Shibuya - one of the most vibrant, if not central, city neighbourhoods to visit as part of one’s Tokyo travels. From high-end fashion boutiques to cheap-sale vintage clothing stores, elegant restaurants to cheap eateries and hidden cafes, resplendent glass-fronted buildings to small branching streets, Shibuya is a paradise for adventurous young Tokyoites in search of variety and excitement. This is a complete itinerary of the places to tour, explore and eat at during your travels in Shibuya. So stay tuned in, and enjoy!
1. Morning Broadcast at NHK Studio Park
Your tummy satiated and your brains fairly up and working, you can head down next to the popular NHK Studio Park. NHK is Japan’s national public broadcasting organisation that provides radio and television broadcasting, as well as popular dramas and children television programs. NHK Studio Park, located right next to Yoyogi Park, allows you to experience the actual process of working in a broadcasting studio, ranging from visits to live broadcasting programs, exhibitions and events, to participating in activities that include becoming an announcer yourself or dubbing television scenes. The studio is especially perfect for families, as it provides facilities such as suckling rooms and toilets with baby seats. The facility is also barrier-free, so you can enter easily even with a wheelchair and a guide dog. You can enter for free on some public holidays, so check out the Internet before you decide to come!
The Studio Park first opened in 1965 and celebrated its 51st anniversary last year. The facility is divided into three floors. At the CT-450 Studio, you can actually view a live broadcast: “Studio Park Hello” is held on weekday at noon, “Saturday Studio Park” on Saturdays, and the radio program “Sunday Variety” on Sundays. If you have the good fortune of coincidental timing, you may just not only be able to get close to the celebrities on the show, but even show up on television!
NHK World radio program studio features Japanese news and culture translated into multiple languages, as well as the children’s program, “Together with Mum.” At the Studio Park NEWS, you get to experience becoming a newscaster, reporter, as well as weather forecaster, within an actual studio complete with the set, television camera, and sub-control room. Furthermore, you will get to learn secrets such as how newscasters are able to face the screen without reading an actual script from their hands. You can also experience radio technology, such as the chroma key, used in the weather corner, or broadcasting technology used during news production. Although weekends are teeming with people to the point that reservations may be required, on weekdays you can gain careful instruction from the NHK staff and rehearse for the actual program.
In addition, there is an exhibition corner for you to view the actual set, tools, and costumes used in popular morning dramas and novel-based dramas. It undergoes regular renewal throughout the year and always features the latest trending drama. At the drama library of the permanent exhibition, you can view the drama collection and opening film, as well as posters in the digital archive. You can even enter the set and have a photograph taken of you in the exhibition corner.
When you leave the experience course, you will enter the Studio Shop. Here, goods of popular dramas featuring NHK characters or currently broadcasting dramas, variety shows, and past popular shows are on sale. There are T-shirts and mascots of all-time favorite morning dramas such as “Ama-chan” and “Ume-chan sensei”, as well as nostalgic character goods of “Niko-niko-pun” and “Dekirukana.” There is a Studio Cafe right alongside, where you can enjoy a light meal and drink. There are also television program-themed collaboration menus.
Why not come for a morning broadcast experience at the NHK Studio Park?
NHK Studio Park
Address: 2 -2-1 Jinnan, Shibuya Ward, Tokyo
Price: Individuals (Aged 18-64) 200 JPY (1.70 USD), free of charge for students up to high school, children under 18, and seniors 65 or elder
Opening Hours: 10 am - 6pm (Admission until 5:30 p.m.) Closed on the fourth Monday of every month.
Duration: Around 3 hours required.
Access: 12-minute walk from Shibuya Station (JR Yamanote Line / Tokyu Toyoko and Den-en-toshi Lines / Keio Inokashira Line / Tokyo Metro Ginza, Hanzomon, and Fukutoshin Lines)
Contact: +81 3-3485-8034
Near by Food: Studio Cafe Special Menu
Coming up next is Rakuten Café. First opened in 2014, Rakuten represents Japan’s #1 Internet company. At Rakuten, you can enjoy popular sweets, free Wi-Fi and an electronic library. Just exit through the Hachiko exit, walk straight through Inokashira-dori, and to the left of Marui City Shibuya of Shibuyakouen-dori, you will find the store. A red “R” logo marks out the Rakuten building from the rest that even from a distance, it is easily visible. Although the exterior of the building is simple and stylish, a step inside the cafe reveals a calm interior full of wooden materials.
