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Shibuya Tour: Explore All of Shibuya With This Free Walking Tour!

Shibuya Tour: Explore All of Shibuya With This Free Walking Tour!

Date published: 30 March 2020
Last updated: 18 August 2020

Getting a Shibuya tour is high on many visitors' Tokyo bucket lists. Shibuya is an extremely popular area with so much to see - Hachiko, plus shopping centers like Shibuya 109, Shibuya Parco, Shibuya Hikarie, and more recently, Shibuya Scramble Square. These famous spots are just a part of all there is in Shibuya. In fact, Shibuya also has a trove of hidden spots that even Japanese people hardly know.

Today, I joined a free walking tour around Shibuya, sponsored by “Shibuya-san,” a free service which provides tourist information to foreigners.

When you're visiting Tokyo for the first time and are looking for a local guide, don't miss out on this free guide service! Make the best of it, and discover those spots that no one knows. You’ll love it.

Table of Contents
  1. A free Shibuya tour around the area's hidden spots known by locals
  2. 1. Nonbei Yokocho: A Showa era retro bar area
  3. 2. Discover a mysterious Japanese souvenir vending machine near Inokashira Street!
  4. 3. Spain-Zaka ("Spanish Slope"): A colorful area lined with popular restaurants
  5. 4. Shibuya PARCO's 6th floor is a perfect place to find anime and game-related merch
  6. 5. Ura Shibuya Area: Bustling with many popular restaurants
  7. 6. BUNKAMURA: Recommended to those interested in art
  8. 7. Café Lion: Enjoying a peaceful sip while listening to classical music
  9. 8. Dogenzaka: Main streets lined with buzzing shops
  10. 9. Shibuya Fukuras' 17th Floor: Hidden spot from where you can gaze at the Shibuya-by-night skyline
  11. Shibuya-san: A tourist information center with locals who know Shibuya well
  12. There's more! Recommended spots around Shibuya

A free Shibuya tour around the area's hidden spots known by locals

A free Shibuya tour around the area's hidden spots known by locals

Shibuya-san provides tourist information services for foreign visitors and is based in Shibuya Fukuras, one of the landmarks of the area with its Tokyu Plaza Shibuya. The company holds a daily night-time free walking tour around Shibuya.

The completely free tour is held every evening at 7:30pm, so make sure to reserve it. The tour takes about 1 hour and 30 minutes, making it interesting, but also allowing you to see a lot in not too long a time.

Shunta (left), Wendi (center), Kazuki (right)

The guides for our tour are Shunta and Kazuki. Shunta has lived in Shibuya for over 10 years, and has been a tour guide for more than five. Kazuki is also a tour guide with five years of experience and is active not only in Japan, but also in Cebu Island.

Wendi, a graphic designer from the Philippines took the tour. She has started working in Japan last month, and the slogan “you can visit hidden spots in Shibuya for free” caught her eye.

Below is a brief overview of the tour in which I participated.

■Free Shibuya Walking Tour Overview
Main Route:
Shibuya Hachiko-mae → Nonbei Yokocho → Inokashira Dori → Spain-zaka → Shibuya Parco → Ura Shibuya → BUNKAMURA → Famous music Café Lion → Yakiniku bar Korean Kitchen → 17th floor of Shibuya Fukuras (enjoy the night view) → Shibuya-san

*Depending on the day the tour route may change
*In this article we have selected and talked about the highlights of the tour

We join the start of the tour at Hachiko. Let’s go!

  • Hachiko Statue
    • Address 2-1, Dogenzaka, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo, 150-0043
      View Map
    • Nearest Station Shibuya Station (JR Shonan Shinjuku Line / JR Yamanote Line / JR Saikyo Line / Tokyo Metro Ginza Line / Tokyo Metro Hanzomon Line / Tokyo Metro Fukutoshin Line / Tokyu Toyoko Line / Tokyu Den-en-toshi Line / Keio Inokashira Line)
    • Phone Number 03-3462-8311

1. Nonbei Yokocho: A Showa era retro bar area

Starting from Hachiko, you can reach Nonbei Yokocho in Shibuya 1-chome in about 3 minutes. This is a hidden spot with many retro izakaya pubs and bars. The atmosphere is similar to that of the famous Shinjuku Golden Gai, an izakaya street in Shinjuku.

A unique atmosphere that makes you feel as if you traveled to 1960s Japan. Since each shop is rather cozy, visiting these bars feels like going to a friend’s house, creating a friendly atmosphere among patrons and with the owners.

Looking around it was surprising to see not only Japanese people, but also westerners. Maybe this area has gained traction abroad? It’s amazing to see this kind of place in the middle of Shibuya! It’s a perfect spot for those who want to enjoy drinking in a cozy, retro atmosphere.

