101 things to do in Shibuya

The best places to eat, shop and play in Tokyo’s buzziest neighbourhood

Shibuya 101
Unmissable things to do in Shibuya: see the scramble crossing
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. But with so much to choose from, where on earth should you start? Read on for Time Out's 101 essential Shibuya tips: the best places to shop, eat, drink and party in Tokyo's most iconic neighbourhood. They're all taken from the latest edition of our 101 things to do in Shibuya, a pocket-sized guide that comes complete with a detailed map to help you find everything...

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Shibuya Crossing | Time Out Tokyo

Brave the scramble...

It ranks among the busiest pedestrian crossings on Earth – yet you may feel a strange sence of solitude descend as you make your way through the crowds. Scramble Crossing

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Things to do

Heat up a hookah...

icon-location-pin Shibuya

Operating 12 shisha cafés in Tokyo and Osaka, North Village is your go-to spot for blowing off some steam. The more than 100 flavours of perfumed tobacco include sakura and yuzu. North Village VIP Shibuya 

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Bradley Hester
Clubs

Show off your best hip hop moves...

icon-location-pin 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. Harlem

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koe
Things to do

Catch up with the times...

icon-location-pin Shibuya

More than just a hotel – albeit a very good one at that – the centrally located Koé also houses a café, restaurant and artsy shop stocking the latest in Tokyo-born fashion and lifestyle essentials. Hotel Koé

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Sankeys PENTHOUSE
Bars and pubs

Party at a penthouse...

icon-location-pin Harajuku

Check out this Harajuku music bar and lounge run by global entertainment brand Sankeys. Located on the top floor of Q Plaza Harajuku, it lets you take in the spectacular Shibuya night scenery while you sip on original cocktails to the tunes of Tokyo's hippest DJs. Sankeys Penthouse 

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ザ エスジー クラブ SG Club
Nightlife

Savour exquisite cocktails...

icon-location-pin Shibuya

Named after its legendary bartender, Shingo Gokan, The SG Club takes its cocktails seriously. Gokan won the International Bartender of The Year back in 2017 and is now churning out his creations at this Shibuya watering hole. Spread over two floors, the bar’s speciality concoctions blend cocktail styles of Japan, New York and the Caribbean. The SG Club 

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Attractions

Play ping-pong all night long...

icon-location-pin Shibuya

When you’ve missed the last train home from Shibuya and don’t fancy drinking, EST has the answer. Take your pick from billiards, bowling, karaoke and table tennis – all of them available until dawn. EST

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ユミコイイホシポーセリン トウキョウ ショールーム & ショップ
Shopping

Update your tableware...

icon-location-pin Aoyama

Ceramic artist Yumiko Iihoshi’s retail outlet carries her eponymous brand’s entire line, known for its simple yet warmth-invoking design and impeccable blend of style and convenience. Yumiko Iihoshi Porcelain

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kiki
Restaurants, Bistros

Dig into fruit-heavy cuisine...

icon-location-pin Harajuku

Owner-chef Yuki Noda opened this casual restaurant back in 2011. With his love for fruit, he crafts French-inspired creative dishes, which go well with the Japanese wine on offer. Go for lunch (¥2,800) or dinner (¥3,800) courses, or  have some of the fruity à la carte options. Kiki

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Shopping

Sift through an eclectic mix of vinyl...

icon-location-pin Shibuya

Technique is the purveyor of all strands of dance-music vinyl – from progressive house to nu-jazz. Several listening decks and knowledgeable staff make this the store of choice for many local DJs. Keep an eye on their Twitter feed for info on the latest additions and release news. Technique 

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頭バー zubar
Bars and pubs

Swing to the indie beat...

icon-location-pin Shibuya

Formerly located between Ebisu and Shibuya, the much-loved miniature DJ bar Zubar has moved to the south side of Shibuya Station. A favourite with the underground crowd, its regulars include renowned Tokyo DJs and musicians, who come for the eclectic programming: you might hear electronica one night and kayokyoku (Showa-era Japanese pop) the other. Thankfully the Taiwanese flavours on the food menu have also been retained, so you can make rapturous noises after trying their minced pork rice, boiled gyoza dumplings and other delicacies. Zubar 

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lattest
Restaurants, Coffeeshops

Try the tastiest latte...

