bars, and nightclubs.

The areas surrounding Shinjuku Station are diverse, each with unique characteristics and attractions, providing a plethora of options for anyone trying to decide on accommodation in Shinjuku.

Table of Contents
  1. What kind of area is Shinjuku?
  2. How to decide where to stay in Shinjuku
  3. The 5 best areas to stay in Shinjuku & Recommended hotels
  4. Types of hotels in Shinjuku
  5. When is the best time to visit Shinjuku?

What kind of area is Shinjuku?

Located on Tokyo's western side, Shinjuku has excellent access to all major sightseeing areas in the city and beyond. (Image: PIXTA)
Located on Tokyo's western side, Shinjuku has excellent access to all major sightseeing areas in the city and beyond. (Image: PIXTA)

Shinjuku is a surprisingly diverse area that’s dominated by Shinjuku Station. Twelve train and Metro lines pass through Shinjuku Station, connecting the city's center with the rest of Tokyo and even to popular day trip destinations such as Hakone and Kawagoe.

In reality, Shinjuku Station is much more than just a train station. Numerous shopping arcades, department stores, and food courts are either part of the station or connected via a network of underground passageways.

The Shinjuku Station area. (Photo: PIXTA)
The Shinjuku Station area. (Photo: PIXTA)

Outside the station, Shinjuku is piled high with skyscrapers, shopping malls and megastores. To the east of the station are some of Tokyo’s best shopping streets, home to numerous department stores and major flagship shops.

Nearby is Kabukicho, the neon-lit nightlife district that loves to party, and Golden Gai, a warren of tiny streets crammed with pubs and bars that stay open till morning. Just on the other side of the train tracks is Omoide Yokocho, a collection of historic alleyways lined with tiny bars serving yakitori and other grilled foods.

Alongside the skyscrapers of Tochome to the west of Shinjuku Station, you can enjoy breathtaking views of the city from the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building.

Also here are some of the most luxurious and expensive hotels in Tokyo. To the south of Shinjuku Station is Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden, a beautiful and diverse green oasis in the middle of one of the most built-up areas of Tokyo.

How to decide where to stay in Shinjuku

The Kabukicho neighborhood of Shinjuku comes alive in the evening. (Photo: PIXTA)
The Kabukicho neighborhood of Shinjuku comes alive in the evening. (Photo: PIXTA)

With so much going on in and around Shinjuku there are some things to consider when booking accommodation in the area. Here’s a few things to keep in mind when deciding where to stay in Shinjuku.

Proximity to sights and type of experience

Shinjuku is a diverse area with a wide range of neighborhoods, each offering a unique experience. Before booking your hotel in Shinjuku, it's important to consider the type of area you want to stay in. For example, you may want to stay in the heart of the action, surrounded by the area's lively and colorful nightlife. Alternatively, you might prefer a more relaxed pace and enjoy the finer things in life at one of Tokyo's luxurious five-star hotels.

If you're looking to explore Shinjuku and the rest of Tokyo, you may want to choose a location that provides easy access to transportation. With so many neighborhoods to choose from, it's important to do your research and find the right area that suits your needs.


When planning your stay in Shinjuku, it's important to consider the accessibility of your accommodation. Fortunately, this is one of the most well-connected areas in Tokyo, with several subway stations located within the area.

Many of these are just a single stop away from Shinjuku Station, making it easy to travel to any part of the city. Additionally, Shinjuku is situated on the JR Shonan-Shinjuku Line, providing easy access to popular day trip destinations such as Yokohama and Kamakura.

Moreover, Shinjuku is easily accessible from both of Tokyo's international airports. The Narita Express offers direct trains between Shinjuku Station and Narita International Airport, while Haneda Airport can be reached by train with just one change at Shinagawa Station. Alternatively, there is a bus service between Shinjuku Station Bus Terminal (also known as Busta Shinjuku) and Haneda Airport, which takes around 45 minutes.

Furthermore, the Limousine Bus is an excellent option for convenient transportation to and from select hotels in Shinjuku, available from both Haneda and Narita Airports.

Types of accommodations in the same area

When searching for a place to stay in Shinjuku, it is important to consider the available types of accommodations. As a highly commercialized area, hotels are the most common type of lodging in Shinjuku. They come in various types, ranging from simple and reasonably priced business hotels to extravagantly luxurious five-star hotels that are among the best in the world. Your choice of accommodation in Shinjuku will depend on the type of hotel you require and how much you can afford to spend.

The 5 best areas to stay in Shinjuku & Recommended hotels

Here are the five areas that we recommend to look for accommodation when you’re trying to decide where to stay in Shinjuku.

