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Youth paradise Shibuya, Tokyo has a plethora of activities, whether for a thrilling outing or spots to chillax. As one of the most popular spots for foreigners and locals alike, this city is constantly busy. Here are just eighteen great reasons to visit bustling city Shibuya.
One of the most popular areas in the fast-paced life of Tokyo, is Shibuya. Come and experience the hippest urban area in Japan and its many exciting activities.
Iconic landmark Shibuya Crossing or Shibuya Scramble Crossing. Dubbed as the busiest intersection in the world, it has over 2 million pedestrians crossing everyday. Located right outside Shibuya Station, you will definitely join the crowds on Shibuya Crossing when visiting the area. For a perfect view of Shibuya Crossing and its famous “scramble”, visit a cafe in one of the many skyscrapers overlooking the intersection. Note: You may have to wait for a seat though!
For a birds eye view of Shibuya Crossing and the entirety of Tokyo, head on over to the new Shibuya Sky at the top of Shibuya Scramble Square.
230 meters tall, it rises high above the other buildings in Shibuya. Its outdoor observation deck Sky Stage made of glass walls offers a borderless 360° panoramic view of Tokyo. Enjoy the breeze and photograph the sights of Tokyo Tower, Tokyo Skytree, Mount Fuji, and more! And at night, you can overlook the lit-up city of Tokyo and beyond.
For those unfamiliar with the true story of Hachiko, Hachiko was an Akita dog. Hachiko used to pick up his owner, the late Hidesaburo Ueno, from Shibuya Station when the professor returned from work as a lecturer at a local university. After Dr. Ueno passed away from cerebral hemorrhage, Hachiko still kept up their routine, walking alone to Shibuya Station at the time Dr. Ueno would arrive and waiting for his owner’s return. Hachiko is forever a symbol of loyalty and fidelity. In commemoration of his loyal deeds, a bronze statue of Hachiko’s likeness was built at the usual meeting spot of Hachiko and his owner. You’ll see lots of people mingling about waiting for their friends to show up so it may take a little wait to get a picture with Hachiko!
Bunkamura is an entertainment complex providing cultural arts and entertainment appreciation opportunities with showings of live performances, movie screenings, and art exhibitions. In Bunkamura, you can enjoy ballet, concerts, classical music, orchestra performances in their Orchard Hall; drama, kabuki, opera, theatre in the Theatre Cocoon: foreign films in Le Cinema; and art pieces and artifact exhibitions in the Gallery and the Museum. Whilst you’re here, don’t forget to pick up macarons from world-famous Laduree.
If you think that CDs are a thing of the past, then think again! Japan is one of the few countries left that have high sales in physical records of media entertainment, like CDs and DVDs. This is thanks to excellent marketing strategies that gives fans perks when purchasing a CD like special invitations to events and concerts, voting rights to have a particular member of an idol group be the main star in their next single, and more. Tower Records Shibuya is the flagship store in Japan, browse through their large selection of CDs, DVDs, and even vinyl records. Have a break at Tower Records Cafe as you listen to some snazzy tunes.
Art lovers rejoice! Japan has always been renowned as an excellent preserver and restorer of their history, culture, and arts. But Japan is also at the lead when it comes to fashion and art trends, sometimes even creating unique mixtures of traditional and modern art pieces. So why not experience the artistic creations for yourself in some of the art galleries in Shibuya. You can find the Diesel Art Gallery in the basement of their fashion store, Parco Museum Tokyo on the 4th Floor of shopping mall Shibuya Parco, and 8/ on the 8th Floor of Shibuya Hikarie.
They say that nothing beats nightlife in Tokyo. Land of the youth Shibuya, Tokyo is one of the best and busiest places to have a fun and wild nightlife. Here are some of the many that you can pick from.
Opened in 2018, Shibuya Stream has a selection of bars including
Craft Beer Tap
Offers a comprehensive list of bottled and barrelled beers imported from all around the world such as America, United Kingdom, and Germany. They also offer classic food that pairs well with their house specialty fish and chips, smoked spicy fried chicken, grilled sausages, pastas, pizzas and more! This is the perfect spot not just to have a swigger with your mates, but for an afternoon chilling session with your best bros and gals.
The Room Coffee & Bar
Established by DJ owner of highly popular music bar and club The Room, The Room Coffee Bar transforms from a classy music oriented cafe during the day, to a jazzy pleasant bar at night. Perfect for music lovers that just want to music and chill in busy Shibuya.
Japan’s leading nightclub WOMB is no doubt one of the hottest nightclubs to visit not just in Shibuya and Tokyo but all of Japan. This world-class nightclub (I kid you not) as stated on their official homepage has ranked #2 in 2005, #5 in 2008, and #4 in 2009 as rated by Mixmag, a London music magazine. It is so famous that it appeared in the award-winning movie Babel that has won the Academy Award Best Original Score, the BAFTA Best Film Music, Golden Globe Award Best Motion Picture Drama, and more.
