There’s plenty happening in Shinjuku this month with Shinjuku Gyoen reopening and exhibitions resuming following delayed schedules. We also found one of the sweetest buffets in Tokyo as well as an array of seasonal desserts and a non-alcoholic tea drink that’s supposed to taste a little bit like whiskey.

Parks and Nature

Shinjuku Gyoen’s Reopening

After closing its gates for nearly two months due to the announcement and re-announcement of the state of emergency in Tokyo, Shinjuku Gyoen is finally welcoming visitors again this summer. Currently, they are operating under some restrictions such as limiting the number of visitors per hour and no running is allowed inside the park. Nevertheless, it’s a relief to know that we’re able to enjoy spending some time in nature in one of the busiest districts in Tokyo. Moreover, the hydrangeas are still in bloom.

If you’re into photography, don’t forget to visit the Shinjuku Gyoen art gallery to check the winning entries from last year’s photography contest, each capturing the beauty of the park from a different perspective. The exhibition is open until July 19. 

Where: Shinjuku Gyoen, 11 Naitomachi, Shinjuku-ku


Lost in PandemicーTheatre Adrift, Expression’s New Horizonsー

Some exhibitions have also reopened after being postponed last month, including this very relevant and timely exhibition by Waseda University. The event focuses on the changes and struggles faced by theaters during this worldwide pandemic. What has and hasn’t been lost? What are some ways of incorporating creative expression and theater into our new ways of living? Explore these questions at the Tsubouchi Memorial Theatre Museum of Waseda University.  

When: Until Aug 6 | 10am—5pm (Until 7pm on Tuesdays and Fridays)
Where: Tsubouchi Memorial Theatre Museum, 1-6 Nishiwaseda, Shinjuku-ku

A Look at the Showa Era Through the History of Household Electronics

This unique exhibition looks at life in Japan during the Showa period (1926—1989), an era of economic growth and cultural transformation, through home appliances. During this time in history, certain electronic devices were proof of wealth for those who owned them. Here, you can learn about Japan’s history of home appliances that started in the early part of the Showa era, before Japan became one of the world’s top producers of electronic appliances.

When: Until Aug 29
Where: Shinjuku Historical Museum, 1-2-16 Saneicho, Yotsuya, Shinjuku-ku

Shopping and Dining


5 Stars for Tanabata-Themed Confectionary by Bel Amer

In sweet news, Chocolat Bel Amer, a confectionery shop specializing in chocolate, just added a couple of gorgeous Tanabata (Star Festival) themed desserts to their seasonal items collection. The beloved Tanabata festival is based on the story of two stars — Orihime and Hikoboshi — who meet each other only once a year. The two lovers can only meet on July 7, by crossing the milky way. That’s why the Bel Amer sweets in the collection feature cute star-shaped decorations and a touch of calming blue to represent the milky way in the summer night sky.

Official Instagram

When: Sales started from Jun 4
Where: Isetan Shinjuku, 3-14-1 Shinjuku, Shinjuku-ku

Ice Cream Indulgence With Häagen-Dazs and Keio Plaza Hotel Collaboration 

Everyone loves Häagen-Dazs ice cream, especially during the hot summer season. With so many flavors, some of which are exclusive to Japan, it’s one of the most popular ice cream brands in the country. Hopping on the trend, the Keio Plaza Hotel Shinjuku decided to host an order-style ice cream buffet, where you can choose anything from a menu full of dishes made with Häagen-Dazs ice cream. The options include a Häagen-Dazs ice cream cake, croissant ice cream sandwich and three kinds of ice cream floats. They do have some regular food items such as soup and salad, but I don’t really see myself trying to be healthy at an ice cream buffet.

Reservation Page

When: Until Sept 30
Where: Keio Plaza Hotel, 2-2-1 Nishishinjuku, Shinjuku-ku

shinjuku The Cask Aging tea

Best of Both Worlds — Whiskey Black Tea 

For those who are looking for a more mature option for your nights in, this Whiskey Black Tea is worth trying. The Cask Aging is a new type of black tea that’s aged in whiskey barrels, giving the non-alcoholic drink a deep and fruity scent similar to whiskey. It might be best to enjoy this drink on days where you don’t necessarily want to drink but want something a little different from your usual cup of earl grey or chamomile tea. It’s available for purchase in various Tokyu Hands locations, including the Shinjuku store.

When: Sales started from June 4

Here is what else is new: