Even if you have never been to Tokyo
, you can close your eyes and imagine Shibuya. Those bright city lights and zany fashion you connect with Japanese life are what Shibuya is all about. The buzz of the busy streets and discovering the strange things that locals get up to will leave any traveller feeling young. You’ll be laughing, staring, amazed and overloaded at every turn, so take your pick from our Shibuya hotels and throw yourself into raging heart of Japanese culture.
Start at Shibuya Crossing to get a feel for the area. This is the pedestrian crossing you see all the time in movies, and a real hive of activity. Large crowds gather at the Hachiko dog statue waiting for friends while three huge screens flash advertisements over everyone’s heads. Starting walking and you’ll soon see why so many people gather in Shibuya.
Your definition of shopping will definitely be changed here. Girls will want to go to Shibuya 109, and any guys with them should tag along too! This famous shopping centre is 10 floors of the very latest in youth fashion, and most of it will change within a month. This is where you can see t-shirts with English writing that makes no sense, and crazy outfits with so many details it makes western styles look unimaginative. Whether you are buying or not, 109 is a blast. Another shop that leads the way in clothes shopping is the Shibuya branch of Uniqlo. Cheap and well-made t-shirts in a tube? Uniqlo has a whole wall of them. You may have to buy another suitcase after visiting this store.
If you’re enjoying these quirky shops, head over to the Shibuya Tower Records, which is nine storeys tall! This store has somehow survived the Internet age and still sells good ol’ CDs and other music products. There aren’t many places where you can experience the feeling of a proper music store anymore. The top floor is one of Shibuya’s best English book stores.
When it gets dark, Shibuya doesn’t rest. In fact, there are probably more things to do at night here than during the day! You’ll notice streams of office workers moving around in groups. They are heading to the area’s many Izakaya – fantastic crosses between restaurants and pubs where the locals scarf down everything from seafood on skewers to veggie stir-fries followed by alcohol (often beer). Some Izakaya are simple shops with counters to sit at while others are full-blown restaurants with cushioned chairs and warm mood lighting. The atmosphere will be happy and free in all of them though, and don’t let being a tourist stop you from giving one a try!
If you are still up for new things and want to do what many young Japanese do, keep your eye out for a manga café. These are basically luxury Internet cafes with private stalls complete with soft leather chairs comfortable enough to sleep on, a computer, television, shelves of manga comic books outside and free refreshments, which often include ice cream!
So, does Shibuya sound like enough of an adventure for you? Well, wot are you waiting for? Get that Shibuya accommodation and flight to Tokyo
booked and get swept up in one of Asia’s most unique cultures.