Central Tokyo

Shibuya Sightseeing Guide

Central Tokyo > Shibuya Ward > Shibuya

Shibuya encapsulates the stereotypical image of Tokyo better than any other area. No self-respecting travel documentary would dare broadcast an episode on Tokyo without at least one scene showing Shibuya’s crowds or the neon signs at night. Walk out of the Hachiko Exit of JR Shibuya Station and you will be faced with swarms of young trendsetters, bright screens, noise from just about every direction, and the famous scramble crossing—reputedly the world’s busiest. Whatever your interests, Shibuya is unmissable for visitors to Tokyo.

Like Shinjuku, Shibuya suffered heavily in the air raids of 1945. The ruins were prime bartering grounds for street hawkers and black market stalls in the immediate post-war era. In the 1950s it was—rather fittingly for an area that today seems the epicenter of commerce—the department stores that led the redevelopment of the area: Tokyu Department store (est. 1954), Tokyu Bunka Kaiken (est. 1957; now Hikarie), and Tokyu Building (est. 1965; now Tokyu Plaza). As the 1970s and 1980s brought in dramatic shifts in the attitudes and wants of youth culture, Shibuya found itself at the center of it all—a position it still holds today.

Shibuya in 1952. Hachiko's statue can be seen to the bottom left of the photograph.

Shibuya in 1952. Hachiko’s statue can be seen to the bottom left of the photograph.

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JR Shibuya Station is one of the major hubs of Tokyo and on the Yamamote Line.

Things to Do & See in Shibuya

Shopping in Shibuya

Shibuya 109

The Shibuya 109 department store has been leading the way in female fashion for the under 30s for the best part of four decades. Nowadays, it is associated with the gyaru (“girl”) sub-culture which sees young women dye their hair and attach fake eyelashes in search of an alternative Barbie-look.

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Walk out of the Hachiko Exit of JR Shibuya Station and towards the crossing. You will be able to see the distinct tubular building in the middle-distance (“Shibuya 109” is written in neon lights at the top)

Hours

10:00-21:00

Tokyo Hands

This self-styled “Creative Life Store” aims to be a one-stop shop for all your retail needs and desires. The Shibuya branch is spread out over eight floors and sells everything from tents and camping gear to electronic beer dispensers and goldfish. Free WiFi is available in store and there are computers for customers to use in the cafe on the top floor. Each step on the staircase lets you know how many calories you’ve burnt so you can feel good while you spend.

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Walk out of the Hachiko Exit of JR Shibuya Station and Tokyu Hands is about a 10-minute walk through Center Gai

Hikarie

Hikarie is a 34-floor skyscraper completed in 2012. The department store ShinQs occupies B3F to 5F with basement food courts and fashion stores mainly targeting young women. Above there is a restaurant floor, a creative/art space, and a large theatre on 11F-16F (Tokyu Theatre Orb) which shows Western musicals.

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Direct access from Shibuya Station (Exit 15 if arriving on the subway)

Shibuya Mark City

One of Shibuya’s most well-known commercial complexes is home to a shopping mall, a hotel, offices, and more than 70 restaurants. The entrance to the Keio Inokashira Line is on the second floor of the building.

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Directly connected to Shibuya Station via an overhead pass (from where the above picture was taken, by the way). Follow signs for the Inokashira Line

LOFT

LOFT is an urban lifestyle store that sells everything from stationery and watches to health products and kitchenware. It is a superb place if you’re looking for gifts to take back. LOFT does also have branches in other areas of the city (e.g. Ikebukuro, Shinjuku, Yurakucho), but the Shibuya branch is the best.

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5 minutes from the Hachiko Exit of JR Shibuya Station. Head through Center Gai and bear right