Things to Do and Eat in Shibuya: A Lively Hub of Endless Fun
Shibuya, the hub of Tokyo’s youth culture, is a raucous and vibrant neighborhood with lots to see and do. The crowded district offers fashionable shopping, cheap places to eat and drink, and various forms of entertainment including parks, arcades, and karaoke. Teens flock to Shibuya to hang out on weekends, couples come for date night, office workers spill out on weeknights for post-work drinks, and visitors from all over the world come to soak in the energetic atmosphere. Keep reading for a complete guide on fun things to do and eat in Shibuya or head over to our Shibuya restaurant listings to find a restaurant near you!
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Things to Do in Shibuya
From shopping, clubbing, and karaoke, Shibuya’s got you covered.
Shibuya is one of the premier locations in Japan for fast fashion with the Shibuya 109 building, or “Ichi-Maru-Kyuu,” and 109 Mens—two iconic shopping destinations for Tokyo’s youth. Ichi-Maru-Kyuu is a labyrinth-like tower bursting with shops selling everything from the latest fashion trends to colored contacts, cosplay wigs, shoes, and accessories, while everything for men is over at 109 Mens, a separate building.
Center Gai, a large pedestrian street running through the heart of Shibuya, is home to stand-alone stores for famous international brands, intermingled with smaller local brands. You’ll also find more traditional department stores for the older crowd like Shibuya Mark City and Shibuya Parco.
When it comes to nightlife, Shibuya draws a younger crowd than places like Roppongi and is just as foreigner friendly. You’ll find dance clubs and venues that feature a range of both local talent and big international names in hip hop, electro, EDM, drum & bass, jazz, soul music, and more all within a 15-minute walk of the station. Cover charges are more expensive for men than women, but will generally include a token for one drink. Most people go clubbing after first having drinks at a bar, so don’t be surprised if the club doesn’t fill up until 1 or 2 a.m., and expect to see people out until the first trains start running around 4 or 5 a.m.
Karaoke is one of the great pastimes of Japan, and Shibuya has karaoke bars aplenty. Japanese karaoke differs from karaoke in other countries as you typically sing in a private room with your closest friends and co-workers rather than an open bar. It’s also common for karaoke establishments to offer an all-you-can-drink menu, which makes karaoke a viable all-night alternative to clubbing in Shibuya. Some of the bigger karaoke chains even supply costumes, tambourines, and maracas for a lively evening.
Things to See in Shibuya
Here are popular points of interest in Shibuya for your exploring pleasure.
Shibuya Crossing, also referred to as “The Scramble,” is the busiest pedestrian intersection in the world and a great spot for people watching. On any given day, you might see flash mobs, costumed ninja and samurai duels (yes, really), and even couples taking their engagement or wedding photos. Many travelers like to get an overhead shot of the crossing from the upper floors of nearby buildings.
Hachiko Square just outside of JR Shibuya Station is an iconic landmark and popular spot for friends and groups to meet up. It’s named for the bronze statue of Hachiko, a memorial to the loyal Akita dog who waited for his owner outside of Shibuya Station every day. Across from Hachiko also stands a historical train car known as the “Green Frog,” which has been converted into a tourist information center.
Shibuya Hikarie Building
One of the latest additions to the Shibuya skyline, Shibuya Hikarie opened in 2012 and is the district’s leading shopping, dining, and entertainment space for older—but still hip—crowds. The building also houses a theater, which frequently hosts traveling productions from all over the world, and creative spaces for art exhibitions. If you want to enjoy shopping and dining in Shibuya without being elbow to elbow with school kids, Shibuya Hikarie is the place for you.
Cosmo Planetarium Shibuya
Cosmo Planetarium Shibuya opened in 2010, replacing the district’s over 40-year-old Goto Planetarium. Equipped with a state-of-the-art projection system, the planetarium is a fun activity for dates, family outings, and anyone who’s a fan of the cosmos.
What to Eat in Shibuya
Shibuya is teaming with a range of eateries that fit any type of budget.
Izakaya in Nonbei Yokocho
Nonbei Yokocho is a narrow alleyway off the main street of Shibuya, packed with dozens of pocket bars and restaurants. It’s a great place to check out an izakaya, a type of traditional Japanese gastropub with beer, Japanese spirits, and plenty of delicious things to eat.
During a long day of shopping and walking around Shibuya, it’s not unusual to duck into one of the district’s many cafés to rest your feet and refresh yourself with something to drink. There are plenty of cafés ranging from casual coffee chains to organic cafés serving up vegan and vegetarian dishes. At night, some cafés and lounges even turn into wine and cocktail bars.
Shibuya is one of the most popular areas for social outings and parties. The restaurants here cover every possible style and budget—from “one-coin” pizzerias serving up pizzas from 500-yen, inexpensive standing sushi bars, and other casual restaurants suitable for all budgets, to themed eateries like “haunted” restaurants for big group parties, and upscale French dining at the top of Shibuya’s tower hotels.
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Getting to Shibuya
Because of its popularity, Shibuya is one of the most easily accessible areas in all of Tokyo, located on multiple JR and metro lines. Take the Yamanote loop from anywhere in Tokyo, or if you’re coming from Narita Airport catch the Narita Express (about 90 minutes). From Haneda Airport, take the Keikyu Line to JR Shinagawa Station and transfer to the Yamanote Line.
What’s Near Shibuya
If your interests lean more towards lolita, idols, and “kawaii” fashion, you’ll want to make a stop at Harajuku—either one train stop from Shibuya station on the JR Yamanote Line, or a breezy 20-minute walk.
En route to Harajuku from Shibuya are Meiji-Jingu Shrine, one of the most important Shinto shrines in Tokyo, and Yoyogi Park, a popular destination for spring and summer picnics with plenty of scenic stops along the way. If you’re looking for more upscale entertainment like Shibuya Hikarie, walk uphill past it to reach the Aoyama district. Aoyama shops, restaurants, and cafés are popular among many Millennials and Gen Xers.
Hungry After Exploring? Figuring Out What to Eat in Shibuya is Easy with Gurunavi
No trip to Tokyo is complete without a visit to Shibuya. Stop by in the daytime for shopping, sightseeing, cheap eats, and stay past dark for some of the best nightlife entertainment that the city has to offer. When you feel the hunger setting in, check out Gurunavi’s recommendations for Shibuya area restaurants to refresh yourself while you shop.