icon-location-pin Harajuku

Produced by Hiroshi Sawada from Shibuya's popular Streamer Coffee Company, Lattest is hidden away in the backstreets between Harajuku and Aoyama but draws crowds with its eponymous drink, a single shot espresso combined with a splash of ice cold milk. The slightly sweet but still bitter combination works surprisingly well, and the standard milk can be switched to soy or almond milk if you're in the mood for a change. Local artists regularly exhibit here, and the shop even sells a range of original clothing and accessories. Lattest 

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きのこ料理 きのこ
Restaurants

Find your favourite fungus...

icon-location-pin Ebisu

Located right in the heart of Ebisu Yokocho, this cosy new restaurant specialises in all things mushroom. You won't be missing meat here with hearty items like the ‘big mushroom steak’ (¥1,500), the ‘shiitake UFO menchi katsu (breaded cutlet)’ (¥680) or the ‘Mushroom hot pot (for two)’. It's the perfect place to sit down and sample through Japan's large variety of mushrooms. Kinoko Ryori 

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Uplink
Cinemas

Appreciate some eclectic film...

icon-location-pin Shibuya

A small culture centre at the crossing of Shibuya and Kamiyamacho that mainly accommodates movie screenings and small-scale events. Also hosts a gallery and café on the ground floor. Uplink 

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Sport and fitness, Climbing

Go bouldering with a view...

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Sponsored by Swiss outdoor goods brand Mammut, this urban climbing gym overlooks Meiji-dori in Shibuya. Spread over three floors, the gym is divided into beginner-intermediate, advanced, and children's areas, making this the perfect place for family bouldering. You can also relax at the third-floor lounge and terrace after all your hard work. Bouldering Studio Peki Peki 

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Cobi Coffee Aoyama
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Restaurants

Combine coffee with wagashi...

icon-location-pin Aoyama

This classy coffee shop inside the Bloom & Branch store in Aoyama invokes the atmosphere and techniques used in coffee shops of yore, drip coffee made with cloth filters included. Pair your cup of joe with traditional Japanese desserts like yokan jelly and castella cakes. Cobi Coffee 

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ファー イースト ティー カンパニー シブヤ
Restaurants

Sip tea in 'Drunkard's Alley'...

icon-location-pin Shibuya

Seek out the famous Nonbei Yokocho ('Drunkard's Alley') during daytime for a cup of milk tea, courtesy of this quirky pop-up dealer that uses only domestic tea leaves and operates out of a rented bar between 8am and 4pm. Far East Tea Company 

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ROCKET
Art

Immerse yourself in cutting-edge Tokyo culture...

icon-location-pin Omotesando

All about giving exposure to up-and-coming artists, the Rocket gallery is known for the diversity of its events, which range from edgy exhibitions to fashion pop-ups. There's a new show on every other week or so. Rocket 



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Shopping

Geek out underground...

icon-location-pin 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, collectible toys and more. Stay tuned for store events and auctions where collectors can get their hands on rare finds. 

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Satei Hato
Restaurants, Coffeeshops

Enjoy an old-school cup of coffee...

icon-location-pin Shibuya

Shortlisted in the Time Out Love Tokyo Awards 2017 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. Our Guatemala, served at a pleasant, just-right temperature, was smooth and soft with a barely noticeable whiff of citrus, while the homemade cakes (slices from ¥500) are well worth a shot as well. At ¥850 and up, the coffee here doesn’t exactly allow for everyday consumption, but any true enthusiast will do well to visit Satei Hato at least once. When you do, look out for the massive potted tree adorning one of the larger tables – it makes for a seriously impressive decoration.

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Attractions

Wait longingly for someone...

icon-location-pin Shibuya

Faithful mutt Hachiko spent nine years waiting for his master outside Shibuya Station, and is commemorated in a memorial service every April 8 at this still-popular meeting spot. Hachiko Square

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Restaurants

Feel the ocean vibe...

icon-location-pin Shinsen

Owner-chef Teruyuki Tange combines his love of the ocean (that’s his surfboard on the wall) and cooking to offer an excellent seafood menu, plentiful sake and reasonable prices. Kaikaya

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Bars and pubs, Craft beer pubs

Drink the world on tap...

icon-location-pin Shibuya

Like a craft beer bar on steroids, the awkwardly named Goodbeer Faucets has over 40 microbrews on tap, served in a slick chrome-and-concrete setting. Goodbeer Faucets

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Restaurants, Cafés

Wake up for a hearty breakfast...

icon-location-pin Aoyama

The next-door neighbour to Mediterranean restaurant Cicada serves Western fare – salads, sandwiches, pancakes and so on – at reasonable prices. It's open for breakfast from 8am each day, when you can enjoy raisin walnut cinnamon French toast, scrambled eggs, housemade granola and free-refill coffee. The terrace seating is sure to prove popular in summer months, though space heaters make it bearable during the winter too.

