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samurai museum

samurai museumThe cultural hub in Shinjuku called “Kabukicho” is home to the many different stores and buildings that embody a section of Japanese culture. Among the shops and attractions is one that stands out to tourists and those interested in the warrior culture of medieval Japan. The Samurai Museum is dedicated to these brave warriors, and inside are fantastic displays of their armor and weapons. Each artifact has a history behind it.

samurai museum shinjuku 3The Samurai Museum offers tours in both Japanese and English. They delve deeply into the samurai culture, and visitors can learn a great deal about their lives and how they fought.  Though the museum may seem small, it contains five different exhibits which displays the different parts of the lives of samurai.

samurai museum 9The Samurai Museum also offers “Tate and Iai,” a showy instruction that demonstrates the Japanese “Way of the Sword.” It is very engaging and, because of the small area of the room, and you are very close to the demonstration–so close that the blade may sometimes be only inches from your face! The Samurai Museum instructors offer bolder visitors a chance to try the “Tate and Iai” along with the instructor and experience a small Japanese battle scene! But you shouldn’t go into battle unprotected, which is why you should don the o-yoroi samurai armor before engaging the enemy. Also, make sure you get your picture taken! The demonstration occurs four times a day, at 13:00, 15:00, 17:00 and 19:00.

samurai museum 4

samurai museum 7Even if you end up in a rush and can’t take the time to explore the museum, stop by the gift shop when you pass by! They offer items such as replica swords, armor, shirts, mugs and other items as souvenirs or gifts.

And since you’ll want to upload your photos right away, they have free wi-fi!

samurai museum shinjuku 8

Samurai Museum Shinjuku Location Information

Website (English) ||| Facebook (English) ||| Twitter (English) ||| Instagram

Nearest Station: 10-minute walk from Shinjuku Station (click on the Google Map for walking directions)

Hours of Operation: Open Daily 10:30 am – 9pm (last entry 8:30 pm)

Entrance Fee: 1800 yen for adults, 800 yen for children under 12, children 3 and under free. Plus souvenirs!

“Why Go?”: What? I can’t believe anyone would have to explain this to you! Weren’t you ever a kid?

Click on one of the links below to explore more of Tokyo–

December 14, 2016 0 comment
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Shinjuku Station Shopping Tokyo Japan

Shinjuku Station Shopping

Shinjuku Station Shopping Tokyo Japan

Are you on an extended layover in Haneda? Waiting for the bullet train to bullet out of town? Want to do some shopping and maybe get a light meal, but you don’t want the hassle of navigating unfamiliar Tokyo streets? Shinjuku Station Shopping could be right for you!

Shinjuku Station is not just a train station, it’s also a gigantic shopping center. As such, it is an easy shopping and dining option for those who don’t have a lot of time or are reluctant to brave the Tokyo streets. But where are the best places to go? Shinjuku Station is gigantic, and you may not have the time to wander around forever in search of the perfect gift or that can’t-do-without item. Here are EnAbleJapan.com’s top places in Shinjuku Station Shopping, so you can explore (instead of sitting around on your smartphone like everyone else).


Isetan is a Japanese department store that is so large, it has its own station exit. Isetan is also a great last-minute souvenir place, with Japanese alcohol and dessert packages designed with the traveler-on-the-go in mind. The second floor also features many clothing brands, like Dolly Girl by Anna Sui and Next B. by Agnes B. These fashion brands have a kawaii touch, so depending on who you’re shopping for, this could be a good place to go. It also has its own underground food court.

BIC Camera

Bic Camera Shinjuku Station Tokyo Japan

BIC Camera is a go-to spot for newbies in Japan. Shinjuku Station’s BIC Camera is located outside of exit B16. The two-floor store offers prepaid SIM cards for different phones, for different months, and for different amounts of data. They also sell power adapters, if your devices’ plugs won’t fit in Japan’s two-pronged outlets. If you are just arriving in Japan, we recommend stopping in BIC Camera to set up everything for your trip.

