Shibuya is an incredible city ward in central Tokyo. This area is well-known for being the location where many fashion trends were born. It’s also the location of the famous Shibuya Crossing area and one of the busiest locations in Japan. Here, you’ll find a mixture of traditions, culture, and an evolving place. Here’s a Shibuya day trip guide, including how to get there and things to do in Shibuya.
How to Get There:
There are many routes to get to Shibuya Ward, making it an easily accessible destination. The quickest and most convenient method of travel will be by train ride. Here are a few routes you can take to get to this city ward.
Tokyo Station to Shibuya Train Station
Take the JR Yamanote Line to Shinagawa. This ride should take about 24 minutes and leave you at Shibuya Train Station, which offers access to many popular attractions and destinations in the area.
Asakusa Station to Shibuya Station
If you’ve decided to spend the day or a few days in Asakusa visiting Senso Ji Temple guarded by the Treasure House Gate, you can easily use the train to get to Shibuya Station. Use the Tokyo Metro Ginza Line. This should take slightly longer than traveling from Tokyo to Shibuya, about 35 minutes.
What to Do:
There are many attractions and activities available to pursue while visiting Shibuya; it’s part of the area’s charm. Below are some of the top attractions to see while in Shibuya.
Visit Meiji Shrine
Meiji Shrine is a must-see when in Shibuya, conveniently located near Harajuku Station. This shrine is the biggest in Shibuya and offers a peaceful setting. Meiji Shrine has been around for about 100 years and is a highly visited location. This particular shrine is thought to bring about good luck for anyone who visits and pays their respects. This stop is a great way to begin the day in Shibuya as it sets the tone for the rest of the activities.
Walk Through Shibuya Crossing
You’ll likely encounter this area without a map when you visit Shibuya, as it’s a very busy crossing area. While it may not seem like an important location, it offers a look at waves of people crossing each time the stoplight turns red. It’s almost as if the people crossing are performing a unique dance. There are other locations to see this famous location better, including Shibuya Sky, a viewing location sitting high up on Shibuya Scramble Square.
You can’t head to Shibuya without spending time shopping, even if you’re only window shopping. As Shibuya District is well-known for being a center for fashion, it makes sense that many excellent options and many shopping malls are available. Head to Shibuya Center Gai, a street near Shibuya Station, which offers a long row of shops on either side. This is an excellent place to people-watch as you’ll see pedestrians wearing cool outfits and strutting down the street. If you have kids, you may want to hunt for the Nintendo Tokyo store in the Parco Shopping Mall.
Where to Eat:
With many options to choose from in Shibuya, it can be challenging to decide on one spot to stop at. Here are a few recommended restaurants which offer yummy food.
Menya Nukaji is one of the best ramen shops in Shibuya. You can opt for a bowl of basic ramen for 800 yen or get a bowl with delicious toppings for 1200 yen. There’s nothing more satisfying than a great bowl of ramen, which you’ll find here.
Sushi Tokyo 10 Shibuya is a fancier restaurant, so it’s better for an occasion or if you’re in the mood to splurge. While on the pricier side in comparison to other restaurants, you’ll still be getting an excellent deal on sushi. You can expect a miso soup and some other sides with your meal.
This restaurant is an excellent location for those looking for a budget-friendly restaurant. Sagatani serves delicious soba soup with fresh restaurant-made noodles. Many toppings are available, like fried chicken and tempura. The experience is unique, as you’ll be ordering your soba through a vending machine.
If you’re traveling with your family, there are plenty of activities you can participate in that everyone will enjoy. Here are some examples of family-friendly activities.
This park provides an excellent respite from the business of the rest of Shibuya. It is one of the biggest parks in the city and offers beautiful cherry trees, tidy lawn areas, and forests to walk through. This is an excellent spot to spend an hour or two if the city gets overwhelming for you or your family members. If you’ve packed a picnic or ordered food to go, this location provides an excellent lunch spot. Yoyogi Park is open every day, and there are no admission fees.
Outside of the Shibuya Station at Shibuya’s main meeting point sits the statue of Hachiko. This dog famously waited for its owner to arrive at the train station from work every day. He would sit outside the train station, and then they would walk home together. Even after Hachiko’s owner passed away, Hachiko continued waiting. The story touched many and was even created into a film named “Hachiko: A Dog’s Tale.” It’s free to visit this statue, though be prepared for the sad story behind the monument.
Harajuku Osamu Owl & Mameshiba Cafe
After seeing the monument for Hachiko, you can take your family to visit the Bengal Cat’s and Owl’s Forest. These two shops allow visitors to pet owls and Mame Shiba (the same breed as Hachiko). This activity is excellent for anyone who loves animals, as you’ll be able to observe and interact with them in a safe environment. Keep in mind; this is a busy location, so you will likely have to wait in line to gain entry. Tickets can be purchased for each area separately, or you can bundle fees for the sites together for a discounted rate. If you’re bundling the tickets, the adult fee is 1,400 yen. The fee for children is 1,000 yen.
Shibuya is more than a famous fashion birthplace. This location is home to incredible views, pretty nature areas, fun activities, and visible history that lives on through its shrines and museums. This location has offerings for people of all interests and is a great place to take a day trip when you visit Japan.