It has been nearly a month since coming back from my long month long trip to Japan and what an experience that was. Words cannot describe how much of a dream come true the whole trip was and how overwhelmed I still am. I visited so many different places in this beautiful country, saw so many beautiful temples and skyscrapers. There is so much to talk about on my blog I didn’t know where to start. But then I thought, start with the place I enjoyed the most. Shibuya. So here are 10 things you must do in Shibuya!
Of course, I have got to start with the obvious, cross Shibuya Crossing. Just outside of Shibuya Station is a very large intersection, Shibuya Crossing. It is rumoured to be the busiest intersection in the world with 2,500 people to cross it at a time and an average of 2.4 million people to cross each day. With a mass amount of people crossing from different directions in the middle of neon Tokyo, Shibuya Crossing has appeared in many films such as Tokyo Drift and Lost in Translation.
Wanting to visit Tokyo for a while, I was worried that some of the places I wanted to see would be underwhelming. However, Shibuya Crossing did not disappoint, it was better than I had imagined. Skyscrapers towered the large intersection and each time we crossed, there were always a large amount of people doing the same. I lost count of how many times me and Reece crossed this intersection. We would cross simply to get a good photograph which honestly took a while, but it was fun to do. We ended up losing each other, getting looks from locals but honestly it was an amazing experience.
Photo Tips: Once the lights have switched to green, run straight away into the middle of the crossing and get somebody to take your photograph there. Don’t just do this once, do it a few times and do not care what other people think!
Sit in the Starbucks located on Shibuya Crossing to get an amazing view!
2. Hachiko statue
Hachiko is a statue situated right outside of Shibuya Station, it doesn’t look like much but the story behind it makes it so much more special. This dog came to Shibuya Station every day to meet it’s owner returning back from work and even after it’s owner had died. Hachiko continued to come to the station and wait for his arrival. He died outside the station 10 years later. Therefore, the Hachiko Statue was built, in honour of the most loyal dog. If I remember correctly, there are many places in Japan that are dedicated to this special pup.
Photo tip: Be patience and wait your turn!
3. Visit Shibuya 109
I became OBSESSED with Shibuya 109. Shibuya 109 is a famous shopping mall in Japan and is located on one side of Shibuya Crossing. It is so tall; you can’t miss it. The first time I saw this building I got so excited! It has 10 floors full of fashion and beauty products and food and I just knew my bank account wasn’t ready. There are a wide range of brands/shops in this mall and my favourites were Spinns and Wego. I highly recommend spending a few hours in Shibuya 109, it is so easily done. Even if you do not want to spend much money, it is so interesting seeing all the different fashion styles that are present in Japan! If you are into fashion, you’d be stupid not to go!
Photo Tip: The stairs that lead up or down to the next floor are always beautifully decorated and the perfect photo opportunity! Make sure your outfit is 10/10!
4. Shibuya Nightlife
You must spend all day in Shibuya in order to see it as quiet as it can possibly get (in the morning), the rush hour (during the day )and then to see the nightlife! I saw some strange things during Shibuya at night, things that I am not going to mention on my blog..yes that weird. However, I am glad I saw this weird side of Japanese culture because it is present in films and anime and it made my whole experience feel more real. The younger generation come out in Shibuya at night. It is where the teens go to hang out. Not to mention there are neon lights everywhere you look, beautiful to look at.
5. Go to Harajuku
Harajuku is a district in Shibuya, and it is a MUST VISIT. In Harajuku, you will find lots of young people, lots of fashion boutiques, unique shops and themed cafes, but most importantly, it is the place for fashion. Harajuku fashion such as Lolita, Visual Kei, Punk Rock and Gyaru are very prominent in this area of Shibuya. There are people expressing their own unique style and it is brilliant to see. I loved people watching and finding inspiration from all the different sub-genres of this type of Japanese fashion. When visiting Harajuku, you must walk down Takeshita Street and go in every single shop along that street. You also need to visit the themed cafes such in Harajuku. My favourites were the Kawaii Monster Café and Totti Candy. Harajuku is very Kawaii and very Japanese; it was one of the highlights of my Japan trip.
6. Visit the Meiji Shrine
The Meiji Shrine or Meiji-Jingu is a Shinto Shrine located in Shibuya and it is dedicated to the spirit of Emprior Meiji and Empress Shoken. Being built in 1920, however it was destroyed during the Second World War but was quickly rebuilt. Entering the Meiji Shrine, there is an amazing large tori gate, the area around is covered with thousands of trees and the walk from the entrance to the shrine is beautiful. It is a very popular shrine in japan and if you’re lucky enough you might see a traditional Shinto Wedding taking place.
7. Eat Ramen
Being a Vegetarian, it was hard to find traditional Japanese food that was suitable for me to eat. However, during our first week in Japan we found a little Ramen restaurant that serve the most delicious Vegetarian Ramen. You ordered on a ticket vending machine outside the shop, collect your ticket and walk inside. The interior was very traditional. It was called Samurai Noodle Co.Ltd and it was only about a 5 minute walk from Shibuya crossing. I had the dish called “Soya Vegetarian Ramen” and it was by far the nicest thing I tasted in Japan. During the final week of my Japan trip we spent another week in Tokyo and me and Reece travelled to Shibuya 3 days in a row just to eat dinner at this place. It was too amazing for words.
8. Mario Kart experience
I am sure you all know about the Go Kart Experience that is available in Japan. If not, it consists on you dressing up as a character (such as, Mario, Nemo), getting into a Go Kart that resembles the Karts from Mario Kart and then driving on real roads. You need to be able to drive and to get an international driver licences so unfortunately for me I didn’t/couldn’t do it. But Reece did and he LOVED IT.
Why I suggest doing this in Shibuya is because you get to drive through Shibuya Crossing, see all the skyscrapers and drive through Harajuku. It is also the most popular place to do this experience and therefore costs more money. If you are interested in doing this, make sure you have everything you need before heading to Japan and would recommend pre-booking!
9. Get your nails done in Shibuya
This is something I decided not to do because every nail bar I went to, it seemed pretty expensive, but this is something I would 100% do when I next go back to Japan. I had been following Nail Bars in Shibuya on Instagram for a long time and I had fell in love with their designs. They are so unique and pretty, I really wish I could have had them done.
10. Sip on cocktails
It was one of our last days in Japan and we really wanted to drink some delicious alcohol (not sake!!). We firstly headed to Hooters and this was my first time ever to set foot in a Hooters, it is much more extravagant in Japan. I had a delicious fruity cocktail there so I highly recommend, but it is slightly more on the pricier side. Strolling through the side streets of Shibuya we found a small bar and decided to go in there. Unfortunately, I cannot remember the name of the bar but the cocktails were delicious! They were made from an Japanese type of alcoholic drink (can’t remember the name), lemonade and real crushed fruit! I had peach flavour and it was delicious.
So there you have 10 Things To Do in Shibuya! I managed to tick a lot of things off my Japan Bucket List in Shibuya and I was so pleased about that!
Are you planning a trip to Japan? Out of the 10 things I have mentioned, which would you iike to do the most? Let me know in the comments!
Thanks for reading,