Asia Daikanyama Destinations Ebisu featured Harajuku Japan Jeff Grief Shibuya Shibuya District Shibuya Ward Tokyo Travel

Shibuya District: Beyond the Shibuya Crosswalk

Bar Benfiddich

Tokyo is a metropolis all the time on the transfer and all the time altering. This wasn’t my first journey there, however it had been three years since my final go to. I used to be most conversant in the Shibuya neighborhood the place I had visited quite a few occasions.  However Shibuya is rather more than a neighborhood;  it’s a district comprised of a number of neighborhoods. Let’s discover extra of Shibuya and Daikanyama, Ebisu and Harajuku


Shibuya Crosswalk at Night time

If you exit the JR Yamanote line and descend the staircase into Shibuya Station, you’re greeted by the statue of Hachiko, the canine so loyal to his grasp that he continued to attend for him on the station for 9 years after his beloved proprietor’s dying.  Past Hachiko’s statue and the famously busy intersection in Shibuya with its neon ads and throngs of pedestrians, the Shibuya ward is residence to a few of Tokyo’s most treasured neighborhoods. Once you enterprise away from busy Shibuya Crossing, the place as many as 2500 individuals cross the intersection each time the sunshine modifications, you discover wealthy native experiences. From ramen outlets to artwork galleries, there’s a bit little bit of every thing.

As the middle of youth tradition and style, that is certainly one of Tokyo’s busiest and most colourful neighborhoods. Department shops are all over the place and so are throngs of individuals. With every inexperienced crossing mild, the Occasions Sq.-esque intersection, punctuated by obtrusive neon ads and big video screens, floods with pedestrians making it a well-liked spot for pictures and films. However stroll up Omotesando-dori towards Shibuya’s again streets and also you discover a totally different story.

Ramen outlets are plentiful as are different quirky outlets and galleries. Take a look at the Design Festa Gallery, a hub of creativity which showcases rotating reveals from younger Japanese artists and photographers inside its two buildings and 21 exhibition areas. The area additionally homes a café, bar and an okonomiyaki restaurant—a pancake crammed with greens, meat, and seafood — the last word consolation meals from the Kansai area.

Browse Jam House Made specializing in “post-punk” clothes and niknaks. Taking inspiration from flea-market fashion, Nomadic Life Market has one thing for everybody in its vast number of items together with classic home equipment, clothes and furnishings.

When night time falls, use what’s left of your saved power to bop the night time away at WOMB. Well-known for its 4 ranges of sound, WOMB is certainly one of Tokyo’s longest operating nightclubs and persistently ranked within the prime three golf equipment worldwide.


Daikanyama exudes the allure of a European village together with the sophistication of New York’s SOHO neighborhood.  Artwork galleries, tempting pastry outlets, open-air cafes and eating places tucked into hidden nooks are a part of the neighborhood’s attract and a particular assortment of boutiques show an assortment of clothes from classic to high-fashion.

Situated within the Daikanyama T-Website which is unfold throughout three interlinked buildings adorned with lattices of interlocking T’s, Tsutaya is a incredible guide, journal and music emporium. It will be straightforward to spend a whole day searching the choice right here which embrace a wealth of magazines, artwork books, music and DVDs. The complicated consists of the ultra-cool Anjin Lounge the place the bar’s pedestal is appropriately constructed from books. Classic Japanese magazines are scattered across the room and a full cocktail menu is on the market once you’re prepared.

Purchasing in Daikanyama Nieghborhood

A brief stroll from the Hillside Terrace retail complicated on the fringe of Daikanyama is the Kyu Asakura Home. Inbuilt 1919, this conventional home is a treasure you don’t need to miss. Designed by the previous Chairman of the Tokyo Meeting, Torajiro Asakura, the home is surrounded by meticulous gardens enhanced by stone lanterns and landscaped rocks amid maple timber. It’s uncommon to discover a cultural house from the Taisho-era that’s open to the general public and this one is exquisitely restored. Located beneath a clay-tiled roof, highlights embrace Cedar Rooms adorned within the sukiya-zashiki fashion and a tatami-floored tea room. 


