Shibuya Crossing is a Tokyo icon and a perfect starting point. Located just outside Shibuya Station, this pedestrian scramble sees more foot traffic than any crossing on the planet. Take part in the charge, or sit back and watch from one of the many cafés and restaurants located around the crossing.
Shibuya is the center of youth culture and fashion in Tokyo. Shoppers can find almost anything here, from kimono and high end Western fashions to local street and luxury brands, making Shibuya the place to stock your closet. This is especially true if you include the entire ward, adding Harajuku, Omotesando, and Aoyama to your list.
The bronze memorial of Hachiko, the dog whose loyalty inspired a nation, and the surrounding plaza have become an unofficial meeting place for friends coming together in Shibuya. It is also one of Tokyo’s most popular tourist photo ops. But there are a couple of Hachiko statues scattered around the ward, so keep an eye out during your wanderings and see if you can spot them.
Compared to the area’s other famous features, Shibuya’s music scene is mostly underappreciated by visitors, but is totally worth exploring. The area around Shibuya Station is home to countless live houses and DJ bars. In fact, Udagawacho is home to a particularly famous live music complex, where multiple venues are stacked on top of one another.
Shibuya Ward’s Meiji Shrine is the most visited shrine in Tokyo. The approach to the shrine is carved out of Yoyogi Park, meaning that within minutes, shrine goers are transported from the busy streets of Harajuku, Omotesando, and Shibuya to an ancient forest and are treated to a unique cultural experience.
Akihabara isn’t the only place in Tokyo to get your game face on. Shibuya is home to 24-hour manga cafés, a Village Vanguard, and Mandarake outpost and more arcades than you can count. There’s even a butler café almost completely staffed by foreigners.
Love Hotel Hill
Shibuya’s Dogenzaka, just minutes from Shibuya Station, is famous for its high concentration of love hotels. Love hotels are hotels that cater to couples who need a little privacy; guests can stay for a two-hour “rest” up to a twelve hour “‘stay.” Explore Love Hotel Hill and see if you can find the perfect place to rest up.
By day, Shibuya is a shopper’s paradise. But at night, the city’s youth come out to play. There’s something to suit anyone, from cramped Shōwa-era bars and friendly izakaya to live houses and clubs that stay open almost until the trains start running again at 6am.