Shinjuku Christmas Pictures 2010
Welcome to our first Christmas Photo Walk of 2010. This time, we’re going to walk around a little Tokyo neighborhood you may have heard of called Shinjuku. Wikipedia says that over 3.5 million people transit through Shinjuku Station every day – wow! Luckily for us, many of those people never leave the station. Shinjuku is one of the most amazing places on the planet. When people all over the planet think of Tokyo, many of the futuristic images that come to mind (neon, skyscrapers, etc.) originate in Shinjuku. Of importance to fashion fans, Shinjuku is also the home of the world-famous Bunka Fashion College!
Most of our holiday photo walk will focus on the east side of Shinjuku Station. Higashi (East) Shinjuku is packed with an unbelievable number of shops, bars, cafes, restaurants, and department stores. It’s a shopping and night life mecca. Shinjuku’s west side (Nishi Shinjuku) – where we will also make a very brief visit – is most famous as Tokyo’s main skyscraper district. Should I mention “Lost in Translation”? No? Okay, enough talking…let’s get walking! Wait, one more thing: please be aware that you can click on any of these photos to see them in super high resolution! In fact, to see some of the details in these pics, we really do recommend that you blow them up.
We’re starting this walk on the South Side of Shinjuku Station. Why? Because it’s close to the first-ever Krispy Kreme Donuts location in Japan? No (but nice guess)! The South Side is the closest part of Shinjuku to Harajuku, so that’s where we started out from on this walk.
The Shinjuku Southern Terrace is a great place to visit around the holidays if you’re into Christmas lights. They illuminate all of the trees and bushes, you can see the Docomo Building overhead, and lots of couples and families come to the area to enjoy the lights and ambiance.
You could go inside this futuristic Christmas Tree, touch something, and the lights go on – or was it off? Either way, it was hard to photograph because people kept going in and the lights would turn on and off randomly. Now that I think of it, a lot of people went in, but did anyone ever come out? Hmmmm…
I like how this photo came out. However, this is where I got busted by the Tokyo Christmas Police for the first time. Short story long – I carried my tripod on this photo walk, but the holidays are so crowded that they have security guards all over the place at the various illuminations that come running the second you setup a tripod. I tried again a little later, but somehow the Christmas Police can sense that you are thinking about tripods and appear magically as soon as you get the first leg extended. Looks like we’re going handheld for the rest of the night.
Yes, there are penguins at this part of Shinjuku every year at Christmas, though I’m not sure why. Maybe the company’s logo has penguins, or it’s something to do with the Suica card, or something else. Who knows? Whatever the reason, penguins are cute. Just to the left of these penguins is El Torito Shinjuku. It’s not the best Mexican food in the world, but Tokyo is a long way from Mexico City,.
Across the way we can see Takashimaya Times Square, one of Shinjuku’s famous (and huge) department stores. The Takashimaya sign is bit little blown out in this picture. Don’t blame me, blame the guy who won’t let me use my tripod!
Now we’re near the New South Exit of Shinjuku Station. It’s not really that “new” anymore, but it’s definitely South. Looking across the street, we can see Shinjuku Station and the Lumine Department Store. Later in the night, we’ll find out way back to Lumine, so don’t fret. Also, can you see that guy taking a photo of us? His flash went off right as I took this picture. How cool is that? Yeah, I’d like to see his picture of me!
Now we’re moving away from the station on the East side, still a bit South. We’re basically outside of Takashimiya, near Meiji Dori. The Edifice and Journal Standard shops are looking nice tonight. On the top floor of this Journal Standard building is the JS Cafe. They have tasty hamburgers if you’re ever in the mood.
Here is a girl taking a picture of Christmas tree! Right above our head is Tower Records, and behind us is Green Peas. To the left is the South East entance to Shinjuku Station. I think this exit has the highest concentration of touts besides the East Exit.
If you turn 180 degrees from the front window of Collect Point and look back across the road, you’ll see the massive Isetan Department store. Isetan Shinjuku is one of the coolest department stores in all of Japan. Every year, they put up a great Christmas window display. Because they have so many holiday windows, we split Isetan out into another article. Please check out the Isetan Shinjuku Christmas Window Pictures Here!
Rather than walk all the way to the station, we’ve taken a right just after ABC Mart and just before Alta. This is a nice walking area with cafes and cool shops. If we keep walking straight down this way, we’ll eventually end up in Kabukicho.
This is the brand new Azul by Moussy shop, which just opened a week or two ago. The building is really cool, but so dark that it’s hard to photograph at night. The are not Christmas flowers, but rather the traditional Japanese “congratulations” flowers that everyone sends when you open a new store.
This is the famous huge Hello Kitty outside of Gift Gate on Yasukuni Dori. Just to the left of this photo is a Baskin Robbins ice cream shop. Just off the screen to the right are two uniformed Japanese schoolkids feeding each other ice cream. It was cute, but I didn’t want to invade their privacy by photographing their cuteness.
This is a terrible photograph of one of the windows at the amazing Isetan Mens department store. If you are a guy – or you know any – and you haven’t visited Isetan Mens, you’re really missing out. Go to the Creators Floor and check out all of the amazing brands and designers they carry. You’ll leave broke, but happy. And another reminder (in case you missed it previously), make sure you check out all of our Isetan Shinjuku X-mas Windows!
Now we are way back in Shinjuku Sanchome (3-chome). Here is another awesome mens department store – Marui Men. I think this is one of the coolest shops in Tokyo if you want to see what the hosts/scouts are wearing. It’s like the 109-2 of Shinjuku. Don’t miss it.
This is Kabukicho – the nightlife capital of Japan. If you’re looking for Tokyo’s red light district, you’ve found it! Some people don’t like Kabukicho or are scared to visit here or whatever, but I really think it’s a must-see.
Walking along the West side of Shinjuku Station, we passed MyLord, Odakyu, and Keio. We’ve now reached Lumine. We photographed this department store near the start of our walk from the South side of the station. Do you remember? This is the “Lumine Christmas Forest” window display. It looks a lot like the Isetan Shinjuku holiday windows. Sorry about the flash on the window. :-)
After checking out the sock Christmas tree, we hopped on the next train back to Harajuku. Many of the stores that we are photographing in these holiday photowalks close around 8pm (some as early as 7pm!), so we basically have from dusk until closing time to shoot as many Christmas photos as we can. Besides the photos above, you can also check out some bonus/alternate pics below. Also, don’t forget to look at our related article showing all of the Istetan Shinjuku Christmas windows.
Click any of the pictures to blow them up!
That concludes our 2010 Shinjuku Christmas Photo Walk. This is just the start of our Tokyo holiday walks. For more info on the upcoming Shibuya, Harajuku, Aoyama and other photo walks, check out our Tokyo Christmas 2010 page (coming soon)! Please leave comments and let us know what you think and what you’d like to see more/less of in future photo walks.
Thank you all and Happy Holidays!