Sekaido Shinjuku

Sekaido Shinjuku, located at Exit C1, is a store that specializes in art materials and stationery. They have a wide selection of postcards and Japanese-style stickers, which could be great souvenirs to bring back home. There are plenty of choices, and the prices at Sekaido won’t break the bank.


Uniqlo Shinjuku Station Shopping Tokyo Japan

Uniqlo is a popular brand all over the world, and has a huge store right in Shinjuku Station. They are known for their basic clothing pieces and low prices, and have something for the whole family. The 2nd floor of Uniqlo also offers embroidery design, so you can put small pictures or your name in kanji on clothes you buy (500 yen per word/ picture).

Kinokuniya Bookstore

Kinokuniya Bookstore is located by exits B7 and B8. Kinokuniya Bookstore’s 7th floor English bookstore sells a vast array of new books, bestsellers, genre books, and anything else you could find in a big-box bookstore. Of special interest are the section of books by Japanese authors that are translated to English, so you may find a treasure here that may be hard to get (or even browse for) anywhere else. There is also a travel section, where you will find Japanese maps, guidebooks, must-buy item guides, restaurant passports, and English manga. A great place to pick up airplane reading material! Outside the exit one can find a number of reasonably-priced restaurants with few crowds and many choices (such as curry, pasta, udon, yakisoba, sushi, etc.).

13th Floor Roof Garden

Air Garden Shinjuku Station Tokyo Japan

If you’re searching for something a little more relaxing, check out the 13th floor roof garden on top of the station. To get there, take exit E8 Takashimaya, and take the elevator all the way up. From there, you will have a perfect view of the Shinjuku area. There are plenty of seats, and many restaurants and cafés, too.

Tokyu Hands Shinjuku Station

Tokyu Hands is a store within Takashimaya department store. Tokyu Hands is one of those places that has everything–clothes, jewelry, bags, shoes, and other luxury goods. Brands include Chanel, Coach, Dolce & Gabbana, Bvlgari, and Gucci. Many products from these brands are exclusive to Japan, so if you’re looking for something unique and in-style, Tokyu Hands is your place.


Newoman Shinjuku Station Shopping Tokyo Japan

NEWoMan is located right by the South Exit. It is eight stories of clothing and shoe stores, sweets shops, and even an outdoor area available for dining. On the first floor is Akomeya Tokyo, a rice specialty shop. They sell rice cookers, utensils, and sake cups for the discerning rice (and rice-product) enthusiast.

Shinjuku Station Shopping Location Information

For further shopping options in Tokyo, please click on one of the articles below–

July 6, 2016 0 comment
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Robot Restaurant Shinjuku

Robot Restaurant Shinjuku

The Robot Restaurant Shinjuku is insane. There is nothing quite like it in Tokyo, nor anywhere else. I don’t even know if we can refer to it as merely a restaurant–the Robot Restaurant is an energetic, robo-centric show located in the Kabukicho district of Shinjuku. And you certainly can’t miss it, seeing that it is a huge building with large flashy lights and robot techno music blaring from the speakers.

The Pre-Show Experience

The Robot Restaurant is touristy–they know it, and they love to flaunt it. From what we saw, more than 90% of the guests were foreign visitors, mostly North Americans. All the signs are shown prominently in English, and there are a number of foreign staff that speak native-level English.

A single ticket is a hefty ¥8000, though you can get ¥500 off when buying tickets in advance from their site, or 15% off through Voyagin. A bento to eat during the performance costs another ¥1000, which must be reserved before the performance, and beers and soft drinks are another ¥500-¥600 each. There are three shows per day during the week and a fourth on Saturday (showtimes), and each show runs for 90 minutes. However, you must be in the building at least 30 minutes prior to the performance, meaning that you should set aside a minimum two hours for the experience.

As soon as you enter, you are struck by the outrageously tacky décor, designed with a wink-and-nudge of giggly self-awareness. All guests are funneled to the third floor waiting room, and from there are directed to the bar and the seats by the English-speaking staff. There was a robot-costumed saxophone and guitar player playing jazz while we waited for the start of the performance, perfectly setting the mood for the wacky night ahead. Food and drinks could be ordered from the waiting room, and the prices are what you’d expect for such a tourist-heavy establishment (Eg. ¥600 for beer and ¥1400 for an American-styled “Mega Burger”).