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アンディフィーテッド Undefeated Shibuya
Shopping

Build up your street cred...

icon-location-pin Harajuku

Los Angeles-born sneaker shop Undefeated has finally opened on Shibuya's Cat Street with two floors of streetwear goods including everything from the brand's cult worthy sneakers, clothing and accessories to a selection of rare finds and brand collabs. Stick to the first floor for all your sneaker needs, as the shop offers a good range of Undefeated x Nike styles as well as Undefeated x Adidas designs. 

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sebastian kakigori
Restaurants, Kakigori

Taste the kakigori revolution...

icon-location-pin Shibuya

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. Best thing is that you can have your cake and eat it without worrying too much about the calorie count – it’s just ice inside! Also try their Shaved Ice with Balsamic Milk Sauce and Strawberries from Nadeshiko Farm. Check out the shop's Twitter account for opening hours and other details.

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Shopping

Spot a strange toilet...

icon-location-pin Harajuku

One of teenage Tokyo’s hallowed sites, Laforet is located in the heart of Harajuku, on the corner of Omotesando and Meiji-dori; look for the flower sculptures outside. This multi-level emporium, expanded to 13 floors, contains numerous small boutiques selling clothes and accessories aimed at young wearers of garish, eccentric fashion. Exhibitions and multimedia events are also held here.

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Malay Asian Cuisine
Restaurants, Malay

Tuck into some nasi ayam...

icon-location-pin Shibuya

Recommended by the former Malaysian PM, this Malaysian restaurant is bang on in the flavour department, with both firm favourites and lesser-known staples featured on the menu. Malay Asian Cuisine

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Restaurants

Get your fromage fix...

icon-location-pin Shibuya

Housemade mozzarella and ricotta occupy pride of place at this cheesy eatery, in the increasingly vibrant northwest area of Shibuya. You can have your fromage in a variety of forms at Shibuya Cheese Stand: in a salad, sandwich, pizza or even dessert - how does a mozzarella muffin sound? They also offer cheese for takeaway, including as a nifty caciocavallo pouch that would look great dangling off your bicycle handlebars (maybe).

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そうめん そそそ
Restaurants

Expand your noodle horizons...

icon-location-pin Ebisu

Ramen, udon and soba noodle joints are legion in Tokyo, but this just might be the city's only eatery dedicated to somen, the thin flour noodles that are usually served cold. Flavours include pollock roe cream and shiso-pesto.

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バターミルク チャネル 原宿
Restaurants

Dig into American favourites...

icon-location-pin Harajuku

If you’re craving some good 'ol American food, then head over to Brooklyn-born Buttermilk Channel in Harajuku. Sample their ‘Duck Meatloaf’ (¥2,180), ‘Fried Pork Chop’ (¥1,880), ‘Buttermilk Pancakes’ (¥1,280) or order the all-time favourite ‘Buttermilk Fried Chicken’ (¥1,680) featuring a cheddar cheese waffle topped with pieces of tender, fried chicken. Top it all off with a good serving of their signature balsamic maple syrup, and you'll be more than satisfied. 

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Clubs

Swing to smooth tunes...

icon-location-pin Shibuya

The Room is well hidden, so look for a red street light poking out from the basement. Owned by members of Kyoto Jazz Massive, it’s a small venue split in two: one half is a concrete-walled bar, the other a pitch-black dancefloor. The flavour is usually house, jazz, crossover or breakbeats. Top DJs sometimes come here to try out new sets on their nights off, much to the delight of the clientele.

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Lampharajuku
Shopping, Fashion

Fill your wardrobe with feminine pieces...

icon-location-pin Harajuku

Dealing mainly in domestic brands like Mina Perhonen and Sina Suien, this H.P. France-run boutique caters to 'girly but feminine' fashionistas and hosts regular exhibitions at the in-store gallery. It's not as overflowingly kawaii as many of its Harajuku neighbours, making Lamp worth a visit for shoppers of all stripes. 