  • The Nonbei Yokocho
    • Address 1-25-9, Shibuya, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo, 150-0002
      View Map
    • Nearest Station Shibuya Station (JR Shonan Shinjuku Line / JR Yamanote Line / JR Saikyo Line / Tokyo Metro Ginza Line / Tokyo Metro Hanzomon Line / Tokyo Metro Fukutoshin Line / Tokyu Toyoko Line / Tokyu Den-en-toshi Line / Keio Inokashira Line)
      1 minute on foot

2. Discover a mysterious Japanese souvenir vending machine near Inokashira Street!

After seeing Nonbei Yokocho, we proceed to Inokashira Street, the main street facing Seibu Department Store, full of Shibuyaesque liveliness.

On the way there, you will find this vending machine! Shunta, a Shibuya insider, explained it to me.

This vending machine reads “Japanese souvenir vending machine.” It sells sushi key chains. It’s quite unique, but it seems to be pretty popular, since more than half of the items were sold out.

  • seibu shibuya
    Events
    • Address 21-1, Udagawacho, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo, 150-8330
      View Map
    • Nearest Station Shibuya Station (JR Shonan Shinjuku Line / JR Yamanote Line / JR Saikyo Line / Tokyo Metro Ginza Line / Tokyo Metro Hanzomon Line / Tokyo Metro Fukutoshin Line / Tokyu Toyoko Line / Tokyu Den-en-toshi Line / Keio Inokashira Line)
    • Phone Number 03-3462-0111

3. Spain-Zaka ("Spanish Slope"): A colorful area lined with popular restaurants

From Inokashira Dori, climb the “Spanish Slope.” Here you will find the famous tonkotsu ramen shop Ichiran (very popular among people from abroad), and “Bidoro,” a famous Spanish restaurant founded in 1977.

  • Spain-Zaka
    • Address Udagawacho, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo, 150-0042
      View Map
    • Nearest Station Shibuya Station (JR Shonan Shinjuku Line / JR Yamanote Line / JR Saikyo Line / Tokyo Metro Ginza Line / Tokyo Metro Hanzomon Line / Tokyo Metro Fukutoshin Line / Tokyu Toyoko Line / Tokyu Den-en-toshi Line / Keio Inokashira Line)
      5 minutes on foot
    • Phone Number 03-3463-1211

4. Shibuya PARCO's 6th floor is a perfect place to find anime and game-related merch

Shortly after climbing the Spain-Zaka, we arrived at Shibuya PARCO. PARCO has a lot of pop and unique shops for young people.

The 6th floor hosts CYBER SPACE SHIBUYA, an area filled with subculture shops related to anime and games - exactly the kinds of things loved by many foreign visitors!

Here you can also find the JUMP SHOP, which sells products from "Weekly Shonen Jump,” plus unique figurines.

As we browse around, Wendi notices something interesting.

A giant figurine of the popular Pokemon character “Mewtwo!”

This is Pokemon Center Shibuya. The Mewtwo on display is apparently life-sized, so it has a really strong impact. I used to play Pokemon when I was a kid, so this brings back memories. The statue has a strong presence and is very cool!

When I stepped into the store, lots of Pokemon goods were on display. Pokemon fans will love it!

c2020 Pokemon. c1995-2020 Nintendo/Creatures Inc. /GAME FREAK inc.

  • Shibuya PARCO
    渋谷PARCO
    • Address 15-1 Udagawacho, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo 150-0042
    • Nearest Station 5-minute walk from JR Shibuya Station
    • Phone Number 03-3464-5111
    • Open: shopping center from 10am to 9pm, food and drinks from 11am to 11:30pm

5. Ura Shibuya Area: Bustling with many popular restaurants

After enjoying the anime shopping spree, we headed back to Shibuya. Along the way, there is a famous restaurant called Flamingo, a popular social media spot. Since it’s open until morning, it crowds with customers leaving clubs to enjoy a tasty bite to eat.

While walking in Udagawa-cho, Shibuya, you’ll find a beer bar where you can enjoy Japanese and Northern European craft beers. “All Tokyo” is recommended by our guides.

6. BUNKAMURA: Recommended to those interested in art

After Ura Shibuya, next to Shibuya Station, head towards BUNKAMURA, close to Shinsen Station.

BUNKAMURA is an art complex where you can find an art museum, movie theater, concert hall, and a variety of restaurants. If you want to experience Japanese art, you should definitely drop by here.

  • Bunkamura
    • Address 2-24-1, Dogenzaka, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo, 150-8507
      View Map
    • Nearest Station Shibuya Station (JR Shonan Shinjuku Line / JR Yamanote Line / JR Saikyo Line / Tokyo Metro Ginza Line / Tokyo Metro Hanzomon Line / Tokyo Metro Fukutoshin Line / Tokyu Toyoko Line / Tokyu Den-en-toshi Line / Keio Inokashira Line)
      5 minutes on foot
    • Phone Number 03-3477-9111

7. Café Lion: Enjoying a peaceful sip while listening to classical music

Next to BUNKAMURA, we continue down a narrow alley, to the Shotoku Post Office. There we find “Meikaka Café Lion” in Dogenzaka 2-chome.