Robot Restaurant Shinjuku

The Show

When it’s time for the performance to start, the staff leads the guests down a staircase of lizard sculptures and tactile paintings to the performance area. The seating is cramped, a tight spot to sit for a 90-minute performance. If you pre-ordered a bento during reservation, then you’ll collect them here, or you can purchase popcorn and drinks from the staff circulating through the room. There are three bento options available–grilled boneless short ribs, ginger-simmered beef in sweetened soy sauce, and sushi. All three bento are on the small side, but you aren’t actually here for dinner, are you?

Robot Restaurant Shinjuku

The show itself is excellent. The action is loud and flashy, with a surprisingly large and varied cast of robots appearing throughout the performance. The first segment is an eclectic taiko performance, fusing a traditional Japanese drum with—well, robots, obviously! The part we liked the most was the “Robot Wars” segment, which tells us the laughably wacky story of a war between animals and the “Robot Empire.” The action-packed story between the animals and the robots was funny and familiar, almost as if the action figures from my childhood came to life off of my bedroom floor and played out their battles in grand fightin’ robot fashion. The scale of the performances is quite extraordinary, and the performers are well-rehearsed and had lots of energy.

There is a 15-minute intermission every 30 minutes so the set pieces can be changed for the next performance. During intermissions the staff circulates through the audience, selling souvenirs and refreshments. There’s plenty of time to get another drink or make that bathroom trip without missing the action, not to mention the opportunity to get one of those sweet Robot Restaurant T-shirts!

The Robot Restaurant might be a touristy thing to do, but that doesn’t make it any less worthwhile. It might be pricey, but you are guaranteed a fun night full of battlin’ robots!

Robot Restaurant Location Information

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Reservations Online | Get 15% off with a reservation through Voyagin!

Reservations by Phone in English: 03-3200-5500

Nearest Station: 8-minute walk from Shinjuku Station (click on the map for walking directions)

Showtimes: 4:00PM (Sat only), 5:55PM, 7:50PM, 9:45 PM. Shows are 90 minutes in duration; guests must arrive 30 minutes prior to showtime.

Estimated Price: ¥8000-¥10000 for tickets, drinks, and bento; more for souvenirs

“Why Go?”: Watch the crazy fun robot performance!

Click on one of the tags below to explore other shopping and entertainment options in Tokyo–

June 28, 2016 0 comment
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Shinjuku Ni-chome, Tokyo, Japan

Shinjuku has quite a deep, dark, and complex history. From the 1960 riots and protests, to the controversial dark Kabukicho and performance arts, Shinjuku is an area littered with drama, controversy, and heresy. The most infamous area of which is Ni-chome.


HIV Prevention Sign, Ni-chome, Shinjuku, Tokyo

Walking through Ni-chome during the day seems like your normal, everyday stroll through Tokyo. Actually, you wouldn’t even notice that you’re in Ni-chome if it wasn’t for the few blatantly LGBTQ targeted signs and shops outside. But Ni-chome wasn’t always a neighborhood haven for this community. Rather, it was once a popular area for prostitution until it was made illegal in Japan by post-WWII allied forces. After that, the gay underground culture soon flourished in the void left by the absence of prostitution.


Club signs in Ni-Chome, Shinjuku, Tokyo

Ni-chome is an exciting area full of bars, clubs, restaurants, cafes, saunas, love hotels, gay pride boutiques, host clubs, nightclubs, massage parlors, parks, and gay book and video stores. I’ve been to Ni-chome on two occasions (I am a heterosexual man, by the way) and I enjoyed myself both times. If this is your first visit, I advise you to go with a LGBTQ friend as they can show you the ropes and take you somewhere safer than where you might wander into by yourself. Ni-chome can be just as dangerous as Roppongi or Shibuya, so you’ll have to be careful when you’re out there enjoying the evening/night, which means watching your drink, wallet, or purse.