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Disco
Shopping, Cosmetics

Turn your nails into a canvas...

icon-location-pin Shibuya

Most of what passes for nail art in Tokyo starts to seem very wan indeed after you’ve encountered the work of Nagisa Kaneko. The owner of Disco acts like a graffiti artist working in miniature. Reservations essential. Disco

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Camera
Restaurants, Cafés

Snack the French way...

icon-location-pin Shibuya

Peckish? Pick up homemade crepes and galettes at this relaxing café where the menu offers over 30 different types of toppings and even a dabble in French alcoholic apple cider. Au Temps Jadis Creperie

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Art, Galleries

Peer into the future...of art

icon-location-pin Shibuya

Formerly known as Nanzuka Underground, this alternative art space recently moved back to Shibuya after a stint in Shirokane – and it’s already making waves.

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Music

Catch a cinematic concert...

icon-location-pin Shibuya

The tiered floor is a dead giveaway: WWW was an arthouse cinema before it found its current vocation as a gig spot. Sister venue WWW X upstairs boasts an even more powerful sound system. WWW

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Oedo Kazuko
Shopping

Pick out a kimono...

icon-location-pin Harajuku

You might walk right past it if you didn't know what treasures lie in the depths: Oedo Kazuko is a swanky shop located in an unassuming basement along Omotesando. If you’re looking for a pretty and vivid kimono with traditional prints, this is the place to be, while their small patches of kimono fabrics are quite popular too. There's also a large range of hair accessories and children’s kimono displayed throughout the funkily decorated store, so you’ll definitely be able to find something to suit your taste and needs here, with prices varying depending on the quality and formality of the pieces. 

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Espace Louis Vuitton Tokyo
Art

Admire art in the sky over Omotesando...

icon-location-pin Omotesando

Following the example of the Champs-Elysées Maison in Paris, Louis Vuitton transformed the seventh floor of its Jun Aoki-designed Omotesando store into an art gallery in 2011. Since opening, Espace Louis Vuitton Tokyo has held solo exhibitions by Alyson Shotz and Ernesto Neto, as well as group shows featuring work by artists from Finland, India and Japan.

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Restaurants, Vegetarian

Try macrobiotic fare...

icon-location-pin Harajuku

Located not that far from Harajuku Station, Hanada Rosso is the latest restaurant to be managed by celebrity restaurateur Minako Hanada. On offer at Hanada Rosso is ‘Hanada-style brown rice and vegetables’ – macrobiotic fare not for the faint of heart. Whenever possible, the brown rice and vegetables are procured from trustworthy farming collectives that don't use pesticides. The vegetarian hamburger, the demi-glace – in fact everything on the menu – is handmade, and without using any refined sugar or additives either. The terrace is enclosed, so you can enjoy outdoor dining even on a rainy day.

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CHRISTOPER NEMETH
Shopping, Fashion

Get to know Mr Nemeth...

icon-location-pin Omotesando

One of the most iconic stores in the Omotesando/Harajuku area, this highly conceptual space shows off pieces by the late fashion designer and artist Christopher Nemeth. An important figure in the 80s London fashion scene, Nemeth's influence on fashion was made known by his carefully crafted garments interlaced with intricate cutting and sewing techniques. His clothes are also currently available at Dover Street Market London/Ginza, Trading Museum Comme des Garçons Paris/Tokyo, and Comme des Garçons Chelsea.

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Attractions, Religious buildings and sites

Visit the site where Shibuya got its name...

icon-location-pin Shibuya

While it may not be much to look at now, Konno Hachimangu shrine was once the site of the household that’s believed to give the area its name: the Shibuya family.

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Attractions

Gaze at the stars...

icon-location-pin Shibuya

The high-tech digital projector isn’t the only modern convenience at this planetarium: some of the seats also rotate individually, allowing you to behold the cosmos at your own leisure. Cosmo Planetarium Shibuya

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FUGLEN TOKYO
Bars and pubs

Hang out, Oslo style...

icon-location-pin Shibuya

Bringing some Norwegian flair to a remote corner of Shibuya, this bar and café serves top-notch coffee by day and classy cocktails at night. Like the retro furniture? You can buy that, too. Fuglen Tokyo

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東京ロビン
Restaurants

Greet the resident kitty...

icon-location-pin Ebisu

A short walk from Ebisu Station, this bar specialises in domestic craft beers and food that pairs well with said beverages. The most popular option is the 'omu-curry' (served from 3pm), a mashup of omurice and curry, served with as much roux as you can handle. For added entertainment, cat-shopkeeper Robin presides over the premises, making sure all customers finish their food, while you can also have records played on the gramophone, made in 1931. 

