top 10 shibuya is what i have managed to discover during my visits so far. shibuya is tokyo’s youth district, where you will find unusual street style and surprising retail outlets. go to be amazed!

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10. 109 is not merely a department store but an institution in itself. there is even an 109 men. teens visit its endless floors in search of the latest trends. find it in all its glory right when you exist the train station.

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9. youth culture. the entire place is stickered to death and littered with places to hang out: music venues, restaurants, cafes, etc. keep your eyes peeled to spot what’s going to be trendy tomorrow!

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8. love hotels are to be found a short walk away from shibuya station. if you are new to this, you need to know that they are dedicated exclusively to sex. due to the tiny japanese apartments, people need privacy. the hotels rent out the rooms for a rest (a few hours) or for a stay (the entire night). they usually have wild decor, sex-related amenities and maximum privacy (you will most probably not see any staff during your stay).

unfortunately, i have never used one. i think the deal breaker for me was the fact that once you exist the door, you cannot return.

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7.  diesel gallery is the art gallery in the diesel store. beside the art, they sell their own apparel and furniture.

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6. mural in the station. after being gone for many years, the 30m-long hiroshima and nagasaki-inspired mural by taro okamoto was recovered. in 2008, it was relocated inside shibuya mark city. the myth of tomorrow can be visited at any time. look out for the 2011 post-fukushima addition by art collective chim pom.

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5. hachiko statue is the place to meet in shibuya. the story says that the dog used to come and pick his master from the station daily. after his death, the dog spent 9 years taking the same trip every day. his loyalty is commemorated every year on the 8th of april.

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the real hachiko is stuffed and displayed in the national science museum in ueno. you can hop on the hachiko bus, a minibus service that will take you to several local residential areas. find the stop in the close neighbourhood of the statue.

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4. cinema rise shows independent films. and the unique structure is hard to miss. or forget!

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3. respekt is probably my favourite place in shibuya. unfortunately, i didn’t have enough time to properly explore the entire building. they seem to also have a lounge and a book store.

the cafe was great! they had the latest issues of local magazines, great cake and a very nice waiter. they encourage you to throw parties there and i totally would. they are so cool they have aesop products in the bathroom! 🙂

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2. nonbei yococho is sort of a secret place. the drunkard’s alley is a little street hidden in plain sight, very close to shibuya station. the entire length of the street, on both sides, is lined with the tiniest bars. even if they range from the traditional watering hole to the hipster wine bar, they all have one thing in common: the capacity. i doubt that any of them can host 10 guests at the time, but that is exactly their charm. do not miss it: you’ll love it!

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1. scramble crossing is the epicenter of shibuya. you must know it already as it seems to be synonymous with tokyo. the first time i was there, i sneaked into excel hotel tokyu with a friend, pretending to be guests. we went up with an elevator and took pictures from up there. i recommend it! from up there, you will be able to see the neighboring football field on top of a building, adidas futsal park.

for a simpler shot, try to film while you cross it yourself.

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* for a crazy place that i haven’t visited but i would, click here. it’s a prison-themed restaurant!

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* for a place apperantly selling anything and everything: tokyu hands.

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click here and here for the tourist information centers in the station.

and, if my top 10 shibuya is not sufficient, time out has 101 things to do in the neighbourhood. either way, enjoy!

photo credits: little aesthete, copyright owners