A 1-Day Sightseeing Itinerary in Shibuya Perfect for First-Timers!
Shibuya has a plethora of cool shops and popular spots, especially around the famous shopping street, Shibuya Center Gai. The problem is deciding where to start and where to go, but don’t worry! In this article, you will be presented with a 1-day walking tour route that will allow you to efficiently explore shops, restaurants, and tourist spots in Shibuya!
- 1. Start at Shibuya Station in front of Hachiko Statue at 10:00 am right when shops begin to open
- 2. Head to SHIBUYA109, the mecca of young fashionistas – Planned time: 1 hour
- 3. Stroll around Shibuya Center Gai – Planned time: 1 hour
- 4. Lunch at Genki Sushi – Planned time: 1 hour
- 5. Shopping Part 1 – LOFT, one of the largest general store chains in Japan – Planned time: 90 minutes
- 6. Break time at the bakery restaurant inside hotel koe tokyo – Planned time: 1 hour
- 7. Shopping Part 2 – Tokyu Hands, another large general store chain in Japan – Planned time: 90 minutes
- 8. A beefy dinner at Shibuya Niku Yokocho – Planned time: 90 minutes
- 9. Head to Nonbei Yokocho for a 2nd round – Planned time: 1 hour
1. Start at Shibuya Station in front of Hachiko Statue at 10:00 am right when shops begin to open
Hachiko is the name of a real Akita dog that lived in this area in the 1920s. This loyal dog used to wait for his owner to come back from work every day in front of Shibuya Station. Even after his owner died, Hachiko continued coming to the station to wait for him. This story was made into a very famous Hollywood movie, so many people might already know about it. There is a statue of Hachiko in front of Shibuya Station, which has become a landmark of the area for people to meet. The problem is that with all the commotion in the area it can be quite difficult to find Hachiko’s bronze statue, especially because it is not that big. There are 7 different train lines crossing the area, including JR, subway, and private railways, however, the easiest way to access the area where the statue is located is from JR Hachiko Entrance.
2. Head to SHIBUYA109, the mecca of young fashionistas – Planned time: 1 hour
After Hachiko, head to what has got to be the most famous intersection on Earth, the world-famous Shibuya Crossing. A 4-minute walk from here leads you to the iconic SHIBUYA109, a shopping paradise where young fashionistas from all over come to find the latest trends. While walking through the intersection, look for the huge “109” on top of a building - this is the only landmark you will need in order to find SHIBUYA109. Here you will find a multitude of fashion stores selling clothes, shoes, and accessories. The building is the most iconic place selling Japan’s unique KAWAII fashion in Shibuya. If you want to do most of your shopping here, then maybe 60 minutes will not be enough!
* During peak hours, more than 3,000 people walk through Shibuya Crossing on a single green light interval! Be careful not to bump into other pedestrians when looking up to find the landmark.
3. Stroll around Shibuya Center Gai – Planned time: 1 hour
Next, head to Shibuya Center Gai, just a street-crossing away from SHIBUYA109. Crowded with young people of all ages, this is the heart of Shibuya’s youth culture. At the main street, you will find record shops, fashion stores, fast food, and many other restaurants, but it is when you go further into the Dogenzaka area that you start seeing more and more unique stores. The huge general store MEGA Don Quijote and 100 yen shop Daiso are some of the most popular shops among foreign visitors. And now, a short trivia! Did you know that the top grossing Starbucks store in the entire world is located here in Shibuya? The shop lies right at the entrance of Shibuya Center Gai inside bookstore TSUTAYA.
4. Lunch at Genki Sushi – Planned time: 1 hour
You should be getting hungry right around this time. How about some sushi at a side street just around the corner after entering Shibuya Center Gai? Genki Sushi is a famous conveyor belt sushi restaurant chain, however, at the Shibuya branch, sushi reaches your table in a different manner. Use the touch panel to place your order (English, Chinese, and Korean languages available) and the sushi you chose will be brought to your table on a fast track. You should definitely try this restaurant if only to get a taste of their high-tech serving system. Prices range from 108 JPY to 486 JPY (incl. tax) per dish, which is quite reasonable for authentic order made sushi. Take the opportunity to eat to your heart’s content!
