See also: Best Things to do in Tokyo
Shibuya, the fashion, cultural and entertainment hub of the lively city of Tokyo, has so much in stock for a person that one is sure to fall in love with Japan. Although the city might not seem as scenic and relaxing as the Fuji Five Lakes in the capital city of Tokyo, the beauty of this place lies in the grand metropolis that Shibuya is. Shibuya is world-famous for its crowded streets, youth fashion trends set by people on streets and its tight, train-like hotels which accommodate its tourists at affordable rates. However, that is not it about Shibuya. The city is also world-famous for its food, bars, clubs and a lot more. Let us take a trip through the places to visit and things to do when in Shibuya-
Paying respect to Hachi at the Hachiko Statue
When in Shibuya, one can start right in front of the railway station with the famous Hachiko Statue in the memory of the unparalleled loyalty of a dog named Hachiko who waited for over seven years for his master's return who had died. The statue, now, has become a popular tourist attraction and a meeting spot amongst the locals. The statue celebrates the love and loyalty of Hachiko that transcends all human bonds and stands out.
Crowd watching at the Shibuya Crossing
The Shibuya Pedestrian Scramble is renowned all over the world for the record that it sets. During the peak hours, over 2,500 people cross in three minutes, making it the busiest crossing in the world. The crossing can be visited both during the day as well as in the night-time. Your nightlife in Shibuya might remain incomplete if you do not visit the crossing at least once. The place is altogether different from what you might find here during the daytime. The area is all lit up, and this is an ideal time for taking pictures as, during the peak hours, your chances of doing the same might be sleek.
An Aerial view of the Crossing from the Starbucks or Hoshino Coffee
In case you are not a night animal and would love to watch the crowd at Shibuya Crossing, you might as well do it for hours while enjoying a coffee at Starbucks or Hoshino Coffee right next to the crossing. From here, one can watch the time fly and stop every three minutes at the crossing, take photos, make videos and whatnot.
Relax at the Yoyogi Park and Meiji Shrine
To enjoy a taste of both nature and culture at once, one can surely visit the Yoyogi Park- a famous picnic spot for most locals with budget-friendly food available nearby. The Meiji Shrine towards the north of the Yoyogi Park becomes another tourist spot. The Shrine was built to commemorate the Emperor Meiji ad his wife and adds a touch of history to the place.
Shopping at Tokyu Hands and Shibuya 109
One might just as well lose track of time when at this enormous store of Tokyu Hands in Shibuya. This vast, multi-storied building has so much in stock for an individual that a day is not exactly enough to go through all the stores inside the building. In order to be lost amidst the women's section, one can also visit the Shibuya 109, that one go-to-place for all women in Shibuya. This place has around 120 stores in it, and even window shopping would be worth your time if you're a bit tight on your budget.
Get drunk at Nonbei Yokocho or The Drunkard's Alley
The Drunkard's Alley, as they call it, Nonbei Yokocho is infamous for its tiny bars and cafes. Before going to a fancy club, one must visit one of the bars in the Abbey at least once to have a feel of Japanese tradition and relax over a drink. Anime reading at one of the Manga Cafes- Although Shibuya is world-famous for its fancy clubs and bars, it also has a lot in store for the non-alcoholics. Manga Cafes are for all the readers out there where one can rent a booth for a couple of hours and enjoy a large section of Manga and Anime books. However, one needs to be well-versed in Japanese to enjoy at one of these Cafes as they have books only in Japanese.
Spend a night at one of the Capsule Hotels when tight on budget
The wonders in Shibuya are inexhaustible, but your money isn't. After spending a lot while shopping and clubbing in Shibuya, one might as well want to save a little on accommodation and Capsule Hotels happen to be the most budget-friendly places to spend a night. As the name suggests, the rooms are much similar to capsules equipped with a TV and a toilet. However, most of them are only for males.
Breathe in the Japanese Culture at the National Noh Theatre
Enjoy a taste of the Japanese art and culture by watching a play at the National Noh Theatre. Traditionally, the Noh theatre involves a lot of singing and dancing. The costume, the music, the place, everything reminds one of the beauties that lie in the traditional Japanese art and culture. They also conduct free workshops for Foreign visitor where one can learn a few dance steps from them.
