Shibuya (渋谷) is known as a popular shopping and entertainment area where is one of Tokyo’s most colorful and busy districts. Over a dozen major department store branches can be found around the area catering to all types of shoppers. I would recommend you to visit if you stay in Tokyo. Please do not miss it.
Shibuya is also a center for youth fashion and culture, and its streets are the birthplace to many of Japan’s fashion and entertainment trends.
Shibuya Scramble Crossing
Shibuya Scramble Crossing is frequently featured in films. This crossing is one of the famous place in Tokyo among foreign tourists. It is rumored to be the busiest intersection in Japan (could be in the world). Hundreds of people – and at peak times said to be over 1000 people – cross at a time, coming from all directions at once. [Lonely planet Tokyo] says “Shibuya Crossing, is like a giant beating heart, sending people in all directions with every pulsing light change”.
Center Gai and around
Center Gai is a busy pedestrian zone in the heart of Shibuya lined by stores, Ramen noodle shops and restaurants.
Ramen noodles were originally introduced to Japan from China several hundred years ago.The noodles have become a national dish. Japanese love of ramen can be seen in the long lines of people waiting outside popular shops. Regional varieties are appearing all over Japan and they can eat many varieties in Center Gai.
▲In Japan, beverage vending machines are located everywhere, very easy to find. But here there are vending machines that sell strange things.
▲An old style coffee shop to enjoy classic music. The shop name is “LION” has been running for over 90 years.
▲Capsule toys (called Gacha Gacha in Japanese）
Capsule toys are round cpsules containing small toys, sold in little vending machines. They are also called by names such as Gachapon Gachapon.These names mimic the sounds when the lever is turned after the insertion of a coin (Gacha Gacha) and capsule comes out of the machines. A single machine will often have several types of products in the same series which come out at random.
▲Purikura (derived from Print club)
Purikura is like a photo booth. That prints out cards and stickers of the resulting photograph、which are then traded among friends. Japanese Teenagers often take Purikura with their close friend or first boyfriend (girlfriend) and share and attach(seal) it on their important goods as a proof they like (falling in love) each other.
Japanese-like things in chaos
I would say Shibuya is generally the district where young people gather comparing to other district in Tokyo…But you sometimes find Japanese-like things in chaos.
Geta, Zori and Waraji are all traditional Japanese footwear with a thong between the big toe and second toe. Nowadays the people put Geta or Zori or Waraji on only when they wear Japanese traditional clothes.
Spain Slope (Supeinzaka)
Here Spain Slope is a narrow, approximately 100 meter long pedestrian street with stairs leading up the slope to the Parco department store. It is lined by boutiques, cafes and restaurants, and was nicknamed for its resemblance to a Spanish street scene. There are international restaurants, French, Spanish, Italian,Thailands along the pedestrian.
Night Scenes in Shibuya
In the evenings the street is crowded with young people heading to night clubs, restaurants and bars, or just loitering around.I would recommend you to visit here in the night if you like the youthful and vibrant atmosphere. It is different from daytime when people enjoy shopping and eating.