You possibly can’t go fallacious in a neighborhood named for a beer. Ebisu is known as for the favored Yebisu Beer that was brewed right here on the former Yebisu Beer Manufacturing unit. Right now the huge manufacturing unit has been transformed into Yebisu Backyard Palace that homes eating places, outlets and museums—together with the Museum of Yebisu Beer. The museum gives a 40-minute tour given in Japanese, however don’t fear, you’ll work out what’s being stated … in addition to, the top objective is the beer-tasting which incorporates two beers, one mild and one darkish. The tour culminates with a recreation of rock-paper-scissors together with your tour group; in case you win you’re given one other glass of beer.

The one museum of its sort in Japan, the Tokyo Metropolitan Museum of Images can also be within the Yebisu Backyard Place. Unfold over Four-stories devoted to images and video, the museum has a everlasting assortment of over 24,000 works displayed in three exhibition halls and a film corridor. The 4th flooring library incorporates over 60,000 volumes.

Impressed by the look of an previous European metropolis with plazas, symmetrical gardens and passages, Yebisu Backyard Place is a hub of high-end purchasing and eating and is residence to a primary fee bakery by Michelin starred chef Joel Robuchon, La Boutique de Joel Robuchon.

For different eating choices, enterprise down the side-streets and rub elbows with the locals at one of many small izakayas, specializing in small plates of grilled meat and greens, sashimi and different informal dishes cooked in tiny kitchens.


Gwen Stefani’s Harajuku women aren’t right here anymore, however you’ll discover loads of fashionable teenagers buzzing round Tokyo’s Harajuku neighborhood. Recognized for its vivid road artwork and quirky classic clothes shops alongside Takeshita-dori Road, Harajuku is a mecca for younger buyers with a mixture of each chains and unbiased shops. You’ll discover issues that aren’t provided anyplace else in shops often known as “antenna outlets” that are stocked with prototypes for test-marketing. If purchasing with a whole lot of stylish youngsters isn’t your factor, enterprise down the aspect streets for a totally totally different vibe.

Within the residential areas, intimate cafes and eating places present an escape from the chaos of Takeshita-dori Road. Right here, mainstream consumption disappears in favor of native boutiques tailor-made to a specific area of interest.

Your escape continues in Yoyogi Park. The previous Olympic Village for the 1964 Tokyo Olympics, it’s is among the metropolis’s largest inexperienced areas. This city oasis dotted with mini-lakes gives miles of nature. Well-known for its common weekend festivals, Yoyogi Park performs host to the annual Earth Day and Homosexual Satisfaction, together with quite a few different cultural and meals festivals.

Close by, Meiji Shrine additionally gives a tranquil wooded escape within the large shrine complicated devoted to the Emperor Meiji and Empress Shōken.


Shibuya is present process a variety of thrilling change proper now prematurely of the 2020 Olympics. Two tasks set to open in autumn 2018 embrace Shibuya Stream, instantly south of Shibuya Station and Shibuya Daikanyama R Venture, between Shibuya and Daikanyama stations. Shibuya Stream is situated proper by the Shibuya River, a slender stream operating alongside the main thoroughfare of Meiji-dori. It options lodge lodging, purchasing, eating and business area and can formally open on September 13, 2018. Google Japan’s headquarters will occupy flooring 14-35 on the prime and the 177 room Shibuya Stream Excel Tokyu Lodge will debut on flooring 9-13.

Shibuya is rather more than the sum of its elements once you take a stroll past its celebrated crosswalk.

