Japan-aholic

A blog about culture and love in Japan

One Day in Shibuya (Tokyo): A To-Do List

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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]

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Somebody put their cat on the statue… isn’t it cute all dressed up like that?

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!

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Walking through that huge crowd was surprisingly easy!

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!

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Unfortunately, I wasn’t very dressed well that day… my rain boots were really ugly compared to some Japanese girls’ high heels!

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]

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For those of you interested, manga usually have “hiragana” written on the top of the “kanji”, so even a beginner who knows ‘hiragana’ and “katakana” can read it. It’s a great way to learn Japanese!

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!

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Celebrating “Cinco de Mayo” at Yoyogi. That’s when I understood it’s completely normal to drink beers all day in a park in Japan!

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]

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Posing in front of the enormous “torii” at the entrance of Meiji Jingû

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!

 

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Taken in a purikura! I just love those photo booth!

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Author: Jasmine

Jasmine is a 20-something years old French-Canadian student and part-time blogger who loves traveling, drawing, listening to (all kind of) music and eating (everything). To achieve one of her biggest dream, she went in Japan for two months and a half as a tourist in 2013. She was an exchange student at Daito Bunka University in Saitama (near Tokyo) during the year 2014 - 2015. She is now studying to eventually become a nurse back in Canada, so she lacks time to write about Japan. You can still read all her posts on her blog, since she'll let them there for you to enjoy :)

13 thoughts on “One Day in Shibuya (Tokyo): A To-Do List

  1. I didn’t spend too much time in Shibuya or Harajuku when I went to Tokyo since it’s not really my kind of scene, but there’s a great restaurant called Ichiran close to Shibuya Crossing. I recommend a stop there if you ever have the time!

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  2. I love shibuya hope to visit thëre again

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  3. My high school is a couple stations from Shibuya, so I changed my train there everyday. It was our afterschool stomping ground.
    Not sure I exactly “miss” the crowd surrounding the station, but I agree that the energy it emits is incomparable! Plus, a lazy stroll on Koen Dori towards Harajuku is always nice.
    Enjoy the rest of study abroad in Japan! — I may run into you somewhere in Tokyo in the next two weeks, while I am here for a work-related trip. 🙂

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    • Actually, I’m currently in Canada, so we probably won’t run onto each other! 😦
      I’ll start studying abroad in September! Can’t wait!
      Have a safe trip~

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  4. I spend so much time in Shibuya 🙂

    I also recommend going to the Ebisu Beer Factory. It’s really great~

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    • Thanks for the recommendation! I heard it’s great but never been there myself (even if I lived between Ebisu and Shibuya station for a couple of weeks last year!).

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  5. Wow! You have shown us a lot of great places Jasmine! Also, you are a great model for the photos! 😉 I have one question. If you were to come to these places as a complete stranger, would you be able to navigate around? Or would it be difficult to do so? I think you had a very good guide! (Hint: He is tall, handsome, and Japanese!) Great written piece! Maybe when I come to Japan you can show me around!

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    • Ah at that time I wasn’t going out with Hitomi yet! Haha
      We were only friends then, and he was probably working on that day.
      So actually I WAS a complete stranger to those places! But yes, it is very easy to naviguate around. There’s a lot of helpful signs to give you directions. I went with a friend (also a foreigner) I met in Japan and it was both our first time in Tokyo. We had only Google Map to help us and we did great!

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  6. I love the crosswalk in Shibuya!! I have dreams of returning there. It has such a unique energy I’ve never found anywhere else.

    I think every time I went to Yoyogi there were greasers dancing, haha.

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