Post: Thursday July 7, 2016
Shibuya Station has to be one of the most well-known stations amongst tourists for its two main landmarks - the Hachiko statue, and the Shibuya “scramble crossing” that has appeared in countless movies and commercials. The station first opened in 1885 as a stop on the Shinagawa Line, the predecessor to the current Yamanote Line that loops around Tokyo. While commemorating the unchanging loyalty of an Akita dog named Hachiko—that waited for his deceased master in front of the station every day in the late 1920s and early 1930s—with a statue, the station is also the hub for Tokyo’s fashion and entertainment scene where change is the only constant.
Shibuya Station Guide: Layout, Language Services and Sightseeing
As part of an area-wide redevelopment plan, Shibuya Station is currently getting a major facelift. Here you can find out about Shibuya Station exits, platforms, train lines and language services available, as a number of exciting Shibuya attractions to see in and around one of Tokyo’s trendiest stations.
Shibuya Station Exits and Layout
-Platforms & Lines
Photo by eblaser on flickr
The station serves three JR East Lines (the Saikyo Line, Shonan-Shinjuku Line and Yamanote Line), three private railway lines (the Keio Inokashira Line, Tokyo Den-en-toshi Line and the Tokyu Toyoko Line) and three Metro Lines (the Ginza Line, Hanzomon Line and Fukutoshin Line).
The JR Lines are on the second floor of the station flowing from north to south; the Tokyu Toyoko Line is also located there. The Tokyo Metro Hanzomon and Fukutoshin Lines and the Tokyu Den-en-toshi and Toyoko Lines both share underground platforms. To the west of the main station is Shibuya Mark City, where the Keio Inokashira Line is actually housed on the second floor.
Photo by Dick Thomas Johnson on flickr
To get in and out or simply find a place to meet up amid the throng, you can use one of six Shibuya Station exits. The most famous meeting point, the Hachiko statue, is at the eponymously named Hachiko Exit on the West side, and the Shibuya “scramble crossing” is located here. Also on the West side is the Tamagawa Exit, the path to Keio Inokashira Line station, which is the gateway to West Tokyo. The exits from the Ginza Line will bring you to either end of the Tokyu Department Store. To the left of this store is the JR entrance for the Japan Rail (JR) lines: The Yamanote Line, the Shonan Shinjuku Line, the Saikyo Line and the Narita Express, which can whisk you to the airport in around 80 minutes.
English Language Services at Shibuya Station
Photo by [cipher] on flickr
Shibuya Station has several foreign language service help desks. At the following locations, you can get maps, tourist information and free local guides to navigate the area. You can also stow your luggage at the temporary luggage storage center.
Shibuya Station Tourist Information Desk
Located inside the Shibuya station serving the Tokyu Lines and Tokyo Metro Lines on the Basement 2 floor, near the Miyamasuzaka Center Exit. Here you can find issues of Tokyo Time Out (a well-known guide for Tokyo expats) as well as various other guides, maps and even help in English or Chinese.
Shibuya Station Concierge
At this concierge set up along the connecting passageway on Basement Level 4, you will find English-speaking staff smartly-dressed in red and ready to assist you. They also patrol the Hikarie ticket gates, Miyamasuzaka ticket gates and Hachiko ticket gates to provide on-site assistance on locations of exits, train and area information.
Shibuya Temporary Luggage Storage Service Center
To avoid having to worry about oversized luggage that won’t fit into a locker--or worse yet, no empty lockers at all—simply head to the Shibuya Temporary Luggage Storage Service Center just one minute’s walk from Shibuya station. Service is available in English.
Shibuya Crossing (“Scramble Crossing”)
Aptly dubbed a “scramble crossing,” this bustling intersection is the place to get sweet sensory overload of Tokyo. Surrounded by some of the largest LED screens wrapped around buildings and with promotional vans blaring past every other minute, there is never a dull moment. Come here to people watch and get wowed by the latest fashion trendsetters—but be careful not to lose yourself in the process! Shibuya attractions don’t get more stimulating than this.
Photo by David Offf on flickr
Getting a selfie with the storied Hachiko Statue is a must-do when in Shibuya. The statue of the loyal dog from Akita Prefecture waited every day for ten years for his master to return, unaware that the man—a professor at the agricultural department of the University of Tokyo—had passed away.
Photo by Konstantin Scholl on flickr
This is the place for shopping in Shibuya, a one-stop fashion complex where young women go to get all the latest clothes and accessories. Shibuya is the fashion trendsetter of Tokyo, and with over 100 boutiques across ten floors, be sure to pace yourself! There is also a Men’s complex located nearby.
Photo by Dick Thomas Johnson on flickr
This 100m slope with stairs leads is lined with quaint accessory shops, fashion boutiques, cafes and restaurants and was named for its resemblance to a Spanish street. It is a popular location for TV and movie shoots.
Photo by Moyan_Brenn on flickr
Literally “Center Street,” this is a pedestrian zone lined with the hottest street fashion and accessory shops on the scene, the latest food crazes, popular ramen shops and izakaya, and everything else needed for a fun night out.
A sprawling park 15-minutes’ walk from the station, Yoyogi Park is popular gathering place for street performers during the weekend, and always very crowded during the spring cherry blossom season. It’s a great place for a picnic and some quiet away from the flashy lights and loud music that is common to the streets of Shibuya.
“The Myth of Tomorrow” Mural
Photo by yoppy on flickr
Located within the station at the connecting passage connecting to the Keio Inokashira Line entrance, this huge wall mural by famous artist and sculptor, Taro Okamoto, depicts a human being hit by an atomic bomb. Unveiled here in 2008 after being lost in Mexico for years, the mural is a powerful and thought-provoking artistic explosion that both adds to and contrasts sharply with Shibuya’s vibrant cultural scene.
Shibuya Station is a Hub for Anything and Everything
From fashionista to foodie, people watcher to park walker, sophisticated and chic Shibuya Station has it all. Come and find your favorite spot in Shibuya with this Plaza Homes guide, and don’t forget to check out the what the grand old dame, Tokyo Station, has to offer as well.
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