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SHINJUKU, TOKYO, JAPAN

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Shinjuku is one of the 23 special wards of Tokyo, Japan. It is a major commercial and administrative center, housing the busiest train station in the world (Shinjuku Station), and the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building, the administration center for the government of Tokyo.

Surrounding Shinjuku Station are department stores, specialist electronic and camera shops, cinemas, restaurants and bars. Many international hotels are located here.

As of 2008, the ward has an estimated population of 312,418 and a density of 17,140 persons per km². The total area is 18.23 km².

Shinjuku has the highest numbers of registered foreign nationals of any community in Tokyo. As of October 1, 2005, 29,353 non-Japanese with 107 different nationalities were registered in Shinjuku.

In 1634, during the Edo period, as the outer moat of the Edo Castle was built, a number of temples and shrines moved to the Yotsuya area on the western edge of Shinjuku. In 1698, Naitō Shinjuku had developed as a new (shin) station (shuku or juku) on the Kōshū Kaidō, one of the major highways of that era. Naitō was a daimyo whose mansion stood in the area; his land is now a public park, the Shinjuku Gyoen.


Shinjuku began to develop into its current form after the Great Kantō earthquake in 1923, since the seismically stable area largely escaped the devastation. Consequently, West Shinjuku is one of the few areas in Tokyo with many skyscrapers.

The Tokyo air raids from May to August 1945 destroyed almost 90% of the buildings in the area in and around Shinjuku Station. The pre-war form of Shinjuku, and the rest of Tokyo, for that matter, was retained after the war because the roads and rails, damaged as they were, remained, and these formed the heart of the Shinjuku in the post-war construction. Only in Kabuki-cho was a grand reconstruction plan put into action.

The present ward was established on March 15, 1947, with the merger of the former wards of Yotsuya, Ushigome, and Yodobashi.

In 1991, the Tokyo Metropolitan Government moved from the Marunouchi district of Chiyoda to the current building in Shinjuku.

Surrounding Shinjuku are six other wards: Chiyoda to the east; Bunkyo and Toshima to the north; Nakano to the west, and Shibuya and Minato to the south. In addition, Nerima is only a hundred meters away. The highest point in Shinjuku is Hakone Hill, 44.6 m, in Toyama Park east of Takadanobaba and Shin-Okubo stations. The lowest point is 4.2 m in the Iidabashi area.

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