A white piece of paper taped to the door reads “no talking.” Despite this being a coffee shop, conversation is prohibited. Founded in 1926, the shop has a history of nearly 100 years, and it’s a famous music café where you can listen to classical music, and it’s very popular among lovers of the genre.

There is a large 3D speaker inside the store, and you can enjoy beautiful classics to your heart's content. It is recommended not only for music lovers, but also for those who want to visit a unique cafe like no other. Actually, it was on my list of places to visit in Shibuya too! And finally I could check out one of Shibuya's most unique places.

  • MEIKYOKU KISSA LION
    名曲喫茶ライオン
    • Address 2-19-13, Dogenzaka, Shibuya Ku, Tokyo To, 150-0043, Japan
    • Phone Number 03-3461-6858
    • Hours: 11am-10:30pm (last order 10:20pm)

8. Dogenzaka: Main streets lined with buzzing shops

After going through the famous music café Lion, you will enter the main streets of Dogenzaka, stepping back into the lively cityscape of Shibuya.

Here is “Yakiniku bar Korean Kitchen,” which was awarded TripAdvisor’s “Traveler's Choice (top 1%)," and “Kurand,” where you can drink and compare 100 kinds of Japanese sake for 3,000 yen.

We then return to the Shibuya Fukuras Building where Shibuya-san is located, and we learn about recommended stores, like Kurand SAKE MARKET Shibuya.

9. Shibuya Fukuras' 17th Floor: Hidden spot from where you can gaze at the Shibuya-by-night skyline

We arrived at Shibuya Fukuras Building. However, we were not done yet.

We take the elevator to the 17th floor. There, we are greeted by the marvelous panorama of a night view of Shibuya.

Wendi loved the view.

The view from Tokyu Department Store is like this. Spectacular.

The 17th floor of Shibuya Fukuras is one of those secret places that only a few people know, to enjoy the night view of Shibuya for free.

This is one of those spots that can be found only thanks to a tour guide who knows Shibuya inside and out. Definitely recommended to whose who want to fully enjoy the night views of Shibuya!

In addition, on this floor is the modern skybar “CÉ LA VI Tokyo,” located in Singapore’s prestigious hotel, Marina Bay Sands. It’s a great experience to enjoy Japanese sake with a superb view of Shibuya.

And with that, our 1 hour and half tour of Shibuya is over. Our guides returned to Shibuya-san on the first floor and we enjoyed one complementary original drink.

During our break, I asked Wendi about her impressions.

“I joined the tour because I wanted to visit the hidden spots of Shibuya for free. I was more interesting than I had imagined. The guides were super friendly and I will recommend this tour to my friends!”

It looks like Wendi was very happy. I also talked to the guides.

“As a tour guide, I find it rewarding to be able to make friends with people from all over the world. I’ve lived in Shibuya for more than 10 years, so if you have any question about Shibuya, leave it to me! It’s a free tour, and I’ll be happy for more and more people to join us.” (Shunta)

“I want for many visitors to be able to enjoy Japan, and that’s why I started working as a tour guide. There are many great places in Shibuya that even Japanese people hardly know. I hope you love it here and come back again!” (Kazuki)

When you visit Shibuya, if you are interest in knowing all of its secrets, join the Free Shibuya Walking Tour! There is no doubt you will love it. Find your own special store while enjoying a night walk.

Shibuya-san: A tourist information center with locals who know Shibuya well

If you search on the internet for “Shibuya sightseeing,” you can instantly find a tourist spot, but if you want to find something special and not known to everyone, ask the locals!

Shibuya-san can help you enjoy a sightseeing tour that you will not find on the Internet.

Shibuya-san employs 20 staff members from 12 countries who have become “concierges of Shibuya information.”They constantly scout Shibuya for special spots, and they always have the latest. Of course, they can help you in multiple languages.

In addition to the free tour, there are also (not free) plans like “sake tasting and comparison,” and “international exchange party.” If you are interested, check the Shibuya-san website at https://shibuyasan.jp/en/.

  • Shibuya-san Tourist Information & Art Center
    shibuya-san(シブヤサン)tourist information & art center
    • Address Shibuya Fukuras 1F, 1-2-3 Dogenzaka, Shibuya-ku, 150-0043 Tokyo
    • Nearest Station 1-minute walk from Shibuya Station JR, Tokyu, Tokyo Metro and Keio Inokashira lines.
    • Hours: 10:00am - 11:00pm
      Closed: Open daily

There's more! Recommended spots around Shibuya

There are many other attractive spots around the route you visited. Please go to the restaurants and sightseeing spots that interest you.

Written by Sayaka Narikawa, Dali Corporation

*This information is from the time of this article's publication.
*Prices and options mentioned are subject to change.
*Unless stated otherwise, all prices include tax.

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