Enjoy the Flying Sushi at Genki Sushi
Enjoy Sushi at affordable rates at Genki Sushi where technology meets food. Over here, one can place their order via an I-Pad, pick a table, sit, and relax while their Flying Sushi reaches them via a belt. At other cafes, different varieties of Sushi are displayed on a conveyor belt, and you may pick any sushi from the display. Such restaurants are also budget-friendly.
Enjoy the world's best-fried meat and Ramen at local restaurants
The best place to enjoy the most excellent variety of Ramen in Japan would be Shibuya itself. Places like Seitokodu and Kitchitora serve the most delicious types of Ramen. Other than this, Shibuya is the place to have the world's most ultimate fried meat, commonly known as Tonkatsu amongst the locals.
A walk to remember through the Bamboo Forest
It's easy to get overwhelmed after being surrounded by so many people in Shibuya. For a touch of fresh air have a memorable walk through the Bamboo Forest near Shibuya. This helps you get away from the hustle and bustle of the city, amidst nature and greenery.
Tea Ceremony at Komaba Waraku
Once you get enough of the bars and cafés in Shibuya, you can relax over a cup of tea and have a taste of the Japanese tradition. At Komaba Waraku, one can choose from a variety of tea and drink it under the traditional rules of tea drinking in Japan in the presence of a Tea Master.
A regular cup of coffee at not-so-regular Animal Cafes
Buy a cup of coffee at any of these Animal Cafes in Shibuya and spend some time playing with those furry cats and birds. There are numerous Animal Cafes in Shibuya, keeping in mind the fact that most apartments in Tokyo aren't pet-friendly. Such cafes have mostly been built to remind people that they need to spend some time with these cats and dogs, bunnies and rabbits, birds and more at such places.
Dagashi Bar- A taste of the Japanese tradition
The Dagashai Bar becomes a go-to-place for anyone who loves to drink or has a sweet tooth. The ambience of the place reminds one of the traditional Japanese sweet shops they used to have a long time ago. This place offers you hundreds of varieties of candies to cherish, making it an ideal place not only for adults but also for children.
A walk through the Museum of Yebisu Beer
Located inside the Yebisu Garden Place, a tour through the Museum of Yebisu Beer enlightens one about the history of Yebisu Beer in Japanese. Although entry to this place is free of cost, a foreign tourist can pay around 500 Yen and hire a guide to explain the history of the place in other languages as well. This Museum is not all that boring as it also has a Beer Tasting Salon and a museum shop.
Shop at one of the 100 Yen Stores
Similar in their concept, but unique and way better than the US dollar stores, one can find hundreds of such 100 Yen Stores in Tokyo. When in Shibuya, one should not miss the opportunity of visiting one. Almost everything is available for a 100 Yen at such stores. Although a few premium quality products ranging around 400-500 Yen are also there, they're segregated from the 100 Yen category, but most worthy of their price. Ranging from your everyday kitchenware to stationery and cosmetics, a 100 Yen store is a wonder in itself.
A hand at Sushi Making
Tourists can also enjoy a taste of the Japanese culture by participating in cooking classes offered at various places where one can learn the art of Sushi-making from the experts themselves at affordable rates. Such classes are one of the most sought-after tourist activities in Shibuya. Apart from Sushi making, some classes also offer training to other dishes such as Ramen and Tempura. In some classes, can also wear Japanese costumes adding more to the cultural feel of the experience
Go clubbing at Club Asia or Shibuya's Womb
Live the nightlife in Shibuya while enjoying your drinks at a bar or singing at a Karaoke restaurant. Go clubbing at the Club Asia or Shibuya's Womb to have the most amazing experience at clubbing with their perfect ambience, the perfect choice of EDMs and the most decent crowd.
There is a lot we might have left behind while trying to bring out the best in Shibuya and try as one might, it is impossible to do everything in Shibuya in a single trip to this place. There's a lot more than fancy bars and clubs in Shibuya, and we leave the rest for you to explore. While you are at it, try to make the most of this trip that you have in one of the most amazing places in the world that Shibuya is.