1. Near Shinjuku Station - Excellent access to Tokyo and incredible shopping

Just south of Shinjuku Station are numerous shopping centers and restaurants. (Photo: PIXTA)
Just south of Shinjuku Station are numerous shopping centers and restaurants. (Photo: PIXTA)

For an incredible access to a world of shopping, food, and nightlife, book your accommodation near Shinjuku Station. Shinjuku Station is home to a vast array of shops, bars, and restaurants that you could spend a lifetime exploring. It's the perfect place for retail therapy, with an unparalleled range of stores and places to eat and drink.

Being close to Shinjuku Station means you're only a short walk or train ride away from the highlights in and around the wider Shinjuku area. Moreover, the station is the busiest and biggest in Tokyo, making it an ideal starting point to explore the city and beyond. You can easily reach any part of the city using Shinjuku Station.

Shinjuku Station is also the starting point for trains to popular day trip destinations such as Kamakura on the JR Shonan-Shinjuku Line and Hakone via Odawara on the Odakyu Odawara Line. Additionally, you can reach various destinations all over Japan by coach from Shinjuku Expressway Bus Terminal, located directly opposite Shinjuku Station's South Exit.

Best hotels near Shinjuku Station

2. Kabukicho and Golden Gai Area - Discover the wilder side of Tokyo

One of the iconic entrances to Kabukicho. (Photo: PIXTA)
One of the iconic entrances to Kabukicho. (Photo: PIXTA)

If you are looking for a unique experience in Tokyo, consider staying near the lively nightlife areas of Kabukicho or the Golden Gai.

Kabukicho is full of bright neon lights and is home to many izakayas, pachinko parlors, karaoke bars, love hotels and nightclubs. You can't miss the iconic Godzilla head bursting through the roof of a cinema complex next to the Gracery Hotel.

Kabukicho is also known as Tokyo's red-light district, where you can find countless adult-oriented clubs and shops that advertise their services. While it can feel seedy at times, Kabukicho remains largely safe and unthreatening compared to other red-light districts in major cities around the world. However, it is important to be vigilant as there are touts who may target tourists.

Golden Gai is another popular destination in Kabukicho, with its narrow streets lined with dozens of tiny bars. Most of the bars in Golden Gai are small and can only accommodate a handful of customers at a time. The lanes of Golden Gai are mostly made up of two-story buildings, with one bar on the ground floor and another above.

While a few bars cater exclusively to locals, most are foreigner-friendly and popular with overseas visitors and locals alike. Most of the bars in Golden Gai open in the late evening and close in the wee hours of the morning. If you want to experience the more hedonistic side of Tokyo, then Kabukicho is the perfect place to stay.

Best hotels near Kabukicho and Golden Gai

3. Tochomae Area - Quieter area of town; Limousine Bus area

In front of the Tokyo Metropolitan Government complex (Photo: PIXTA)
In front of the Tokyo Metropolitan Government complex (Photo: PIXTA)

Tochomae is located on the west side of Shinjuku Station and is primarily known as a business district with many skyscrapers. However, amidst all the towers, there is Shinjuku Chuo Park, a pretty park that houses Shinjuku Juniso Kumano-jinja Shrine, a small and picturesque shrine. If you want to stay near the main sights and attractions of Shinjuku but away from the noise, Tochomae is a much quieter and less frenetic option.

The twin towers that make up the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building are the biggest attraction in Tochomae. Both towers have a free observation deck that offers some of the best views of Tokyo. On clear days, one can see right across the city and even as far as Mount Fuji.

One of the main reasons for choosing to stay in Tochomae is the high quality of hotels in the area. If you want to feel like an A-lister while in Tokyo, then Tochomae has some of the best hotels in the city where luxury comes as standard. Five-star hotels such as the Hyatt Regency, the Hilton Tokyo, and the Park Hyatt Tokyo are all located in Tochomae along with several others.

The hotel rooms usually come with incredible views of Shinjuku and the rest of Tokyo. Each hotel has a selection of fine-dining restaurants and stylish and sophisticated bars, which are also amongst the best in the city. A regular limousine bus service runs between several of Tochomae’s best hotels and both Narita and Haneda Airports. Buses depart from and drop off at the Hilton Tokyo, the Hyatt Regency, the Tokyo Keio Plaza Hotel, and the Park Hyatt Tokyo.

The Best Hotels Near Tochomae:

4. Shinjuku Gyoen Area - Great access to the cherry blossoms

Shinjuku Gyoen is a gorgeous greenspace in Tokyo. (Photo: PIXTA)
Shinjuku Gyoen is a gorgeous greenspace in Tokyo. (Photo: PIXTA)

Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden is located in a quieter area of Shinjuku, similar to Tochomae. Despite being a little further from Shinjuku Station, the location is still convenient for visiting the main attractions in Shinjuku and other areas of the city. If you decide to stay near Shinjuku Gyoen, you will have access to a diverse range of cafes, restaurants, and shops, while enjoying a less crowded environment.

