1. Shibuya Scramble Crossing
    Photo: Sean Pavone/DreamstimeShibuya Scramble Crossing
  2. Shibuya Sky
    Photo: Keisuke Tanigawa Views from Shibuya Sky
  3. Miyashita Park rooftop
    Photo: Kisa ToyoshimaMiyashita Park rooftop
  4. Konno Hachimangu Shrine
    Photo: Keisuke TanigawaKonno Hachimangu Shrine
  5. Tokyu Hands
    Photo: Keisuke TanigawaTokyu Hands

50 things to do in Shibuya

The best places to eat, shop and play in Tokyo’s buzziest neighbourhood – here's your guide to Shibuya

Written by
Time Out Tokyo Editors
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Shibuya: it's the 'hood with everything. Cutting-edge fashion boutiques, world-class nightclubs, unbeatable record shops, hip bars, dining options ranging from fancy washoku eateries to dirt-cheap diners – if you want it, you can probably find it here.

The area's also in the middle of a seemingly never-ending revamp, with new commercial complexes such as Miyashita Park, Shibuya Parco and Shibuya Scramble Square popping up around the busy station. With so much to choose from, where on earth should you start?

Read on for our essential Shibuya tips: the best places to shop, eat, drink and hang out in Tokyo's most eclectic neighbourhood. 

Note that due to Covid-19 safety rules, most restaurants, bars and other businesses are currently closing at 8pm.

RECOMMENDED: discover our guide to the 50 best things to do in Harajuku

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  • Shopping
  • Shibuya

Considering ‘Donkey Kong’ came out nearly 40 years ago, it’s about time Japan finally got its own official Nintendo store. Located on Shibuya Parco’s Cyberspace floor, which is dedicated to otaku geeks, this outlet has everything a Nintendo fanboy or girl could ever dream of. Aside from the latest and most popular games, Nintendo Tokyo also offers a selection of merchandise you cannot find anywhere else.

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  • Restaurants
  • Shibuya

You can travel Japan in its entirety through your taste buds at this speciality restaurant in Shibuya Hikarie. The restaurant’s comprehensive menu features food and drink items from all 47 prefectures. You’ll want to check back frequently as the menu changes each month.

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  • Restaurants
  • Delis
  • Daikanyama

If you’re looking for fresh seafood, this takeaway shop in Daikanyama is the perfect place to order plates of sashimi, bento boxes and unique sushi offerings like Maguro Mille-feuille – multiple layers of tuna wrapped together in a sushi roll. The seafood is brought in fresh every morning from the Misaki Megumi Fisheries and you can customise your very own sashimi platter or seafood bowl with your favourite cuts of fish.

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  • Restaurants
  • Bistros
  • Harajuku
  • price 2 of 4

Hidden away in a quiet back alley just steps from the hustle and bustle of Harajuku lies Kiki, the domain of haute cuisine wizard Yuki Noda. With his love for fruit, he crafts French-inspired creative dishes, which go well with the Japanese wine on offer. Go for lunch, dinner, or opt for some of the fruity à la carte options.

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  • Shopping
  • Shoes
  • Ebisu

Sneakerheads will go into a frenzy when they see this three-building sneaker shop that's moved into Daikanyama's Log Road. The space is now home to Sneakersnstuff, the Swedish-born sneaker empire that's taken the world by storm. The brand's seventh store worldwide and first store in Asia, the Tokyo shop features two unique buildings that almost feel like an art gallery and store merged together, as well as a tranquil café and terrace space.

Enjoy music and a drink at Grandfather's
  • Bars and pubs
  • Shibuya

Established 40 years ago, the aptly named Grandfather’s started out with a playlist style that was uncommon at the time, blending together rock LPs one song at a time. After all these years, the interior is still well maintained, giving off a rich ambience that’s appropriate for such a venerable bar and that lends an extra level of charm to the music.

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  • Restaurants
  • Yoyogi-Uehara

This quaint café in a revamped traditional Japanese house serves up a distinctive menu of konnyaku inarizushi and kakigori shaved ice. Inarizushi are little pockets of deep-fried tofu stuffed with rice, but Kon takes this traditional dish up a notch by filling konnyaku (konjac) pockets with rice. This unique take on inarizushi originated in the Kumamoto region and is a rare treat to find in central Tokyo. During the warmer months, Kon also specialises in kakigori shaved ice topped with seasonal fruits, vegetables, herbs and spices. 

