[Permanent Edition] 20 Can’t-Miss Things to Do in Shibuya, Tokyo
Shibuya is always at the forefront of fashion. Fashion-conscious young people gather in this trendy district, and it's bustling from morning until night. As far as classic sightseeing spots in Tokyo go, Shibuya is not to be skipped. So, here are 20 of the best places you definitely shouldn't miss when you visit Shibuya.
- About Shibuya
- Take a Memorable Photo in Front of the Statue of the Faithful Dog Hachiko
- Cross the Famous Shibuya Scramble Crossing
- View the Scramble Crossing from MAGNET by SHIBUYA109
- Experience the Latest Fashions for Young People at SHIBUYA109
- Enjoy Gourmet Food at Shibuya Stream
- Shop For Items You Can Only Find in Japan at Tokyu Hands
- Walk Around the Unique Spain-zaka Area
- Stroll Around Shibuya Center Gai
- Shop at Shibuya Hikarie
- Eat Ramen at the Popular Shibuya Restaurant, Ramen Hayashi
- Savor Perfect Sushi at Umegaoka Sushi no Midori
- Take a Rest at Hotel KOE Tokyo
- Look for Souvenirs at MEGA Don Quijote
- Get in Touch with Japanese Music at Tower Records
- Enjoy Shopping, Karaoke, and Gourmet Dining at Shibuya MODI
- Stroll Down Cat Street
- Appreciate Art at Bunkamura
- Savor Meat Dishes at Shibuya Niku Yokocho
- Eat the World's Most Intense Matcha Gelato at Nanaya
- Mingle with the Locals at Nonbei Yokocho
Shibuya, a town constantly at the forefront of fashion, gourmet cuisine and music, is one of Tokyo's classic sightseeing areas. Shibuya is not just for fashion-aware youth, however. In recent years it has also been a destination for many international visitors. Since, it's also close to famous sightseeing spots like Shinjuku and Harajuku, you should definitely visit these spots together. Here are some places where you can experience all kinds of enjoyment, from shopping and fine dining to other fun experiences.
Take a Memorable Photo in Front of the Statue of the Faithful Dog Hachiko
The name Hachiko has been heard around the world. You might have heard the moving story about the faithful dog, Hachiko, who waited in front of Shibuya Station for his deceased owner to come home for about 10 years. A bronze statue of Hachiko now stands out front of Shibuya Station. He has become a symbol of Shibuya, and this is the place you should start your visit to Shibuya. How about taking a photo with him to commemorate your visit?
Cross the Famous Shibuya Scramble Crossing
Shibuya's Scramble Crossing is famous around the world. The moment the lights turn green, a large crowd crosses over the road at once. It is also known as the world's busiest crossing. There can be up to 3,000 people crossing at a time. The highlight is seeing a big crowd crossing the road, but more than that, it's interesting to watch people crossing nimbly without bumping into anyone, despite there being that many people crossing. A lot of people come to Shibuya just to see this phenomenon! When you cross you have to pay attention not just to the person in front of you, but also the ones next to you, or you might run into someone. Come see this sight you can only see in Shibuya, but be sure to pay attention to your surroundings!
View the Scramble Crossing from MAGNET by SHIBUYA109
You can get a full view of Shibuya's famous Scramble Crossing from above at the observation deck called CROSSING VIEW at the commercial building MAGNET by SHIBUYA109 near the station. From this vantage point you have this famous view all to yourself. The joys of crossing the scramble aren't the same as the joys of viewing it from above.
Entry fee: 300 JPY (cash only)
*Purchase your ticket at the ticket machine on the rooftop.
*Depending on the weather the observation deck may be closed.
Experience the Latest Fashions for Young People at SHIBUYA109
SHIBUYA109 boasts unwavering popularity as a shopping destination in Shibuya. Being the place of origin for youth fashion, fashion-conscious young people flock to SHIBUYA109. You might be wondering what on earth is trendy here in Japan. Well, here you can experience the forefront of Japanese youth fashion. The 109 sign is a landmark in itself.
Enjoy Gourmet Food at Shibuya Stream
Shibuya Stream is a complex that opened in 2018, complete with offices, hotel, "activity court", shops, cafes, restaurants, concert hall and more. There are 30 stores in total in the cafe and restaurant area. There are abundant options for gourmet dining, such as Japanese, Spanish, and Italian cuisines. If you want to have a meal in Shibuya, then make your way to Shibuya Stream.