If you and your friends would rather go to a quiet upscale bar, then head on over to Bar Mi Casita. It offers a diverse list of alcoholic beverages including wine, beer, cocktails, and hard liquor. Its sleek and sophisticated style is perfect for a last drinking session in Tokyo.
For a change of pace, have a glimpse of traditional Japan during the Showa era at Nonbei Yokocho. With Shibuya embracing modernization, innovation and emerging trends, it is a comfort to locals that Shibuya’s izakaya street remains undisturbed. Here in Nonbei Yokocho, you can experience drinking in traditional Japanese bars and mingle with the locals over beer and sake.
Shibuya has a whole host of shopping malls where you can shop till you drop! High end luxury labels or affordable trendy boutiques, the shopping here caters to all groups of people. Get your credit cards ready for swiping because you won’t be able to resist!
For something unique to take home as a souvenir that screams “Japan” then Tokyu Hands is the place to be! You can find Tokyu Hands all over Tokyo but none as big and variant in goods like the one in Shibuya. Dubbed as a creative goods store, Tokyu Hands stocks creative versions of everyday, common household items. For example, super cute stationery items and paper products for arts and crafts, as well as kitchen goods like cute bento boxes, chopsticks, and cooking utensils to spruce up your kitchen! They also have a large selection of postcards and letter-writing materials if you enjoy the traditional form of communication. It is particularly touching to receive a handwritten letter during this digital age.
Once a sports and skate park, Miyashita Park reopened in 2020 as a low-rise shopping complex with a rooftop park and a hotel tower. The rooftop park is huge, spanning the entire length of the shopping complex. It includes a skating rink, climbing walls, multipurpose sports hall, grassy lawns, and a cafe to grab a drink whilst you enjoy the rooftop view. Miyashita Park is also a great area to experience nightlife; its ground floor called Shibuya Yokocho has 19 restaurants with a shared-seating area so you can try out foods from the different stores. The place gets really busy at night so be prepared to be jostled around whilst you wait for a table to clear out. Don’t forget to visit Kitkat Chocolatory Shibuya on the 2nd Floor for unique flavors that can only be found in Japan.
A famous department store in the area with a huge collection of both local and international brands. It is truly a shopping paradise for young females looking for clothes, shoes, makeup, and accessories. For the budget shoppers, visit during the biggest sales seasons in winter and summer. Don’t forget to visit sister mall Magnet by Shibuya 109 that opened recently in replacement of Shibuya 109 Men. Not only is Magnet a great place to shop for both men and women alike, it also has many restaurants and cafes, as well as a perfect view of Shibuya Scramble Crossing from the rooftop.
With so many eateries available, it’s not surprising you’ll have a headache deciding which one to go to. Other than the ones we’ve already mentioned above, here are some other ideas.
Nanaya Sweet Factory’s bestseller is their matcha gelato ice cream. You can also get other green tea products as souvenirs like chocolate matcha or matcha cream roll.
If you want an afternoon coffee catch-up session with friends, you can visit the Roar Brothers Cafe. This quaint little cafe boasts of many specialty drinks including premium roasted coffee and different flavors of tea!
For a premium high end dining session, enjoy world famous premium grade Kobe beef cooked teppanyaki style. Hakushu has been operating since the 1960s and has won the titles of Best Fine Dining Restaurant on TripAdvisor several times. Be prepared to spend a lot, budget at least 10,000 yen to dine here, it’ll be worth it.
As the name suggests, the Great Burger Stand offers great burgers. Located right in Shibuya Stream, it is a quick and convenient place to drop by to grab lunch when visiting Shibuya, or it would be if not for the long queues due to how popular it is! Offering authentic American burgers, buffalo wings, and beers, it is not surprising that it is popular amongst foreigners living in Tokyo looking for a slice of home. Said to be one of the best burgers in town, this is a must try whenever you have a craving for a good old burger.
Quench your thirst with Lemonade by Lemonica! Handmade fresh lemonade is perfect for a hot day or to rejuvenate after a tiring day of shopping or sightseeing in Shibuya. They offer a selection of not just pure lemonade but variations of this homely neighbourhood drink.
There you go, that’s 18 reasons to visit Shibuya. We hope this article helps you figure out what to do in Shibuya. There’s a lot more we just don’t have the time to cover in this article such as the other shopping malls like Mark City and Tokyu Plaza, the newly opened IKEA with a Swedish restaurant and bistro offering their famous meatballs, Tunnbrod (previously only in IKEA Harajuku), and veggie dogs (Shibuya only), and many other food and shopping options!
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