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Is Shinjuku Safe? What Every Traveler Needs to Know in 2024

Shinjuku’s got a bit of everything in Tokyo — it’s high on skyscrapers, rich in gardens, and yes, “Is Shinjuku safe?” you ask. Generally, it’s a yes. The place is pretty secure, so you can enjoy its charms with peace of mind. But, as with any bustling spot, keeping your street smarts in check, especially in lively areas like Kabukicho.

I would not personally stay in Shinjuku (note that it has the world’s busiest train station!) unless otherwise it is at Park Hyatt Tokyo although it will be closed from May 7th 2024 until autumn in 2025.

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Shinjuku at a Glance

Shinjuku is a multifaceted ward with the seven main attractions below.

Is Shinjuku Safe? Shinjuku Sightseeing Map
  1. Shinjuku Station Area: The bustling gateway to the ward, filled with commuters and travelers.
  2. Kabukicho: Known as the entertainment and red-light district, it has a lively yet cautionary atmosphere at night.
  3. Nishi-Shinjuku: I personally have worked in this area. This is where you can find the skyscraper buildings in Tokyo.
  4. East Shinjuku: Hosts a variety of shopping and dining options catering to a diverse crowd.
  5. Golden Gai: A historical area known for its small, themed bars and unique nightlife.
  6. Omoide Yokocho: Also known as Memory Lane or Piss Alley, this area is famous for its tiny eateries and nostalgic Showa-era vibe.
  7. Shinjuku Gyoen: Offering a tranquil escape, this is one of Tokyo’s largest and most popular parks.

I have worked in Shinjuku, taken Shinjuku Station almost every week, and based on my personal observation, Nishi-Shinjuku is definitely the safest area within Shinjuku. This is where you can find the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building, Park Hyatt, as well as Tokyo’ Skyscraper Buildings.

Kabukicho in Shinjuku is a safe area (as most of Japan), but extra precaution is needed.

Nishi Shinjuku Skyscraper Buildings

Walking in Shinjuku at Night

Walking in Shinjuku at night is generally safe – Shinjuku showcases the heart of Tokyo’s nightlife but needs to have an extra precautions especially when you are going to Kabukicho. In fact, there was a news about a scam that happened in Kabukicho just very recently this 2024.

Top 5 Safety Tips for Navigating Tokyo’s Kabukicho at Night

Kabukicho in Shinjuku

Kabukicho, Tokyo’s bustling red-light district, dazzles with its neon glow and vibrant nightlife. However, navigating this area requires some smart strategies to ensure a safe and enjoyable experience. Here’s how you can protect yourself in the heart of Tokyo’s entertainment hub:

  1. Limit Late-Night Explorations: Although Kabukicho comes to life after dark, venturing out too late, especially alone, increases your risk of encountering crime. Consider visiting earlier in the night or as part of a larger group to enhance safety​.
  2. Avoid Promoters and Street Hawkers: It’s common in Kabukicho to encounter promoters trying to lure visitors into bars or restaurants. These establishments may have hidden charges or misleading prices. Always politely decline such offers and frequent more reputable places​
  3. Watch Your Alcohol Intake: In an area known for its pricey venues, keeping your alcohol consumption in check is crucial. Overindulgence can lead to vulnerability and misjudgments, potentially leading to escalated conflicts over misunderstood charges​.
  4. Extra Caution for Solo Male Travelers: Men traveling alone are often targeted by scammers, particularly in venues that cater to adult entertainment. Stay alert and skeptical of too-good-to-be-true offers.
  5. Stay Low-Key and Streetwise: While the allure of Kabukicho’s neon-lit avenues and diverse attractions is undeniable, maintaining a low profile and exercising common sense will safeguard your visit. Enjoy the unique cultural experience without drawing unnecessary attention​.

Nightlife Safety in Kabukicho

Beneath the allure of Kabukicho’s neon spectacle lies a need for cautious revelry. Avoid the siren call of hidden-cost bars and clubs, and opt for venues bathed in the positive reviews of fellow travelers. For insights into Tokyo’s affluent nightlife, check our guide to the city’s best rooftop bars.


Shinjuku is generally safe. However, the Kabukicho area in Shinjuku, while a popular entertainment district, is often cited for having safety concerns, especially at night. It is recommended that visitors, men or women walking alone, exercise caution due to reports of nuisances like aggressive solicitation from bars, clubs, and other nighttime establishments. To stay safe, it’s advised to avoid certain activities like wandering alone late at night and to be wary of unsolicited offers or approaches by strangers.

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