Top things to do

Top Choice Cocktail Bar in Shinjuku & Northwest Tokyo

BenFiddich

BenFiddich is dark and tiny. Vials of infusions line the shelves, while herbs hang drying from the ceiling. The English-speaking barman, Kayama Hiroyasu, in a white suit, moves like a magician. There's no menu, but …
Top Choice Notable Building in Shinjuku & Northwest Tokyo

Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building

Tokyo’s seat of power, designed by Tange Kenzō and completed in 1991, looms large and looks somewhat like a pixelated cathedral (or the lair of an animated villain). Take an elevator from the ground floor of Buildin…
Top Choice Bar in Shinjuku & Northwest Tokyo

Zoetrope

A must-visit for whisky fans, Zoetrope has some 300 varieties of Japanese whisky behind its small counter – including hard-to-find bottles from cult favourite Chichibu Distillery. The owner speaks English and can he…
Top Choice Park in Shinjuku & Northwest Tokyo

Shinjuku-gyoen

Though Shinjuku-gyoen was designed as an imperial retreat (completed 1906), it’s now definitively a park for everyone. The wide lawns make it a favourite for urbanites in need of a quick escape from the hurly-burly …
Shinto Shrine in Shinjuku & Northwest Tokyo

Hanazono-jinja

During the day, 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 specialit…
Cabaret in Shinjuku & Northwest Tokyo

Robot Restaurant

This Kabukichō spectacle has hit it big with its vision of 'wacky Japan': bikini-clad women ride around on giant robots against a backdrop of animated screens and enough neon to light all of Shinjuku. Reservations a…
Bar in Shinjuku & Northwest Tokyo

New York Bar

Head to the Park Hyatt's 52nd floor to swoon over the sweeping nightscape from the floor-to-ceiling windows at this bar (of Lost in Translation fame). There’s a cover charge of ¥2700 if you visit or stay past 8pm (7…
Izakaya in Shinjuku & Northwest Tokyo

Donjaca

The platonic ideal of a Shōwa-era (1926–89) izakaya, Donjaca, in business since 1979, has red leather stools, paper-lantern lighting and hand-written menus on the wall. The food is equal parts classic (grilled fish …
Gardens in Shinjuku & Northwest Tokyo

Chinzan-sō

This strolling garden was once the estate of a Meiji-era statesman and is now the backyard of a luxury hotel, though it's open free to the public. The shaded pathways are strewn with antiquities transported from all…
Architecture in Shinjuku & Northwest Tokyo

Myōnichikan

Lucky are the girls who attended the Frank Lloyd Wright–designed 'School of the Free Spirit' (Jiyū Gakuen; 自由学園). Built in 1921, Myōnichikan functioned as the school's main structure until the 1970s. After restorati…