Shinjuku & Northwest Tokyo

Merchants from nearby Kabukichō come to this Shintō shrine to pray for the solvency of their business ventures. Founded in the 17th century, the shrine is dedicated to the god Inari, whose specialities include fertility and worldly success.

Hanazono-jinja's signature festival is Tori-no-Ichi, or Rooster Market, held on 'rooster' days (according to the Chinese zodiac) in November. Stalls set up selling decorative kumade (bamboo rakes) – for raking in money, of course.

Most Sundays, the shrine hosts a flea market.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Shinjuku & Northwest Tokyo attractions

1. Golden Gai

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Golden Gai – a Shinjuku institution for over half a century – is a collection of tiny bars, often literally no bigger than a closet and seating maybe a…

2. Godzilla Head

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Godzilla, a portmanteau of the Japanese words for gorilla (gorira) and whale (kujira), is king of the kaijū (strange beasts) that ruled Japanese popular…

3. Mode Gakuen Cocoon Tower

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This Nishi-Shinjuku landmark building (completed in 2008) is a 50-storey webbed tower designed by Tange Associates. Easily identifiable among the blockier…

4. Shinjuku-gyoen

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Shinjuku-gyoen was designed as an imperial retreat (completed 1906); since opening to the public in 1951, it has become a favourite destination for…

5. Place M

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Run by four veteran artists (including pioneering street photographer Daido Moriyama), this gallery serves as a hub for the city's photography scene…

6. Shinjuku I-Land

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This otherwise ordinary office complex is home to more than a dozen public artworks, including one of Robert Indiana’s LOVE sculptures (on the southeast…

7. Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building

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Tokyo's city hall – a landmark building designed by Tange Kenzō – has observatories (202m) atop both the south and north towers of Building 1 (the views…

8. NTT Intercommunication Centre

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The ICC shows challenging, conceptual works that explore the intersection between art and technology – sometimes including participatory VR installations…