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Shopping, Music and entertainment

Expand your record collection...

icon-location-pin Shibuya

This atmospheric Shibuya record store focuses on genres such as house, disco and Balearic house, and also boasts a pair of handsome vintage Klipschhorn floor speakers. Prices are very reasonable, and the shop gets a shipment of new stock every week, so check back regularly. 

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味甘クラブ
Restaurants, Cafés

Stare into an edible teardrop...

icon-location-pin Harajuku

With its utterly hypnotising appearance, the transparent, round blob of colourless jelly, the ‘Angel’s Tear’ at Mican Club, tastes best with roasted soybean powder and black-sugar syrup.

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Kamakura Matsubara-an Keyaki
Restaurants

Savour artisanal buckwheat noodles...

icon-location-pin Harajuku

Dine on a fine selection of quality soba and traditional Japanese snacks at this serene spot located right above the hustle and bustle of Omotesando and Harajuku. Serving up the famed noodles from their original shop in Kamakura, Matsubara-an offers handmade soba in a variety of styles, including sudachi soba served with thin slices of the citrus fruit and a hefty pile of grated daikon, and the classic seiro soba (cold noodles with dipping sauce). For snacks you'll find everything from sashimi to crisp tempura and aburiyaki grilled duck.

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ryuku chinese tama
Restaurants, Japanese

Spice up your late-night adventures...

icon-location-pin Shibuya

Ideal for finishing off a night on the town, Tama stays open until 3am and attracts tired drinkers with a wholesome menu of spicy Okinawan-Chinese delicacies. And yes, they serve booze too. Ryukyu Chinese Tama

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ショット
Restaurants, Cafés

Get the latest travel tips over a drink...

icon-location-pin Shibuya

Pick up maps and insider tips while sipping on artisanal coffee or a cocktail – the multi-functional Shot is a café and bar that also operates as a tourist information centre and promotional space.

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Son of the Cheese
Shopping, Designer

Shop, chew and sip...

icon-location-pin Shibuya

Meguro’s supremely laidback Son of the Cheese, with its round skateboarding pool and camping van, has become a favourite haunt for many local creatives. With their eponymous clothing brand winning fans across Japan, the folks behind Son of the Cheese opened a new ‘play space’ at Shibuya’s Namikibashi. In addition to a shop, the quirky spot boasts a sandwich joint and an invitation-only bar, while also exhibiting and selling pieces by artists who’ve worked closely with the brand’s designers. Hidden away from the hustle and bustle of Shibuya, this one’s on track to become the Namikibashi area’s hottest secret spot.

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Clubs

Listen to the Liquid...

icon-location-pin Ebisu

The reincarnation of a legendary Shinjuku music venue, this is one of Tokyo’s top gig spots – and an occasional nightclub, to boot. Head upstairs to our very own Time Out Café & Diner, a dapper lounge with free Wi-Fi. Liquidroom

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Bars and pubs, Café bars

Sip rum, munch meze...

icon-location-pin Shibuya

The rum selection and Caribbean soundtrack would be reason enough to visit this bar, but it also offers good, vegetarian-friendly menus of African and Middle Eastern food. Los Barbados

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焼肉ライク
Restaurants

Order yakiniku for one...

icon-location-pin Shibuya

An oasis for carnivores short on both time and company, this high-tech, grill-it-yourself joint caters to busy single diners with its touchscreen menus, super-speedy service and personal grills at every seat.

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アイスウェルト ジェラート
Shopping

Enjoy a cute icy cone...

icon-location-pin Harajuku

If you're looking kawaii in Tokyo, head on over to Harajuku's Eiwelt Gelato for the most adorable animal-shaped ice cream in the city. Pick from a tasty zoo of bunnies, pigs or bears where this Los Angeles-born gelateria crafts all of their cuties right in front of your eyes. Quality is not overlooked here as gelato flavours are all homemade using original recipes. You can even look forward to Japan-limited ice cream flavours and characters.

