Nestled in the heart of Tokyo, Shibuya is one of the most vibrant and bustling neighborhoods in Japan. Known for its iconic scramble crossing and a thriving entertainment scene, Shibuya offers an abundance of activities and attractions for both locals and tourists alike. From shopping and dining to cultural experiences and nightlife, this district has something for everyone. In this article, we’ll explore the 20 best things to do in Shibuya, ensuring you make the most of your visit to this dynamic neighborhood.
A visit to Shibuya wouldn’t be complete without experiencing the famous Shibuya Crossing. Located just outside Shibuya Station, this pedestrian scramble is one of the busiest in the world. Watch as throngs of people cross from all directions, creating a mesmerizing spectacle of organized chaos. For the best view, head to the Starbucks on the second floor of the Tsutaya building, where you can enjoy a coffee while taking in the iconic scene.
Center Street (Center Gai)
Center Street, known as Center Gai by the locals, is a bustling shopping street lined with a plethora of trendy boutiques, restaurants, and cafes. It’s the perfect place to shop for fashionable clothing, accessories, and souvenirs. Explore the vibrant atmosphere, indulge in street food, and immerse yourself in Tokyo’s youth culture.
Hachiko, the loyal Akita dog, is a symbol of unwavering loyalty and devotion. Visit the bronze statue of Hachiko located just outside Shibuya Station. This heartwarming statue commemorates the story of the faithful dog who waited for his owner at the station every day, even after his owner’s passing. It’s a touching testament to the bond between humans and animals.
Escape the bustling city streets and find tranquility in Yoyogi Park, a large green oasis nestled between Shibuya and Harajuku. Stroll through lush gardens, have a picnic, or simply relax under the shade of the trees. The park is also a popular spot for hanami (cherry blossom viewing) during spring, when the cherry trees burst into bloom with vibrant pink and white blossoms.
Adjacent to Yoyogi Park, the Meiji Shrine is a serene and spiritually significant Shinto shrine dedicated to Emperor Meiji and Empress Shoken. Wander through the towering Torii gate and lush forested pathways, take part in traditional rituals, and soak in the tranquil atmosphere.
Cat Street, a trendy shopping area connecting Shibuya and Harajuku, is a haven for fashion enthusiasts. This charming street is home to a variety of boutique shops, vintage stores, and concept shops. Whether you’re looking for unique fashion pieces or simply want to enjoy the vibe, Cat Street has something for you.
Shibuya 109 is a famous department store catering to young women looking for the latest fashion trends. With multiple floors of clothing, accessories, and beauty products, it’s a must-visit for fashion-forward shoppers. Discover the latest in Japanese street fashion and immerse yourself in the trendy culture of Shibuya.
Venture into the nearby Harajuku district and explore Takeshita Street, an iconic and vibrant shopping street known for its quirky and eccentric fashion. Discover shops selling kawaii (cute) clothing, accessories, and unique snacks. Takeshita Street is also a hub for cosplay enthusiasts, making it a fascinating place to people-watch.
Shibuya Parco is a multi-story shopping complex that’s a hotspot for fashion, art, and culture. It houses a wide range of stores, including high-end fashion boutiques, art galleries, and trendy cafes. Don’t miss the rooftop garden, which offers panoramic views of the Shibuya skyline.
For a breathtaking view of Tokyo’s skyline, head to the Shibuya Sky observation deck, located atop the Shibuya Scramble Square building. From this vantage point, you can witness the mesmerizing Shibuya Crossing from above, and on clear days, you’ll even spot iconic landmarks like Tokyo Tower and Mount Fuji in the distance.
Shibuya Excel Hotel Tokyu’s Cross Hotel
Enjoy a luxurious dining experience at the Shibuya Excel Hotel Tokyu’s Cross Hotel. The restaurant offers a splendid panoramic view of Shibuya Crossing, and you can savor delicious Japanese and international cuisine while watching the hustle and bustle below.
Hikarie is a modern shopping and entertainment complex in Shibuya that showcases the latest trends in fashion, art, and design. Browse through a diverse range of stores, catch an art exhibition, or dine in one of the many restaurants. The building also features a theater and an observation deck, offering unique perspectives of Shibuya.
Experience the quintessential Japanese pastime of karaoke at Karaoke Kan. Gather your friends and reserve a private room, where you can sing your heart out to a vast selection of songs in various languages. It’s a fantastic way to have fun and bond with friends or even make new ones.
Explore Shibuya’s Culinary Scene
Shibuya boasts an array of culinary delights. From street food stalls serving takoyaki (octopus balls) and yakitori (grilled skewers) to upscale dining establishments offering sushi, ramen, and tempura, there’s something to satisfy every palate. Be sure to try Shibuya’s famous “shibuya toast” at one of the local cafes, a sweet treat topped with ice cream and various toppings.
Learn About Street Art
Shibuya is home to some impressive street art and murals that showcase the neighborhood’s artistic flair. Take a leisurely walk around Shibuya and discover colorful and thought-provoking artworks adorning walls and buildings, each telling a unique story.