Shop For Items You Can Only Find in Japan at Tokyu Hands
Tokyu Hands carries house wares, cosmetics, stationery, and all kinds of other items. This store is so popular that any Japanese person can probably tell you they've been shopping here at least once, and recently, it has been gaining attention from international visitors as well. That's because you can get your hands on items that really have a Japanese feeling to them. From items with a Mt. Fuji motif, to stationery chock full of Japanese wisdom and even traditional handicrafts, this place has tons of items that would make the perfect souvenir of your trip to Japan. If you're looking for souvenirs in Shibuya, get yourself to Tokyu Hands!
Walk Around the Unique Spain-zaka Area
In a corner of Shibuya, is a gently sloping hill road with a southern European motif, called Spain-zaka (Spanish hill). The atmosphere here is as if you have suddenly been transported from the streets of Shibuya to southern Europe. The street is lined with many stores, including restaurants, general goods stores, and apparel stores. The road is narrow, but is overflowing with the charm of this gathering of stores that exude individuality. How about taking a lazy stroll here as you enjoy what this street has to offer?
Stroll Around Shibuya Center Gai
The main street of Shibuya is Shibuya Center Gai. Starting with restaurants and apparel stores, all kinds of businesses are gathered here, including record and video game stores. The street has even gained popularity as a gathering place for young people. You're bound to experience Shibuya's many charms if you walk down Shibuya Center Gai.
Shop at Shibuya Hikarie
Shibuya Hikarie was created as a complex which transmits the latest information on various topics, including lifestyle, culture, and film. This is a place of origin for fashion, and is bursting with attractions you could only expect to find in Shibuya such as the various events that are held here and its space that displays the works of up-and-coming artists and more. There are also many stores and restaurants here, so it's a recommended place to go shopping and have a gourmet meal. You're sure to catch the latest news at Shibuya Hikarie.
Eat Ramen at the Popular Shibuya Restaurant, Ramen Hayashi
If you're going to eat ramen in Shibuya, make it Ramen Hayashi. Here you can eat soy sauce-based ramen that's made even better with the umami flavors of seafood and chicken. If it's your first time here, keep it simple and try the ordinary ramen for 800 JPY (incl. tax). The specialty soup, which represents only the flavor of pure ingredients without the use of chemical seasonings like MSG, is a masterpiece you should try at least once in your life. They are only open for business for 4 hours each day (11:30 am - 3:30 pm), and sometimes they will close the shop if they run out of soup. Make sure you get here early if you want to eat this delicious ramen!
Savor Perfect Sushi at Umegaoka Sushi no Midori
At Umegaoka Sushi no Midori you can try fresh sushi while in Shibuya. Fresh seafood is procured daily, and rice and seaweed sourced from Japan that complements the seafood well are used, so you can enjoy delicious sushi despite being in the midst of a major city. Also, the sushi vinegar, which is vital to sushi, contains Midori's secret recipe vinegar, so it's not just the seafood that's special here, all the other ingredients have received the utmost attention. If you want to try a variety of seafood, you should order the super special selection nigiri with chawan mushi and a mini kani miso salad for 2,000 JPY (excl. tax). If you're going to eat sushi in Shibuya, head to Umegaoka Sushi Midori!
Take a Rest at Hotel KOE Tokyo
Hotel KOE Tokyo is not just a hotel, it's a joint establishment with shops, restaurants and event spaces, and it's the talk of the town in Shibuya right now. On the first floor is the bakery-restaurant produced by a famous Japanese chef, which has a line-up of exquisite breads and pastries that you should try at least once in your life. If you get a little tired of walking around, stop by hotel koe tokyo and pass a few hours at your leisure.
Look for Souvenirs at MEGA Don Quijote
At MEGA Don Quijote you will find a wide range of reasonably priced items, including homewares, electronics and cosmetics. Affectionately known as "Donki", Don Quijote's target market is young people, while MEGA Don Quijote is aimed at a target market which includes families and older people. As the number of items is huge and reasonably priced, this is the perfect spot for some souvenir shopping. Even better is that this store is open 24 hours! This is where you go if you realize that you forgot to buy souvenirs.