The place to Keep:

Shibuya Stream Excel Tokyu Lodge – The lodge’s idea is ‘The Shibuya Sensibility,’ which (clearly) seems to stimulate Shibuya sensibility to friends. The 4th flooring will home a foyer lounge, a restaurant and a bar with a causal vibe. Opening on September 13, 2018, the model new visitor rooms have been curated with an unique “classic trendy” design and have wonderful performance.  Three-21-Three, Shibuya, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo 150-0002; +81-Three-3406-1090.

Trunk Lodge – Just lately opened within the Shibuya neighborhood, the bespoke Trunk Lodge is a welcome addition to Tokyo’s design lodge scene. Housed in two four-story buildings, design options embrace recycled woods, tiered balconies, indigo patchwork wall hangings and monochrome toilet tiling. There’s a concentrate on native and eco-friendly all through the property which options made-in-Japan facilities, visitor rooms stocked with dried fruits from a close-by Shibuya store and a fleet of custom-made up-cycled bicycles that have been previously deserted. 5-31 Jingumae, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo; +81-Three-5766-3210.

Hoshinoya Tokyo – Indoor scorching springs and Kenjutsu classes; a sake lounge and a tea ceremony workshop, the Hoshinoya is modeled after conventional Japanese inns generally known as ryokan, giving the extremely trendy facilities an anachronistic twist. There’s a melding of modernity and time-honored customs inside the lodge’s visitor rooms which come full with your personal private yukata (informal kimono). And when the town beckons, sightseeing excursions—starting from helicopter to rickshaw—are only a name away.   1-9-1 Otemachi, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo; +81-Three-6214-5151.

Keio Plaza Lodge – For greater than 4 many years, the Keio Plaza has been providing visitors an exploration into conventional Japanese tradition. Situated within the Shinjuku ward, it provides a myriad of occasions targeted on extravagant localities, together with a particular sightseeing tour by limousine of prestigious sake breweries (just like the three-hundred-year-old Ozawa Brewery, famend for its “Sanaowi” sake). Visitors also can expertise genuine tea ceremonies within the Keio Plaza’s tea ceremony room, Sho-Fu-An.  2-2-1 Nishi-Shinjuku, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo 160-8330; +81-Three-3344-0111.

The place to Eat:

Usukifugu Yamadaya – A Three-Michelin-starred restaurant, Yamadaya specializes within the preparation of fugu (or pufferfish). For a restaurant to serve fugu, which is toxic if sick ready, it must undergo an in depth licensing process that features a number of courses and a proficiency check. Relaxation assured, Yamadaya has been serving superbly ready fugu since opening in 2006, although head Chef Toshio Kusakabe has been licensed since 1989.  Four Chome-11-14 Nishiazabu, Minato, Tokyo; +81 Three-3499-5501

Yebisu Backyard Place – Inside this purchasing, enterprise and leisure complicated housed within the former Yebisu Beer Brewery, you’ll discover every part from quick meals chains like Burger King and Starbucks to the Michelin Three-starred restaurant, La Boutique de Joel Robuchon. 150-6018 Four-20, Ebisu, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo; +81 03-5423-7111;

Maisen—Behind the Apple retailer on Omotsando yow will discover the haven for Tonkatsu – Panko flaked deep fried pork cutlet served in a Japanese diner like setting with all of the trimmings from cabbage (Japanese cole slaw) to pickle and rice. It’s scrumptious right here and a very good worth.  Four-Eight-5 Jingumae, Shibuya-Ku; +81 Three 3470 0071;

The place to Drink:

Coloso Espresso – This cool espresso and bake store is situated the Nomadic Life Market within the middle of Harajuku and has a sister department in Oakland, California.  Take pleasure in a espresso and pastry after your purchasing spree. Three-21-1 Pura Flor Jungumae Constructing. 1F Jungumae, Sibuya-Ku; +81 Three 3403 2772;

Spring Valley Brewery—The Tokyo department of this craft brewery is situated in Daikanyama.  Take pleasure in one or all six of the craft beers made on premise.  There’s additionally a restaurant with a full eating menu for lunch and dinner.  Log Street Daikanyama, Daikanyama, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo,  +81 03-6416-4960;

Bar Benfiddich – Hiroyasu Kayama, head mixologist at Bar Benfiddich, opened this institution in 2013 and it’s been one of many hottest bars in Japan since. Kayla’s apothecary type cocktails are the spotlight of the bar—jars of spices and infusions line the partitions behind him as he concocts on-the-fly drinks invented for his clients. 1 Chrome–13–7, Shinjuku, Nishishinjuku, Tokyo; +81 Three-6279-4223.