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59
Attractions

Step into a VR world...

icon-location-pin Shibuya

This 'virtual reality experience' is located inside the Shibuya Adores arcade. With seven different VR games to play, from competitive baseball to the 'Ghost Attackers' shooter, there's enough to lose yourself in another world. VR Park Tokyo

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Shopping

Browse books until midnight...

icon-location-pin Shibuya

The staff at this ultra-hip bookshop are more interested in encouraging new discoveries than hawking the latest bestseller – and they stay open until midnight, too. Shibuya Publishing & Booksellers

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Restaurants, Chinese

Wax lyrical about wonton...

icon-location-pin Shibuya

This Chinese eatery tops its famous wonton with copious amounts of thinly sliced negi leek and serves them in a ‘secret’ shoyu sauce – the result is a dish so addictive you'll wish you lived next door.

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Archive Store
Shopping, Vintage shops

Enter a fashion fantasy...

icon-location-pin 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. It almost feels like you’ve just walked into a museum: the well-curated clothes are displayed in an organised, exhibition-like order, with the more couture pieces showcased in a large glass display at the back of the shop. Archive Store brings in new items every season, and the prices are surprisingly accessible considering the craftsmanship and the rarity of some of the selection. Do keep tabs on their website for the rotating roster of featured designers, where they’ll exhibit certain iconic pieces from the label’s past collections, and you’ll be able to interact and look closely at these unique items. The store has previously exhibited pieces from Comme des Garçons’ and Yohji Yamamoto’s collections from the ’80s.

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ダイトカイ
Bars and pubs, Wineries

Discover the next big thing...

icon-location-pin Shibuya

Gallery, bar, publishing house – Daitokai plays many roles, but is all about providing a space for up-and-coming creatives to display their work. Catch an exhibition with a drink in hand or check out an artsy flea market. Daitokai

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Utsura Utsura
Bars and pubs

Pair your sake with tasty bites...

icon-location-pin Shinsen

Located on a quiet corner in Shibuya, Utsura Utsura has that type of enticing nighttime glow that just beckons you in. Through the wooden door you’ll find a bar counter that seats eight, running along the narrow open kitchen where you can watch the chef and sake sommelier at work. The latter is, uniquely, a hot sake specialist, and watching him warm up the drinks to their precise temperature can be rather hypnotic. There are tables for four at the back of the room, and the vibe is professional but warm. The concept of this gastrobar is to find the right sake to match the dish you’d like to eat, or vice versa. Sake comes by the glass, starting around ¥500, or 180ml carafes ranging from ¥700 to ¥1,500, with about 40 varieties of regularly changing labels on offer. The elaborate otoshi (quick bites, much like an appetiser) platter is a standout, with around six tiny seasonal dishes like strawberry with tofu and sesame cream, and duck steamed in soy sauce with poached kumquats.

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ナディッフ アパート
Shopping

Peruse a library of art...

icon-location-pin Ebisu

Arguably the city’s best-stocked art bookshop, NADiff a/p/a/r/t boasts shelves crammed with Japanese and foreign books, as well as a selection of prints and a plentiful variety of zines. Its own NADiff Gallery holds regular exhibitions of both emerging and established artists, while free mags can often be picked up at the shop as well.

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Shopping, Vintage shops

Go on a vintage hunt...

icon-location-pin Shibuya

Inside this Shibuya shop lies a treasure trove of old-school Japanese pieces; look hard enough and you might even find dead stock sportswear and trainers. Boy – which counts local fashion beacon Fake Tokyo and Shimokitazawa used clothing shop Haight & Ashbury as siblings – opened in 2009, and mainly sells vintage items made by Japanese brands that have a connection with music. The shop stocks menswear and womenswear in equal measure, and there’s a mix of styles that will appeal to all ages. It’s cheap, too, with tops starting at just ¥2,000.

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Have More Curry
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Restaurants

Munch on vegan curry...

icon-location-pin Aoyama

Offering a daily special and nothing else, Have More Curry is a saving grace when you're craving gluten-free, vegan goodness. Meals come with two types of curry and two side dishes of your choice, while extra sides cost ¥150.

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Hotels

Try out futuristic accommodation...

icon-location-pin Shibuya

Think of it as a 21st-century take on the capsule hotel: each guest stays in a tiny but comfy ‘smart pod’, complete with remotely adjustable lighting and recline, plus a projector for watching movies. The Millennials

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GOMAYA KUKI
Shopping, Chocolate and sweets

Discover the wonders of sesame ice cream...

icon-location-pin Harajuku

This sesame ice cream purveyor does some seriously smooth scoops. Besides the popular kuro (black) and shiro (white) sesame, they also offer flavours like goma-shio (sesame salt) and tsubutsubu zakkoku (chunky mixed sesame). Gomaya Kuki

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good town
Restaurants

Treat yourself to a vegan donut...

icon-location-pin Harajuku

Hidden away between busy Meiji-dori and Cat Street, Good Town makes American-sized but surprisingly healthy doughnuts, baked on the premises with all-domestic ingredients. Our favourites are the extra-rich Kyoto Uji matcha variety and the vegan doughnut, made with soy milk and avocado oil.

