Now I know at this point you’re probably a little tired of hearing about all the wards within Tokyo. However, the Shibuya ward is definitely one worth visiting and learning more about. There is certainly enough to see and do in Tokyo to last you at least a month, but if you can just take a single day out of your trip to visit Shibuya, you definitely won’t regret it.
You may be surprised to hear that Shibuya is actually right below Shinjuku so if you’re going to one, the other will be just a couple minutes away! This means that Shibuya also houses the busiest station in the world; the southern half of Shinjuku Station and its very own Shibuya Station. Shibuya is another major commercial and business center within Tokyo, which is a major contributor to the busyness of the two stations, and it is well known for both its fashion shops and nightlife. The ward got its name from the Shibuya family that lived there throughout the Edo period. Once the Yamanote Line opened in 1885, Shibuya began to develop into what it is today.
Top Places To Visit
Looking for a place to relax but still wanting to experience the metropolis that is Tokyo? Scramble Crossing is one of the most iconic locations within Tokyo and you can see upwards of 1,000 people crossing at one time. Crossing lines go across each of the four streets plus another right across the main intersection. While you probably don’t want to stand around due to how crowded it is, there is a Starbucks Coffee right above Tsutaya and the large glass windows, along with a delicious cup of coffee, make for the perfect place to experience this landmark. People watching is always a fun pastime.
If shopping is on your list of things to do, or you’re just interested in casually walking down a busy street, then Center Gai is the ideal place to do just that! There is so much to see and do here including food, clothing stores, karaoke, and tons of other unique shops. Shops range in price from cheap to expensive so there is something for everyone. Even if shopping isn’t on your list of things to do, just walking down this pedestrian only area is an absolute must if you’re in Shibuya.
This park is absolutely beautiful with multiple cherry blossom trees, ponds, and seating areas to help you enjoy nature. The park is free to enter and they have a multitude of events for you to participate in, but while entry is free the extra cost finds its way into the food. If you can avoid it, don’t buy food in the park as not only is it marked up but only cash is accepted. Nevertheless, this is a great spot to just stop and get away from the hustle and bustle of the city for even a couple minutes.
The ultimate souvenir shop is the perfect nickname for this next location. Ranging from kitchen supplies, to candy, and traditional souvenirs; this place has it all. It is considered a discount store so expect it to be both a bit cramped and condensed (in regards to the merchandise), but you’ll find some amazing deals here. The best part though is that no matter how long it takes you to make your way over to this store, it’ll always be open. Open 24 hours a day and with a total of 7 floors, I wish you the best of luck in not spending at least an hour or two here.
As mentioned earlier, Shibuya is well known for its nightlife and there are plenty of clubs around that helped give it this reputation. Most of these clubs are located around Love Hotel Hill (for obvious reasons…) and while they may look small from the outside, they’re predominantly built underground and can extend for several floors. This is because they’re built in residential areas so to avoid bothering local residents, clubs were built down rather than up. A few great clubs are: Vision, Womb, Atom, Harlem, and Asia. If you visit this area during the day, don’t expect the streets to be busy but at night it’s completely packed.
For those of you who are both old enough to drink and enjoy drinking, Nonbei Yokocho street is the perfect place for you. It’s composed of a bunch of small bars that line the length of the street. Unlike what you might expect from a typical bar, each of these skinny bars can only fit between 4-6 people so if you’re coming with a group of friends you might have to wait a bit for a spot to open up. This place is aimed a lot more at locals rather than tourists, and combined with the fact that they’re all locally owned, the prices are very reasonable.
Shibuya really has a ton to offer, both during the day and late into the night. While the amount of activities available to you will depend on whether or not you’re a fan of nightlife, there is something for everyone. The area is undergoing major redevelopment until 2028 so expect to see a lot of fun new places open up in the coming years. If you ever find yourself in Tokyo, stopping by Shibuya is a must.