You made it to Shibuya! You probably took a selfie with Hachiko, the faithful dog. Maybe you bravely went with the flow and made it to the other side of the iconic Shibuya scramble crossing. And now what? You might be thinking about heading off to the next great sight that Tokyo has to offer or back to your hotel. But wait–you could be missing out on the many great experiences that Shibuya has to offer that are off the beaten track.
Here we will present you with a list of things to do in Shibuya, apart from Hachiko, the scramble, and the big tourist spots. This is not an exhaustive list, though. There is an infinite number of restaurants, cafes, bars and entertainment facilities in this wild and energetic part of town. Think of this as a starting off point for your own personal journey down the backstreets of Shibuya.
Note: This guide only includes locations close to Shibuya station. Other parts of Shibuya ward like Harajuku, Yoyogi, and Ebisu are well worth a visit but are a part of this list.
1. Tower Records – Browse local and international CDs and maybe catch a live performance
While Tower Records has vanished from most other places in the world, it’s very much alive and buzzing in Japan. Tower Records Shibuya is their eight-floor tall flagship store. They even have a wide selection of vinyl and cassette tape versions of recent releases. They often host in-store events where you can listen to mini concerts and maybe discover your new favorite band.
2. “Depachika” – Feast your eyes on delicious foods and fill your belly
You will find many department stores around Shibuya station, and each has their own “depachika“, which is the basement floor of a department store packed with the most amazing foods. If you time your visit right you can sample many of the offered treats.
3. VR Park Tokyo Shibuya – Catch cute plushies or enter virtual reality
Catch yourself a cute, fluffy travel companion at one of the colorful claw machines or take a break from planet Earth for a while and dive into the realm of virtual reality.
4. Tyffonium – More virtual reality
If the VR Park was not enough virtual reality for you, check out Tyffonium for even more out of this world of experiences. Want horror that gives you the chills on a hot summer day? Want to take the helm of a flying ghost ship? Get a glimpse into your future? Go on a monster safari? Who would have thought you could do all that just a few minutes away from Shibuya station.
5. Dendama and Darts RE/D–where old Japan meets new…over beer
If you’re looking for just some regular old darts bar in Shibuya, we hate to disappoint you (after all, this is one of the trendiest and craziest areas of an already trendy and crazy city). This bar combines darts, a craft beer menu AND–thrown into the mix just for good measure– Dendama, an electronic version of the classic Japanese wooden ball-and-stick game Kendama. This updated version allows you to compete against other players, arcade-style. It’s a great mix of old and new–just like Tokyo itself!
6. Shibuya 109/Magnet – Shop with Tokyo trendsetters
The Shibuya 109 shopping mall is the epicenter of Shibuya`s fashion scene. It is said that this is the place for people who don’t follow trends, it’s for people who make them. The 110 shops include Adidas, Liz Lisa, and Wego. Why don’t you stop by and purchase a hot fashion item from a shop clerk who is adored like a celebrity?
Men’s fashion is available at the ‘brother store’ Magnet by Shibuya 109, formerly known as 109 Men`s, on the other side of Shibuya crossing. Magnet features the Mugiwara Store (where you can buy One Piece merchandise), a restaurant floor, and a viewing platform.
7. Alee Beach – A Hawaiian restaurant unlike any other
There may be tons of Hawaiian restaurants in Tokyo–but none take Hawaiian realness to this level. The decor really makes you feel like you are at a tropical resort–there’s even sand on the floor! Plus the “angel wings” on the walls are oh so very instagrammable. If you want a taste of what Hawaii is like without going there, or even if you just want to experience how wonderfully extra Tokyo can be, Alee Beach is for you!
8. Mega Don Quijote Shibuya Honten – Marvel over things you never knew you wanted
The inside of a Don Quijote is a sight of its own. It’s loud, it’s colorful and, stacked to the ceiling with goods you can and cannot imagine–bug shaped plush hats, an entire steak as beef jerky, a range of seasonal KitKats and other sweets, clothing, anime merchandise, cosmetics, colorful socks with your favorite characters, household appliances–simply anything! Very good for last minute gifts, by the way.