  • Shopping
  • Lifestyle
  • Ebisu

Located on the fourth floor of a nondescript building in Ebisu, this spacious store houses everything from fashion, Chemex coffee equipment and door mats, to fine jewellery, antique glassware and other little trinkets. Clothing comes in the form of closet staples like simple T-shirts and hoodies, and even a selection of shoes.

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Pick up a book or two at Daikanyama Tsutaya Books
  • Shopping
  • Bookshops
  • Daikanyama

In a perfect world, all bookshops would be like this. Tokyo's Klein Dytham Architecture won an award at the World Architecture Festival for their work on Daikanyama T-Site, which is spread across three interlinked buildings adorned with lattices of interlocking Ts. That 'T' stands for rental chain Tsutaya, whose seemingly bottomless pockets helped fund the kind of book emporium that most capital cities can only dream of.

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  • Restaurants
  • Ramen
  • Shibuya

This Udagawacho hotspot uses a rich, delicious gyokai tonkotsu broth made from simmering chicken, pork and seafood. The rich light-brown soup is packed with flavour and pairs well with the straight and firm noodles. The basic ramen starts at just ¥800, but for ¥1,200 you’ll get a bowl with all the trimmings including lightly seared chashu pork, menma bamboo shoots, a flavoured egg and green onions.

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  • Restaurants
  • Coffeeshops
  • Shibuya
  • price 2 of 4

Stepping through the low, marble-tiled entrance, the first thing you’ll notice is the gorgeous tableware displayed behind a long hardwood counter. That’s not to say that the surroundings here outshine the coffee – on the contrary, Satei Hato’s hand-drip offerings maintain the absolutely highest quality. Choose from up to eight varieties of charcoal-roasted beans and watch as the formally dressed staff prepare your treat with almost religious dedication.

  • Shopping
  • Shibuya

You don’t have to go all the way to Akihabara to get your otaku fix: this subterranean shop in central Shibuya is overflowing with manga, anime, collectable toys and more. Serious collectors should stay tuned to the shop’s socials for store events and auctions where you can get your hands on rare finds.

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  • Attractions
  • Religious buildings and sites
  • Shibuya

This quiet little shrine marks the spot where the aristocratic Shibuya family, believed to have given the area its name, once lived. The shrine is designated as a tangible cultural property by Shibuya ward and is also home to a number of treasures including a pair of lion masks carved by craftsman Hidari Jingoro and a mikoshi (portable shrine), which is used during festivals.

  • Restaurants
  • Ice-cream parlours
  • Shibuya
  • price 1 of 4

Shiroichi’s cones are something to marvel at. These soft serves are unusually long and thin, so you’ll want to devour yours quickly before it melts or topples over. That’s not hard to do, though – the fresh milk frozen treat is utterly irresistible.

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  • Restaurants
  • Shibuya

Tokyo has no shortage of excellent traditional soba noodle restaurants. But for a creative and contemporary – yet entirely authentic – take on soba, visit Ryan in Shibuya. The soba menu ranges from plain chilled soba served with a rich dashi-based dipping sauce to more complex offerings like hot soba with anago (sea eel) and vegetable tempura.

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  • Restaurants
  • Harajuku

Hidden among the cool restaurants of Shibuya Parco’s Chaos Kitchen, this shitamachi (downtown) izakaya-style restaurant serves only vegan dishes. The main dish is the mock karaage made with soy meat instead of chicken, which comes in five different flavours including grated radish, Chinese black vinegar, Sichuan style hot and spicy, sweet and sour, and teriyaki mayonnaise.

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  • Restaurants
  • Shibuya
  • price 1 of 4

Shaved ice meets cream cake at this restaurant that’s created their very own version of kakigori, which they call ‘dolce shaved ice’. Watching the owner expertly assemble his original Mango Shortcake kakigori is fascinating – layers of ice, mango syrup, whipped cream and mango pieces come together to form what looks exactly like a real cake.