Shibuya Loft is a multi-floor store that’s a treasure trove of eclectic items. From stationery and household goods to quirky gadgets and souvenirs, you’ll find a wide range of unique products that make for great keepsakes or gifts.
Visit the Bunkamura
The Bunkamura is an art and culture complex in Shibuya that hosts a variety of events, including theater performances, art exhibitions, and live music concerts. Check the schedule to see if there are any performances or exhibitions that pique your interest during your visit.
Experience Shibuya Nightlife
Shibuya comes alive at night with a vibrant nightlife scene. Explore the countless bars, nightclubs, and entertainment venues, many of which stay open until the early morning hours. Shibuya’s nightlife offers an opportunity to dance the night away, sip on craft cocktails, and make memories that last a lifetime.
Catch a Live Music Show
Shibuya is a hub for live music, with numerous venues showcasing both local and international talent. Check out iconic venues like Shibuya O-East and WWW, where you can catch live performances by emerging and established artists spanning various genres.
Take a Day Trip
While Shibuya itself offers an abundance of activities, it’s also conveniently located for day trips to other parts of Tokyo or nearby cities. Consider exploring nearby areas like Harajuku, Omotesando, or Shinjuku, each offering its own unique charm and attractions.
Shibuya is undeniably one of Tokyo’s most vibrant and exciting neighborhoods, offering a wide range of activities and experiences. Whether you’re fascinated by its iconic scramble crossing, eager to explore its shopping districts, or looking to immerse yourself in its cultural and artistic offerings, Shibuya has something for every traveler. With its rich blend of tradition and modernity, Shibuya promises an unforgettable adventure in the heart of Tokyo. So, pack your bags and get ready to explore the 20 best things to do in Shibuya on your next visit to Japan.
Before concluding our exploration of the 20 best things to do in Shibuya, here are a few more recommendations to enhance your visit to this captivating neighborhood:
Shibuya Ward Office Observation Deck
For a less crowded but equally stunning view of Shibuya, visit the Shibuya Ward Office Observation Deck. It offers a unique perspective of the city, allowing you to appreciate the urban landscape from a different angle.
Shibuya Mark City
Shibuya Mark City is a shopping and dining complex adjacent to Shibuya Station. Explore its many stores, including a variety of fashion boutiques and restaurants. It’s a convenient place to shop and dine before or after your Shibuya adventures.
Cat Cafés and Themed Cafés
Tokyo is famous for its themed cafés, and Shibuya is no exception. You can find cat cafés, owl cafés, and various other unique establishments where you can enjoy coffee or tea while interacting with adorable animals.
Shibuya Ward Cultural Center Owada
Check out the Shibuya Ward Cultural Center Owada, which often hosts cultural events, workshops, and exhibitions. It’s a great opportunity to learn more about Japanese arts and traditions.
Shibuya Stream is a modern complex with shops, offices, and restaurants. It’s also home to the Hikarie Hall, a venue for various cultural events and performances. Explore this futuristic structure and enjoy the ambiance along the Shibuya River.
Shibuya Public Toilets
Shibuya made headlines with its innovative public toilets designed by renowned Japanese architect Shigeru Ban. These transparent public restrooms offer an unusual but fun experience and are a conversation piece in themselves.
Shibuya Historical Museum
Delve into Shibuya’s history at the Shibuya Historical Museum. Learn about the neighborhood’s transformation from a farming village to a bustling urban hub through interactive exhibits and displays.
Souvenir Shopping at Shibuya Loft
Shibuya Loft isn’t just for quirky gadgets; it’s also an excellent place to shop for unique and stylish Japanese souvenirs to bring back home.
Shibuya Street Fashion
Shibuya is known for its street fashion, and you’ll spot many locals showcasing their unique styles. Feel free to express your own fashion sense while exploring the district – it’s a place where self-expression is celebrated.
Attend Local Festivals and Events
Keep an eye on local festivals and events happening in Shibuya during your visit. From traditional celebrations to modern cultural festivals, you might stumble upon a vibrant event that adds an extra layer of excitement to your trip.
In conclusion, Shibuya is an incredibly dynamic and multifaceted district in Tokyo, offering an array of activities and experiences for travelers of all interests. Whether you’re drawn to its iconic landmarks, shopping districts, culinary delights, or vibrant nightlife, Shibuya never fails to impress.
From crossing the world-famous Shibuya Scramble to exploring the serenity of Meiji Shrine and indulging in shopping sprees along Center Street and Takeshita Street, there’s always something captivating to do in this lively neighborhood. Don’t forget to immerse yourself in the local culture, savor delicious Japanese cuisine, and explore the unique and unexpected gems that make Shibuya a must-visit destination.
As you embark on your journey to discover the 20 best things to do in Shibuya, keep an open mind and embrace the spirit of adventure. Whether you’re a first-time visitor or a seasoned traveler, Shibuya promises an unforgettable experience that will leave you with lasting memories of Tokyo’s vibrant heart. So, plan your itinerary, soak up the energy of Shibuya, and enjoy every moment in this iconic Japanese neighborhood.