Shibuya, one of the most popular areas of Tokyo, is the go-to neighborhood for entertainment, shopping and fashion, and cuisine (both local and international). It’s also home to the iconic scramble crossing (you’ll definitely want to take a photo—here’s how to do it). To make the most of your time there, read on for our Shibuya cheapo highlights.
Pro tip: Make new friends and experience the local nightlife on a bar-hopping tour of Shibuya.
Where to eat and drink in Shibuya
Shibuya has plenty of offerings to tickle your taste buds. The station alone gives you plenty to choose from, and once you take a step outside you’ll be overwhelmed with even more options. Since you’re in Japan, you probably want to have authentic Japanese food, and not the “Japanese” sushi you buy for lunch at the grocery store back home. Some great options are Isari Juhachiban and the most “Japanese-themed restaurant in Japan”, Gonpachi (the Kill Bill restaurant).
As one of Tokyo’s big youth culture hubs, there are also some hip and trendy dining options. Continuing with the authentic Japanese theme, try the kaiten sushi (sushi that comes out on a rotating conveyor belt) Genki Sushi. And of course if you say hipster, we say cafe, and Shibuya’s got you covered with some of the best and trendiest coffee joints.
Nowadays there are some big diet trends overseas: veganism, juice cleanse, whatever will help you lose that extra weight. For those with special diets that are struggling amidst this fish/meat-crazy country, traditional Japanese cuisine (washoku) is a good choice, but if you want your diet the cool way, one of the rare vegan restaurants Nagi Shokudo is also in Shibuya.
If you’re missing home or sick of Japanese food (but why would you be, it’s delicious), Tokyo is actually a capital of international cuisine. Don’t want to shell out yen at a Michelin? We’ve found some cheap and delicious foreign restaurants like Pizza Slice.
What to do in Shibuya
If people-watching at Scramble Crossing doesn’t do enough for you…skip number 1 on our list of free entertainment in Shibuya and read on.
As for things to do that require spending in Shibuya, there’s shopping, shopping, and shopping. Seriously, the area truly lives up to its reputation as a mecca for youth fashion and culture—a shopaholic’s paradise. The young women’s fashion building Shibuya 109 towers over the area as a testament to this fact. Trendy department stores, most of which belong to either Tokyu or Seibu, as well as other popular fashion brand stores line the streets.
Another popular area is the self-explanatory Love Hotel Hill. If you and your, ahem, friend want to take your time to unwind during the day or night, check into one of the many offerings. But first, read our guide to make sure you can love your partner and the price you pay for a room.
Clubs and bars are also all over Shibuya. We’re talking the whole night clubs (including some that are *gasp* free)/karaoke bars shebang. Yoyogi Park, #3 on our top 10 list, frequently holds events and some fun festivals (matsuri). Events in Shibuya also regularly pop up in our events listings and Cheapo Weekend newsletter.
If you still need ideas on how to enjoy a good Cheapo time in Shibuya, try our 1-Day Tour Itinerary, which also includes Harajuku and Meiji Jingu.
Where to stay in Shibuya
Being in the middle of it all, Shibuya is naturally a great place to stay while you’re in Tokyo. We recommend checking our Cheapo Hotel Guide first to see if there are any discount deals for accommodations in Tokyo. Always the Cheapo way! For your typical hotel, we recommend Hotel Suave Shibuya and if you’re riding the Airbnb wave, Shibuya continues its hipster image with several great options. But don’t forget, there’s always Love Hotel Hill!
Image credit: Loïc Lagarde used under CC license