Shinjuku, a multifaceted economic hub of Tokyo, is a spectacle of progress and a meeting point of business, travel, and entertainment. Adorned with skyscrapers, Shinjuku is also a transportation hub, hosting various bus stations, subways, and is named as the busiest railway station in the world.
With the bustling commerce of Shinjuku, it is not surprising that a number of food hubs surround the area. And when the day closes, these food and entertainment joints provide a relaxing retreat after a hard day’s work. Shinjuku boasts of several themed restaurants to wow its guests. Get ready as Shinjuku food guide takes you around the hip and happening places to visit and must try food offerings that Shinjuku has to offer.
Get Filled at the Piss Alley
Omoide Yokocho, which translates as “Memory Lane” but is commonly known as the Piss Alley, is a haven for foodies since the area is lined up with what ramshackle food stalls that are bursting with the smells of a mouthwatering feast. Smokey goodness fills the air since yakitori places dominate Omoide Yokocho’s alley. Tsukune, or chicken mince meatball, is also one of the specialties in Piss Alley. Aside from skewered chicken, eateries also offer grilled fish or hatahata.
Aside from yakitori and other grilled sensations, some eateries in the area offer ramen or even bizarre foods that are believed to be an aphrodisiac especially for males such as frog sashimi, grilled salamander, and even pig testicles that are definitely not for the faint heart.
Drink Up at Golden Gai
In start contrast with the futuristic vibe of Robot Restaurant, Golden Gai, which means “Golden District”, is a slice of Japan’s postwar nightlife—pint-sized bars for those who like to cap off the night with a drink or two. For tourists, it’s a great way to mingle around or just chill by yourself. There are larger bars in the area wherein you can sing your hearts out in the karaoke. And since most bar spaces in Golden Gai are at elbow distance with fellow bar visitors, it is a great way to mingle with locals or tourists.
Futuristic + Entertaining = Robot Restaurant
Get wowed with the futuristic ambiance that the Robot Restaurant has to offer. This entertainment portal will transport you to an era that is beyond imagination: bright lights, robotic machines, and an array of theatrical performances of man and machine. The restaurant also serves bento box meals with green tea and alcoholic beverages which can be purchased before the show.
Must Try in Shinjuku
Ramen places thrive at Shinjuku serving various specialty ramen. However, a particular favorite is tokusei tsukemen, a bowl of thick noodles with creamy fish and chicken broth served with slices of pork, bamboo shoots, egg, and nori.
Aside from ramen houses, Shinjuku also has a selection of Michelin-star adorned restos. Michelin star? One might think that you need to spend a fortune to dine at this famed restaurants but in Shinjuku, one can enjoy dining in a Michelin-starred restaurant without breaking the bank. At Nakajima, one can already feast on its bestseller Iwashi set meal at 800 yen. Lastly, for those who got a sweet tooth, grab some French-inspired pastries, sugar candies (rakugan), jellied desserts, and manju at Isetan department store.
Shinjuku exudes a balance of the quaint and the modern. Truly a must stop for those who would like to feel the contemporary, and ultramodern Japan way of living with the old-school vibe of Japan nightlife and entertainment.
Aleli is a wanderlust whose main itinerary is to culture soak in the places that she sets foot on, sinking her teeth in the gustatory offerings that the place has to offer and knowing the story behind it. Food for her is a marriage of the sights, sounds, smells, and tastes of the rich history of every city she explores and uses the pen as her tool to share to the world each unique experience she unravels.