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Although number of people decide not to go to Shibuya because of its crowdedness, Shibuya is yet one of the most interesting places in Tokyo. Not only for the foreigners, Japanese are shocked when they step out of Yamanote line and see how many people are in a block. From fashion leaders to nightlife club-goers, Shibuya represents youth and another culture of Japan. Shibuya is one of the twenty-three city wards of Tokyo, but often refers to just the popular shopping and entertainment area around Shibuya Station. Shibuya is one of Tokyo's most colorful and busy districts and birthplace to many of Japan's fashion and entertainment trends. 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 (Hachiko Exit), which is heavily decorated by neon advertisements and giant video screens and gets crossed by amazingly large crowds of pedestrians each time the traffic light turns green.
Directions from Tokyo station
- Tokyo[Tokyo Metro Marunouchi Line]→Akasaka Mitsuke[Tokyo Metro Ginza Line]→Shibuya
- Tokyo[JR Keihin Tohoku Line]→Tamachi[JR Yamanote Line]→Shibuya
- Tokyo[JR Yamanote Line]→Shibuya
Shibuya station has 4 ways of train access
１． JR East: Yamanote Line, Saikyo Line, and Shonan-Shinjuku Line
２． Tokyo Metro：Ginza Line, Hanzomon Line
３． Tokyu Corporation: Toyoko Line, Den-en-toshi- Line
４． Keio: Inokashira Line
The history of Shibuya began with the establishment of the Yamanote Line in 1885. Thereafter Shibuya became the railway terminal of Southwest Tokyo and eventually as a major commercial and entertainment center. It was a village until 1909 then it became a town then a ward of Tokyo Metropolis in 1943. The most well-known story about Shibuya area would definitely be the Hachiko story in which the dog waited for its master everyday from 1923 to 1935. The dog eventually became the national celebrity for its loyalty. The statue of Hachiko was built in front of the Shibuya JR East station and is now used widely as the main meeting point around Shibuya station. Shibuya has become very popular with the young people especially last 30 years. The reason for this is because Shibuya has several famous fashion department stores.During the late 1990s, Shibuya also became known as the center of the IT industry in Japan. It was often called "Bit Valley" in English, a pun on "Bitter Valley," the literal translation of "Shibuya."
Tobacco and Salt Museum
This museum introduces the history of tobacco and salt in Japan and throughout the world but information in English is limited. The museum is operated by the Japan Tobacco (JT), whose predecessor used to monopolize the production and sale of tobacco and salt in Japan.
Open Hours: Open daily 10:00 to 18:00
Holidays: Except on Mondays (If Monday is a national holiday,the museum is open on Monday and closed on Tuesday) and from December 29 to January 3.
Admission Fee: 100 yen for adult/50 yen for under 18 years old
Electric Power Museum (Denryokukan)
This museum by the Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO) introduces various aspects of electric energy, such as the process of power generation and the role of electricity in the society and everyday life. Information in English is limited.
Open Hours: Open daily 10:00 to 18:00
Holidays: except on Wednesdays (if Wednesday is a national holiday, the museum is open on Wednesday and closed on Thursday). No closing days during the summer holidays (July 20 to August 31).
Admission Fee: Free
Culture Village (Bunkamura)
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. The Orchard Hall is a world class hall for world class concerts, opera and ballet. Famous orchestras, national ballet companies, film festivals are held in this hall. The Theatre Cocoon is a theatre designed for every variation of dramatic expression. Le Cinema is a new direction in cinema art, where every film is a long-runner. The Gallery is a spacious venue located in the main lobby area of the ground floor. It is open every day during the exhibition (except January 1) from 10:00 to 19:30. They also have some restaurants and shops inside.It consists of a French restaurant, a Italian café, a flower shop, a book store, and a Swarovski shop.
Open Hours: Open every day during the exhibition (except January 1) Hours: 10:00 – 19:30
Admission Fee: Free(except the cinema)
Personal Recommendation Best 3
Shibuya 109 is a trend setting fashion complex for young women 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. The variety of stores is just unbelievable. Not only for women but they also have shopping available for men. It's always fun to walk around and see what the trend is.
However, there are way to many people to enjoy the same activity. Some workers are too young and even rude sometimes. The bathrooms are filthy. "I think it's hard for people to walk into as well because it is kind of intimidating how everyone is smoking infront of the building." This quote was taken from a female friend about Shibuya 109. It's really not a place for men, but a place that women would go shopping all day long on their day off.
Open Hours: Open daily 10:00 to 21:00 (restaurants from 11:00 to 22:30).
This shop is a heaven for the soccer manias. As you can see in the picture, it is a four-story soccer shop. The first floor has uniforms, collections, DVDs, and videos. The second floor has team training wear, kid’s apparel, and junior apparel. The third floor has casual wear, and individual training wear. The fourth floor has balls, bags, and cleats. On your way up to fourth floor you will see many signed jerseys, shoes, balls by actual professional players around the world. However, if you don’t want to take the stairs up to the fourth floor, you can always take the convenient elevator. If you are looking around, the worker will assist you until you wish to. You will be able to find all the kits that your favorite player wear during training and match. They also go on sale for the past season's uniforms, so if you don't mind which season it was, you can buy it for a lower price.
Open Hours: 10:00~21:00
Parco is a shopping complex with an emphasis on fashion. The complex consists of numerous buildings in the Shibuya area: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Quattro, Zero Gate and more. Parco Part-1 has a book store, international fashion selection, international designers, ladies’ fashion, men’s fashion, dining, and garden. Parco Part-2 has Levis, Diesel, Fran Fran Design For Life, H.I.S., ABC cooking goods shop and a fitness center. Parco Part-3 has jewelry, Shibuya Style Live, youngster mix clothing, interior goods, and a cinema. Parco Quattro has gallery, hall, and cafes. Parco Zerogate has wine, food, pub, and pudding restaurant.
Open Hours: Open daily 10:00 to 21:00 (from 11:00 in case of some annex buildings). Restaurants open 11:00 to midnight. Occasional closing days.
The Legian Tokyo
This restaurant is on the 12th floor of the building and have a good view from there. Especially the night view is very beautiful. There is a terrace and a swimming pool so if you like to enjoy the feeling of being at a resort in the center of Tokyo, this restaurant could be a good place. They mainly serve Asian creative cuisine using food material imported from all over the world.
Open Hours:11:30~14:30 for lunch/ 17:00~22:00 for dinner
Qu'il fait bon
If you like to eat sweets, this store would be a good one. They always have around 25 different tarts in a showcase that has 5m in its length. It looks like a jewel and make you feel hungry. These tarts use many kinds of fruits and are made to enhance the original tastiness of its fruits. Their sweetness are moderate and that makes this store popular in Shibuya even the price is not very low.
If you plan to eat some Japanese or Chinese noodles, Kiraku has a variety of noodles at low prices. They prepare stock from chicken bones and pork bones for 7 hours and that makes a soup with plenty of body. The ground floor has counter seat and seats at a table are on the first floor.
Open Hours:11:30~20:30(every Wednesday is closed)