Shinjuku Ni-chome, Tokyo, Japan

Streets of Ni-chome, Shinjuku, Tokyo


In addition to its nightlife, Ni-chome has a variety of restaurants, lounges, and cafes. So if clubbing isn’t your thing, head over to one of the other popular establishments, including famous Uoya-itchō (うおや一丁) and grab a bite, or the local cafè if you fancy a cup of coffee instead.

Ni-chome isn’t for your run-of-the-mill individual: you have to be seeking something a little extra if you are wanting to brave this storm. Ni-chome’s nightlife is the one of the best to be found in Tokyo, and perhaps in Japan. So prepare yourself for a wild night of fun, excitement, and—if you were like me, a heterosexual guy who has had very limited interaction with members of the LGBTQ community—a night you won’t soon forget.

November 6, 2015 0 comment
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Located in Shinjuku, the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building has two observation towers, both free to access. Shinjuku Station can overwhelming, but thankfully there are English signs and a direct path that will lead you straight to the building.

To enter each tower, ride the escalator down a floor after entering the lobby. On the right hand side (facing towards the entryway of the building) is the elevator to Tower One. This tower has a panoramic view, as well as a cafe and a small gift shop. On the left is the elevator to Tower Two, which has a 360 degree view with windows on all sides. It’s not quite as fluid as Tower One, although there’s still a great and spacious view). There is also a cafe, and a massive gift shop. Tower One’s gift shop holds a lot of Japanese merchandise, while Tower Two has an additional section for toys, accessories, stationary, etc.

Both towers place panels in front of select windows to label the buildings in view. Some of the places visible from both towers are Tokyo Dome, Tokyo Tower, SkyTree, and even Mt. Fuji! Unfortunately it was a bit cloudy and rainy when we visited, so Mt. Fuji wasn’t quite visible, but it’s nonetheless a great feature of the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building (besides the free admission!). Visiting both towers is a must, so be sure to check it out. Keep in mind that the view during the day and night give different atmospheres, so plan accordingly.

Shinjuku Metropolitan Building, Shinjuku, Tokyo Shinjuku Metropolitan Building, Shinjuku, Tokyo Shinjuku Metropolitan Building, Shinjuku, Tokyo Shinjuku Metropolitan Building, Shinjuku, Tokyo Shinjuku Metropolitan Building, Shinjuku, Tokyo Shinjuku Metropolitan Building Interior, Shinjuku, Tokyo

Looking for more observation points? Watch our video on SkyTree or read our article Tokyo’s Top Observatories: Enjoying the Tokyo Skyline.


October 30, 2015 0 comment
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Shinjuku Gyoen Featured Image, Shinjuku, Tokyo

Edited by Daniel Foster
Music by Ean Cruz

For more information on this beautiful park, visit our article Shinjuku Gyoen: A spectacular garden amongst highrises.

You’ve been walking all day in Shinjuku, trying new and exquisite foods, buying souvenirs, and spending a lot of your hard-earned cash. We know what you’re thinking: “If only I could go somewhere and relax for a bit. Somewhere away from all of these skyscrapers and crowded streets.”— Then, mosey on over to Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden.

Shinjuku Gyoen, Shinjuku, Tokyo, Japan

Easily one of the most beautiful areas of nature in Tokyo, Gyoen National Garden is located amongst the tallest skyscrapers and high rises in Shinjuku. Gyoen stretches over 58.3 hectares in area with a circumference of 3.5 km. Gyoen is home to three distinct styles of landscaping: French and English in the north, and Japanese in the south. In addition to those landscapes, Gyoen offers two Japanese traditional tea houses, a green house, and a “mother and child forest” (母と子の森).

Shinjuku Gyoen, Shinjuku, Tokyo, Japan

Shinjuku Gyoen is a popular spot for couples, friends, and families. Cherry Blossom season is the most popular and people usually have picnics under the blossoms while enjoying the company of their friends, families, and acquaintances. That doesn’t mean you can’t do the same in any season, though, as people still hang out in Gyoen on sunny summer days as well as cooler autumn evenings. And don’t worry, if you’re drinking, be it water or beer, Gyoen has plenty of rest rooms (like any other park, though, don’t expect the cleanest ones).

