Written by Hilary Keyes
15 Popular And Less Common Things To Do In Shibuya
Shibuya - anyone that has seen "Lost In Translation" will instantly recognize the iconic mainstream center of Japanese youth culture, but there is more Shibuya than meets the eye. Here are 15 popular and little known things to do in Shibuya.
The center of mainstream youth fashion, culture, cuisine and so much more, Shibuya is just one of those places that draws people from all walks of life. Not that it's solely a town for young people either - during the day, you'll find everyone from teenagers looking for the latest in fashion, to pensioners meeting up for traditional teas and sweets in this ever growing and changing city.
Here are 15 of the most popular and some lesser known things you should check out when visiting Shibuya.
1. Meet Hachiko Outside Shibuya Station
Hachiko, the faithful Akita dog that waited for his owner outside Shibuya Station for years after his death, is memorialized in stories, movies, and of course, in statues. Just outside the Hachiko Exit of Shibuya Station, you will find this statue of Hachiko.
This is a popular meeting spot for anyone waiting for friends in Shibuya, and throughout the year, you may even find Hachiko dressed up to match the season. This past Halloween, Hachiko was spotted with a witch's hat on, in fact.
2. See Lost Art - The Myth of Tomorrow in Shibuya Station
Along the pedestrian walk linking the JR Yamanote and Keio Inokashira lines, you will find this massive mural hanging over the walkway. This is the "Myth of Tomorrow" by the incredible and prolific Japanese artist Taro Okamoto.
This 30 meter long mural was meant for display in Mexico, but mysteriously disappeared in the late 1960s, and wasn't seen again until 2003, when it was brought back to Japan. To learn more about this mural, check out The Myth of Tomorrow: Taro Okamoto's Mural In Shibuya Station.
3. Center-gai Street - Take in the Eclectic Atmosphere
Center-gai Street is the road directly across from the Scramble Crossing, and is the main route through Shibuya's trendiest shops, clubs, restaurants, and izakayas. There's almost too much to cover here in a single article, and as it's constantly changing, travelers here will not be disappointed no matter how many times they visit!
To learn more about Center-gai, take a look at Center-gai Street In Shibuya - Japan’s Hippest Commercial District.
4. Shibuya Scramble Crossing - How to Get the Perfect Photo!
Image related to: Shibuya's Scramble Crossing - 4 Best Viewing Spots
Shibuya Scramble Crossing is the busiest pedestrian intersection in the world; it's said that at its busiest there are over 3000 people crossing here at once. As such, there are many people that come here to photograph the hustle and bustle of the city.
If you'd like to get a better view of the Scramble Crossing, then you'll need to look up. For more about the best places to view the intersection from, read Shibuya's Scramble Crossing - 4 Best Viewing Spots.
5. Eat Your Way Around Japan - d47 Shokudo
While Shibuya is well known for its numerous eateries of all kinds, d47 Shokudo really stands out from the crowd because, not only do they offer traditional Japanese dishes, but they serve regional delights from all corners of Japan, and sell some specially selected regional dishes as well.
If you are visiting Japan, but aren't able to get to all of the places that you'd wanted to visit, then a trip here just might make you feel a bit better! To see their menu and some of the products available in their shop, check out d47 Shokudo, Shibuya - Regional Cuisine From All Around Japan.
6. Find the Latest Fashion Trends - Shibuya 109 and Mens' 109
Shibuya 109 and Mens 109 are two of the largest and best known shopping spots in Shibuya. These two centers have everything that Japanese fashion fans need to be dressed to the nines in the latest looks.
Shibuya 109 is strictly for women, and carries everything from make-up and contact lenses to shoes and the latest trends, while Mens 109 has the latest in accessories, business and casual fashion for men. To learn more about Shibuya 109, see Shibuya 109: Sacred Ground For Japanese Fashion.
7. Refine Your Sake Senses - Yata
Yata is a bar in Shibuya designed for sake lovers; there are 35 different brands of sake available here as well as a kikizake, or sake tasting course, which is a rare find in Shibuya. If you'd like to learn more about sake, or want to expand your palate, then this is the best place to go. To learn more about their special sake menu, take a look at The World Of Fine Japanese Sake - Welcome To Shibuya's Bar Yata!
8. Check Out a Movie and Cocktail Lover's Dream - Hachigatsu no Kujira Bar
Hachigatsu No Kujira is a little known bar in Shibuya dedicated to movies and delicious cocktails. Each and every drink on the menu here is based on a movie, with certain movies being featured each month. New movies are constantly inspiring drinks here as well, which makes it a bar that has many movie-loving regulars too.
If you're looking for a casual, fun place to get a drink and relax, then this is perfect. Your Favorite Movie Is A Cocktail At Hachigatsu No Kujira In Shibuya has more on their menu and special drinks.
9. Find Souvenirs and Feel Shibuya's History - Maruara Watanabe
Maruara Watanabe is a souvenir shop where you can find high-quality Japanese products that are also ideal for daily use. Originally a kimono store, Maruara Watanabe has been in business since 1926, and is one of the few places to have seen the city of Shibuya grow and change around it.
If you'd like to feel the original atmosphere of Shibuya and find some incredibly useful souvenirs, then a trip here can't go wrong. Check out Shibuya's Maruara Watanabe: The Ideal Place For Japanese Souvenirs! to learn more about this history-rich shop.