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  • Restaurants
  • Shibuya

This hidden gem of a restaurant looks like it’s stuck in the ’70s, from its location in a forgotten back-alley building and old-school interior to its surprisingly low prices. It specialises in cutlets – meat and vegetables breaded with panko and deep fried. The popular set meal, which comes with a chicken cutlet, ham cutlet and croquette plus rice, miso soup and shredded cabbage, is only ¥700 – it’s arguably the best value meal in central Shibuya.

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  • Art
  • Shibuya

An offshoot of Tokyo gallery Nanzuka Underground, 2G is located inside the trendy Parco shopping centre and is an art gallery and retail store offering cool collabs with some big name artists. Expect to find T-shirts and phone cases with prints by Hajime Sorayama, as well as collectables like Bearbricks and more. The gallery space in the back shows a rotation of exciting Japanese and international artists including installations by Tetsuya Nakamura and contemporary pieces by Daniel Arsham.

  • Clubs
  • Shibuya

Located in the same building as Club Atom, Harlem has been the mecca of hip-hop culture in Japan since the mid 1990s. If you want to see B-boys and fly girls shakin’ it, as well as some of Japan’s up-and-coming MCs, this is the spot. The tunes are basically straight-up rap with a little R&B mixed in. DJ Hazime and other well-known Japanese spinners often play here.

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  • Restaurants
  • Shibuya

There are few things more satisfying than a fresh batch of takoyaki (octopus balls) after a long night of karaoke, best paired with a frothy cold beer. Tempu owner Masahide Sakuramoto is from Osaka, where the dish originates. He serves perfectly golden brown spheres fresh off the griddle in this brightly lit standing-only eatery where customers pour their own drinks and pass dishes to each other in cheerful comradery.

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  • Shopping
  • Vintage shops
  • Shibuya

Hidden in a basement away from the busy streets of Shibuya, Archive Store is a treasure trove for fans of coveted Japanese and international designers such as Comme des Garçons, Yohji Yamamoto, Martin Margiela and Raf Simons. The store is worth a visit in its own right for its edgy, hyper-modern interior fitted with mirrored walls and a mysterious, dimly lit atmosphere. 

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  • Restaurants
  • Yoyogi-Hachiman

One of the pioneers of Tokyo’s artisanal bread scene, Levain has been serving its wild-yeast leavened bread and baked goods since the ’80s. Located on the ground floor of a residential apartment block in Shibuya’s trendy Tomigaya district, the cosy, den-like brick bakery and adjacent cafe is inspired by ‘a mountain cottage at the border of France and Switzerland’.

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  • Shopping
  • Shibuya

From stationery to toilet-seat covers, this is the largest household goods store in Tokyo, packed with knick-knacks for the home. Particularly interesting is the party supplies section, which gives a unique glimpse into the Japanese sense of humour. It can be difficult to find your way around the multitude of floors, but getting a bit lost is part of the fun, right? 

  • Art
  • Shibuya

Lost for decades in Mexico, Taro Okamoto’s 30m-long mural was recovered and moved to a new home in 2008: the station concourse inside Shibuya Mark City. Sometimes compared to Picasso's Guernica, 'The Myth of Tomorrow' depicts the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki as an eruption of vibrant colours, centering around a skeletal figure caught in the blast.

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Sip on a seasonal cocktail at Ishinohana
  • Bars and pubs
  • Cocktail bars
  • Shibuya

Seasonal cocktails are the speciality at Ishinohana, Shibuya's answer to the high-end cocktail bars of Ginza. At a basement location just a minute's walk from Shibuya Station, owner Shinobu Ishigaki wields an array of fresh fruit and vegetables when creating his distinctive drinks: a gin and tonic is enlivened with kumquat, a margherita gets an injection of housemade cassis confiture.

  • Music
  • Shibuya

Womb is a top-flight club with a vast dancefloor, great lighting, a super-bass sound system and what claims to be ‘Asia’s largest mirror ball’. House, techno and drum ’n’ bass are the usual sounds here. Womb’s schedule is packed with foreign names, but DJ Aki (drum ’n’ bass) is one local hero who plays here.

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Play a round of ping pong at EST
  • Attractions
  • Shibuya

A saving grace for fans of indoor recreation, EST Shibuya is a playground of ping pong tables, billiards and bowling alleys. There are four floors reserved for bowling alleys alone, where if you’re hungry you can order a snack from the touch panels available at every lane.

 

Explore another 'hood

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