Bar Benfiddich – Photograph by Jeff-Greif

Fuglen– Which means hen in Norwegian, this design store from Norway opened in Shibuya and options gadgets made there. It doubles as an espresso bar by day and by night time it turns right into a craft cocktail bar.  1-16-11 Tomigaya, Shibuya-ku; +81 Three 3481-0884;

The place to Store:

Jam Residence Made – A outstanding streetwear model specializing in “post-punk,” Jam Residence Made provides quite a lot of clothes, from bridal to equipment modeled after the Hollywood blockbuster Pirates of the Caribbean. Three Chrome-22-11 Jingumae, Shibuya, Tokyo; +81 Three-3478-7113.

Nomadic Life Market – An city flea market that gives all kinds of products together with furnishings, clothes, and classic home equipment. The choices listed here are so assorted and distinctive that it doesn’t matter what your type, one can find one thing that catches your eye. Three-21-1 Pura Flor Jingumae Bldg 1F Jingumae Shibuya-ku, Tokyo; + 81-Three-3403-2772.

What to See and What to Do:

Design Festa Gallery – This artistic hub in Shibuya showcases rotating reveals from younger Japanese artists and photographers. There’s additionally a café, bar and okonomiyaki restaurant. Three Chome-20-18 Jingumae, Tokyo 150-0001; Tel: +81-Three-3479-1442.

Tsutaya Books – (Daikanyama T-Website)- This excellent e-book, journal and music emporium situated within the Daikanyama T-Website will maintain you captive for hours when you browse its expansive alternatives. Take a break upstairs within the ultra-cool Anjin Lounge. 17-5 Sarugakucho, Tokyo 150-0033; +81 Three-3770-2525;

Kyu Asakura Home – An necessary cultural property five-minutes’ stroll from Daikanyama Station, this almost 100 yr previous home serves as a exceptional instance of mansions constructed through the Meiji period till the 30th yr of the Showa period. 29-20 Sarugakucho; Tel: 03-3476-1021.

Museum of Yebisu Beer – Situated contained in the Yebisu Backyard Place within the former Yebisu Brewery this beer museum educates in Japanese, however the beer tasting transcends all language limitations. Ebisu Backyard Terrace at Ebisu Four-20-1, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo; +81 03-5423-7255;

Tokyo Metropolitan Museum of Images – Also referred to as the Tokyo Photographic Artwork Museum, it homes an in depth assortment devoted to images and video exhibited over Four flooring, together with a library with over 60,000 volumes. 1-13-Three Mita Meguro-ku, Tokyo 153-0062; +81 03-3280-0099;

WOMB – In case you’re within the temper to go dancing or simply need a glimpse of Japan’s night-life, WOMB is the be-all end-all of Japanese youth tradition. Targeted totally on Japanese and Asian artists, it offers the quintessential pop-culture expertise. When you’re on the lookout for extra internationally recognized musicians, WOMB attracts family names as nicely, rating second-best membership on the earth by London’s celebrated music journal, “Mixmag.” Intex Ebisu bldg.6F, 2-1-10 Ebisuminami, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo.

Yoyogi Park – Escape the hustle and bustle with a go to to this former Olympic Village the place 134 acres of tranquility await together with the huge Meiji Shrine. 2-1 Yoyogikamizonocho, Shibuya, Tokyo 151-0052; +81 Three-3469-6081;



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