What do you think of when you hear the word Shibuya? It is one of the busiest areas in Japan known for its iconic crossing called “Shibuya Crossing”. More than that, it is also loved and visited by a lot of people of all ages because of its combination of traditional and modern sides. In this article, we will introduce some tourist spots in Shibuya, including not only the latest, fashionable spot but also historical ones which still preserve old Japan memories.
- 1. Start your day at Shibuya station
- 2. Shibuya Crossing
- 3. Hachiko – The famous, loyal Akita dog
- 4. Shibuya Center Gai
- 5. Takeshita Street
- 6. Cat Street
- 7. Meiji Shrine
- 8. Tokyo Camii & Turkish Culture Center
- Don’t forget to check out our private tour!
- Recommended Hotels in Shibuya
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1. Start your day at Shibuya station
Shibuya station has a long history, it has been in operation since 1885 when it started as a stop on the Shinagawa Line, nowadays known as the Yamanote Line. Shibuya station is the second busiest railway station of Tokyo, handling on average 2.4 million passengers each day! The station is operated jointly by East Japan Railway Company (JR East), Keio Corporation, Tokyu Corporation, and Tokyo Metro. With trains operating from early in the morning around 5am until after midnight. In addition, trains come every 2 or 3 minutes and, like every other train in Japan, are very punctual at all times!
2. Shibuya Crossing
First photogenic spot is right in front of the station: Shibuya Crossing. Some people say this is the busiest pedestrian crossing in the world (on average 2,500!! cross the streets at the same time). You can probably imagine it gets really crowded on weekends, and it is surprising to watch how pedestrians avoid bumping into others while crossing it. You can take pictures while waiting for the traffic lights, or from the observation deck called Shibuya Sky, on the top of Shibuya Scramble Square. It is a large-scale shopping-complex which newly opened in 2019.
Shibuya Scramble Square Official Website
9am – 11pm
¥2,000 (online tickets ¥1,800)
3. Hachiko – The famous, loyal Akita dog
Right in front of Shibuya station, there is a bronze statue of a Japanese Akita dog. His name is Hachiko or Hachi, and he is made after a dog that lived about 100 years ago. His owner was a professor who took the train from Shibuya, where Hachiko would wait for him every day. After the professor suddenly passed away, Hachiko was waiting for his owner to come back in front of Shibuya station for years, until he passed away himself. People were impressed by the dogs’ loyalty and built the bronze statue that is attracting many tourists nowadays. There is even a film made after the story, be warned; it is a real tear jerker.
4. Shibuya Center Gai
Shibuya Center Gai is a famous shopping street which is accessible from Shibuya station. You won’t miss it as it is really close to the bronze statue of a dog that we just mentioned above! This is a great spot to experience Japanese culture such as fashion and karaoke. The street shines bright at night with most signs decorated with flashy neon lights. Take a short stroll, and absorb the craziness of Shibuya!
5. Takeshita Street
Takeshita street is another pedestrian shopping street located in Harajuku; the center of Japanese pop-culture known as Kawaii (cute in English). If you are interested in Japanese fashion, it is definitely a must-visit place! It is located only one stop of Yamanote Line after Shibuya station. Or if you prefer to avoid the crowded train, you can walk from Shibuya station and it takes only 15 to 20 minutes. There are lots of boutiques and attractive shops selling tasty foods with unique appearances perfect for capturing your best memories!
Our recommendation is getting a rainbow cotton candy at “Totti Candy Factory”. They sell a colourful, rainbow cotton candy, completely different from the ordinary one. This huge, sweet cotton candy will surprise you and is a great addition to your Harajuku picture.
6. Cat Street
Off the main streets of Harajuku and Omotesando, cat street is a pedestrian area, unaccessible for cars. Although it has a word “cat” in its name, it doesn’t mean that there are many cats on the street. Over the street has become has become a popular place for local boutique shops, food trucks and cafes. It’s a shopping street quite similar to Takeshita Street in terms of the size and the location. Though unlike the other busy streets in the area, at cat street you can enjoy a more quiet and local atmosphere while strolling around. Don’t hesitate to walk into some of the back alleys, they are home to some amazing hidden hotspots too.
7. Meiji Shrine
Next, we will introduce some tourist sites focusing on the traditional aspects of Japan starting with the Meiji Shrine. Meiji Shrine is an old Shinto shrine in Harajuku area and it is the most visited shrine in Japan on New Year’s Day. It takes only 3 minutes to get there from Harajuku station on foot. The shrine itself is surrounded by nature, and it has a beautiful Japanese-style garden called Meiji Shrine Imperial Garden.
You can enjoy several kinds of flowers and autumn leaves depending on the season. In addition, they have a special building for wedding ceremonies, so you can see one if you are lucky! If you feel a little bit tired from a long journey and need some place that makes you feel better, it could be a perfect place to relax while taking pictures!
Meiji Shrine Official Website
Meiji Jingu opens with sunrise and closes with sunset.
8. Tokyo Camii & Turkish Culture Center
Tokyo Camii & Turkish Culture Center is the largest mosque in Japan. This mosque is open to public, and you can enter for free. It is a great sacred place to learn Turkish culture and for a religious experience. There is a strict dress code, so you should be careful what to wear when you enter the building! The building itself is of great beauty, so don’t forget to take pictures from outside!
Don’t forget to check out our private tour!
If you need some help to organize your trip to Shibuya, you should definitely check out our private tour including English guide. We’re glad to help you make your trip to Shibuya a safe, comfortable, and unforgettable memory!
Tokyo Half Day West Tokyo Private Walking Tour (4 Hours)
If you want to explore the west Tokyo efficiently, we recommend you to take this Tokyo Half Day West Tokyo Private tour. This tour include the popular areas like Shibuya, Harajuku and Shinjuku. You will learn many things during the tour from your knowledgeable English speaking guide otherwise you will never know if you just walk around the area by yourself.
Tokyo Private Tour (4-8 Hours)
On our Tokyo private tour, your friendly local guide will pick you up from the hotel and take you to Tsukiji Fish Market and Asakusa. And then, feel the relaxing atmosphere in Meiji Shrine and explore Japanese pop culture in Harajuku. And finish the tour in Shibuya, at the popular crossing!
Recommended Hotels in Shibuya
Shibuya is a centre of Japanese culture, and it is getting more and more attractions from tourists. It offers you great photo spots and new experiences that you can’t have back in your country. Plan your trip carefully, and take advantage of the useful information above to make your time there more special!
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