Shibuya – The 10 best things to do

Probably just as popular (if not more) as Shinjuku (新宿), Shibuya (渋谷) is another one of Tokyo’s (東京) 23 city wards. And guess what? You can do a lot of things here as well.

Similar to Shinjuku, whenever someone refers to Shibuya, they talk about the big entertainment and shopping area right around Shibuya Station (渋谷駅).

Together, these two build the busiest and most colorful districts of Tokyo, with tons of nightlife and dining opportunities.

Shibuya is often displayed as the ‘center of youth’ because many fashion and entertainment trends originate here.

The district houses a good number of department stores and other shopping centers which we will take a closer look at in just a minute.

 

Optimization all around

As Shibuya is such a dynamic place with loads going on, the local government places high value on making everything perfect.
Thus, some big constructions are under way which are hoped to further optimize the area around Shibuya Station.

A 230-meter-tall skyscraper is being built and some platforms are going to be moved for more convenience. Japan’s (日本) all about their convenience, which will be a topic later when I talk about the Holy Grail called Konbini (コンビニ).

This general redevelopment is scheduled to be finished around 2027.

Now, after this brief introduction, you’ll probably want to know what exactly is to be done here. No worries, I got you covered:

1. Shibuya Crossing

Everybody knows this one. Probably a lot of people who don’t even know the name Shibuya have still seen this in a movie or a photo once.

Giant video screens, huge flashy advertisements all around, and hundreds of people crossing a street simultaneously. That is what makes Shibuya Crossing such a prominent photo or video shooting spot.

Highly recommended for those who want to feel the strong metropolitan vibe of Tokyo and fully realize, just how many people live in this city.

Access

Shibuya Crossing is located just outside of Shibuya Station, reached within a few minutes of walking.

2. Hachiko Statue

It is said that a loyal dog named Hachiko (ハチ公) once waited before Shibuya Station every day in wait for his master, even after said master had passed away.

In his honor, a statue had been built in front of the station. Since, the statue became a very popular and symbolic meeting point.

Access

The statue is even closer to Shibuya Station than the famous crossing.

3. Nonbei Yokocho

This neat little neighborhood shares big similarities with Shinjuku’s Golden Gai. Lots of bars, cafés and restaurants to take a look at.

If you’re hungry and in search of a bite, Nonbei Yokocho won’t let you down.

Access

The area is accessible by foot in around 5 minutes from Shibuya Station.

4. Manga café

Haven’t had enough geek yet back in Akihabara (秋葉原)? Check out one of Shibuya’s Manga cafés where you have a wide variety of manga (漫画) to choose from.

Rent your own cozy booth and read away! In some you can even stay the night and take a shower! Very affordable alternative to a hotel, especially in Shibuya.

Recommended, all-the-more if you’re highly into Manga. 😊

5. Shopping

If you feel like you haven’t found everything you wanted in Shinjuku, Shibuya is your next best bet to go with. Let me give you an overview of the most mentionable stores of this district:

Tokyu

Hours: 10am – 8 pm (Above the station until 9pm (except Sundays))

Tokyu has two department stores in Shibuya: one right above Shibuya Station and one northeast of it. Both stores have at least ten floors and offer all kinds of goodies.

Shibuya Hikarie

Hours: 10am – 9pm

Newly opened in 2012, this complex offers shopping and dining floors as well as a theater.

Besides that, it also has office space in the top floors.

Shibuya 109

Hours: 10am – 9pm

Fashion complex mainly aimed at young women. Over 100 boutiques on 10 floors. Part of the Tokyo Group.

Seibu

Hours: 10am – 9 pm (Sundays and Holidays until 8pm)

9 floors of mainly fashion boutiques, but also has restaurants on the top and bottom. Main competitor to the Tokyu Group.

Marui

Hours: 11am – 9pm (Sundays and Holidays until 8:30pm)

Big branch department store with stores all around Tokyo.
This brand in Shibuya mainly offers fashion products for both men and women.

Parco

Closed since August 2016

Department store with focus on fashion.

The complex is being rebuilt since August 2016 and is scheduled to reopen in 2019.

6. Nightlife

Shibuya offers a great deal of nightlife opportunities. Be it just enjoying a beer at a local pub, partying hard in one of Shibuya’s popular clubs or going to Karaoke with your friends, the possibilities are there.

Embrace the youth that this place is filled with.

7. Center Gai

This area is also very similar to Shinjuku’s Golden Gai. Busy pedestrian zone with loads of shops, boutiques and restaurants. Many fashion trends originate here.

At night, Center Gai gets swarmed by young people spending their night in one of the many clubs or restaurants this area has to offer.

Access

A 5-minute walk from Shibuya Station.

8. Koen Dori

Meaning “park street” in English, this popular shopping street leads up to Yoyogi Park (hence the name).

It houses big department stores like Marui and Parco (Italian word for park).

Access

Around 11 minutes of walking will get you there.

9. Love Hotel Hill

Area with a high density of love hotels of different kinds. Couples can rest here for 2 or 3 hours for around 4,500 Yen (35€/$41; exchange rates as of June 2018) usually. Of course you can also stay the night for around 9,000 Yen (70€/$82) minimum.

Access

You will reach it after 8 minutes by foot.

10. Bunkamura (文化村)

Lit. “Culture village”, this neat place offers a lot of fun things to explore. Here, a theater, 2 cinemas, a museum and shops or restaurants can be found.

Definitely don’t miss this spot.

Shops: 10am – 8pm

Restaurants: 11am – 9:30pm

Museum: 10am – 6pm (Fridays and Saturdays until 9pm)

Access

Just 10 minutes of walking from Shibuya station.

Takeaway

As you can see, every notable thing to see is located very close to Shibuya Station, that’s as convenient as it can be!

Therefore, you really don’t need a lot of time to do most of this list, because you don’t need to spend lots of time moving around in a train or bus.

You can even do quite a few things from both Shibuya and Shinjuku within only one day if you’re hardcore enough. (it only takes about 7 minutes per JR Yamanote line to get to Shibuya from Shinjuku Station (新宿駅), you could even walk there in under an hour if you feel like it.)

And that’s the list! My top 10 in Shibuya. Feel free to add it to your list of things to do in Tokyo, you won’t regret it!

Read on down below for access information.

For now, thank you very much for reading this article. I appreciate every single reader who somehow found his way here.

Share this article with your friends or comment down below if you found it useful!

Look forward to my next article which is going to be about Kyoto’s Ginkaku-ji (慈照寺)!

Cheers!

Access

As already mentioned above, Shibuya is a quick 7-minute ride with the JR Yamanote Line from Shinjuku Station.

From Tokyo Station

Take the Marunouchi Line (Red) to Akasaka-mitsuke Station (赤坂見附駅). From there, change to the Ginza Line (Orange) to Shibuya Station. It takes about 20 minutes total and costs 200 Yen (1,54€/$1.82).

As it is a stop for the JR Yamanote Line, it can be accessed by every major station like Ueno (上野), Ikebukuro (池袋) or Shinagawa (品川).

Please share if you liked it! 🙂

Adventurous-Japan Author

Hi! I'm Daniel and I live in Germany. Passionate lover of everything Japanese. Thank you for reading!

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