Shinjuku (Japanese: 新宿区, Hepburn: Shinjuku-ku, IPA: [ɕiɲdʑɯkɯ] ), officially called Shinjuku City, is a special ward of Tokyo, Japan. It is a major commercial and administrative center, housing the northern half of the busiest railway station in the world (Shinjuku Station) as well as the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building, the administrative center of the Tokyo Metropolitan Government. 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.[4] Since the end of World War II, Shinjuku has become a major secondary center of Tokyo (fukutoshin), rivaling the original city center in Marunouchi.

Shinjuku City[1]
Clockwise from top:
Flag of Shinjuku
Official seal of Shinjuku
Location of Shinjuku in Tokyo
Location of Shinjuku in Tokyo
Shinjuku is located in Japan
Coordinates: 35°42′5″N 139°42′35″E / 35.70139°N 139.70972°E / 35.70139; 139.70972
 • MayorKenichi Yoshizumi
 • Tourism AmbassadorGodzilla[2]
 • Total18.23 km2 (7.04 sq mi)
 (1 October, 2020[3])
 • Total349,385
 • Density19,000/km2 (50,000/sq mi)
Time zoneUTC+9 (Japan Standard Time)
- TreeZelkova serrata
- FlowerAzalea
Phone number03-3209-1111
City Hall AddressKabukichō 1-4-1, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo 160-8484

"Shinjuku" is also commonly used to refer to the entire area surrounding Shinjuku Station. The southern half of this area and of the station are in fact located in neighboring Shibuya ward.


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.[5]

In 1920, the town of Naitō-Shinjuku, which comprised large parts of present-day Shinjuku (the neighborhood, 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.[6] The pre-war form of Shinjuku and the rest of Tokyo 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.[7]

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.[8] In the 1970s, the Yodobashi Water Purification Plant closed and was replaced by skyscrapers.[9]

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).


Shinjuku office buildings

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.[10]

Shinjuku Gyo-en National Garden and NTT DoCoMo Yoyogi Building

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.[12]

Districts and neighborhoods



Shinjuku's entertainment district

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,[13] video game developer Square Enix,[14] fast food chains McDonald's Japan and Yoshinoya,[15] travel agency H.I.S.,[16] Subaru Corporation (Subaru),[17] railway operator Odakyu Electric Railway, construction giants Taisei Corporation[18] and Kumagai Gumi,[19] medical equipment manufacturer Nihon Kohden,[20] Enoki Films,[21] navigation software company Jorudan,[22] instant noodle giant Nissin Foods,[23] automotive components manufacturer Keihin Corporation,[24] and regional airline Airtransse.[25] 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[26] and Futabasha.[27] The main store of the Books Kinokuniya bookstore chain is also located in Shinjuku.


Resident nationalities[28]
Nationality Population (percentage) (2024)
  Japan 305,943 (86.9%)
  China 17,447 (5.0%)
  South Korea 9,089 (2.6%)
    Nepal 3,838 (1.1%)
  Vietnam 2,642 (0.8%)
  Myanmar 2,591 (0.7%)
Others 10,159 (2.9%)

By 2012 people of Chinese citizenship became the most numerous foreign citizens in Shinjuku. Previously the most common citizenship was collectively those of North and South Korea.[29]

Government and politics

Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building
Shinjuku City Office
Shinjuku Central Park
Shinjuku shopping street
Shinjuku shopping area

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").[30]



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.[31]



There are several major hospitals located within the city limits.

  • Center Hospital of the National Center for Global Health and Medicine
  • Keio University Hospital
  • National Center for Global Health and Medicine
  • Tokyo Yamate Medical Center
  • Tokyo Medical University Hospital
  • Tokyo Women's Medical University Hospital
  • Tokyo Metropolitan Health and Medical Treatment Corporation Ohkubo Hospital

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




Man with guitar immediately south of the Shinjuku JR Station, a popular busking location

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 Ōme-kaidō heading towards Kabukichō at night



Shuto Expressway:

  • No.4 Shinjuku Route (Miyakezaka JCT - Takaido)
  • No.5 Ikebukuro Route (Takebashi JCT - Bijogi JCT)

National highways:

Other major routes:

  • Tokyo Metropolitan Route 8 (Mejiro-dōri, Shin-Mejiro-dōri)
  • Tokyo Metropolitan Route 302 (Yasukuni-dōri, Ōme-kaidō)
  • Tokyo Metropolitan Route 305 (Meiji-dōri)



Colleges and universities





High schools


Public high schools are operated by the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Board of Education.


