Shibuya (ĆaĺJ) is one of the twenty-three city wards of Tokyo, but often refers to just the popular shopping and entertainment area found around Shibuya Station. In this regard, Shibuya is one of Tokyo's most colorful and busy districts, packed with shopping, dining and nightclubs serving swarms of visitors that come to the district everyday.
Shibuya is a center for youth fashion and culture, and its streets are the birthplace to many of Japan's fashion and entertainment trends. Over a dozen major department store branches can be found around the area catering to all types of shoppers. Most of the area's large department and fashion stores belong to either Tokyu or Seibu, two competing corporations.
A prominent landmark of Shibuya is the large intersection in front of the station's Hachiko Exit. The intersection is heavily decorated by neon advertisements and giant video screens and gets flooded by pedestrians each time the crossing light turns green, making it a popular photo spot.
Shibuya Station and surroundings are currently undergoing major redevelopment, lasting almost two decades. Several new buildings have opened over recent years, including Shibuya Hikarie (in 2012), Shibuya Stream (2018) and Shibuya Scramble Square (2019), and more will be opening until works are completed around 2028. In addition, the flow of pedestrian traffic around the station will be greatly improved.
Famous Streets and Districts
The birthplace of many Japanese fashion trends, Center Gai is a busy pedestrian zone in the heart of Shibuya lined by stores, boutiques and game centers. In the evenings the street is crowded with young people heading to night clubs, restaurants and bars, or just loitering around.
Koen Dori, lit. "Park Street", is a popular shopping street leading from the Marui department store to Yoyogi Park. It was named after Parco department store (parco is Italian for park) and the fact that the street leads to Yoyogi Park.
Spain Slope (Supeinzaka) is a narrow, approximately 100 meter long pedestrian street with stairs leading up the slope to the Parco department store. It is lined by boutiques, cafes and restaurants, and was nicknamed for its resemblance to a Spanish street scene.
Love Hotel Hill
This area of Shibuya has a high concentration of love hotels, which offer couples a private room for a 2 to 3 hour "rest" during the day (usually around 5,000 yen) or an overnight "stay" (usually around 10,000 yen).
Tokyu Affiliated Shopping
Shibuya Scramble Square
Shops: 10:00 to 21:00 Restaurants: 11:00 to 24:00 Observation Deck Hours: 9:00 to 23:00 (entry until 22:00) Observation Deck Admission: 2000 yen (1800 yen if purchased online)
Opened in November 2019, Shibuya Scramble Square rises 230 meters above Shibuya Station. The skyscraper's lower 14 floors offer shops and restaurants, while the top floors feature an excellent observatory with open-air deck.
Shops: 10:00 to 21:00 Restaurants: 11:00 to 23:00
Shibuya Hikarie is a high rise complex with cultural space just east of Shibuya Station. Besides a theater and exhibition floors, it offers office space on its upper floors and shopping and dining on its lower floors.
Hours: 10:00 to 21:00 Restaurants: 11:00 to 22:00 Closed: January 1
Shibuya 109 is a trend setting fashion complex for young women and an icon of the Shibuya district with more than one hundred boutiques on ten floors. Usually pronounced "Shibuya ichi maru kyu", the complex's name can also be read as "Shibuya to kyu", identifying the complex as part of the Tokyu Group.
Magnet by Shibuya 109
Hours: 10:00 to 21:00 Observation Deck: 11:00 to 23:00 Closed: January 1
Formerly known as Shibuya 109 Men's, this complex specializes in fashion for men and is located on the northeastern corner of the Shibuya crossing. Of interest to a general audience is the observation deck on the building's rooftop that looks down onto the famous crossing.
Restaurants: Typically 11:00 to 23:00
Opened in 2018, Shibuya Stream features a collection of interesting restaurants on its first three floors, a hotel, and the offices of the Google Japan headquarters. Next to the building, the Shibuya River emerges from the underground, and a pedestrian promenade follows the river for several hundred meters.
Shibuya Mark City
Hours: 10:00 to 21:00 Restaurants: 11:00 to 23:00 Closed: No closing days
Shibuya Mark City is a small city within the city, located just next to and connected with JR Shibuya Station. It consists of a wide range of stores and restaurants, the Shibuya Excel Hotel Tokyu, office space, a bus terminal and the terminal station of the Keio Inokashira Line.
Hours: 10:00 to 21:00 Closed: No closing days
Promoted as a "Creative Life Store", Tokyu Hands has everything from do-it-yourself, interior, hobby, crafts, outdoors, travel goods, stationery and more. The Shibuya store spans eight floors.
Seibu Affiliated Shopping
Hours: 10:00 to 21:00 (Sundays and holidays until 20:00) Restaurants: 11:00 to 23:00 Closed: No closing days
The Shibuya branch of the Seibu department store chain consists of nine floors, featuring mainly fashion goods and some fashion boutiques. Restaurants can be found on the top and bottom floors.
Hours: 10:00 to 21:00 Closed: No closing days
Loft is Seibu's answer to Tokyu Hands, and also offering a large array of products related to interior, hobby, crafts and gifts, but with less emphasis on do-it-yourself products. The Loft Shibuya branch consists of seven floors.
Shops: 10:00 to 21:00 Restaurants: 11:00 to 23:30
Parco is an 11-story shopping complex with an emphasis on youth culture, art, music and fashion. The complex was rebuilt in recent years and reopened in November 2019.
Hours: 11:00 to 21:00 (Sundays and holidays until 20:30) Closed: January 1
Marui Department Store is a leading fashion retailer with branch stores in almost all of Tokyo's major districts. Their Shibuya branch stores specialize in men's and women's fashion and are found north of the station around Koen Dori.
Other Points of Interest
A statue of a loyal dog named Hachiko. According to a famous story, the dog waited for his master every day in front of Shibuya Station, and continued to do so for years even after his master had passed away. It is one of Tokyo's most popular meeting points.
Museum: Typically 10:00 to 18:00 (until 21:00 Fridays and Saturdays) Shops: Typically 10:00 to 20:00 Restaurants: Typically 11:00 to 21:30 Closed: January 1
Located directly next to the Tokyu department store (main store), Bunkamura, lit. "culture village", consists of a concert hall, a theater, two cinemas, a museum with constantly changing exhibitions, and a few shops and restaurants.