Shinjuku Gyoen, Shinjuku, Tokyo, Japan

Mostly characterized by its large field, the English garden has that back-home feel to it that UK and US residents will instantly recognize. A few trees here and there aren’t enough to stop you from throwing a Frisbee, kicking around a football, or just relaxing. This area also offers beautiful paths shaded by trees in late spring to late fall, as well as some small ponds and beautiful foliage.Shinjuku Gyoen, Shinjuku, Tokyo, Japan

Shinjuku Gyoen, Shinjuku, Tokyo, Japan People of French origin do not despair; the French garden is just as beautiful. Personally, I have never been to France, but you can instantly tell the difference in landscaping when you begin to enter the French garden. Instead of trees, the French garden has beautiful shrubbery populating its lawn. Still, this doesn’t affect how you can use the garden in the least bit. Hanging out with friends, playing some football, or just kicking back and relaxing is no problem.

Shinjuku Gyoen, Shinjuku, Tokyo, Japan

It should be noted of both gardens that you won’t be able to have a full on game with a group of 20 friends here. It is a National Garden and not a football pitch after all.

The Japanese landscape is just what one should expect: traditionally beautiful, with Japanese aesthetics and characteristics. This garden is the largest of the three and definitely the most luxurious. Shrubbery, Japanese foliage, and trees populate the landscape and are complimented with beautiful traditional tea houses, bridges, and ponds. As you traverse this area, you have colorful foliage in front of you, and colorful carp in the ponds underneath you. All elements of Japanese aesthetics have been properly placed for a most enjoyable experience.

Shinjuku Gyoen, Shinjuku, Tokyo, Japan Shinjuku Gyoen, Shinjuku, Tokyo, Japan

Tired already? There are plenty of benches along the way for you to stop and rest at, and the pavilions have drink machines if you’re thirsty.

Shinjuku Gyoen, Shinjuku, Tokyo, Japan

The greenhouse is an added bonus. The greenhouse is humid in the summer, and cool in the winter, and is a great way to start or finish your visit to Gyoen. Lily pads, cacti, exotic flowers and various other plants all populate this magnificent area and offer an experience that plant-lovers and botanists will not forget.

Shinjuku Gyoen, Shinjuku, Tokyo, Japan Shinjuku Gyoen, Shinjuku, Tokyo, Japan

Parks are hidden gems amongst the skyscrapers, high rises, and crowded Tokyo streets. Anyone who’s lived in Japan for some time will tell you your average park is usually a dirt lot with a few benches and trees. Also, you’re hard pressed to find a piece of nature in Tokyo, so don’t let the city overwhelm you. Take a break from the busy streets and fast life of Tokyo, and make sure you head over to Shinjuku Gyoen to revitalize your spirit, recharge your mind, and breathe and enjoy fresh air in the company of nature.

August 2, 2015 0 comment
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Hidden amongst the modern buildings of Shinjuku is Golden Gai, an area that seems to be out of place in modern Shinjuku. The truth is that Golden Gai has been mostly unchanged since the ‘60s, and from an overhead view one can clearly see that Golden Gai’s age shines through. Rusted tin roofs, shabby buildings, and other tiny buildings that could pass as shacks populate Golden Gai.

Bar Queen, Golden Gai, Shinjuku, Tokyo

Golden Gai is a small area connected by a number of narrow alleys. Walking through it, one can imagine what a majority of Tokyo must have looked and felt like in a time before modernization. Golden Gai is littered with hundreds of bars, little snack shops (places with karaoke, drinks, and snack food, usually aimed at attracting older men & women) and eateries.