The garden's main attraction is its vast area of 144 acres, providing a refreshing escape from the bustling city. Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden features several distinct regions such as a Japanese-style garden, a Taiwanese pavilion, a small wild forest, a French rose garden, and many lakes and ponds. The cherry blossoms are the garden's most popular attraction, with over 400 trees that draw a massive crowd during the spring season.

The Best Hotels Near Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden

5. Higashi-Shinjuku Area - Slightly out of the way & cheaper than downtown Shinjuku

The Higashi-Shinjuku area. (Photo: PIXTA)
The Higashi-Shinjuku area. (Photo: PIXTA)

If you're looking to stay close to the main attractions of Shinjuku without breaking the bank, Higashi-Shinjuku is a great option. It's located just to the northeast of Shinjuku Station, near Kabukicho. While it's not right in the heart of Shinjuku, accommodation in Higashi-Shinjuku is still conveniently located and more affordable than other areas closer to the station.

Higashi-Shinjuku has its own subway station, which is served by two lines - the Oedo Line and the Fukutoshin Line. So if you're looking for a budget-friendly place to stay with easy access to Shinjuku and the rest of the city, consider looking for accommodation in Higashi-Shinjuku.

The Best Hotels Near Higashi-Shinjuku

Types of hotels in Shinjuku

An area filled with all kinds of hotels, shops, restaurants, and more, Shinjuku has it all! (Photo: PIXTA)
An area filled with all kinds of hotels, shops, restaurants, and more, Shinjuku has it all! (Photo: PIXTA)

There are a variety of different kinds of hotels available in Shinjuku. Here we’ll walk you through the main categories.

a. Hotels & Business hotels

There are various types of hotels, ranging from luxurious to what is known as "business hotels". The latter are inexpensive, hence, the rooms are usually small and simple. However, they are conveniently located near train stations and the per-night cost is relatively cheap. When you only need a bed and not looking for luxurious facilities, these hotels are a great option.

b. Capsule hotels (pod hotels)

Capsule hotels offer a unique and different type of accommodation that originated in Japan. These hotels provide small capsule-like rooms for guests to stay in. These capsules are typically the size of a small bed and guests share facilities like toilets and showers. These hotels are budget-friendly, but may not be suitable for those who are claustrophobic or uncomfortable with small spaces.

c. Guesthouses & Hostels

Guesthouses and hostels are a popular choice for travelers as they provide great accommodation at an affordable price. In Japan, these accommodations are known for being safe, clean, and conveniently located. They are especially suitable for solo or small group travelers, but some places have family-friendly accommodations as well.

d. Vacation Rentals

In 2018, a change in the law in Japan led to the rise of vacation rentals. Now, various types of accommodations are available for tourists to stay in. While vacation rentals can be more expensive than budget hotels, they offer many options, including entire apartments. However, it's important to remember that the neighboring apartments are occupied, so you must avoid creating disturbances. Also, Japan has strict rules for separating garbage, which you need to follow.

e. Love hotels

Love hotels may have a shady reputation, as they were originally designed to offer a private space for couples, but over time they have gained popularity among tourists. One reason for this is that they can be quite affordable, while also offering spacious rooms and interesting themes. Another advantage is that most love hotels allow you to book a room by the hour, making them a convenient option for short stays.

Recommended love hotels in Shinjuku

When is the best time to visit Shinjuku?

Autumn is a beautiful time of year to stay in Shinjuku. (Photo: PIXTA)
Autumn is a beautiful time of year to stay in Shinjuku. (Photo: PIXTA)

With so much to see and do all year round, Shinjuku doesn’t really have a prime time to visit. Shinjuku is a major destination that is great to explore all year round, and there is guaranteed to be plenty to keep you busy whatever time of year you visit.

However, there are a few events that take place at certain times of year that you might want to look out for.

Spring: The hundreds of cherry blossom trees in Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden are always a major attraction, drawing huge numbers of visitors each year. If you’re visiting Tokyo between late March and early April, be sure to pay a visit.

Autumn: Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden sees visitors return, this time to marvel at the park’s stunning autumn colors. By late November and early December, much of Shinjuku is decorated in bright winter illuminations in time for Christmas.

There are also a few major festivals that take place every year in Shinjuku.
・The Hanazono Jinja Reitaisai festival takes place in late spring from 25-28 May. This three-day celebration sees huge crowds come to watch portable shrines paraded through the streets around Hanazono Shrine.
・Several festivals take place in summer, too, the most famous of which is the Eisa Festival. Originating in Okinawa, the Eisa Festival sees groups of performers and dancers lead processions through the streets of Shinjuku.

*This information is from the time of this article's publication.
*Prices and options mentioned are subject to change.
*Unless stated otherwise, all prices include tax.

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