|新宿区 · Shinjuku City|
Skyscrapers of Shinjuku
Location of Shinjuku in Tokyo
|• Mayor||Hiroko Nakayama|
|• Total||18.23 km2 (7.04 sq mi)|
|Population (November 2009)|
|• Density||17,460/km2 (45,200/sq mi)|
|Time zone||Japan Standard Time (UTC+9)|
|- Tree||Zelkova serrata|
Shinjuku (新宿区 Shinjuku-ku?) is one of the 23 special wards of Tokyo, Japan. It is a major commercial and administrative center, housing the busiest train station in the world (Shinjuku Station) and the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building, the administration center for the government of Tokyo.
Shinjuku has the highest numbers of registered foreign nationals of any community in Tokyo. As of October 1, 2005, 29,353 non-Japanese with 107 different nationalities were registered in Shinjuku.
Surrounding Shinjuku are six other wards: Chiyoda to the east; Bunkyo and Toshima to the north; Nakano to the west, and Shibuya and Minato to the south. In addition, Nerima is only a hundred meters away. The highest point in Shinjuku is Hakoneyama (箱根山?) in Toyama Park at 44.6 m. The lowest point is 4.2 m near Iidabashi.
Although the area immediately surrounding Shinjuku Station is home to hotels, department stores, specialist electronic and camera shops, cinemas, restaurants, and bars, the rest of the city is a mix of residential with commercial areas concentrated around railway stations.
Notable areas of Shinjuku include:
- Ichigaya: A commercial area in eastern Shinjuku, site of the Ministry of Defense.
- Golden Gai: An area of tiny shanty-style bars and clubs. Musicians, artists, actors and directors gather here, and the ramshackle walls of the bars are literally plastered with movie posters.
- Kabukichō: A red-light district well-known for its bars, restaurants, and sex-related establishments.
- Kagurazaka: One of Tokyo's last remaining hanamachi or geisha districts.
- Nishi-Shinjuku: Home to Tokyo's largest concentration of skyscrapers. Several of the tallest buildings in Tokyo are located in this area, including the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building, KDDI Building and Park Tower. Located west of Shinjuku Station.
- Ōkubo: Tokyo's best-known Korean district.
- Shinjuku Gyoen is a large park, 58.3 hectares, 3.5 km in circumference, blending Japanese traditional, English Landscape and French Formal style gardens.
- Shinjuku Ni-chōme: Tokyo's best-known gay district.
- Takadanobaba and Waseda: The area between Waseda University, one of the most prestigious private universities in Japan, and Takadanobaba Station is a major residential and nightlife area for students.
- Yotsuya: An upscale residential and commercial district; the Arakichō area is well-known for its many small restaurants, bars, and izakaya.
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 a daimyo whose mansion stood in the area; his land is now a public park, the Shinjuku Gyoen.
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. 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.
The present ward was established on March 15, 1947 with the merger of the former wards of Yotsuya, Ushigome, and Yodobashi.
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.)
Many companies have their headquarters or Tokyo offices in Shinjuku.
- Seiko Epson's Tokyo office is in the Shinjuku NS Building in Nishi-Shinjuku.
- Atlus has its headquarters in Kagurazaka.
- Nissin Foods's Tokyo offices are in Shinjuku.
- Airtransse, a regional airline, has its headquarters near Shinjuku Gyoen.
- Yoshinoya has its headquarters in the Da Vinci Shinjuku Building (ダヴィンチ新宿ビル Davinchi Shinjuku Biru?) in Shinjuku.
- H.I.S.'s headquarters is in the Shinjuku Oak Tower in Nishi-Shinjuku
Government and politics
Like the other wards of Tokyo, Shinjuku has a status equivalent to that of a city. The current mayor is Hiroko Nakayama. 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 metropolitan government of Tokyo. The governor's office, the metropolitan assembly chamber, and all administrative head offices are located in the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building.
Shinjuku is a major urban transit hub. JR 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.
Colleges and universities
- Chuo University graduate school
- Gakushuin Women's College
- Japan Electronics College
- Keio University Medical College
- Kogakuin University
- Lakeland College Japan
- Mejiro University
- Tokyo Fuji University
- Tokyo Medical University
- Tokyo University of Science
- Tokyo Women's Medical University
- Waseda University
Public elementary and junior high schools in Shinjuku are operated by the Shinjuku City Board of Education. Public high schools are operated by the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Board of Education.
- Koishikawa Technical High School
- Ichigaya Commercial High School
- Shinjuku High School
- Shinjuku Yamabuki High School
- Toyama High School
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.
There are several major hospitals located within the city limits.
- Keio University Hospital
- International Medical Center of Japan
- Social Insurance Chūō General Hospital
- Tokyo Medical University Hospital
- Tokyo Women's Medical University Hospital
- Tokyo Metropolitan Health and Medical Treatment Corporation Ohkubo Hospital
- National Printing Bureau Banknote and Postage Stamp Museum
- National Museum of Nature and Science, Shinjuku Branch
- Shinjuku Historical Museum
- Tokyo Fire Department Museum
Shinjuku is home to many well-known sights and tourist attractions.
- Shinjuku Gyoen
- Shinjuku Central Park (Shinjuku Chūō Kōen)
- Ogasawaratei (former home of the Earl of Ogasawara)
- Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building (designed by renowned architect Kenzō Tange)
- Park Hyatt Tokyo and Park Tower (featured in the film Lost in Translation)
- Waseda University's Ōkuma Auditorium
- Meiji Shrine Outer Gardens and the Meiji Memorial Picture Gallery
- Shinjuku City
- History of Shinjuku
- Ichikawa, 2003
- "Head Office & Japanese Facilities." Seiko Epson. Retrieved on January 13, 2009.
- "Contact Us." Atlus. Retrieved on February 13, 2009.
- "Company Profile." Nissin Foods. Retrieved on August 15, 2009.
- "会社概要." Airtransse. Retrieved on May 20, 2009.
- "会社概要." Yoshinoya. Retrieved on February 25, 2010.
- "Company Info." H.I.S. Retrieved on March 11, 2010.
- "History." Bandai Visual. Retrieved on March 16, 2010.
- 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.