Jan 20, 2018
Strolling Around West Shinjuku
Recently, due to a change in employment, I have, once again, become one of the 3.64 million people to go through Shinjuku Station on any given day. My new office is in the West Shinjuku Skyscraper District (Nishi-Shinjuku), an area I really have never explored before. In the past, when I have been to this area it was usually to take a visitor to the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building's free observation decks to see the night view of Tokyo. I also went to the area once to see a Van Gogh exhibit years ago. Anyway, it is an area I was (and still am) not overly familiar with.
So, now I work in West Shinjuku. One of the things I got in the habit of doing at my last place of employment in moto-Akasaka was going out to the nearby park for a walk (or, actually, a sit on a bench) on my lunch breaks. So, after being in this new job a few days, I decided it was time to set out for a quick walk on my lunch hour to see what, if anything, West Shinjuku had to offer.
The past week has offered crisp, winter blue skies, and the dominant building in that sky is the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building.
So I walked in that direction, and found an area map. I love that Japan has these posted in the cities.
Looking at the map, I discovered that not far from where I was standing, there was a big park, Shinjuku Central Park. This was not immediately obvious to me before looking at the map due to how the roads are in this area. Unfortunately, that first day, my time was up and I had to return to my office.
I was back out exploring the next day and headed straight to the park. To my amazement, I discovered Niagara Falls!!!
In Japanese, this is called Shinjuku Niagara Falls. The naming amuses me.
I wandered through the park. There were a lot of people out eating their lunches, or walking around the park. There were some people there exercising as well. It is a large park with some statues and different areas and there are three suggested walking courses of varying lengths that are shown on the map.
In the interest of time, and with an interest in seeing the shrine shown on the map, I decided on the 900m course. Along the way, I found an interesting statue scene:
Walking on a bit more from the statues, I arrived at Jyuniso Kumano-jinja Shrine. I took a look around, and paused to pray.
The shrine dates back to the Muromachi Period (1336-1573).
Having a bit more time, I headed back toward my office and could enjoy the skyline.
Then, as I was nearly back to my building, I discovered LOVE! In Shinjuku. I had no idea that Japan had a copy of the LOVE thing (what is it? It is not a statue, nor a monument) that I think is in N.Y.C.
With that, it was time to return to my office. As I walked the, now, short distance back, I saw a cute but lost glove on the street. :(
Given the recent temperatures, I have seen a lot of lost single gloves recently. This is one of the cuter ones I've seen though. The lost gloves always make me wonder . . .
Anyway, I found that West Shinjuku does have a lot of interesting things amongst the tall buildings for me to enjoy! I am looking forward to strolling on my lunches more and watching the seasons change. I wonder if any of the trees in the park are cherry trees! For me, it is good to be outside a bit during the day. I get to get some exercise (averaging 2km), and some nature at the park. I'll be doing a lot more strolling in this area, I reckon.
I am a hiker, walker, and abundant photo-taker. After spending my first many years in Japan in Tochigi, I relocated to Tokyo at the end of 2012. I love visiting the numerous temples, shrines, castles, and former castles that can be found in the mountains, rural areas, and tucked away within cities.