Shibuya is known for being the achingly cool heart of Tokyo youth culture.
Home to the infamous Scramble Crossing where around 3000 pedestrians try to cross the road from four compass directions during the length of one green man, peace and quiet would appear to be last on its agenda.
Shibuya’s literal meaning is ‘Shibu Valley’, although evidently, the landscape has undergone much change since its days as a low-lying flatland. In terms of size, it is a relatively large district, containing both ‘Kawaii capital’ Harajuku and the green expanse of Yoyogi Park.
Of course, it would be remiss to mention Shibuya without paying tribute to Hachiko’s statue, the most popular meeting point for locals and tourists alike in the area.
This statue was erected in memory of faithful dog Hachiko, who patiently waited at the station his owner was accustomed to disembark at, not knowing that his owner had died in 1925 of a heart attack. He continued his daily vigil until his own death in 1935.
But should you wish to acquaint yourself a little more intimately with frenetic Shibuya, perhaps your best bet is to take a turn down some of the less frequented side streets? On Udagawacho, you will find everything from artisan chocolate cafes to cheese bars, specialty fish restaurants to minimalist drinking dens.
So take a pair of comfortable walking shoes and a good camera.
In Shibuya where you can so vividly feel the throbbing pulse of Tokyo, you may never sleep.
Top Off the Beaten Track places to hang out in Shibuya:
- Monocle Cafe: 1 Chome-19-2 Tomigaya, Shibuya, Tokyo 151-0063
- Shibuya Cheese Stand: 5-8 Kamiyamacho, Shibuya, Tokyo 150-0047
- Path Cafe: 1 Chome-9-23 Tomigaya, Shibuya, Tokyo 151-0063
- Cacao Store: 1 Chome-6-8 Tomigaya, Shibuya, Tokyo 151-0063
- Oyahinaya: 37 - 16 Udagawacho, Shibuya, Tokyo 150 - 0042
- Bar KOBA: 1-17-7 Tomigaya, Shibuya, Tokyo