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Regions of Japan

Hokkaido Tohoku Hokuriku
Shinetsu
Kanto Tokai Kansai Chugoku Shikoku Kyushu Okinawa Islands SAPPORO TOKYO NAGOYA OSAKA FUKUOKA FURANO KUSHIRO AOMORI SENDAI FUKUSHIMA NIKKO HAKONE SADO TAKAYAMA KANAZAWA ISE KYOTO NARA HIROSHIMA NAGASAKI KAGOSHIMA NAHA
Hokkaido
Hokkaido
  • Hokkaido
Sub-zero temperatures and the greatest of outdoor environments, complemented by sizzling soul food and warm-hearted welcomes. Japan's great white north offers wild, white winters and bountiful summers—a haven for dedicated foodies, nature lovers and outdoor adventure fans seeking an adrenaline rush
Tohoku
Tohoku
  • Aomori
  • Akita
  • Iwate
  • Yamagata
  • Miyagi
  • Fukushima
Sleek apple-red and electric-green shinkansen whisk you up to a haven of fresh powder snow, fresh fruit and fearsome folk legends Fearsome festivals, fresh powder and vast fruit orchards—the rugged northern territory of Tohoku offers a fresh perspective on travel in Japan
Hokuriku Shinetsu
Hokuriku Shinetsu
  • Niigata
  • Toyama
  • Ishikawa
  • Fukui
  • Nagano
Mountains and sea meet in one of Japan's wildest regions, and the result is sheer beauty. Once largely inaccessible, Hokuriku is now reachable by shinkansen from Tokyo in a matter of hours An easily accessible slice of rural Japan offering unrivaled mountainscapes and coastlines, endless outdoor adventure and amazing ocean fare
Kanto
Kanto
  • Tokyo
  • Kanagawa
  • Chiba
  • Saitama
  • Ibaraki
  • Tochigi
  • Gunma
Characterized by the constant buzz of the world's most populous metropolitan area, the Kanto region is surprisingly green with an array of escapes that include mountainous getaways and subtropical islands Experience diversity at its fullest, from the neon of Tokyo to the ski slopes of Gunma, exotic wildlife of the Ogasawara Islands and cultural heritage of Kamakura
Tokai
Tokai
  • Yamanashi
  • Shizuoka
  • Gifu
  • Aichi
  • Mie
Served by the shinkansen line that connects Tokyo, Kyoto and Osaka, the Tokai region provides plenty of interesting diversions and easy excursions Tokai means "eastern sea," and this region stretches east from Tokyo to Kyoto and includes blockbuster attractions such as Mt. Fuji and Takayama
Kansai
Kansai
  • Kyoto
  • Osaka
  • Shiga
  • Hyogo
  • Nara
  • Wakayama
From raucous nights out to outdoor thrills to peaceful reverie, trying to categorize the Kansai region is a futile task The Kansai region is one of extreme contrasts—the neon lights of Osaka and glittering Kobe nightscape, the peaceful realms of Shiga, Wakayama and Nara, and the cultured refinement of Kyoto
Chugoku
Chugoku
  • Tottori
  • Shimane
  • Okayama
  • Hiroshima
  • Yamaguchi
Less-traveled and delightfully inaccessible at times, the Chugoku region is a reminder that the journey is sometimes more important than the destination Welcome to Japan's warm and friendly western frontier, where the weather is warmer and the pace of life is slower
Shikoku
Shikoku
  • Tokushima
  • Kagawa
  • Ehime
  • Kochi
Providing the stage for literary classics, fevered dancing and natural wonders Island-hopping, cycling, soul-warming spiritual strolling and red-hot dancing—the island of Shikoku gets you up and moving
Kyushu
Kyushu
  • Fukuoka
  • Saga
  • Nagasaki
  • Oita
  • Kumamoto
  • Miyazaki
  • Kagoshima
Easily reached by land, sea and air, the dynamic Kyushu prefectures are bubbling with energy, culture and activity The southern island of Kyushu is home to volcanoes ranging from sleepy to smoky, succulent seafood, steaming hot springs and the country's hottest entrepreneurial town
Okinawa
Okinawa
  • Okinawa
Ruins and recreated castles of the Ryukyu kings nestle amid magnificent beaches in Okinawa, a diver's paradise teeming with an amazing array of coral and undersea life Fly to Okinawa and discover a distinct island culture born of subtropical sun, white sand, coral, mangrove jungles and the age of the Ryukyu Kings

Busy, bright and bubbling, Shinjuku is where Tokyo goes to have fun

Shinjuku is one of the most famous places in Tokyo. But other than its distinction as the busiest station in the world, Shinjuku's merits as a destination have been underemphasized. This is unfair, as it is a place worthy of its fame.

Don't Miss

  • Shinjuku Gyoen, an oasis of nature amid the crowds
  • Bustling nightlife and endless shopping opportunities
  • City Hall, high-rises and futuristic neon cityscapes

How to Get There

Twelve separate lines run through Shinjuku Station, including the JR Yamanote Line.

Shinjuku is at nine o'clock on the JR Yamanote (loop) Line, on the fashionable western side of the city (alongside Shibuya, Yoyogi and Harajuku). Other lines, above and below ground, pass through Shinjuku and it is also a major stop for highway buses feeding Tokyo from the rest of Japan.

Getting your bearings

Shinjuku Station is officially the busiest transport hub in the world. When it was registered by Guinness World Records in 2007, an average 3.64 million people per day used Shinjuku Station.

With 36 platforms, over 200 exits, and another 17 platforms in five directly connected stations that can be accessed through hallways without ever surfacing outside, it is labyrinthine. Never be so casual as to suggest meeting someone "outside Shinjuku Station": JR, Keio, Odakyu, Toei, Tokyo Metro and Seibu all have stations within the Shinjuku Station complex, which also boasts underground malls, restaurants and cafes. Shinjuku is defined by its station.

More than a hub

As a result of all this human traffic, Shinjuku caters to all tastes and desires.

Major department stores including Isetan, Takashimaya, Keio and Odakyu have flagship stores in Shinjuku. Kinokuniya Bookstore, Tokyu Hands, Bic Camera, Yodobashi and Labi all have a huge presence right in front of the station.

There are thousands of stores in the immediate vicinity, and if you stroll in any direction from the station there are thousands more shops, restaurants, bars, clubs and movie theaters. Shinjuku has everything you want and much you didn't know you needed.

Pink lights, nightlife and 24-hour party people

Kabukicho is where the party happens. Often called the town that doesn't sleep, more accurately, it passes out for a couple of hours late morning.

Despite its sometimes sleazy reputation, it is a must-see destination for young people and foreign visitors. With over 4,000 bars, restaurants, clubs and convenience stores, there is a lot to choose from in such a small area. Oddities like the Robot Restaurant, Godzilla, the Samurai Museum and Thermae-Yu have made it an attraction. Golden Gai, Hanazono Jinja and even Koreatown keep people coming back for more.

Not all fun and games

Shinjuku is also home to the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Office Building (Tocho), which dominates the skyline. The buildings of Tocho don't just stand, they strut. Even among the rest of the towers of south Shinjuku, Tocho stands tall. The views from the free observation decks are stunning. And they stay open until 11:00 p.m.

Fit for an emperor

Amid the steel, concrete and chaos, with millions of people shuffling through each day, Shinjuku Gyoen garden is almost a dreamlike aberration. It's a well-kept secret and outside of cherry blossom season and the turning of the leaves in fall, it is a tranquil escape from the neon and noise.

Emperor Hirohito, who was the last person in the imperial family to have experienced the garden as a "personal" garden, loved Gyoen so much that his funeral was held in a special ceremony here.

The many flowers, carefully manicured trees, the classic Japanese Garden, pagodas and Taiwanese Pavilion, the verdant greenhouse, as well as the balancing of French formal and British landscape styles, all are designed to convey joy and peace to stressed urbanites.

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