Golden Gai, Shinjuku, Tokyo Golden Gai, Shinjuku, Tokyo

Golden Gai isn’t for those wanting a night of cheap drinks, rustle & bustle, and mingling with large numbers of the opposite sex; it’s quite the opposite. A shanty place it may be, Golden Gai isn’t cheap, nor can it be compared to the liveliness of the streets of Roppongi or Shibuya. It’s an altogether different point of view of Tokyo. A Tokyo of yesterday. Way yesterday. ‘60s yesterday. The establishments are usually tiny, with only enough room for 5~6 people, and the buildings are so close that sometimes you can hear the guy/gal next door singing their favorite karaoke song—which is usually enka (traditional Japanese music). Most of the bars have a theme, though, and you can catch some modern jazz, R&B, and even J-pop tunes.

Golden Gai, Shinjuku, Tokyo

Visitors to the area aren’t your run-of-the-mill types either. Golden Gai attracts the well-off as well as artists, writers, actors, and other famous individuals. Don’t be discouraged; most establishments in Golden Gai welcome foreigners as well, and have their signs and menus in English.

We all love how technologically advanced modern Tokyo is. However, Tokyo at times, feels like any other big city—crowded, loud, and sometimes stinky. But thanks to places like Golden Gai we can say that a piece of the true nature of pre-modern Tokyo still exists somewhere in the city.

Most visitors and long-term residents of Tokyo usually pass over the area, instead heading to Shibuya, Roppongi, Kabukicho and other modern areas to enjoy their night. But where else can you say, “Wow, this is what Tokyo felt and looked like in the ‘60s!”

Golden Gai, Shinjuku, Tokyo

Golden Gai is a great example of a time when city structure was pliable, and Tokyo was natural. A time before the city became a concrete jungle, full of skyscrapers, noisy pachinko parlors, and Western influence.

Make sure you time travel before you leave Japan—visit Golden Gai in Shinjuku.

July 24, 2015 0 comment
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By: Jessica Jackson


Shinjuku is a maze of stations, shopping, and businesses. For the uninformed traveler it is easy to mix the main hub Shinjuku station with Higashi Shinjuku and Shinjuku Sanchome or even the West end from the East end. Fortunately, much of the main shopping of Shinjuku is accessible from Shinjuku station. Focusing on the East end, I’m going to share a virtual tour of a few of the big Shinjuku department stores, also known as the “depato.” Many stores on this side are accessible from both underground in the station as well as above ground along Futaba Street, which runs between Shinjuku and Shinjuku-Sanchome and is clearly marked by signs in both English and Japanese.

With that word of warning out of the way, let’s dive right into a few of the behemoth shopping centers in Shinjuku’s East End.



Lumine EST

Lumine EST has two basement levels and 8 floors along with a limited roof garden. With the exception of the odd café or restaurant meant to give patrons a place to rest, each floor is based around clothing and items targeted to different demographics.



Starting with the station accessible B1 and B2, B2 is a grab bag and has a bit of everything meant to attract the passerby. B1 is heavily marketed toward young, fashion-forward women. From frilly femme to city chic to hipster casual, many small stores line the halls with fashionable young shop clerks modeling the wares. As is often the case with department stores, the lower portion (B1 through the fourth floor) of the store is devoted to women’s clothing, shoes, and accessories.Lumine EST is not too cruel to the dragged along boyfriend or partner because there is at least one stationary, knick-knack, or trinket store to occupy their time on each floor.



The fifth and sixth floors are dedicated to male fashion, also ranging in style to accommodate different aesthetics with random bric-a-brac stores spaced across the floors.



The 7th and 8th floors are restaurants that serve foods in both western and Asian styles. The roof space holds seasonal festivals; in the past special events such as the beer and BBQ terrace or flea market have been held upstairs.


Lumine EST Location Information:

Website | Facebook | Twitter  | Instagram

Nearest Station: 5 minute walk from Shinjuku Station (click on the google Map for directions)

Hours of Operation: Open Everyday from 11AM- 10PM

“Why Go?”: A little bit of fashion, food and fun for everybody!


Isetan is a whopping series of buildings, most notably the iconic main building which is the focus of my review. Isetan considers itself to be the stately elder of Shinjuku shopping malls, and with its iconic plaid shopping bags, it is absolutely right. This could be seen as a benefit—everyone knows to go to Isetan, but it also has this almost imperceptible layer of dust over it like it is meant for an older or more sophisticated crowd. Though goods are for sale, there is almost something museum-like about the store.



