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Kabukicho, Shinjuku

  Mar 29th, 2010

I took a walk around Kabukicho, Shinjuku in the evening. Shinjuku Station is always packed with people coming and going, and the kabukicho area picks up a lot of traffic from people going to restaurants, clubs, love hotels and more.

A little bit of cosplay material on sale here. What is your pick?

A little bit of cosplay material on sale here. What is your pick?

Shinjuku Station in the background, an extremely busy place on any day, and very easy to get lost if you dont know where you are going.

Shinjuku Station in the background, an extremely busy place on any day, and very easy to get lost if you dont know where you are going.

In front of Shinjuku Station, next to Studio Alta.

In front of Shinjuku Station, next to Studio Alta.

This fruit store has been here for years and still doing a good business. Great location at the top of the street just before you hit the station.

This fruit store has been here for years and still doing a good business. Great location at the top of the street just before you hit the station.

Lots of people heading down towards the main Kabukicho area.

Lots of people heading down towards the main Kabukicho area.

A few Rilakkuma and friends camping out in the game centre.

A few Rilakkuma and friends camping out in the game centre.

The street looks pale in the contrast of the sky and office buildings.

The street looks pale in the contrast of the sky and office buildings.

Quite a few of the Shinjuku streets are off limits to cars. Some are too narrow, others designated as pedestrian only.

Quite a few of the Shinjuku streets are off limits to cars. Some are too narrow, others designated as pedestrian only.

Some rakugama udon.

Some rakugama udon.

So many great side streets to discover in Kabukicho. You can always be surprised by what you will find down these streets.

So many great side streets to discover in Kabukicho. You can always be surprised by what you will find down these streets.

Rilakkuma looks like he is doing some part time work here attracting people to the game centre.

Rilakkuma looks like he is doing some part time work here attracting people to the game centre.

The old Koma gekijo which is being pulled down and rebuilt.

The old Koma gekijo which is being pulled down and rebuilt.

Lots of development getting set to happen in this area. Koma gekijo, hotels and movie cinemas all closing down to make way for bigger things.

Lots of development getting set to happen in this area. Koma gekijo, hotels and movie cinemas all closing down to make way for bigger things.

There are quite a few host clubs in this area and some magazines which highlight the best clubs to go to.

There are quite a few host clubs in this area and some magazines which highlight the best clubs to go to.

Fresh seafood here is supplied direct to the close by restaurants. At the end of the day the cleanup takes place.

Fresh seafood here is supplied direct to the close by restaurants. At the end of the day the cleanup takes place.

A colorful baseball batting centre. I used to go here about 20 years ago for a hit.

A colorful baseball batting centre. I used to go here about 20 years ago for a hit.

There are lots of love hotels at the back end of kabukicho as well. Many are looking a bit old, but there are some new ones around also.

There are lots of love hotels at the back end of kabukicho as well. Many are looking a bit old, but there are some new ones around also.

A mixture of old neon signs and a few new ones. One of the side streets in Shinjuku.

A mixture of old neon signs and a few new ones. One of the side streets in Shinjuku.

The signs all look so colorful, competing with each other to pull in the crowds.

The signs all look so colorful, competing with each other to pull in the crowds.

So many side streets, all with different offerings. Kabukicho has quite a lot of adult service stores, and many can be found in this area.

So many side streets, all with different offerings. Kabukicho has quite a lot of adult service stores, and many can be found in this area.

Horumon restaurant. Just what you need for a night out in Shinjuku.

Horumon restaurant. Just what you need for a night out in Shinjuku.

Back on the main road, Yasukuni dori, the traffic rolls past all the bright lights.

Back on the main road, Yasukuni dori, the traffic rolls past all the bright lights.

The Shinjuku neon glows bright.

The Shinjuku neon glows bright.

Time to relax and sit down for a coffee and crepe.

Time to relax and sit down for a coffee and crepe.

A nice looking crepe cafe on one of the streets.

A nice looking crepe cafe on one of the streets.

Pasta-kan okonomiyaki, Ducky Duck and coffee. Which one to choose?

Pasta-kan okonomiyaki, Ducky Duck and coffee. Which one to choose?

Kaiten sushi. One of the places I used to visit a lot when I first came to Japan.

Kaiten sushi. One of the places I used to visit a lot when I first came to Japan.

Great kaiten sushi place. I have not been recently, but used to go here a lot many years ago. Still looks the same as when I first visited over 20 years ago.

Great kaiten sushi place. I have not been recently, but used to go here a lot many years ago. Still looks the same as when I first visited over 20 years ago.

Looks like a store that has been around for a while, serving sukiyaki and fugu.

Looks like a store that has been around for a while, serving sukiyaki and fugu.

Lots of people on the street whether it be morning or night, Shinjuku is always alive.

Lots of people on the street whether it be morning or night, Shinjuku is always alive.

Up in front of the station area again looking back down towards Shinjuku 3-chome and beyond. The sky looks great. ^^

Up in front of the station area again looking back down towards Shinjuku 3-chome and beyond. The sky looks great. ^^

Studio Alta used to be THE meeting place in Shinjuku. Not sure where people are meeting these days. Anyone have some good Shinjuku meeting places?

Studio Alta used to be THE meeting place in Shinjuku. Not sure where people are meeting these days. Anyone have some good Shinjuku meeting places?

The undercover area of Shinjuku station is one long corridor of platform stairs. Lots of people, signs and movement. Watch out in rush hour.

