With the official arrival of Spring in March, various parts of Shinjuku are starting off the season with seasonal events, newly opened restaurants and limited-time pop-up shops. This month, food seems to be a recurring theme in Shinjuku, with various sakura-themed menus (which we all love) and restaurants that are operating safely by taking extensive COVID-19 prevention measures. So here are some of our newest finds in Shinjuku this month, and don’t forget to check out some of the February new in Shinjuku events that are still going on this month and later.
If you visit any events and venues, please follow social distancing measures and guidelines to prevent the spread of Covid-19. Also, make sure to check for changes in time and dates, since new rules might be in place later that were not there at the time of writing.
New Balance 『57/40』: New Color Available in Shinjuku
The『57/40』model is a new and stylish hybrid of the「574」which came out in the mid-1980s, and the「650」in 1994. Stop by the New Balance store in Shinjuku Odakyu Hulk and get your hands on these stylish shoes, designed to be just as comfortable as they are fashionable.
Color: TB（MULTI COLOR）
When: from Mar 18, 2021
Available for a Limited Time: VOILE BLANCHE Sneakers
VOILE BLANCHE is an Italian shoemaker brand that was first inspired by the image of yacht sailing. Now, they make ultra-light sneakers that make it easy to walk around the city. These sneakers are available for a limited time at the women’s shoes section in the main building of Isetan Shinjuku.
When: Mar 24 – Apr 6, 2021
Culture T-shirt Store「Cul-t 」Opens in Shinjuku
Newly arrived at the Odakyu Department Store Shinjuku is an apparel store specializing in culture T-shirts. Here, you can find T-shirts with colorful prints of rock bands such as The Rolling Stones and Queens, or popular anime series like Evangelion.
Check out their Instagram for images and also a link to their online store (in Japanese).
When: from Mar 3, 2021
Aoyama Flower Market Opens in Shinjuku
On March 27, popular flower shop Aoyama Flower Market will be available in Shinjuku for the first time in four years. It will be located inside BicQlo Bic Camera, so if you’re in the area you can always consider getting some flowers to brighten up your room or workspace during this stay-at-home period.
Also, check out the beautiful flowers on Aoyama Flower Market’s official Instagram.
When: from Mar 27, 2021
Newly Opened Restaurants
Hoshi No Naru Ki
Hoshi No Naru Ki, a Japanese cuisine restaurant, opened in Shinjuku earlier this month. The restaurant is specifically designed to prevent the spread of COVID-19, taking regular precautions such as anti-bacterial sprays and temperature checks, as well as a design that separates each table with enough space and partitions (some have individual rooms). You also get an individual mask holder, hand sanitizer and a QR code to make your orders without talking to the staff.
When: from Mar 9, 2021
goodspoon Handmade Cheese & Pizzeria
If you’re feeling like you sometimes miss a good handmade pizza and some freshly made cheese, goodspoon Handmade Cheese & Pizzeria is a brilliant option. Their Burrata Bolognese and pizza, as well as the Bacon & Vegetable Raclette, are just a few of their tempting dishes that you can choose from.
When: from Mar 1, 2021
Ichiju Shunsai Nihonbashi Dashi Bar
Nihonbashi Dashi Bar’s Shinjuku store, specializing in making side dishes and bento boxes which use their famous dashi broths, opened its doors in Shinjuku Newoman on March 25, 2021. Perfect to take to eat at home or on the go, you can taste the umami flavor of the dashi broth and the goodness of Japan’s seasonal ingredients in each dish.
When: from Mar 25, 2021
Spring and Cherry Blossom-Themed Menus
Spring dishes are not only about beautiful presentation, but also the fragrant and subtly sweet flavor that represents this time of year. In March, you start seeing beautiful spring-themed menus in countless restaurants, hotels and cafes in Tokyo. Though it’s impossible to list them all, here are a few that we like and recommend.
Cherry blossom-themed bento box and dessert plate at Odakyu Hotel Century Southern Tower
The Odakyu Century Southern Tower is just a 3-minute walk from the South Exit of Shinjuku Station. At the Lounge South Court, you can enjoy a full plate of sweet and savory Japanese desserts, named ‘Ichi-go ichi-e’ – a Japanese expression meaning “once in a lifetime unique chance”, as well as a pun on “ichigo”, meaning strawberry. For those who want a safe, indoors hanami experience without having to avoid big crowds, you can book the party room in the Southern Tower Dining where a delicious seasonal variety bento box and a birds-eye view of Shinjuku Gyoen await.
You can also see the menu on Hotel Century Southern Tower Instagram page.
When: Mar 1 to May 31, 2021
Ristorante Machiavelli Spring Menu
As is the case with many high-end restaurants, at Ristorante Machiavelli, lunch and dinner courses, as well as the ala carte menu, change depending on the season. Their spring menu started on March 3, integrating ingredients such as the ‘Sakura Kajiki’, or the sakura-smoked Marlin.
When: Mar 3 – June 1, 2021
The Jones Café & Bar Takeout Box
Head to the New York style eatery The Jones Café & Bar for their Hanami Takeout Box, which is filled with everything cherry blossom, from sakura-smoked ham to sakura-flavored smoothie and salad. Take the hanami experience home or head to a nearby park for a little picnic when the sun is out.
You can reserve The Jones Ohanami To Go from here.
When: Mar 22 – Apr 11, 2021 (pickup time: 12:00 – 17:00 *please order at least an hour before your planned pickup time.)
Shinjuku Gyoen Cherry Blossom Viewing and Photo Exhibition
Every spring, Shinjuku Gyoen becomes one of the most popular cherry blossom-viewing sites for Tokyoites. This year, although the park has been closed for a while in order to prevent the outbreak of COVID-19, its doors will open to a limited number of people for a safe hanami experience. Advance reservation is required, and the viewing period is until April 25. Also open for visitors is an exhibition showcasing the winning works of the 2021 Shinjuku Gyoen Photo Contest.
Cherry blossom viewing: Mar 23 – Apr 25, 2021
Photo exhibition: Mar 23 – Apr 18, 2021
Know of anything exciting coming up in Shinjuku soon? Anything to add to the list? Send us tips at [email protected]
To read more about what’s new in Shinjuku, or all around Tokyo, Yokohama, Kamakura, during this month, check out TW’s other articles: