For an up-close look at a spot on every Tokyo bucket list, this Starbucks gives you prime seats. Get a latte with a view over Shibuya’s Scramble Crossing.

Shibuya’s Scramble Crossing is one of the most famous photo spots in all of Tokyo. Visitors love to cross the busy road, many attempting to take photos or videos as they do.

But if you’re looking for a landscape shot of the whole crossing, you need somewhere elevated. The Tsutaya building on the far side of the crossing has always been a great option. It used to have a small Starbucks on the first and second floors, and visitors would crowd the windows for the perfect shot.

Serving you on the Scramble since 1999. | Photo by Shyam Bhardwa

It still has a Starbucks — just a bigger, better version. Adjusting to demand, the Starbucks store temporarily closed to undergo renovations in 2023. Now it’s open again, with a large, modern second-floor space. The new Starbucks has room for over 100 customers at a time, and has a more efficient “walk-through” layout. The real prize, however, is the seats near the large windows that overlook the scramble — they offer the perfect holiday shot.

The Starbucks is open from 10 a.m. to 11 p.m., so you can get a shot at any time of day. While it is free to enter, they ask that you purchase a drink if you want to sit down.

How do I get there?

See the Scramble, drink in hand. | Photo by Shyam Bhardwa

Getting to the famous Shibuya Scramble Starbucks is pretty easy. Make your way to Shibuya Station, which is on the JR, Hanzomon, Fukutoshin, and Ginza lines.

Once you’re there, you’ll want to go out through the Hachiko Exit for the JR lines, or Exit A8 for the subway lines. That will put you on the station side of the crossing. Head across the crossing towards the Tsutaya building.

Once you’re there, you can enter from small entrances to the left and right of the main façade. Take an escalator up to the second floor, and you’re there!

If taking the subway lines, you can also avoid the crossing entirely by taking Exit A5a or A5b. Those will put you on the Tsutaya side of the crossing.

It’s too busy — I can’t get a seat!

Photo by Shyam Bhardwa

Unfortunately, since it’s such an obvious photo spot, it’s often packed. You can wait it out nearby (check through the windows for space!), but why not make the most of Shibuya in the meantime?

There’s plenty to do in the area, including some alternative spots to get a great snap of the scramble. One we’ve covered before is Shibuya Sky, a viewing deck offering panoramic views of Tokyo, as well as an unobstructed view of Scramble Crossing.

If you’re a cheapo at heart, another recommended spot is the 11th floor of the Shibuya Hikarie building. It’s not quite as clear a view, and only has space for a few people, but access is free.

If you’re determined to get that Starbucks seat though, there’s still enough to do nearby. Right next to the Tsutaya building is another Shibuya selfie spot — the 3D panda billboard.

Speaking of animals, don’t forget to cross back for a photo with Hachiko. A Japanese Akita dog synonymous with loyalty, he has a bronze statue dedicated to him outside of Shibuya Station.

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