Shibuya Station 渋谷駅
Shibuya Station is located in the west of central Tokyo in the Shibuya district of the capital. Shibuya is a major commercial and shopping area in Tokyo and famous for its youth chic, music scene, and trend-setting street fashions.
Shibuya Station Lines
Shibuya Station is an important transport hub connecting to the
- Yamanote Line
- Saikyo Line
- Shonan Shinjuku Line
- Saikyo Line
- Narita Express
- Tokyo Metro Hanzomon Line
- Tokyo Metro Fukutoshin Line
- Tokyo Metro Ginza Line
- Keio Inokashira Line
- Tokyu Den-en-toshi Line
Shibuya Station is the third busiest station in Tokyo after Shinjuku Station and Ikebukuro Station with approximately 2.4 million people passing through on an average weekday, many of whom are commuters from Tokyo's western suburbs and Yokohama.
Shibuya Station is defined by the large square in front of it - a rendezvous point, with a statue famous throughout Japan of the faithful dog, Hachiko.
During the 1920s an Akita dog called Hachiko would turn up at the station to meet his master, a professor at Tokyo Imperial University, even for 10 years after his owner had died in 1925. In 1934 a bronze statue was raised in Hachiko's honor and loyal dog's death united him and his former master in nearby Aoyama Cemetery.
Of Shibuya Station's exits, the Hachiko Exit on the west side is the most used, leading to the rendezvous point, Hachiko Square, and Shibuya Scramble crossing - an intersection that is swarmed with pedestrians every time the traffic lights change - with most of the Shibuya shopping on the other side.
Shibuya Station Layout
The Hachiko Exit is the recommended exit. Standing in the square in front of the Hachiko Exit, the most prominent building is the big white Tokyu Department Store Toyoko Branch, the former site of the Tokyu Toyoko Line platforms before they were relocated underground in 2013.
At both ends of Tokyu Department Store, if you're facing it, are entrances to the Ginza Line (upstairs on the 3F - in spite of it being a subway line!). Left of Tokyu Department Store is the JR entrance for the JR Yamanote Line, the JR Saikyo Line, the JR Shonan Shinjuku Line, and the Narita Express (N'EX) service - all on the 2F.
Right in front of where the Tokyu Department Store Toyoko Branch and Shibuya Station meet is a single-story entranceway - with the green streetcar-cum-information center beside it - leading downstairs to four lines: the Den-en Toshi Line and Hanzomon Subway Line (sharing the B3 floor), and the Tokyu Toyoko Line and Fukutoshin Subway Line (sharing the B5 floor and using the same tracks).
NOTE ABOUT THE TOKYU TOYOKO LINE & THE FUKUTOSHIN SUBWAY LINE
The Tokyu Toyoko Line, running between Shibuya and Yokohama, technically ends at Shibuya, but continuity is seamlessly facilitated by the Fukutoshin Subway northwards to Ikebukuro Station then north-west to Wakoshi in Saitama prefecture, making it possible to go all the way from Wakoshi to Motomachi Chukagai (Yokohama Chinatown) without changing trains.
On the other side of the Tokyu Department Store Toyoko Branch from the JR station (i.e., to your right) is the towering Shibuya Mark City complex with the Keio Inokashira Line platforms on its 2F. (Shibuya is the terminal station of the Keio Inokashira Line.)
Shibuya Station makes these various lines accessible to each other. The result can be confusing, although passages are clearly and liberally marked with big, color-coded signs pointing the commuter in the right direction.
Besides the Hachiko Exit, the other major exits worth knowing about are the Tamagawa Exit, also on the west side, which takes you to the Keio Inokashira Line, and the Central Exit on the east side which takes you to the Japan Rail Midori no Madoguchi Ticket Office.
Of Shibuya Station's three Tokyo subway lines, the Fukutoshin Line station opened in June 2008 and was designed by architect Tadao Ando to evoke a spaceship. A giant atrium funnels hot air to the surface in an attempt to reduce heat and save energy on cooling.
Shibuya Station has a long history, and was first opened in 1885.
Tourist Information at Shibuya Station
If you get lost, or just need information, Shibuya Station has three English-speaking tourist information desks
- in the old railway car in Hachiko Square, open 10 am - 7 pm.
- on the B2 floor near the Miyamasu-zaka Exit, open 10 am - 7 pm.
- on the B4 floor, inside the Hanzomon and Den-en Toshi Line ticket wicket, open 10 am - 5 pm.
Free WiFi is available, with the details at any of these desks (but please be aware of the privacy-related risks of using free WiFi).
The information spot in Hachiko Square is a historic 1950s Toyoko Line train carriage just in front of the Hachiko statue. As well as tourist information, it displays the history of Shibuya Station with some interesting black and white photographs of the station and environs as they used to be.
Buses & Taxis from Shibuya Station
Shibuya Station is also an important bus terminus for buses to various destinations in the Kanto region as well as local community buses. Buses and taxis are outside the West Exit of Shibuya Station (on the either side from the Hachiko side - walk through the station).
Large scale construction is currently happening at Shibuya Station as part of a project that is due for completion in several years. This may cause changes in the layout of the station over time.
Around Shibuya Station
Shibuya has some interesting museums, within easy walking distance of the station. The Tobacco & Salt Museum is dedicated to the history of these two former government monopolies but moved to a new location in Sumida-ku not far from the Tokyo Skytree in April 2015. See what's on at museums in Tokyo.