To get here the fastest/cheapest way by train, enter your starting location into the
or download a free Japan Travel mobile app to your phone (I use Navitime Japan Travel)
There is a great map of the Gothic/Lolita shops and nightlife in the area around Shinjuku Station, on La Carmina’s blog.
Places that are outside the East Exit (Kabuki-cho) of Shinjuku Station:
To get to the Calico Cat Café:
•Get off any JR train line (eg. Yamanote) at Shinjuku Station and go out the East exit (marked Kabuki-chō).
•As you come outside, keep left and cross the street at the light.
•To your right, you’ll see a tree-lined pedestrian avenue cutting through the block. Walk down this avenue to the big street beyond.
•Cross the big street to the giant Don Kihote store on the right-hand corner.
•Turn right and walk along the street until you get to the Arabian Rock.The Calico Cat Café is in the next building, on the 5th and 6th floors. Reception is on the 6th floor.
Hours: 10:00 – 22:00
Admission: ¥1000 for the first hour, ¥150 for every ten minutes after that
Note: The Calico is closed to children younger than 12.
When you arrive, the person at the front desk will give you a timestamped badge and explain:
• Take off your shoes before you go in, and put them in the free lockers near the door and wash your hands at the sink.
• Cats can be petted and played with, but you are not allowed to pick them up.
• They can be fed with food you buy from the café, but not with outside food.
• Pay when you leave, according to how long you were there and what you ordered.
🔎 Google map to the Marui Annex department store (Goth-Lolita fashions)
🔎 Google map to Sweets Paradise
To get to the Christon Café:
•Keep going down Yasukuni-dori until you get to the Christon Café. It’s on the 8th floor.
To get to Kabuki-chō:
🔎 Google map with Studio ALTA marked.
Note: My favorite way to see this neighborhood is to download the Tokyo Realtime audio tour.
•Get off any JR train line at Shinjuku Station and before you leave the platform, look at the overhead signs that lead to the East Exit. Go downstairs. Before you exit through any ticket gate, walk along with the crowds, watching the overhead signs for the East Exit. Go out the ticket gate and up the stairs marked East Exit, Kabuki-chō.
•As you come outside, look for the big white building across from the station that says “Alta” on the front. To the left of this building is a walking street with a row of trees running down the middle. Walk down this street until you arrive at a busy street called Yasukuni-dori. Turn left and go to the crosswalk across from the big red gate.
Walk through the big red gate and roam the grid of streets beyond. You’ll encounter (roughly in this order:
• Restaurants and speciality adult shops
• Host and hostess clubs
•If you walk along Yasukuni-dori to the right of the big red gate instead of going through it, on the far corner of the next cross-street is a truly entertaining Don Kihote store. 🔎 Google map
•Continue past Don Kihote and cross three more streets (some are very narrow) and you’ll see a walkway heading diagonally from the corner into the block. This leads to the Golden Gai area of bars. 🔎 Google map
•Turn right just as you arrive at the warren of bars and walk along the edge to get to the Hanazono Shrine. 🔎 Google map
To get to Shinjuku Gyouen Garden:
Hours: 9:00 am – 4:30 pm
Admission: 200 yen
•Go out the East Exit (to Kabuki-cho) at Shinjuku Station.
Places that are outside the South-East Exit of Shinjuku Station:
•Get off any JR train line and before you leave the platform, look for the overhead signs that lead to the South-East exit. Go upstairs. Before you exit through any ticket gate, watch the overhead signs for the South-East Exit. You will see a wide exit to the street beyond. Do not go through the ticket gate leading to the Odakyu Line.
•Cross the street and veer right to the wide pedestrian promenade. Walk past the restaurants on your left until you see Krispy Kreme donut store 🔎 Google map and the FrancFranc modern life & housewares store 🔎 Google map.
•Cross the pedestrian bridge to your left to get to the Takashimaya department store 🔎 Google map, the Tokyu Hands store (in the Takashimaya building) and the Kinokuniya bookstore 🔎 Google map, where you can buy English books and magazines on the 6th floor.
Read a novel set in Tokyo…
“A genuinely gripping crime thriller which wrong-foots and perplexes the reader throughout, drawing us in emotionally . . . Highly recommended.” –Raven Crime Reads