The lively hub of Shibuya is arguably the youth heart and soul of the city, and unmissable if you’re visiting the Tokyo area. With world-famous sights including the iconic scramble crossing, this area is a must-see for nightlife and trendy youth culture.
The Shibuya area is located directly outside JR Shibuya Station.
The station is served by the Saikyo and Yamanote JR lines, the Metro Ginza and Metro Hanzomon subway lines, and the private Keio Inokashira, Tokyu Den-en-Toshi, and Tokyu Toyoko lines, all of which stop at the station regularly.
Shibuya Station is a famously confusing labyrinth of tunnel networks so pay attention to the signs. If you want an easy to recognize path out or you’re looking for a good meeting spot, head to the Hachiko exit, which is the closest to Shibuya crossing
The village of Shibuya was formed in 1889, having been a castle town since the 11th century
Shibuya extends all the way out to fashion-famous Harajuku and Omotesando
Over 2,500 pedestrians cross Shibuya Crossing every two minutes during peak hours
Unlike the neighboring areas of Aoyama, Harajuku, Omotesando and Ebisu, central Shibuya doesn’t necessarily have a unified culture. With each street as unique as the next, the area is a melting pot of different subcultures, nationalities, and tastes.
As masses of tourists and businessmen surge their way through the crossing and trendy teens spend time in nearby shopping centers, Tokyo's fashion elite and top entertainers weave through the back streets en route to their favorite late-night venues. This melting pot of diverse cultures gives the area a uniquely international feel amidst the bright lights and raucous sounds competing for your attention.
If there was one location that embodied Shibuya it would, of course, be the iconic Shibuya Crossing. An intersection of a number of main streets located in front of the well-trafficked Shibuya Station, this pedestrian walkway is considered the busiest in the entire world.
Outside the world's second-busiest train station, this crossing sees an estimated 1,000-2,500 people pass by every two-minute light change. An exercise in organized chaos, it’s truly a sight to behold. For a nice view of the action, grab a drink in the Starbucks in the QFRONT building and head to the second floor.
When leaving the station from the Hachiko exit you’ll pass the statue of the dog after which the exit is named. This small public square is commonly used as a meeting place, and is watched by a memorial of the Akita-ken dog Hachiko whose story of loyalty and love for his owner became a popular contemporary folk tale after he waited 12 years for his late master to return to their usual meeting spot.
When it comes to mega stores, they don’t get much more mega than the skyscrapers that tower over Shibuya’s busy walkways. Home to a vast selection of different retail outlets, the one thing unifying Shibuya's many stories of varying stores is their mind-boggling size.
From iconic fashion outlets like Shibuya 109 and Uniqlo to oversized lifestyle stores like Don Quixote, Tokyu Hands, and Muji, with countless others lining the streets, if you want to shop for all of Japan's latest and greatest, this is the place to do it.
Tower Records eye-catching red and yellow flagship store is also a great stop for music-lovers eager to discover Japan's newest hits.
Thanks to its cultural diversity, Shibuya is home to a weaving network of unique streets and hidden walkways.
Located behind Hachiko Square is Center Gai, the major pedestrian thoroughfare that runs through Shibuya’s main shopping, entertainment and retail district. Running alongside it is Dogenzaka, the other main street lined with more major shopping, dining and some of Tokyo's best nightclubs like Womb, Club Camelot, and Sound Vision Museum.
There are many other small pockets dotted throughout the immediate area, such as the love hotel district Love Hill and Spain-zaka (Spain Hill), named for its resemblance to winding Spanish steps and overflowing with small shops and restaurants.
Wherever you wind up, you should certainly devote one of your evenings in Tokyo to wandering through Shibuya and seeing everything it offers.