The undercover area of Shinjuku station is one long corridor of platform stairs. Lots of people, signs and movement. Watch out in rush hour.

Some people coming, others going. Always plenty of action at Shinjuku Station.

Some people coming, others going. Always plenty of action at Shinjuku Station.

A look out at Studio Alta from the platform while waiting for the Yamanote train back to Shibuya.

A look out at Studio Alta from the platform while waiting for the Yamanote train back to Shibuya.

AkuNoHana says:

This post takes me right back to my stay in Shinjuku last summer. Mos Burger!

Ravenmist says:

alcoholics rejoice they have abc department stores

nick says:

gorgeous photos.. the intensity of the colours is awesome. my own photos from kabukicho almost seem drab by comparison.

I would have so much fun living there. Love the Hello Kitty shot. I’m all about that but there is so much more to japanese culture that I love.

toto5182 says:

Love your night photos of Shinjuku (my favorite is still the area near the Disney Store)…would also be greatful to know what camera model you’re using, I want to buy a really good night photo camera.

lithiumangel says:

You can view his camera equipment by going over the photo’s and clicking on camera info :-)
But to save you the trouble; it’s a Nikon D700 :-]
I purchased one last weekend after debating for the longest time between a D300s (for the video) or D700 (for the low-light performance) ; am not regretting the purchase.

shibuya246 says:

Thanks. Have been out today so didn’t get chance to reply. For night shots the FX Sensor on the D700 is definitely good. I keep thinking I want to try some video, but still photography is my main interest. :) I normally use the faster lenses. As lithiumangel said, hover over the photo and click on the camera info. You can see settings and lenses here as well. Thanks.

whipcracker says:

Rilakkuma will bring you good luck in catching one.
by:whipcracker

whipcracker says:

Rilakkuma, the Goodwill ambasadore, for whoever he advertises for.
by:whipcracker

whipcracker says:

Kabukicho, Shinjuku, Japan Photo-Post http://bit.ly/cX9bdu A plethora of sights sounds and an abundance of people. Wo 20= years so the time has passed so quickly. After seeing these photos of yours, which are great as usual, :) I think I would rather be around the Shibuya area myself. i really love the changing of the sky from light blue to the almost midnite blue color.But a great photo walk just the same.
Ja mata ne.

shibuya246 says:

Thanks. I hadn’t planned to go on this photo walk, just suddenly got on the train and then jumped out at Shinjuku. Haven’t been around for years even though it is only 10 minutes from Shibuya. Definitely, I am more at home in Shibuya ;)

whipcracker says:

I’d go for Ducky Duck Coffee, if there was no Starbucjs around. Just to try it.
by:whipcracker

whipcracker says:

Look like leftover Christmas lights were left up.
by:whipcracker

perdomot says:

Beautiful pics of Shinjuku. It was video of this part of Tokyo in the movie Lost In Translation which finally got me on a plane to Tokyo 3 years ago. After walking around the west part of town, I went up into the Park Hyatt and sat at the bar where many of the movies scenes take place and watched the sun go down and the neon come up while drink a cold Suntory beer. Went into Kabukicho afterwards and was truly stunned by the place. The seedy parts including the sex joints are a minor thing compared to the rest of the place. I really envy you for being there for 20 years.

shibuya246 says:

Yes, many people enjoyed the scenes in Lost In Translation and decided to check out Japan. They should make more movies in Tokyo ;) Maybe next time I will head more into the Shinjuku business district to take some shots.

Exiv96 says:

A bit sad to the Sakuraya store’s neon sign not glowing anymore. Will it be replaced by a Bic Camera ?

shibuya246 says:

Not sure if BIC Camera will move in. They have a pretty good corner spot right now in front of the station. Will have to see what happens in Shibuya Center-gai though :)

Neksus says:

Moe-ish! Japan :)

shibuya246 says:

very nice indeed :)

Tristan says:

Awesome night time photos…makes me want to go back even more! (Next August is the plan…….can’t wait!!!)

Tokyo and neon are a match made in heaven. Beautiful!

lithiumangel says:

Lots of great pictures in this Shinjuku photowalk :] It’s quite on par with Shibuya for it’s hustle and bustle of people around. Tough personally I didn’t enjoy this area as much as Shibuya or Ikebukuro. Why ? Probably the “hey… HEY ! wanna see some Japanese ***’s ?” questions I get from the Nigerian people who are scouting to attract people into seedy places by just simply walking around Kabukicho or the square around Koma Gekijo (some nice 50 yen arcades here)
It’s even worse in Roppongi if I wanna drop by the Hard rock cafe there which is livelier than the one at Ueno JR station but the “Roppongi hassle” just makes me not go anymore when i’m in Tokyo.

So I’m curious. As somebody who isn’t native from Japan and also looks that way to the general public of Tokyo/Japan such as yourself; do you ever get these questions that I get ?

shibuya246 says:

After a while these scouts blend into the scenery just like telephone wires in photographs. I am usually ready to be approached and wave a “no thankyou” before being asked. It is the same with people collecting money in front of Shibuya station for earthquake victims, and people handing out flyers for contact lenses. They are everywhere, but if you give them a firm “no” straight away they wont keep following you. :)

Neksus says:

Pictures clean as always.

New experience to follow. It’ll be 20 years of Shinjuku now? ^^

Thanks.

 

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