Private schools:

Elementary and junior high schools


Public elementary and junior high schools in Shinjuku are operated by the Shinjuku City (the Shinjuku Ward) Board of Education (新宿区教育委員会).

Notable people from Shinjuku-ku


Sister cities


Shinjuku has sister city agreements with several localities:[32]

See also



  1. ^ Shinjuku City Archived 2008-02-09 at the Wayback Machine
  2. ^ Izadi, Elahi (April 9, 2015). "Terrifying monster named Tokyo's new tourism ambassador". The Washington Post. Retrieved September 15, 2018.
  3. ^ "Population by District". Tokyo Statistical Yearbook. Retrieved July 15, 2022.
  4. ^ Shinjuku City[permanent dead link]
  5. ^ "Water Supply in Tokyo". Bureau of Waterworks, Tokyo Metropolitan Government. Retrieved February 15, 2021.
  6. ^ History of Shinjuku Archived 2006-03-26 at the Wayback Machine
  7. ^ Ichikawa, 2003
  8. ^ 1964 Summer Olympics official report. Volume 2. Part 1. p. 74.
  9. ^ "Shinjuku Then and Now". Real Estate Japan. GPlus Media Inc. October 7, 2015. Retrieved February 15, 2021.
  10. ^ Tokyo Special Wards Map
  11. ^
  12. ^ "IV.資 料" (PDF). 新宿区.
  13. ^ "Head Office & Japanese Facilities." Seiko Epson. Retrieved on January 13, 2009.
  14. ^ "We tour Square Enix's awesome HQ since you probably never will". March 26, 2015. Retrieved December 20, 2016.
  15. ^ 会社概要. Yoshinoya. Retrieved February 25, 2010.
  16. ^ "Company Info." H.I.S. Retrieved on March 11, 2010.
  17. ^ "[1] Archived July 15, 2012, at the Wayback Machine." Fuji Heavy Industries and Subaru.
  18. ^ "Corporate Data Archived October 29, 2012, at the Wayback Machine." Taisei Corporation. Retrieved on February 20, 2012. "Head Office 1-25-1, Nishi-Shinjuku, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo 163-0606"
  19. ^ "Corporate Profile Archived December 9, 2017, at the Wayback Machine." Kumagai Gumi. Retrieved on August 30, 2017. "Headquarters 2-1, Tsukudo-cho, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo 162-8557"
  20. ^ "Key Facts." Nihon Kohden. Retrieved on August 9, 2015.
  21. ^ "Home." Enoki Films. Retrieved on March 23, 2014. "Enoki Bldg., No. 2, 1-30-10 Shinjuku, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo 160-0022 Japan"
  22. ^ "Headquarter." Jorudan. Retrieved on January 7, 2011. "ZIP 160-0022 2-1-9 Shinjuku, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo, Japan" (map)
  23. ^ "Company Profile." Nissin Foods. Retrieved on August 15, 2009.
  24. ^ "Company Overview Archived June 3, 2018, at the Wayback Machine." Keihin Corporation. Retrieved on May 23, 2018.
  25. ^ 会社概要. Airtransse. Retrieved May 20, 2009.
  26. ^ 会社情報. Shinchosha. Retrieved June 17, 2011. 〒162-8711 東京都新宿区矢来町71
  27. ^ 会社概要. Futabasha. Retrieved January 7, 2011. 所在地 〒162-8540 東京都新宿区東五軒町3-28 (GIF map of location) (PDF of location)
  28. ^ "Resident nationalities of Shinjuku" (PDF). Retrieved June 21, 2024. (in Japanese)
  29. ^ Obe, Mitsuru; Sakura, Yusuke (July 25, 2018). "Chinatowns and Little Indias take shape in Tokyo". Nikkei Shimbun. Retrieved November 8, 2022.
  30. ^ Tokyo Metropolitan Government, governor's office: About Tokyo's prefectural capital Archived 2014-04-19 at the Wayback Machine (in Japanese)
  31. ^ "Information on Everyday Living for Foreign Residents of Shinjuku City". Archived from the original on May 14, 2008. Retrieved August 27, 2008.
  32. ^ Friendship cities Archived 2010-04-07 at the Wayback Machine
  • Shinjuku Ward Office, History of Shinjuku
  • Hiroo Ichikawa "Reconstructing Tokyo: The Attempt to Transform a Metropolis" in C. Hein, J.M. Diefendorf, and I. Yorifusa (Eds.) (2003). Building Urban Japan after 1945. New York: Palgrave.