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Shinjuku City [1]
Skyscrapers of Shinjuku 2009 January.jpg
Skyscrapers of Shinjuku with Mount Fuji in the background
Flag of Shinjuku, Tokyo.svg
Emblem of Shinjuku, Tokyo.svg
Shinjuku-ku in Tokyo Prefecture Ja.svg
Location of Shinjuku in Tokyo
Japan location map with side map of the Ryukyu Islands.svg
Red pog.svg
Coordinates: 35°42′5″N139°42′35″E / 35.70139°N 139.70972°E / 35.70139; 139.70972 Coordinates: 35°42′5″N139°42′35″E / 35.70139°N 139.70972°E / 35.70139; 139.70972
Country Japan
Region Kantō
Prefecture Tokyo
  Mayor Kenichi Yoshizumi
  Tourism Ambassador Godzilla [2]
  Total18.23 km2 (7.04 sq mi)
  Density19,000/km2 (49,000/sq mi)
Time zone UTC+9 (Japan Standard Time)
- Tree Zelkova serrata
- Flower Azalea
Phone number03-3209-1111
City Hall AddressKabukichō 1-4-1, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo 160-8484

Shinjuku (Japanese: 新宿区, Hepburn: Shinjuku-ku) (Tokyo dialect: Shinjiku) is a special ward in Tokyo, Japan. It is a major commercial and administrative centre, housing the northern half of the busiest railway station in the world (Shinjuku Station) and the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building, the administration centre for the government of Tokyo. As of 2018, the ward has an estimated population of 346,235, and a population density of 18,232 people per km2. The total area is 18.23 km2. [3] Since the end of the Second World War, Shinjuku has been a major secondary center of Tokyo (fukutoshin), rivaling to the original city center in Marunouchi and Ginza. It literally means "New Inn Ward".


Shinjuku is also commonly used to refer to the entire area surrounding Shinjuku Station. The southern half of this area and of the station in fact belong to Yoyogi and Sendagaya districts of the neighboring Shibuya ward.


Shinjuku office buildings Shinjuku street level.jpg
Shinjuku office buildings
Man with guitar immediately south of the Shinjuku JR Station, a popular busking location Shinjuku busker.jpg
Man with guitar immediately south of the Shinjuku JR Station, a popular busking location

Shinjuku is surrounded by Chiyoda to the east; Bunkyo and Toshima to the north; Nakano to the west, and Shibuya and Minato to the south. [4]

Shinjuku Gyo-en National Garden and NTT DoCoMo Yoyogi Building Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden and NTT DoCoMo Yoyogi Building, Tokyo, Japan.jpg
Shinjuku Gyo-en National Garden and NTT DoCoMo Yoyogi Building
Shinjuku shopping street Shinjuku shopping street1.jpg
Shinjuku shopping street
Shinjuku shopping area Shinjuku shopping street.jpg
Shinjuku shopping area

The current city of Shinjuku grew out of several separate towns and villages, which have retained some distinctions despite growing together as part of the Tokyo metropolis.

"Shinjuku" is often popularly understood to mean the entire area surrounding Shinjuku Station, but the Shinjuku Southern Terrace complex and the areas to the west of the station and south of Kōshū Kaidō are part of the Yoyogi and Sendagaya districts of the special ward of Shibuya.

Naturally, most of Shinjuku is occupied by the Yodobashi Plateau, the most elevated portion of which extends through most of the Shinjuku Station area. The Kanda River runs through the Ochiai and Totsuka areas near sea level, but the Toshima Plateau also builds elevation in the northern extremities of Totsuka and Ochiai. The highest point in Shinjuku is Hakone-san in Toyama Park, 44.6 m above sea level. [6]

Districts and neighborhoods


Shinjuku at night Shinjuku - Night Time (39875792470).jpg
Shinjuku at night

In 1634, during the Edo period, as the outer moat of the Edo Castle was built, a number of temples and shrines moved to the Yotsuya area on the western edge of Shinjuku. In 1698, Naitō-Shinjuku had developed as a new (shin) station (shuku or juku) on the Kōshū Kaidō, one of the major highways of that era. Naitō was the family name of a daimyō whose mansion stood in the area; his land is now a public park, the Shinjuku Gyoen. In 1898, the Yodobashi Water Purification Plant, the city's first modern water treatment facility, was built in the area that is now between the park and the train station. [7]

In 1920, the town of Naitō-Shinjuku, which comprised large parts of present-day Shinjuku (the neighbourhood, not the municipality), parts of Nishi-Shinjuku and Kabukichō was integrated into Tokyo City. Shinjuku began to develop into its current form after the Great Kantō Earthquake in 1923, since the seismically stable area largely escaped the devastation. Consequently, West Shinjuku is one of the few areas in Tokyo with many skyscrapers.

The Tokyo air raids from May to August 1945 destroyed almost 90% of the buildings in the area in and around Shinjuku Station. [8] The pre-war form of Shinjuku, and the rest of Tokyo, for that matter, was retained after the war because the roads and rails, damaged as they were, remained, and these formed the heart of the Shinjuku in the post-war construction. Only in Kabuki-cho was a grand reconstruction plan put into action. [9]

The present ward was established on March 15, 1947 with the merger of the former wards of Yotsuya, Ushigome, and Yodobashi. It served as part of the athletics 50 km walk and marathon course during the 1964 Summer Olympics. [10] In the 1970s, the Yodobashi Water Purification Plant closed and was replaced by skyscrapers. [11]

In 1991, the Tokyo Metropolitan Government moved from the Marunouchi district of Chiyoda to the current building in Shinjuku. (The Tokyo International Forum stands on the former site vacated by the government.)


