There’s many, many things you can do in one day in the Shibuya ward in Tokyo; here’s a (short) list of the things I did and recommend to all of you who are interested in visiting this beautiful part of the city.
1. See the dog statue Hachikô
Hachikô is a famous statue in Shibuya that represents a loyal dog that waited for its owner at the Shibuya train station everyday for ten years even after its owner died. The statue melted during World War II, but was rebuilt shortly after that. Today, Hachikô is a very popular meeting place — it’s almost always crowded. It can be found just outside the Shibuya station. When arriving by train, look for the Hachikô Exit and you won’t miss it!
[Click here to see the map from Shibuya station to Hachikô on Google map]
2. Walk through the Shibuya Crossing
Next step, close to Hachikô, is the famous pedestrian crossing; I heard this intersection is being crossed by 100 000 to 250 000 people everyday.
That’s a lot of people.
All the lights are synchronized together — which means that all the lights turn red at the same time, so there’s no car allowed on the way when it turns red. People come from all sides and walk wherever they want without being scared of getting hit by a car. It’s a strange feeling to see the pedestrians “possessing” the streets for a short moment!
Do like all of us foreigners (and I suspect even natives) and take a picture of yourself while crossing!
3. Do some window shopping at Shibuya 109!
After you’ve made your way through the crowd of the Shibuya Crossing, you will see a building written “Shibuya 109” on it.
Warning: you’ll risk having an heart attack if you’re into fashion.
This huge commercial center is a 10 floors’ building of pure fashion. Almost all the shops there had beautiful clothes that I wanted to buy, but the prices are also very high, so be aware of that! There are dresses, skirts, shoes/high heels, shirts, coats and jackets, accessories and many other wonderful things there. I just loved it. There was many high-waist skirts and pants (which I adore beyond imagination). You want doll-like pink high-heels? No problem; go to Shibuya 109. You will find everything there!
4. Visit a manga store, the Mandarake
You’re not really into fashion, but you love manga? I’ve got the right shop for you.
The Mandarake has thousands of manga all over the place, from shôjo to yaoi and seinen types. You will also find goodies and CDs of your favorite manga. You can see the most popular anime being aired on the televisions sticked to the walls. This is a must for every manga-lovers!
[From Shibuya 109 to the Mandarake on Google map]
5. Go to the neighbourhood of Shibuya at the Yoyogi park
If you like nature, I suggest you go to the Yoyogi park, or also named Yoyogi kôen. It’s a place where people go to relax. There’s always people playing music and/or dancing, drinking alcohol with a bunch of friends (as it is legal in Japan do drink in public places!), or doing some kind of sports like martial arts. There are many bike paths and you can also do a picnic if you want. During spring, people from all around the world go there to admire the cherry blossoms. It’s a really nice park, so you should totally go there if you have the chance!
6. Walk through the Meiji Jingû park
And since you’re already at Yoyogi, why not also going to the Meiji Jingû, which is just beside the Yoyogi park? Meiji Jingû is also like a huge park, but with a shrine in the center of it. Taking a walk there is really great. If you’re lucky, you could also see a traditional wedding ceremony at the shrine, as a lot of newlywed went there to get married. The traditional clothing is really beautiful!
[Here’s the map for Mandarake to Yoyogi park and Meiji Jingû shrine]
Of course there’s a lot of other stuff that you can do in one day in Shibuya, like eating some okonomiyaki (the awesome Japanese “pizza/pancake”) in a restaurant, or taking pictures in a purikura (the awesome Japanese photo booth) in a shopping center. Just be adventurous and try what looks fun! Shibuya is a wonderful place and I’m sure you’ll love it.
My questions for you: did you go to Shibuya before? What activities did you do there? Share your experiences with all of us in the comment section below!