There are three floors in total, all 85 seats of which smoking is off limits. Counter seats feature centrally on the first floor, whereas table seats populate the second and third floors. Upon entering, you will find a large showcase of all-time favorite sweets that Rakuten specially selected for the cafe. These include Madame Shinto Madam Crème Brule, Matcha Chocolate, and Gyokkado Pudding, the latter of which 7000 products is said to be sold in a single day. Other than the pastries, you can also enjoy a hearty meal consisting of bagels, toasts, pasta, and pizzas. The café itself is open until 11 PM. If you want to bring home the sweets you enjoyed at the cafe, you can purchase it online through the QR code provided in the menu.
Moreover, if you pay by the Rakuten card, you can get coffee and tea at half-price! Just by downloading the smartphone application, you can store up on Rakuten points. For example, by checking in at the cafe, you can earn 20 points. As 1 point = 1 JPY, every visit amounts to 20 JPY. The coffee offered at Rakuten is the “original blend” coffee specially developed for the cafe, and featured in the “Rakuten Shop of the Year” for eleven running years. Although it is a special product, one cup of coffee costs 280 JPY or 2.40 USD (for small), 320 JPY or 2.80 USD (medium), and 360 JPY or 3.10 USD (Large).
One valuable asset of the café is that you can use Japan’s top-level Wi-Fi, of which the transmission speed is 10 times faster than the normal free Wi-Fi (1 Gbps), without any password access. Although many cafes in Japan only have charging spots on counter seats, every seat has a charging spot at Rakuten cafe. You will therefore find that many students and working people bring in their laptops to study and work at the café. You can also rent a mobile charger for free. There is also an electronic library called “Kobo,” where you can read popular books and magazines for free. Kobo, however, is limited to ground floor counter seats and the central table, as well as second floor counter seats.
So gulp up your noontime fix and enjoy some sweets in a retro IT environment at Rakuten Cafe!
Address: 1 -20-6 Jinnan, Shibuya-Ward, Tokyo
Price: from 2 USD
Opening Hours: 10am - 10:30pm
Access: 10-min walk from JR Shibuya Station Hachiko Exit.
Contact: +81 3-5784-2848
Near by Food: French toast, pasta, cake
3. Strolling on Cat Street
Shibuya Cat Street is the pedestrian walk along Meiji Street, which connects Shibuya station area to Harajuku area. It’s famous for selling unique stuff and interesting motive cafes and you wouldn’t mind walking along the approximately 800-meter long street.
Address: around 2 Jingumae, Shibuya Ward, Tokyo
Access: 5 minutes’ walk from JR Shibuya station or Tokyo metro Omotesando station
4. An evening at Bunkamura
Bunkamura is an excellent place to experience culture and craft. Built in 1989 as Japan’s first large-scale cultural facility, Bunkamura features a diverse range of attractions, ranging from concert halls, theatres, art galleries, and movie theatres, to cafes and shops. You can enjoy classic concerts such as operas, jazz, and ballet performances in the Orchard Hall, plays, concerts and contemporary dance in the Theatre Cocoon, art exhibitions at The Museum, as well as road shows featuring artistic films, documentaries and live viewing of ballet performances at Le Cinema. Afterwards, one can enjoy a calming cup of beverage in the midst of greenery at the Parisian cafe Du Mago, as well as shopping at the Tokyu Main Department Store connected directly to the facility.
Address: 2-24-1 Dogenzaka, Shibuya Ward, Tokyo
Price: from 15 USD
Opening Hours: From 10 am (closed on January 1 only)
Duration: around 2 hours required.
Access: 7-minute walk from the Hachiko Exit of Shibuya Station on the JR Line or Shibuya Station on the Tokyo Metro Ginza Line and Keio Inokashira Line; 5-minute walk from Exit 3a of Shibuya Station on the Tokyu Toyoko Line, Tokyu Denentoshi Line, Tokyo Metro Hanzomon Line and Tokyo Metro Fukutoshin Line
Contact: +81 3-3477-9111
Nearby Food: Meals and drinks at Les Deux Magots Paris, Lounge, Flannel Style Coffee
5. Dine with the Culturists at Tokyo Culture Culture
Despite the approaching evening, Shibuya is ever a-bustle with excitement and activity. For people touring through Tokyo on the hunt for an eventful (and even stomach-full) experience, we definitely recommend the Tokyo Culture Culture.
