Tokyo Guide: Shibuya
Tokyo Area Guide: Shibuya 渋谷
Shibuya Center-Gai Street, Tokyo
Shibuya is a ward of Tokyo flanked to the north by Nakano and Shinjuku wards, and, to the east, by Minato ward. It contains areas of interest covered in other Tokyo area guides, such as Daikanyama and Harajuku, but is usually thought of as the area around Shibuya Station.
The center of Japanese youth culture, Shibuya, is best experienced in small doses.
Although the department stores in Shibuya also draw the more matronly set, it is teenagers who dominate the scene here. If you need to know which cell phone has the latest gadgets, and who of the younger generation are causing consternation among their elders, and how, then Shibuya is the place for you.
The most popular part of Shibuya for youth culture is Center-Gai, a street directly across from the Hachiko Exit of Shibuya Station, its entrance marked by a Starbucks. Center Gai Street and the surrounding area is very explorable, full of street-style clothing shops and youth entertainment spots.
The other major street, Dogenzaka, sloping up to your left on coming out of the Hachiko Exit, is lined with bars and entertainment for the more mature, but no less hip, crowd.
About 300 meters north of Shibuya Station, up Meiji-dori Avenue, is where Cat Street (real name, Kyu-Shibuya-gawa Yūhodōro) starts, joining with Omotesando about 700 meters further north-east, running behind, and parallel to, Meiji-dori Avenue. Cat Street has a relatively relaxed vibe, and is lined with fashionable boutiques for the young and discerning.
Read more about Shibuya shopping.
Watch a short YouTube movie of Shibuya
Shibuya most well-known landmark is a statue of Hachiko the faithful dog of the 1920s and 1930s, who waited for his master, a Tokyo university professor, long after the professor had passed away.
Hachiko's remains are preserved in the National Museum of Nature and Science and his statue remains a popular rendezvous point at Shibuya Station to this day. In fact, the station exit in front of it is named the Hachiko Exit!
The Tobacco and Salt Museum displays the various uses of tobacco and salt throughout history, both of which were government monopolies in Japan until recently. Cigarette packets, pipes and tobacco-smoking paraphernalia from around the globe.
The Tokyo Electric Power Company's (TEPCO)
Electric Power Museum (Denryokukan) is 8 high-tech floors of cultural, technical and scientific information connected to electricity generation. Includes an art gallery, a library, interactive displays, scale model of a nuclear power plant, and a cinema. Limited English information available. Hours: 10am-6pm, closed Wed. (unless Wed. is a public holiday, then closed Thu.) Free entry.
"Love Hotel Hill" is a strip of short-stay hotels - or love hotels - located near the Tokyu department store.
Shibuya Access - Getting to Shibuya
Shibuya Station connects with the following train lines:
Shibuya Crossing, Shibuya, Tokyo
For a full listing of Tokyo Museums & Art Galleries click here
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