Welcome to Shinjuku Station!
Shinjuku Station is one of those places that almost defies description. As the busiest train station on the entire planet (it holds the Guinness World Record), words like “bustling”, “hectic”, and “frantic” seem woefully weak. Let’s look at the stats: this cavernous sub-city in the west of Tokyo transits around 3.5million passengers every day. That’s right 3.5 million people - per day! It has more than 200 entrances, most of which are in near constant use as the never-ending masses throng to and from 36 platforms served by around a dozen railway and metro lines. And, just in case that wasn’t enough, Shinjuku also has a large national bus and coach terminal, Busta Shinjuku, right on top of the train station, just for good measure. To call Shinjuku Station “mind-blowing” is a colossal understatement. It is an unparallelled phenomenon, a jaw-dropping spectacle and a thrilling sensation, all rolled into one. No trip to Tokyo is complete without experiencing it for yourself!
Immerse Yourself in the Shinjuku Station Experience
Visiting Shinjuku Station at any time of the day is an exciting experience. Once you’re in the building proper, either find a vantage point and watch the thousands of commuters stream through the station, or join the throng so that you can see how each passenger follows marked paths to reach their desired platforms before queuing respectfully at the train doors. Visit during rush hour and you’ll see (and feel) the place go full-on crazy. The whole station is so packed with highly focussed (yet rarely aggressive) people that it feels like you’ve somehow managed to sneak into a vast, real-size beehive. Reach a platform and you may even get to see the ‘pushers’ - the station assistants whose job it is to help cram passengers into the already full carriages like sardines - in action. It’s not for the faint-hearted (or claustrophobic)! Though it’s an intoxicating place to be in, and an overawing experience to be part of; you will almost certainly feel the need to claw back some personal space after a while. The best place to do this is Omoide Yokocho (‘Memory Lane’), a modest yet evocative set of alleyways made up of cramped little bars and ramshackle yakitori joints that hugs the train tracks north west of the station. Walk for a minute or two out of the station’s west exit and you’ll be just about there.
Rest and Relaxation at Shinjuku hotels
With Shinjuku accommodation options of all kinds dotted around the station, enjoying a little R&R after a day of frantic frenzy is as easy as it is welcome. If you’re looking for a top-of-the-range stay then by all means throw your Yen at the Keio Plaza Hotel Tokyo Premier Grand. Offering sensational views, polished rooms and an on-site spa, this classy high-rise is one of the best luxe hotels in the entire city let alone Shinjuku. The Shinjuku Prince Hotel is our pick of the area’s many mid-range options, thanks largely to its stylish interiors, quirky lobby and easy access to the station. Economic-minded travellers looking for budget digs will be more than happy with the the nicely attired Japanese-style rooms on hand at the sleek Shinjuku Urban Hotel.