Each area of each floor is themed, but unlike other stores, which are typically sectioned off by designer or brand, Isetan’s floor plan is designed for you to flow from one product to the next. It also throws out any pretense of not pandering to women because the main building is almost entirely catering to female shoppers. The separate Isetan building just down the block is called men’s building is called that for a reason—it is where all the male products are with the minor exception of the 7th floor traditional Japanese garment section.


I visited during the Christmas exhibit, and there were large series of displays with ornaments, décor, and goods available.



More than Lumine EST or 0101, Isetan is willing to personally cater to foreign customers, which is quite the feat since the customer service quality in Japan is known to be pretty stellar to begin with. Isetan kindly had phones set out on each floor to call the foreign customer service desk on the sixth floor and had the most comprehensive multi language brochure and directory.


Isetan Location Information:

Website | Facebook | Twitter  | YouTube

Nearest Station: 10 minute walk from Shinjuku Station (click on the google Map for directions)

Hours of Operation: Open Everyday from 10:30AM- 8PM

“Why Go?”: A classic Japanese Department store who cater to and love foreigners!

0101 (pronounced Marui)

Like Lumine EST, 0101 is a chain of department stores targeting young women between 25 – 35 years old. As expected, it also caters to many different fashion styles. One difference between Lumine EST is that the price point of 0101 ranges more drastically from affordable cheaper brands to exorbitantly priced high-end fashion brands. 0101 has a generic shopping floor plan with two exceptions – restaurants are  located on the bottom floor, and the first floor contains the special events. Past examples include Harry Potter goods.



I think overall 0101 is a bit more friendly and approachable because of the price point range and clothing options. Shopping options are expanded beyond standard sizing more thoroughly; it has the “0101 model” area (plus size clothing) and also carries shoes in sizes above 25 for larger feet—as many foreigners have.



The store has also clearly made an effort to make male shopping easier in a department store. Part of what makes 0101 my top pick was that I also noticed more imports of mid-price point clothing as opposed to just the high-end fashion brands. To be honest, this is the store I actually shop at the most of this list.

Marui (0101) Location Information:

Website | Facebook

Nearest Station: 10 minute walk from Shinjuku Station (click on the google Map for directions)

Hours of Operation: Open Monday-Saturday from 11AM- 9PM, Sundays open from 11AM-8:30PM

“Why Go?”: Friendly and approachable department store with styles and products for every budget!

Bonus department store: Bikkuro



Bikkuro is the love child of the affordable clothing brand Uniqlo and electronic goods giant Bic Camera. Bikkuro/ Bicqlo is exactly what you would expect of a clothing store and electronic store mash up. It is a six story building with three basement levels. The bottom basement levels are Bic Camera staples; B3 is computer goods, B2 is smartphones and accessories, and B1 is clocks, beauty supplies, and medicines. 1-3 is Uniqlo, including men’s and women’s inner and outerwear, and children’s clothes. 4 is TV audio, software, and liquor; 5 is household appliances, and 6 is lighting, toys, and video games.


Bikkuro Location Information:

Website (Uniqlo Site)

Nearest Station: 7minute walk from Shinjuku Station (click on the google Map for directions)

Hours of Operation: Open everyday, 10AM-10PM

“Why Go?”: A weird, but oddly perfect mix of Japanese electronics and fashion!

Considering this is only a small slice of the shops available in the East end, let alone all of the options in Shinjuku area, I am sure you quickly see that Shinjuku is a shopping haven for visitors and locals alike.

For more ideas of things to do while in Shinjuku, try visiting our Shinjuku photo essay. Ready to move on from Shinjuku? The elegant Ginza district is also known for its massive department stores.

January 10, 2015 0 comment
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Autumn leaves at Shinjuku Gyoen, Shinjuku, Tokyo

Whether you’re looking for a quiet getaway, interesting shopping, or sex & alcohol, Shinjuku has it all.

