The neighborhood of Shinjuku, one of 23 city wards in Tokyo, houses a thriving business, entertainment and shopping district centered around Shinjuku Station, the busiest railway station in the world with more than 2 million passengers moving through daily. The 11-square mile (18-square kilometer) area houses approximately 300,000 people with a sizable concentration of foreign residents.
The west portion of Shinjuku, one of Tokyo’s main business districts, also houses a majority of the city’s skyscrapers, including the Metropolitan Government Office with its free public observation towers. The eastern portion of the ward, known as Kabukicho, is one of the few remaining geisha districts in Tokyo and one of the wildest red light districts in the country.
If you’re in Tokyo during cherry blossom season in April, or if you need a break from the frenetic city, pay a visit to the Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden, a peaceful collection of Japanese, English and French-style gardens centered around a glassy lake. In the evenings, pick one of the many izakayas along the streets and alleys around the station for an inexpensive dinner.