Get in Touch with Japanese Music at Tower Records
Tower Records has set up shop in locations around the world. The first store opened in Japan in 1980. The next year, the first large-scale Tower Records was created in Shibuya. Japan has a broad music market and high interest in music. As though leading the way for that market in Japan, Tower Records has been selling large numbers of records since its opening and is still continuing now. Even now, it attracts many customers as a place where you can listen to the latest hits or a rare record. Come to Tower Records to catch a glimpse of Japan's music scene.
Enjoy Shopping, Karaoke, and Gourmet Dining at Shibuya MODI
Experience the many joys of shopping, karaoke, gourmet cuisine and more at Shibuya MODI. From current fads to high-end labels, this is a highly unique gathering of fashion stores. There are also large karaoke rooms, so you can enjoy singing to your heart's content. If you start to get hungry after all that singing, take a little break at one of the many cafes and restaurants. There are trendy cafes and even a cheese specialty store that cheese lovers won't be able to resist.
Stroll Down Cat Street
Cat Street is the promenade that connects Shibuya to Harajuku. This street continues for about a kilometer and the way is lined with unique clothing stores, second-hand shops, popular brand stores and trendy cafes. In complete contrast to Shibuya's bustling image, you can leisurely walk down this street and pass the time quietly. Because of the gathering of trendy stores here, it has become a prominent stylish area in Tokyo so it is a popular street for fashion-conscious people to gather. You might be able to enjoy some people-watching as you walk down the street!
Appreciate Art at Bunkamura
In 1989, Bunkamura was created as Japan's first large-scale complex of cultural facilities. Inside the facility, including places to enjoy the arts, such as a concert hall, theater, art gallery and film gallery, there are also cafes and stores. Shibuya is not only famous as the origin of fashion in Japan, it is also a place where you can enjoy art and culture. At the art gallery you can appreciate the beautiful works of international artists. It can be nice to get away from the hustle and bustle of the city and experience art and culture too.
Savor Meat Dishes at Shibuya Niku Yokocho
Shibuya Niku Yokocho is a location that meat lovers won't be able to resist. It is a gathering of restaurants that specialize in meat dishes. There are several places in Japan called "niku yokocho" where you can get gourmet meat dishes, but Shibuya Niku Yokocho is gaining popularity as the biggest in the country. There are 28 restaurants here in total. There is an abundant variety of offerings here, from restaurants where you can eat luxurious high-quality wagyu beef, to those offering somewhat unique meat sushi. After sightseeing all day you'll be tired, so recharge your energy with some tasty meat dishes.
*not open for lunch
Eat the World's Most Intense Matcha Gelato at Nanaya
At Nanaya, you can eat the world's most intense matcha-flavored gelato. Originally, Nanaya opened in Shizuoka prefecture, which is a famous tea-producing area in Japan. Several years later it landed in Tokyo, and is now gaining attention as a spot where you can experience rich matcha gelato. There are 7 different intensities of matcha on offer, the larger the number, the more intense. Number 7 boasts to be the most intense in the world. This is a gourmet matcha specialty that matcha lovers should try at least once in their life! There are also flavors like chocolate and black sesame, so no need to worry if you're traveling with someone who doesn't like matcha.
Mingle with the Locals at Nonbei Yokocho
Nonbei Yokocho is a drinking alley where even now the atmosphere of old Japan remains. In total, there are 38 establishments here, where you can enjoy, sake, wine, and even some exceptional meals made using fresh produce. Nonbei Yokocho is frequented by many Japanese people, so you can partake in some international exchange with them while you drink. While Shibuya flourishes as a town for young people, it also happens to have a deep side for those among us that are more grown up. Finish off your trip by enjoying a drink while immersing yourself in the memories of sightseeing in Shibuya at Nonbei Yokocho.
Now that you've read about these recommended sightseeing spots in Shibuya, were there any that caught your eye? Shibuya is constantly evolving as Japan's fashion capital, but beyond that it holds art culture in high regard, which is one of the things attracting the many people who visit. Make sure that when you visit Shibuya you use this article as your guide to get the most fun out of your experience.
*Please note that the information in this article is from the time of writing or publication and may differ from the latest information.
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