Autumn leaves at Shinjuku Gyoen, Shinjuku, Tokyo

Autumn in Shinjuku Gyoen

Isetan, Shinjuku Tokyo

Shopping at Isetan, East Shinjuku

Don Quijote, Shinjuku Tokyo

A great place for random gifts: Don Quijote

Bic Camera, Shinjuku, Tokyo

Electronics shopping at Bic Camera

Urban Buddha

Urban Buddha

Mode Gakuen Cocoon Tower, Nishi-Shinjuku

Mode Gakuen Cocoon Tower in West Shinjuku

NS Building Christmas display

Christmas display at the NS Building

Christmas display at the NS Building

Close up of the Christmas display at the NS building

View from the NS Building Observation Deck

View from the NS Building observation deck

View from the NS Building observation deck

View from the NS Building observation deck

Rakugo Theater, Shinjuku, Tokyo

Rakugo theater

Karaoke spot in Shinjuku, Tokyo

Karaoke spot in Shinjuku, Tokyo

Kabukicho, Shinjuku, Tokyo

The infamous red-light district of Kabukicho

Nichome bar, Shinjuku, Tokyo

Gold Finger Bar on Nichome

Winter illuminations by Shinjuku Station

Winter illuminations by Shinjuku Station


For more ideas on things to do in Shinjuku, visit our review of L’Olioli 365 and Yodobashi Camera.

December 24, 2014 0 comment
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7th floor

The lolita fashion trend is one that has existed in Japanese street culture and fashion for years. It is said that this certain trend, which involves several layers of petticoats, frills, and a variety of lacy accessories, is said to have began in the 1970s and become recognized in the Japanese fashion consciousness in the early 1990s. Although brands such as Milk and Angelic Pretty (both located in and around Harajuku’s Takeshita-dori) have been said to have gotten the lolita fashion trend rolling, it was when more brands joined the ranks as people brought the trend to the surfce that the fashion trend really exploded. If you are an adventurous shopper who would like to get involved in this long and storied aspect of Japanese street fashion, then you should go and visit one of the other pioneering brands of the lolita fashion trend. This particular shop is actually located away from the street fashion hub of Harajuku’s Takeshita-dori. Instead take JR’s Yamanote Line to Shinjuku and head to the 7th floor of the Marui Annex building to find Metamorphose temps de fille. There, you will be able to immerse yourself in the world of lolita fashions and get to experience one of the first lolita clothing brands to take hold in Japan.

In terms of lolita fashion, the clothing and accessories available at Metamorphose temps de fille are extremely high quality. Each piece is more or less a unique piece of art and because most of their offerings rotated out relatively quickly, visiting their Shinjuku location once or twice is not unwarranted. At Metamorphose, you can outfit yourself from head to toe in all of the latest lolita styles and trends. Whether it be a full dress or separates, there is an endless variety of combinations to be made from the pieces for sale at Metamorphose. Each of their dresses and skirts have the classic lolita “cupcake” shape skirt and plenty of petticoats to keep the shape full and flouncy. As far as patterns go, Metamorphose has a wide variety to choose from. You can choose from a classic red and white gingham pattern or a more “sweet lolita” pattern of teddy bears and pastries. To go with your new clothes, choose from a variety of stockings and tights with matching or complimentary patterns to pull the whole outfit together.

Metamorphose temps de fille also has a large selection of accessories th add to your full lolita look. Choose from a selection of frilly bows and the famous miniature hats associated with the lolita style. You can also pick up a variety of purses and lots of jewelry to make the whole outfit mesh.

If your are a fan of the origins of Japanese street style, then the lolita genre is something to look into. To see one of the first places where it all began, head to the Shinjuku branch of Metamorphose temps de fille!

GPS:35.6901268, 139.70593540000004
Telephone:03 – 3358 – 0622

Opening Hours

Monday:11:00 – 21:00
Tuesday:11:00 – 21:00
Wednesday:11:00 – 21:00
Thursday:11:00 – 21:00
Friday:11:00 – 21:00
Saturday:11:00 – 21:00
Sunday:11:00 – 20:30
October 21, 2014 0 comment
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