Shibuya is not just the trendiest town in Japan in terms of fashion and pop culture - it is also a highly accessible place where you can travel to major areas in Japan's Kanto region like Tokyo, Shinjuku, Ikebukuro, Yokohama, and Saitama with just a single train ride.
Above all, this is where you can find plenty of popular shopping areas like Shibuya 109, Center Gai, and Don Quijote as well. And if that's not your cup of tea, there are always restaurants, cafes, and Japanese-style izakaya pubs with mouth-watering menus - some that are even open around the clock - for you to sniff out and enjoy!
What we're trying to say is: Shibuya is a very convenient place to stay in if you're visiting Japan from overseas! We don't expect you to just take our word for it, of course, which is why in this article, you'll be hearing from three foreign visitors who know Japan very well about their top reasons for staying in Shibuya during their trips!
Reason 1: Shibuya is highly accessible and great for business trips as there are plenty of facilities to accommodate both business and personal interests
While Shibuya is more popularly known as a shopping paradise, there are actually a lot of office buildings as well, with a substantial number of IT companies. If you're in Japan for a business trip, stay in a Shibuya hotel to get more work done in a much shorter time.
"Plenty of companies conduct their business in large smart buildings, and many office towers here are newly built as well. Since a lot of business negotiations take place in Shibuya, I tend to stay around this area when I'm on a business trip. If I stay in a hotel near the station, I may even be able to walk to my business partner's office. How convenient is that, right? Some negotiations are conducted in Roppongi, and for those I'll just take a taxi from Shibuya and reach the location in a jiffy.
"The ability to just wander into a shop for some beer after work can't be beat. The town is vibrating with vim and verve, so walking around observing all the people there can inspire some interesting ideas. Also, if you stay in Shibuya, you can experience a rare side to the famous scramble crossing during the early morning period, as the crowds are much thinner than usual then!" (Italian man in his 30s)
The scramble crossing during early morning? That's something unique only those who stayover at Shibuya can experience indeed! Refreshing yourself fully during your personal time will get you ready to produce better results when it's time to do business. Therefore, if you're a business person here in Tokyo with several deals to strike, staying in Shibuya may prove to be a valuable strategy!
Reason 2: Shibuya is where you can feel the metropolitan power of Tokyo!
Yes, Shibuya is definitely one of the most "powerful" towns of Japan - in terms of people power, at least! The scramble crossing in front of Shibuya Station mentioned early, for example, sees up to 3,000 people traversing the intersection at once and is often cited as a symbol of Shibuya's dynamic drive. So if you stay in Shibuya, you'll be able to feel and absorb that power for yourself all day long!
"Shibuya is really a town where you can taste what the 'big city' is all about. I also think Shibuya is the best place to stay in if you're interested in visiting Tokyo Tower. And you'll be able to walk through the scramble crossing as many times as you like!
"If you're just visiting to eat and relax, try an izakaya. The food there is great! I've made friends with the person sitting beside me while drinking in a yakitori (grilled chicken skewers) shop before. This is a kind of experience you can only get in big cities with a dense population like Tokyo. The cleanliness of the town is also a great reason for you to choose it for your stayovers." (American man in his 20s)
To make your trip to Japan more meaningful, strike up a conversation with a local sitting next to you in the bar and enjoy a bout of impromptu cultural exchange along with your drink. Sit back and let Shibuya's places, people, and palatable food energize you in their own special way!
Reason 3: Shibuya is where you can completely immerse yourself in the latest pop culture and fashion symbols!
Japanese youths, in their constant pursuit for individual growth, has developed a brand of fashion and lifestyle unique to their demographic. The subcultures that result are emerging from Japan and finding great popularity overseas as well, especially among countries with a similar attitude towards new trends like Taiwan. If you're also here to investigate that side of Japan, we guarantee you'll satisfy your curiosity by staying in Shibuya during your trip.
"There's nothing you can't find in Shibuya - tasty food, lovely light illuminations, shopping centers, clubs, cafes...you just name it! You're right smack in the middle of Japan's latest trends and even just staring out of the window of a cafe can be so much fun, because there's something new to be discovered every day. The girls hanging out here are always so fashionably dressed, and I sometimes find myself trying to find clothing similar to what I've seen someone on the street wearing! Going home after absorbing all of Japan's latest trends makes me the target of plenty of envious attention from the friends around me." (Taiwanese woman in her 20s)
For anyone with even the slightest passing interest in Japanese culture, come to Shibuya, for it is the undisputed fashion capital of Japan. Every single person walking down the street will offer deep insights into the latest breakout trends in clothing and makeup styles.
Reason 4: The best part about Shibuya is how it encourages freedom of personal expression!
It's not a stretch by any means to call Shibuya the town where "anything goes", because no matter what you wear or how you put on your makeup, nobody judges you. That's why you'll see a lot of people exerting their individualities in towns like Shibuya and Harajuku by wearing what they love without fear of disapproval.
"I really love Shibuya. The people here are free, daring, and tolerant of everybody's preferences. Walking to Harajuku to do shopping is something I must do every time I visit Japan. I especially love gothic fashion and vintage clothing. In Shibuya and Harajuku, nobody will berate me for putting on what I like, no matter how unconventional, and I feel like my individuality is being acknowledged. Japanese girls really have it so good, being able to walk freely around town wearing whatever they like.
"And for us ladies, the most important point is that it's safe here. I'm not afraid of being attacked at night if I need to go somewhere by myself. That's just how safe and secure it is here. Everyone is so polite, making my stay here a joy every time." (Chinese woman in her 20s)
Shibuya and Harajuku are fashion centers of Japan with the highest degree of freedom in streetwear. If you have a piece of clothing you really like but never found the guts to wear, put it on confidently and come down to Shibuya! You'll start to understand why fashion-lovers from overseas insist on visiting Shibuya whenever they're in Japan. Being able to wear what they like in Shibuya (and Harajuku!), even if it may be maverick by mainstream standards, must be what it's like to live in personal paradise!
And there you have it. Four reasons why you should consider choosing to stay in Shibuya during your Japan trip, whether you're a businessman in your 30s or a fashionista in your 20s. Your peers have brought up things like convenient public transport, availability of shopping areas, and a couple of other deeper reasons why they think Shibuya is their top choice.
Make Shibuya your base and harness that eclectic energy to make your Japan trip even more satisfying than you've already planned it to be!
Writer: Chiemi Matsumura
*Prices and options mentioned are subject to change.
*Unless stated otherwise, all prices include tax.
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