Shibuya

Shibuya (渋谷) is one of the 23 city wards of Tokyo, but often people are just referring to the popular shopping and entertainment area found around Shibuya Station.  Similar to Harajuku, Shibuya is a centre for youth fashion & culture, and also a major nightlife area.

Shibuya has one of Tokyo’s busiest railway stations, and is just 1 stop away from Harajuku on the JR Yamanote line.  In fact if you don’t mind walking, you can walk from Harajuku to Shibuya, which should be quite fun with the numerous interesting shops along the journey!  We didn’t do that though, due to time constraint. 😛

We deliberately used the famous Hachiko exit at Shibuya Station when we arrived at the station, so as to catch a glimpse of the statue of the loyal dog called Hachiko.  According to a well-known story which was later made into a movie starring Richard Gere, the dog waited for his master every day in front of Shibuya Station, and continued to do so for years even after his master had passed away.  However, we had no luck with finding Hachiko statue as the exit was simply too packed.:(  What we could find were only paintings of the dog on the wall of the exit.

Hachiko exit

The crowd at this exit was so terrible that I felt “suffocated” & it gave me a headache.  It really lives up to its name of being the most popular meeting point in Shibuya.  There is a scramble crossing in front of this exit, where all traffic lights at this intersection will turn green for pedestrians to cross the road in all directions.

We did not wander here for too long as I felt dizzy trying my best to jostle through the crowds.  Somehow, I could still stand the crowds at Harajuku & even enjoyed myself there, but over here at Shibuya, it was just too overwhelming for me.  Guess it was likely because there were too many buildings cramped together, & every building seems to have large TV screens mounted on it bombarding people heavily with flashy advertisements.  We only managed to browse 2 floors of Shibuya 109 where we managed to buy some value-for-money necklaces then we walked out of the building to catch a breather.  But it was not too long after walking on the street to find some food & drinks that we decided this place was simply too packed for even a drink at the cafe.  I had my second piece of Tokyo Krispy Kreme doughnut at the Shibuya outlet though (much bigger compared to the one at Odaiba). 😛

There is a new high-rise complex that just opened on 26 April 2012, called Hikarie, which houses a theatre & exhibition floors, as well as office space on its upper floors, and shopping & dining on its lower floors.  Since it is so new, bet it must be darn crowded with people too!

I can’t share much about Shibuya, except for a few random shots of the vibrant & lively area:

Shibuya Station

Hachiko exit in the evening (still packed!)

Heavy advertising on all buildings here, said to compare with New York City’s Times Square intersection

Maybe it was a mistake to have come here on a weekend, at least it’s not for me a person who needs lots of space hehe.  But then again, it’s more convenient to bundle Shibuya with Harajuku on a weekend to catch cosplay folks, since they are located close to each other.  Guess we can’t have the best of both worlds, can we?  But if you enjoy nightlife, you should still visit as Shibuya definitely looks exciting. 😉

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