Whether you’re planning on staying in Tokyo for a long period of time or spending a few days of that vacation period, there’s one place you absolutely should not miss. You’ve guessed it. It’s the district of Shibuya! Known as the face of entertainment and shopping in all of Japan, Shibuya is no stranger to locals and tourists alike. Let’s go over a few pointers when visiting the area so be sure to grab that pen and paper and be prepared to take some notes!
There are five main exits when leaving Shibuya Station: the Hachiko Gate (Exit No.8), the Miyamasuzaka Exit (Exit No.10), the Central Gate, the East Exit (Exit No.15), and lastly the West Exit. If you’re entering Shibuya Station from a non-JR line, use the exit numbers to help guide you.
The station has a vast underground network that connects itself from the women’s fashion tower “Shibuya 109” all the way to the “Shibuya Hikarie” complex. In between the two buildings is an underground plaza of shops and restaurants in case you get hungry or tired along the way. Directly outside the station’s Hachiko Exit, is the “Tokyu” department store complex. In this nine-floor building, you can find anything from a supermarket to high-end clothes and accessories. The furthest section of the station from the Hachiko Exit is the Shibuya Hikarie high-rise complex. The complex has 13-floors that consist of shops, restaurants, and more!
Train stations in Japan are notorious for confusing visitors. However, there is no need to worry since every sign has an English translation which makes things easier. Don’t forget to ask train station staff for assistance if you need additional help. They will gladly point you in the right direction!
Three words that can describe Shibuya the best is “shopping,” “entertainment” and of course, “dining.” There are endless amounts of stores and outlets to fulfill your fashion desires. If you’re planning on buying clothes or accessories, we suggest you bring an extra bag or two. Entertainment comes in the form of karaoke bars, arcades, movie theaters and even live shows. When it comes to dining, you have a selection of places to sit down and dig in. Whether you’re the sushi-type or maybe even the yakiniku-type, you’re sure to find something for yourself!
Directly outside of the Hachiko Gate exit sits the world famous “Hachiko statue”. Built in August 1948, the statue is recognized to this day as one of the many treasured landmarks in Japan. It is always a popular sight to see for visitors and locals alike.
Most notably one of the busiest intersections in the world, Shibuya “Scramble” is something no other country can copy. Hundreds and sometimes even thousands of people cross this intersection whenever the walk signs turn green. You’re bound to cross this huge intersection at some point during your day in Shibuya. After crossing the street, be sure to check out Center Gai, Shibuya Ekimae and Inokashira Dori.”
An easily recognizable area after immediately crossing the “Scramble,” Center Gai is where you’ll find restaurants, izakayas, bars, shops and clubs within mere walking distance of each other. Although a short pedestrian street, Center Gai is a popular location in Shibuya. Here, most of the customers are young adults and tourists.
Shibuya Ekimae Street
If you’re crossing the Scramble from the station side and look to the left, you will see Shibuya Ekimae street branch off into two roads. At the tip of this point lies the Shibuya 109 women’s department store (Website ||| Facebook ||| Instagram) and is across from the Shibuya 109 Men’s (Website ||| Instagram) store. To the left and right of the 109 store are other clothing shops and a variety of entertainment options.
If you’re crossing the Scramble from the station, look to the right instead. Just when you thought Center Gai and Shibuya Ekimae were a lot to handle, try taking a walk down this street. On Inokashira Dori, you’ll find department stores, luxury brands and the famous Tower Records (Website ||| Facebook ||| Line QR Code) store.
Shibuya Nonbei Yokocho
How about an alleyway full of bars and izakayas that give that “old” Japan feel? Perhaps you’re looking for a place where you can drink to your heart’s content? Nonbei Yokocho or “Drunkard’s Alley” is a part of Shibuya that hasn’t fully converted to match the fast-paced lifestyle of modern Tokyo. For the best experience here, it’s better to come at night!
Located on the Eastern side of the station is the Hikarie complex. The building can be reached either above or below ground. It also has 13-floors of shops to suit your every need. There is even a massive theater on the 11-floor that showcases live Broadway productions. Across the street from the Hikarie complex, you can find “Bic Camera”, a movie theater, arcades and even a Round One entertainment hub.
Konno Hachimangu Shrine
Within the organized and chaotic urban jungle lies a quiet recluse away from the hustle and bustle. Hachimangu Shrine which is next to the Toyosakainari Shrine is a great location to visit for sightseeing as well a taking a break. The nice thing about this shrine is that it’s close to the station and takes only 8-minutes to walk to.
Located between Shibuya and Harajuku is the pedestrian friendly Cat Street. Though named “Cat Street,” this street isn’t about cats at all! Instead, the street is lined with boutiques and cafes which appeal to younger customers. Compared to Harajuku’s “Kawaii” Takeshita-dori, Cat Street offers a simple, darker side. One can even say that it’s the “hipster” version of Takeshita-dori. If you’re someone who enjoys a nice walk while shopping at outlets, then this place is for you.