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1. Scramble Crossing
The Scramble Crossing is a crossroad with pedestrian crosswalks, so when the traffic light turns green, a huge number of people stream into the street. The best way to see the diagonal streams of people is to go to the Starbucks located on the 2nd floor of the Tsutaya building.
The statue of Hachiko is a famous meeting place that was memorialized in the 1987 movie, “Hachiko Monogatari”. Hachiko was a real dog that used to meet his owner at Shibuya Station every day. It is said that even after the owner died, Hachiko waited at the station for 9 years straight. The statue commemorates the loyalty of that dog.
English website: http://www.city.shibuya.tokyo.jp/eng/landmark.html#HachikoStatue
3. Tourist Information Center
There are three tourist information centers around Shibuya Station, and all of them have English-speaking staff. There’s one in the green train car by Hachiko called the Blue Gaeru Tourist Information Center, the Shibuya-ku Tourist Information Center on the 4th floor of Mark City, and the Tokyu Tokyo Metro Shibuya Station Tourist Information Center on floor B2 of the Denen-toshi Line/Hanzomon Line sections of Shibuya Station.
4. Taro Okamoto “Asu no Shinwa”Photo by ivva on flickr
This is a mural that measures 5.5×30 meters by Taro Okamoto, the sculptor of the famous Tower of the Sun for Osaka Expo ’70. He lived in France from 1930-1940, and interacted with many abstract and surrealist artists. This mural was requested for a hotel that was under construction in 1968-1969 in Mexico City, but before it was completed, the hotel was sold and the mural went missing. In 2003, it was found in a storehouse in a Mexico City suburb and was returned to Japan.
English website: www.taro-okamoto.or.jp/en/asunoshinwa.html
5. Konno Hachimangu Shrine [Sightseeing]
In 1902, the 15th Emperor of Japan, Ojin, was enshrined here. It’s said that a childless couple came to pray here, and afterwards the wife had a dream that Kongouyashamyouou (Vajrayaksa) lodged in her womb. After that she was blessed with a son, and they named him “Konnoumaru.” Konnoumaru served Minamoto no Yoritomo (the founder of the Kamakura Shogunate) well. His Dokuja Nagadachi, a large war sword is kept here. This shrine was built in 1672.
English website: http://www.geocities.jp/ynycr674/English/englishindex.html
6. Miyamasu Mitake Shrine [Sightseeing]
Dick Thomas Johnson/Flickr
Built in 1570, Emperor Keikou, a hero in a Japanese legend, is enshrined here. The main shrine is guarded by a rare stone Japanese wolf. On November’s Tori no Hi, a festival is set up on the shrine grounds with many stalls.
7. Cerulean Tower Noh Theater [Arts] [Entertainment]
Noh is a representative of Japanese traditional performing arts, having a history longer than kabuki. The Cerulean Tower Noh Theater in Shibuya is a proud landmark. On days when there are no scheduled performances, you can go in and freely look around from 2:30PM to 5:30PM.
8. NHK Studio Park
This is a theme park in Japan’s official broadcasting station, NHK. You can enjoy videos shot in 8K HD film, watch dubbing as it happens in a studio, as well as enjoy a greeting from Domo-kun and buy Domo-kun goods. Entrance fee is 200 yen.
English website: http://www.nhk.or.jp/studiopark/guide/pamphlet.html#en
9. Toguri Museum [Arts]toguri-museum.or.jp
This museum features Western porcelain. There are around 7000 pieces in the collection, featuring both ceramics and paintings. It’s in an exclusive residential area away from the hustle and bustle of the main street called Shoto. In the museum shop you can buy original ceramics and transformative postcards like photos. They would make great souvenirs.
English website: www.toguri-museum.or.jp/english/index.php
10. Nabeshima Shoto Park [Sightseeing]
The daimyo Kishu Tokugawa bought this land from the Nabeshima family in 1876 for a tea plantation, and during the Showa era one part of it became the park. There is playground equipment and benches around the lake, and many people visit it when the flowers bloom in the spring. If you buy food at a convenience store and eat it in the park, you’ll surely make some good memories.