The area surrounding Shinjuku Station is a major economic hub of Tokyo. Many companies have their headquarters or Tokyo offices in this area, including regional telephone operator NTT East, global camera and medical device manufacturer Olympus Corporation, electronics giant Seiko Epson, [12] video game developer Square Enix, [13] fast food chains McDonald's Japan and Yoshinoya, [14] travel agency H.I.S., [15] Subaru Corporation (Subaru), [16] railway operator Odakyu Electric Railway, construction giants Taisei Corporation [17] and Kumagai Gumi, [18] medical equipment manufacturer Nihon Kohden, [19] Enoki Films, [20] navigation software company Jorudan, [21] instant noodle giant Nissin Foods, [22] automotive components manufacturer Keihin Corporation, [23] and regional airline Airtransse. [24] The station area also hosts numerous major retailers such as Isetan, Takashimaya, Marui, Bic Camera, Yodobashi Camera and Yamada Denki.

Northeastern Shinjuku has an active publishing industry and is home to the publishers Shinchosha [25] and Futabasha. [26] The main store of the Books Kinokuniya bookstore chain is also located in Shinjuku.

Government and politics

Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building Oka1.JPG
Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building
Shinjuku City Office Shinjuku City Office 2007-01.jpg
Shinjuku City Office
Shinjuku Central Park Shinjuku-Chuo-Koen-flowerbed.jpg
Shinjuku Central Park

Like the other special wards of Tokyo, Shinjuku has a status equivalent to that of a city. The current mayor is Kenichi Yoshizumi. The ward council (区議会, kugikai) consists of 38 elected members; the Liberal Democratic Party and New Komeitō Party together currently hold a majority. The Democratic Party of Japan, Japanese Communist Party and the Social Democratic Party are also represented together with four independents. Shinjuku's city office (区役所, kuyakusho) is located on the southeastern edge of Kabukichō.

Shinjuku is also the location of the Tokyo Metropolitan Government. The governor's office, the metropolitan assembly chamber, and all administrative head offices are located in the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building. Technically, Shinjuku is therefore the prefectural capital of Tokyo; but according to a statement by the governor's office, Tokyo (the – as administrative unit: former – Tokyo City, the area of today's 23 special wards collectively) can usually be considered the capital of Tokyo (prefecture/"Metropolis") for geographical purposes. The Geographical Survey Institute (Kokudo Chiriin) names Tōkyō (the city) as capital of Tōkyō-to (the prefecture/"Metropolis"). [27]

Resident Nationalities [28]
NationalityPopulation (Percentage) (2018)
Flag of Japan.svg Japan301,163 (87.8%)
Flag of the People's Republic of China.svg China13,060 (3.8%)
Flag of South Korea.svg South Korea10,006 (2.9%)
Flag of Nepal.svg   Nepal3,716 (1%)
Flag of Vietnam.svg Vietnam3,368 (0.98%)
Flag of Myanmar.svg Myanmar2,211 (0.64%)
Others12,711 (3.88%)



Shinjuku is a major urban transit hub. Shinjuku Station sees an estimated 3.64 million passengers pass through each day, making it the busiest station in the world. It houses interchanges to three subway lines and three privately owned commuter lines, as well as several JR lines.


A list of railway lines passing through and stations located within Shinjuku includes:


Traffic on Ome-kaido heading towards Kabukicho at night ShinjukuStreet02.JPG
Traffic on Ōme-kaidō heading towards Kabukichō at night

Shuto Expressway:

National highways:

Other major routes:


Colleges and universities


Public elementary and junior high schools in Shinjuku are operated by the Shinjuku City (the Shinjuku Ward) Board of Education. Public high schools are operated by the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Board of Education.

High schools

  • Koishikawa Technical High School, public school
  • Shinjuku High School, public school
  • Shinjuku Yamabuki High School, public school
  • Toyama High School, public school
  • Gakushuin Girls Junior and Senior High School, private girls' school, affiliated with Gakushuin University and Gakushuin Women's College
  • Hozen Junior and Senior High School, private boys' school
  • Kaijō Junior and Senior High School, private boys' school
  • Seijo Senior High School and Seijo Gakuen Junior High School, private girls' school
  • Seijō Junior and Senior High School, private boys' school
  • Waseda Junior and Senior High School, private boys' school, affiliated with Waseda University
  • Meijiro Kenshin Junior and Senior High School

Public institutions


Shinjuku operates several public libraries, including the Central Library (with the Children's Library), the Yotsuya Library, the Tsurumaki Library, Tsunohazu Library, the Nishi-Ochiai Library, the Toyama Library, the Kita-Shinjuku Library, the Okubo Library, and the Nakamachi Library. In addition there is a branch library, Branch Library of Central Library in the City Office, located in the city office. [29]


There are several major hospitals located within the city limits.

Cultural centers


  • National Printing Bureau Banknote and Postage Stamp Museum
  • National Museum of Nature and Science, Shinjuku Branch
  • Shinjuku Historical Museum
  • Tokyo Fire Department Museum
  • Tokyo Toy Museum


Sister cities

Shinjuku has sister city agreements with several localities: [30]

See also

Related Research Articles

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