5. Shopping Part 1 – LOFT, one of the largest general store chains in Japan – Planned time: 90 minutes
Featuring 7 floors specialized in different goods, LOFT offers a wide variety of products which not only look great, but also have amazing practical use, such as watches, accessories, health-related goods, household items, everyday commodities and, last but not least, stationery supplies. Whether you are always on the search for ways to make your lifestyle more comfortable and stylish or simply want to find some different gifts and souvenirs from Japan, LOFT is the place for you! At the Japanese Souvenir section on the first floor, you will find a great lineup of fantastic Made in Japan products procured from all over the country. You shouldn't miss this floor if you are looking for an exquisite memento of your trip. Time flies here even if you are just window shopping!
6. Break time at the bakery restaurant inside hotel koe tokyo – Planned time: 1 hour
Walk around 3 minutes up the sloped Koen street after exiting LOFT and your eyes will immediately be drawn to a glass-fronted building. This is hotel koe tokyo, a multi-complex building designed by a creative team of national and international collaborators that fuses lodging, fashion, music, and food in one single place. Here you can take a break from all the walking at the bakery restaurant "koe lobby" located on the first floor. The baguettes here are to die for, which is no wonder since the restaurant was conceived under the tutelage of a French cuisine chef from a famous restaurant situated in Shibuya's Daikan-yama area. Wi-Fi and power outlets are available at some of the tables, too!
7. Shopping Part 2 – Tokyu Hands, another large general store chain in Japan – Planned time: 90 minutes
Next stop is Tokyu Hands, another one of Japan’s largest general stores. There is a huge diversity of products available here including stationery supplies, camping goods, bicycles, accessories, hobby craft items, leather craft supplies, kitchen utensils, and much more. There are also accessory making workshops and product demonstrations! From top to bottom there are 9 floors for you to browse through, so keep an eye on the clock if you are determined to finish your shopping with the allotted 90 minutes! Checking beforehand which floors have the products you are interested in can save you a lot of time.
8. A beefy dinner at Shibuya Niku Yokocho – Planned time: 90 minutes
After all that shopping and strolling around, you should probably be thinking about what to have for dinner right now, right? Since you already had sushi for lunch, how about steak for dinner? A mere 3-minute walk from Tokyu Hands is Shibuya Niku Yokocho, a sort of “food theme park” with a great variety of restaurants specializing in different types of meat and cooking styles. There are 28 restaurants in total divided into 2 floors. Here you can find steak, yakiniku (Japanese BBQ), yakitori (grilled chicken skewer), local beef from all over Japan, and even sushi made with beef. The smell of meat is so good, you won’t know where to start! The great thing about Shibuya Niku Yokocho is that you can eat a little bit at each store and move on to the next! You can stay longer in a restaurant you fancy, or if you're interested in trying out another shop you can move on and try the food there too - it’s all up to you! Just be careful not to focus too much on the food or you might end up forgetting your shopping bags!
9. Head to Nonbei Yokocho for a 2nd round – Planned time: 1 hour
On the last stop of your 1-day sightseeing walking tour, you leave modern Shibuya behind and step back in time into retro-looking Nonbei Yokocho and its unique drinking places. This drinking alley has its origins in the food stalls opened during the war in a Shibuya that was turned to practically a wasteland. It is a miracle that, with such a prime location close to the station, it avoided the construction frenzy that took place in the following decades and was able to keep its very nostalgic atmosphere. There are 38 bars and izakaya (Japanese pubs) here, some of them with an entrance width less than 2m! Lately, the area has seen an increase in the number of foreign visitors, so you won’t feel out of place here even if you come alone. The official homepage you see below was made by volunteers who are regulars of the area. You'll be able to wrap up your day at this very heartwarming part of Shibuya.
Every spot introduced in this article can be reached within a 5-minute walk so that you can make the most out of your time in Shibuya. Despite being known as a place for young people, there are enough attractions here to entertain people of all ages. From the latest trends in fashion to retro alleys, Shibuya has many spots for you to fully enjoy!
*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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