English website: www.city.shibuya.tokyo.jp.e.mu.hp.transer.com/est/park_nabesima.html
11. Karaoke Pasela Grande [Activity]
At Japanese karaoke boxes, there’s plenty of Western music and K-pop to go along with the Japanese music. While there are plenty of karaoke boxes to go around in Shibuya, at Pasela the rooms are very comfortable and you can send out for food from any of the restaurants in the area. The honey toast is very popular with women. If you go during the day it’s rather cheap! The entrance is to the side of the building with the Disney store.
12. hair space COCO [Beauty]
Since you’ve come all the way to Shibuya, why not get yourself styled in a Shibuya-like style? For example, if you like the gyaru hairstyle, this is the salon for you. If you make reservations, you can even have them dress you in kimono. There’s also an English website.
English website (for reservation): http://rsrve.com/hair-salon/shop/details/index/216799
13. es Nail Shibuya [Beauty]
This nail salon has a branch in Beverly Hills. It’s one of the largest in Tokyo, with 25 chairs. There are nail salons all around the world, but won’t you try getting your nails decorated with the precise techniques perfected by the polite Japanese technicians? Then you can go home and boast about your lovely nails to your friends. You can get them done in the latest Shibuya styles!
English website: http://es-nail.jp/brand/english
14. Pro-Care Eyelash Shibuya [Beauty]
Have you noticed that many of the girls who hang out in Shibuya have extremely long eyelashes? Right now, eyelash extensions are all the rage among Shibuya girls. This calm salon, just 30 seconds from Shibuya Station’s Miyamasuzaka Exit, is perfectly sterilized for hygenic reasons, with each bed separated from the rest. They perform lectures for the team behind Miss Japan.
English website: http://eyelashs.jp/en/shop/shibuya/index.html
15. Gyaru Cafe 10sion [Food & Drink] [Activity]rcon.gnavi.co.jp
You know how there are maid cafes in Akihabara? In Shibuya, there are gyaru cafes! It’s staffed entirely by gyaru who perform. You can take photos with the gyaru, and have them do your hair and makeup. The recommended thing to order is the “Always Different Piled High Birthday Cake” (itsumo to chigau moriagaru birthday cake)!
16. SOUND MUSEUM VISION [Entertainment]
This is a huge, 900 square meter underground club in Dogenzaka close to the station. They have a main floor with a custom-made, one-of-a-kind sound system. The heavy bass is perfect. It’s perfect if you want to enjoy music fashionably! Many foreign artists also perform here.
17. WOMB [Entertainment]
Their pride is the sound system they shipped to Japan from New York. It was listed as the world’s 2nd best club in 2005 by the British music magazine “Mi Mag”! Since then they’ve continued to rack up high-profile awards. They have multiple floors, from the main floor on the 2nd floor to the atrium on the 4th floor (with a 10 meter high ceiling). It’s worth seeing their mirror ball, Japan’s biggest, and their use of the latest technology for their strobe lights. Many foreign artists perform here as well.
18. Taito Station Shibuya
At Taito Game Station you can enjoy plenty of games even if you don’t speak Japanese, like the high-precision CG shooting games, rhythm games, UFO catchers, etc. Have fun at one of the most high-quality game centers in this country, famous as a major gaming power! It’s perfect for people who don’t have the money or time to go to a theme park but still want to enjoy Japanese entertainment.
19. Gran Cyber Cafe -Bagus Shibuya Bunkamura-dori Store
This is a cozy and comfortable internet cafe, with a high-class feel atmosphere. It has ladies-only seats and wide shower rooms. It’s complete with a free soft drink bar, all-you-can-eat ice cream, office software, printers, copy machines, fax machines, and terminals for all kinds of battery chargers.
20. Farmer’s Market @ UNU [Shopping]
Every Saturday, a farmers’ market is held in front of the United Nations University. Farmers and merchants from all over Japan set up booths and sell fresh, delicious vegetables and other foods. There are food trucks selling Middle Eastern vegetarian food as well as homemade Brazilian cheese (as of March 2015).