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Shopping, Vintage shops

Hunt for thrifty yet stylish fashion...

icon-location-pin Harajuku

Intrepid fashion hounds in search of unusual designs won’t be disappointed by this used clothing shop, opened in 2007 and run by designer Yasuko Furuta’s Toga brand. The choice of location – it's effectively squatting in the ground-floor parking space next to Toga’s Harajuku branch – is thoroughly in keeping with the eccentric nature of the selections within. Toga XTC focuses on second-hand European clothes, shoes and accessories, with a fine eye for unusual designs and textiles – the kind of thing that's likely to appeal to dedicated Toga fans, in other words. The store is small, and the clothing sparse, but what it lacks in quantity it makes up for in quality, with choice pieces including embroidered shirts and jumpers, fur scarves and classy cocktail dresses.

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Clubs

Take in the underground sound...

icon-location-pin Shibuya

The closure of Aoyama club Loop in 2013 wasn't the end: some of the venue's staff ganged up to open a new space soon after, right next door to the old one. The new Zero takes things 'back to basics' with an analogue sound system and DJ lineup including veteran spinners like DJ Nori and Wada. In a smart move, the venue is also open during the daytime as a café.

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73
Restaurants, French

Stuff yourself with a tomato lunch...

icon-location-pin Shibuya

Try the 'stuffed tomato' at this casual French eatery popular for its one-plate lunches – the dish is available to only 15 customers per day, so head over early! Concombre

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Bars and pubs

Go (model) trainspotting...

icon-location-pin Shibuya

Who needs a bar with a view when you’ve got a bar with a diorama? At Ginza Panorama, you can sip cocktails while gazing at an N scale model train wending its way around a miniature Shibuya, complete with 109 department store. This sister shop of the original Bar Ginza Panorama – which, before you ask, actually is in Ginza – is the ideal drinking destination for train-spotters of the miniature kind. Take your pick from locomotive-themed cocktails like the 'Romancecar' (named after the Odakyu line service to Hakone) and 'Aogaeru' (in tribute to the green train carriage that sits opposite Hachiko), and then take your own train for a spin on the bar's model track. Tokyo bars don't get much geekier.

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75
Land | Time Out Tokyo
Restaurants

Eat and drink in style...

icon-location-pin Meguro

Land is a small Meguro restaurant with a big ambition – to reinvent the Japanese curry. Mr Naito, the bearded, bespectacled chef-owner whose bicycle hangs from the wall by the entrance, says he wants to make Japanese curry as distinctive and highly regarded as its Indian or Thai equivalents. Judging by the food Time Out sampled, he’s well on the way to achieving his goal after just a year and half in business. Japanese curry sometimes eschews aesthetic arrangements and culinary sophistication for the unrefined guilty pleasures of a heaped rice, a few lumps of meat and a one-dimensional brown sauce. But Land’s new-wave curries (¥1,500-¥1,900) are something else entirely.  Naito’s complex, aromatic sauce, made with chicken stock, onion, garlic and a 15-spice mix, performs gymnastics on the tongue. The rice is topped with artistic panache – the vegetable and fruit curry includes flame-grilled courgette, sweet potato, fennel and edible rose petals, as well as a side of mashed potato. Other winning touches: a rare consideration for veganism (sundried tomato and navy bean soup), excellent Kona beer sold by the bottle, several healthy salad options, and an innovative range of chais and cocktails. One word of warning. Don’t go before a hot date. Unless the person you’re meeting finds the smell of onions and garlic attractive, that is.

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Restaurants, Udon

Slurp some udon...

icon-location-pin Ebisu

Though the classy interior and plummy riverside perch might suggest otherwise, this Ebisu noodle shop can fill you up for less than ¥1,000 a head. Yamacho's udon noodles, available either 'thin' or 'fat', are cooked al dente and served with dashi stock courtesy of the restaurant's namesake in Osaka, a local institution with a more than century-long history. Try the prawn tempura set or kujo negi (spring onions) udon, with some fluffy tamago-maki egg roll on the side (if you've got space for it). Yamacho is twinned with Ebisu's Kaoriya soba shop, and its interior follows the same format: subtle lighting, sparse décor and a communal, solid-wood table in the centre of the room.