The Tokyo Culture Culture, originally based in Odaiba, is an event house-type restaurant where companies and cultural experts host cultural events on a daily basis. Close to JR Shibuya station and along Meiji-tori of Shibuya, there is the Miyashita Park. Since its renewal in 2011 and due to its richness in bouldering and futsal sports facilities, the park is known as Japan’s greatest “Skate Park.” Many musical events are held inside the park. Right in front of this park is the commercial facility “Cocoti,” the fourth floor of which Tokyo Culture Culture is located.
A handmade board marks the entrance to Tokyo Culture Culture and shines if you like their Facebook page at the reception. The spectrum of events that are held here are simply amazing. They include exhibitions of aquariums and drinking spots, or all-you-can-eat trials of the Japanese zoni soup, or even maniac events such as “I want to know this!!” and “This event actually exists?!”. Events that collaborate with companies include trying all-you-can-drink Japanese sake event, or Lawson’s all-you-can-eat fried chicken event. Events that still continue from the days of Shibuya include “Snack Tama-chan” and “Weather Forecast Assembly.”
Moreover, all events are within the 4,000 JPY (35 USD) range and are purchasable on the actual spot. Both food and alcohol menu are of superb quality and unique variety. Dishes include Pad Thai (Thai Fried Noodles), Roast Beef Don, Roast Beef Sushi, and Garlic Edamame.
The founder of Tokyo Culture Culture hopes to host more events that involve Shibuya ward and provide a place for communicating with foreign tourists visiting Shibuya, so keep your eyes peeled for events that may take place on this day!
Tokyo Culture Culture
Address: cocoti SHIBUYA, 1-23-16, Shibuya, Shibuya Ward, Tokyo
Price: from 5 USD
Opening Hours: Open from 10am
Access: Direct access from Exit 13 of Tokyo Metro Shibuya Station
Contact: +81 3-6427-4288
Near by Food: Roasted beef, noodles and rice, fried foods, salads, appetisers
6. Ending the night with a romantic nightscape view
There’s no finer place to spend a toned-down evening than the sky lobby in Hikarie. First opened in 2012, the 34-floors-high, 4-basement-floors-deep complex of Hikarie is still a relatively new landmark of Shibuya. With its shining, glass-fronted façade and beautiful modern interior, it radiates an atmosphere of metropolitan chic.
Due to its direct connection and proximity to the Shibuya station, even on rainy days you can get there easily without even pulling out an umbrella. Inside, one can find such a diversity of shops, restaurants, cafes, and other facilities that number approximately 200. However, the reason why we recommend this building at nighttime is not for its extensive entertainment and shopping options (which are just as great), but for its diorama-like view of the Shibuya cityscape it commands on the eleventh-floor sky lobby. From this height, one can gaze at the endlessly flowing crowds, cars, buses and trains of JR Shibuya station. The view encompasses the scramble crossing popular among foreigners, and one can even see far until the buildings of Shinjuku, including the Yoyogi National Gymnasium built for the 1964 Tokyo Olympics. It commands an especially breathtaking view of the Shibuya cityscape at night.
So relax, and wind down with a beautiful night at Shibuya Hikarie’s Sky Lobby.
Address: 2-21-1 Shibuya, Shibuya Ward, Tokyo
Price: from 5 USD
Opening Hours: 10am - 9pm. Closed on January 1.
Access: Direct access from exit 15 of Shibuya station
Contact: +81 3-5468-5892
A perfect way to pass the time in Shibuya
As you can see, there are plenty of events you can cram in a single day at Shibuya! Take note that there are many alternative ways of mix and matching and changing this suggested itinerary. So stay tuned in with other possible and exciting alternatives through other articles regarding Shibuya!
A Perfect Way to Pass the Time in Shibuya
As you can see, there are plenty of events you can cram in a single day at Shibuya! Take note that there are many alternative ways of mix matching and changing this suggested itinerary. So stay tuned in with other possible and exciting alternative through other articles regarding Shibuya!
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