Selfie with Hachiko
The story behind this statue is quite interesting. A long time ago, Hachiko, a Japanese Akita dog, waited every day for his owner at the Shibuya Station. His owner was a professor at Tokyo University. He was a nicknamed "Hachi" as well. Sadly, one day, the professor Hachi passed away all of the sudden at work due to a cerebral hemorrhage. Poor Hachiko did not know about his owner's death and he continued to for his owner at the station till the last breath of his life. That is how he received the title of "chuken-Hachiko" (the faithful dog). He thus became a symbol of loyalty for the Japanese people. Taking a photo with Hachiko's bronze statue after knowing the story will surely make you discovery of Shibuya more memorable.
More with Hachiko
There is also an interesting mosaic of Hachiko near its statue. The exit leading to this site is even called the "Hachiko Exit". Also, be on the lookout for the Hachiko bus! It takes you around Shibuya for just ¥100 per ride for both adults and children.
The Shibuya crossing is the most famous crossing in Tokyo (and perhaps the world)! It's also known as the "scramble crossing" because of the chaotic flow of people going in all directions at once. It's just captivating to watch. There are many people who take pictures from the Starbucks overlooking it in the Tsutaya building or from the station. You can find a good spot to take a great picture of this beautiful crossing when the traffic light turns red.
109 Stands for?
Once you reach Shibuya Station, you might be confused get lost in the crowd of people. Once you exit, the surroundings may remind you of New York's Time Square with all the bustle and the lights. One thing you might notice is a huge 109 sign in the sky. The meaning of 109 is "Tokyu" ("to" means 10 and "kyu" means 9). It's the company name of a major private railway company in the Tokyo area. There are two buildings with this sign, Shibuya 109 and 109 Men's. Shibuya 109 is a fashion Mecca for young women. It has everything related to clothes, costumes, accessories, beauty products, etc. This is the place where the ギャル "gyaru" (gals) shop. It's a fashion style that originated in the 1990s.
As for 109 Men's, it has a whole building with stores selling menswear. If you're into Japanese fashion, you should definitely check it out. Even if you don't intend to buy anything, wandering through the 109 buildings is an interesting experience in itself.
There is even a Disney Store in Shibuya. The storefront has a castle-like design so you won't miss it. They have many goods in-store and a few good picture-taking spots.
LoFt has everything you can dream of and more in terms of everyday commodities for work, school or home. It's a great place to buy gifts. The goods there are unique and well-designed. It's hard to leave the store with empty hands.
Lost in Time
Spot the "NO MUSIC NO LIFE" signboard and you're in for an interesting experience. Tower Records has an amazing amount of CDs, records, and books. Take a break at the Tower Records Café after browsing through the endless products of the store. You can also visit Ishibashi Music if you want to shop for some new or used instruments.
Shibuya itself has many backstreets with different shops and restaurants. Wander into different small alleys, walk slightly off the main streets you're bound to discover something interesting. The backstreets will eventually link to a few places such as Yoyogi Park, Harajuku station, and Aoyama & Omotesando. Plan your trip beforehand will be great!
NHK is the Japan Broadcasting Corporation, the country's public television, and radio broadcaster. It is located next to the Yoyogi Park. You can visit it for ¥200 (free entry for people under 18 years of age and seniors over 65). There, you can experience in voice dubbing and production of a news program. Check out the link below for more details.
Take a relaxing walk in Yoyogi Park. Events and food fairs are often held in the park. You can see many entertainers performing in the park during the day as well. The area was formerly the Olympic village of the 1964 Tokyo Olympics before it was transformed into a park. Post WW2, the site was for some time a military parade ground for US troops in Japan.
There are tiny bars located at the のんべい横丁 "Nonbei Yokocho", also known as Drunkard's Alley. Some of the bars are only able to fit a group of just 4 to 5 people. Take a bite of yakitori and drink a sip of sake while chit-chatting with some friends or strangers.
Treats for your Tummy
You can find many types of good food in Shibuya.
You can try the popular 立ち食い寿司 "tachigui sushi" (eat sushi while standing). There are many popular conveyor belt sushi restaurants too.
Ramen is a dish that you should not miss while you're traveling in Japan. There are many types of ramen and Shibuya has a good many excellent addresses.
There are three Halal certified Japanese restaurants in Shibuya. Halal restaurants are rare in Japan but, these three restaurants will definitely satisfy your taste bud, even if you don't eat halal normally.
Shibuya is a great spot for sightseeing. You can easily spend an entire day in Shibuya for leisure and for new experiences.