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77
Bars and pubs

Jam along at a casual music bar...

icon-location-pin Shibuya

An unpretentious music bar, Analog is where you’d go for a drink and some music in a relaxed environment. It’s set on the third floor of the building across from Mikkeller Tokyo, in a somewhat ungentrified corner of Hyakkendana in Shibuya that’s full of character. The space is decked out with comfortable sofa seating and vintage speakers from Altech, the brand that was once used in movie theatres. As such, you can expect a smooth sound experience – and a wide range of genres from Showa Kayo to the latest hip hop. There’s no mixing with the songs like those in a club, but played one after another in the style of a playlist. The manager here was once a techno DJ and hence will curate the songs to match the crowd and atmosphere in the bar. Drinks wise, pick from rare liqueurs, raspberry and strawberry gin, and fruity cocktails. Coupled with the free snacks on offer, Analog is a great place to wind down after an evening of drinking, or a place to take a breather during a night of partying.

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Solakzade
Shopping, Eyewear

Shop for unique eyewear...

icon-location-pin Harajuku

Not your typical eyewear shop, Solakzade’s Harajuku boutique is home to a distinctive range of unused vintage and antique frames sourced from Japan and around the globe. The shop has a particularly broad selection of styles in its 10,000-frame trove, including a few shades that date back all the way to the 1800s. Solakzade opened in July 2012 and is run by a pair of brothers from Osaka – Tatsuya Okamoto and Rio Okamoto – who can also customise, repair and restore antique frames, or even create bespoke spectacles. The shop also offers eye exams and prescription lenses as well as a handy machine which helps adjust your lenses to your perfect vision. If your lenses are not ready during your stay in Tokyo, the shop will deliver them right to your doorstep. You'll be seeing 20/20 in no time.

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79
東急ハンズ
Shopping

Peruse a few novelty knick-knacks...

icon-location-pin Shibuya

When people say that Tokyu Hands sells everything, they’re exaggerating – but only a little. The (frequently bizarre) novelty goods section is particularly worth a peek. Tokyu Hands

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ミールズ アー ディライトフル
Restaurants, Cafés

Partake in the delights of pottery...

icon-location-pin Shibuya

Tableware brand Marumitsu Poterie's very own café satisfies locals' cravings for hearty Japanese home cooking and delicious desserts, all served on plates so cute you'll want to take them home with you.

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Restaurants, Cafés

Sit down for an old-school cuppa...

icon-location-pin Shibuya

Take a break from Shibuya’s 21st-century bustle at this time-warp of a café, which out-charms Starbucks with its old-school siphon coffee and retro food offerings like oysters on toast. Find it just across the road from Hachiko, in the basement of the building that houses Lush and L'Occitane Cafe.

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83
Oriental Diner Igao
Bars and pubs, Cocktail bars

Drink yourself better...

icon-location-pin Hiroo

Friendly and casual, this ‘oriental diner’ is ideal for starting your journey into the wild world of ‘medicinal’ herb liquor (yakushu). Fusion eats and exhibitions by local artists complete the package.

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チリンギート エスクリバ
Restaurants

Pair your paella with sake...

icon-location-pin Shibuya

Hailing from Barcelona, seafood restaurant Xiringuito Escribà has made it to Japan. Housed on the third floor of the new Shibuya Stream, it's already earned a reputation for its flavour-packed paellas, which are best paired with a glass or two of their cava, or red/white sangria.

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85
The Little Shop of Flowers Atelier
Shopping, Florists

Find the hidden florist...

icon-location-pin Harajuku

You would hardly think anything, let alone a flower shop, exists at this peculiar location. Hidden behind a building next to a restaurant there’s a stone path that leads to a sunny enclave adorned with overhanging trees and colourful florals. The florist has called this obscure Harajuku spot home for the last seven years and continues to turn out gorgeous bouquets and made-to-order arrangements. The indoor space is where the arrangements are made while the adjoining outdoor space centres around a tree that displays other items for sale including candle holders, nabe pots, small items of stationery and floral books. This secluded shop also has a sister store on Cat Street, where you can purchase both fresh and dry flowers.