9. T4 (Table For Play)–What happens when you mix trendy bar vibes with ping pong?
Talk about a concept! T4’s The Rally Table in Shibuya is a restaurant, cafe, and place to practice your ping-pong skills (don’t worry–you can cheer on your friends too if you don’t want to play). It also has larger spaces to rent out in case you want to throw a party or bring a large group.
10. Tokyu Hands – A DIY Paradise
Tokyu Hands is kind of like a department store, if you took out all the clothes, bags, and perfumes and replaced it with stuff for your daily life. We’re talking every aspect of your daily life here, from shampoos and conditioners to exercise equipment, hangars, cooking utensils, stationary, shoe polish and more. You can easily spend a half a day inside just roaming around and window shopping–but believe us, it would be time well spent.
11. Shibuya Nishimura Fruit Parlor – Those crazy expensive fruits you heard about? Find them here!
On the first floor you will find a shop where you can buy very expensive fruit, like 10 €/USD for one single strawberry level-expensive. Don`t be shocked, while fresh fruits and veggies are fairly expensive in Japan, these fruits are special, they were grown with the utmost care by specialised farmers to serve as presents. (Unfortunately you can’t bring them as souvenirs.)
If you want to enjoy desserts made from these exclusive fruits on the spot, head to the Fruits Parlor in the same building. The fruit sandwich is a very unique treat among modern Japanese sweets and you can get a high-quality version there. They also serve pancakes and sundaes.
12. Shibuya Dagashi Bar – Get a sugar rush with all you can eat retro sweets
In this pub you can eat Dagashi (‘cheap sweets’) to your heart’s content. From 4 p.m. until 11:30 p.m. you can eat unlimited sweet and savory Japanese retro sweets along with your order.
13. Hikarie, Fukuras, Scramble Square – Explore the shiny skyscraper malls that also offer an unprecedented view of the Shibuya scramble crossing
The Hikarie building has a free viewing platform at its Sky Lobby on the 11th floor, it offers an unusual perspective on the Shibuya scramble crossing which emphasizes the size of the surrounding buildings.
Shibuya Fukuras was opened just in November 2019 and offers many attractions. If you are looking for a more family friendly ‘Robot Restaurant’ than the rainbow colored burlesque attraction of Shinjuku’s Kabukicho, Fukuras’ Pepper Parlor is the place to go. Pepper Parlor is a café staffed by cute Pepper service robots. At Fukuras you can also find local crafts from all prefectures of Japan, enjoy traditional foods, or enjoy the view from the free viewing platform
Shibuya Scramble Square is as new as Fukuras and features the second open air viewing platform in the city (the other one being Roppongi Hills), from which you can view a breathtaking sunset. If you are fortunate to go on a clear day, you can even see mount Fuji. The Scramble Square mall has more than 200 stylish shops and restaurants for you to explore. Don`t forget to check out the Depachika of this mall.
14. Uobei Sushi
Sushi like you’ve never had it before–delivered automatically on a little boat shaped like a Shinkasen. Everything is ordered off of a computer screen and arrives right to your seat, plus you pay by the plate. The sushi is good, and they have a pretty wide menu of things, including miso soup, udon, ramen, and deserts, so even if you’re not a raw fish fan, definitely check this place out.
15. Jinnan Area
If trendy cafes and hip clothing stores are your cup of tea, might we suggest the Jinnan area. Just north of the station and continuing up towards the NHK Building, this is an area filled with some very cool cafes like “and people cafe” which has beautiful decor, Zarigani cafe which has a really nice lighting and a deck out back, and the aptly named JINNAN Cafe from which you can enjoy watching the crowds pass by with a refreshing iced drink. You can also find Japanese clothing brands like Ships here.
Bonus: ShibuyAHA – Explore Shibuya while solving puzzles
Put on your detective hats and get ready to walk through Shibuya with eyes wide open – both in amazement and so as not to miss any of the clues. ShibuyAHA is a scavenger hunt game made by Invite Japan in collaboration with Tokyu Corporation. It takes you on a fun adventure through the back-alleys of Shibuya as well some very fun stores. It’s a unique once-in-a-lifetime tour unlike any you have experienced before!