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With its swarming crowds and relentless pace, Shinjuku is the archetype upon which every modern Asian metropolis has been modeled.
The station itself is a marvel of civic engineering, a teeming nexus at the center of a vast network of underground tunnels lined with shops and eateries. It’s possible to walk from the skyscraper district of Nishi-Shinjuku, all the way to the cluster of bars and restaurants of Shinjuku 3-chome on the east side of the neighborhood, entirely underground.
Get lost in the crush of humanity during morning rush hour before 8am, and then head to one of the most peaceful corners of Tokyo, Shinjuku Gyoen, for a stroll along tree-lined paths through beautifully landscaped gardens. Stop in for brunch at Slappy Cakes, the newest addition to the city’s pancake scene, or leaf through international books and magazines while you have a coffee at Brooklyn Parlor.
Hit one of the many department stores -- Lumine, Takashimaya, Marui, Isetan -- to shop for the latest fashions, and don’t forget to check out the excellent depachika food floors in the basement of Takashimaya and Isetan.
Catch the view from the top of the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building Observatories, or wait till sunset and grab a seat at New York Bar and the watch the lights go on in Tokyo (Note: there’s a hefty cover charge after 8pm).