Shibuya, without a doubt, is one of the most fascinating districts of Tokyo. Packed with shopping malls, cafes, restaurants, high-end boutiques, record stores, souvenir shops, and nightclubs, the streets of Shibuya are the birthplace of many Japan’s fashion and entertainment trends. With about 3.1 million travelers a day in Shibuya Station, this station is the second busiest in Tokyo after Shinjuku. Shibuya is truly the perfect destination for tourists who are intrigued by Japanese culture.
Located just opposite of the Hachiko statue, this famous intersection gets flooded by hundreds of pedestrians each time the crossing light turns green. This organized chaos image is so infused with Tokyo, making it one of the best photo spots. You can either visit during peak hours (7am-9.30am, and after 5pm) to really experience the vibe, or late night when there are less people crossing these roads, creating a post-apocalyptic feel to Tokyo. Another good viewpoint is the second floor of Starbucks at the Tsutaya bookstore.
Activities : Photo stop Fee : None Time required : 30 minutes
Adapted from the true story of Hachiko, this renowned statue is located just outside Shibuya Station. In 1924, Professor Hidesaburo Ueno took in an Akita inu dog, which he named Hachiko, to live with him in Shibuya. Ueno would commute daily to work, and Hachiko would leave the house to greet him at the end of each day at the nearby Shibuya Station. The pair continued the daily routine until Ueno died at work without ever returning to the train station where Hachiko waited. Each day, for the next 9 years, 9 months and 15 days, Hachiko awaited Ueno’s return, appearing precisely when the train was due at the station. Today his statue stands by in tribute to his faithfulness and loyalty to Ueno. Activities : Photo stop Fee : None Time required : 10 minutes
Center Gai, the heart of Shibuya, is a busy pedestrian zone located just across the scramble crossing. It is the birthplace of many Japanese fashion trends and is almost always crowded with young people, especially at night. This street is lined with restaurants, fast-food chains, record stores, underground venues, and game centers. Shibuya Center Gai is also famous for a variety of restaurants from Japanese, Spanish to French. It is especially highly recommended to experience quality sushi at conveyor belt sushi restaurants at an affordable price from 100 yen.
Activities : Shopping Fee : None Time required : 1-1.5 hours
Spain Slope / Spain-zaka / Spanish Hill
Spainzaka is a narrow 100-meter-long street that runs from the back of Shibuya PARCO Part I Building to Inogashira Street. The sloping street is lined with cafes, clothing shops, restaurants, and shops selling miscellaneous goods with a back-alley valley. The street is named after a Spanish street scene for its resemblance. Its beautiful slopping street is also an Instagrammable hot spot for many.
Activities : Photo stop, shopping Fee : None Time required : 1 hour
Takeshita Street / Takeshita Dori
Well-known and featured in every guidebook, Harajuku’s Takeshita Street (Takeshita-dori) is the center of Japan’s most extreme teenage culture and fashion styles. The 400-meter-long street is lined with interesting fashion boutiques, cafes, crepe stands, idols’ stores, purikura photo booths, and restaurants. Some of the clothing stores are catered to unique fashion called Harajuku style (Sweet Lolita, Gothic Lolita, Visual Kei, Cosplay, Decora, Gyaru, Ganguro, Fairy-kei, Punk Rock Clothing, and so on). Due to the street’s popularity, it becomes extremely busy and crowded, especially on the weekends. Activities : Shopping Fee : None Time required : 1-1.5 hour
Known as Tokyo’s Champs-Elysees, Omotesando is a one-kilometer long, tree-lined avenue located in Shibuya, stretching from the Meiji Shrine entrance to Aoyama Street. This area caters to an older and wealthier clientele than Takeshita Street. It is the second in line in the leading fashion area of Tokyo after Ginza. The street is lined with numerous stores, boutiques, cafes, restaurants, including several leading fashion brand shops. Omotesando is also home to some of the most amazing modern architecture.
Activities : Shopping Fee : None Time required : 1-1.5 hour
Meiji Shrine / Meiji Jingu
There are many shrines in Japan, but only a handful called jingu. This suffix shows that they share a significant connection to the imperial family. Meiji Jingu is a Shinto shrine dedicated to the deified spirits of Emperor Meiji and Empress Shoken, who reigned from 1867 to 1912. They were Japan’s first modern emperor and empress. This sacred space is home to over 100,000 trees and the world’s largest wooden torii with a staggering height of 12 meters and a width of 17.1. Many events take place at Meiji Jingu throughout the year, and it is the perfect place to take part in traditional Shinto rituals, as well as to escape the bustling city of Shibuya. Activities : Photo stop, stroll around Fee : None Time required : 45 minutes
Yoyogi Park / Yoyogi Koen
This popular Tokyo destination is conveniently located next to the famed Meiji Jingu. Compared to other parks that focus on flowers or traditional design aesthetics, Yoyogi Park’s charm lies in its straightforward functionality where people from all walks of life can gather. It features wide-open lawns for picnics, bike paths, cycle rentals, and several gorgeous bodies of water. Yoyogi Park is especially busy when it is used as a gathering place for Japanese rock music fans, jugglers, comedians, martial arts clubs, cosplayers, and other subculture and hobby groups.
Activities : Photo stop, stroll around Fee : None Time required : 45 minutes-1 hour
Miraizaka is a famous izakaya franchise in Japan, best-known for its exquisite fried chicken. Izakaya itself is a casual drinking establishment, where customers order a variety of small dishes that can be shared at the table. Izakaya is a popular spot for friends or coworkers to meet up and wind down after work. In Miraizaka, there are a good number of spaces for large groups. Other than fried chicken, the highly recommended dishes include wakadori, tsukune, and sashimi.
Website : https://miraizaka.com/shibuyadogenzaka/
Gonpachi is renowned all over the world for being a model for the historic “Izakaya Talk” between former President Bush and former Prime Minister Koizumi and the scene of Quentin Tarantino’s “Kill Bill”, both took place at Gonpachi Nishiazabu. This restaurant is also favored by customers for its delectable meals. Using carefully selected ingredients, Gonpachi offers an amazing array of unique and original Japanese menus. Visitors often come to Gonpachi’s Shibuya to enjoy the beautiful Japanese-style interior. Besides, Gonpachi has a vegan and halal menu to choose from. (Image by Gonpachi)
Website : https://gonpachi.jp/shibuya/
The birthplace of many Japan fashion trends and extreme teenage cultures. Harajuku’s Takeshita Dori is within walking distance from Shibuya’s Crossing (about 15 minutes away). Other than boutiques, Harajuku is packed with over a dozen cafes and sweet shops.