Shibuya Station 101
Shibuya Station is one of the largest stations in Tokyo. Here’s a helpful guide to Shibuya Station and what you need to know to help you travel one of Tokyo’s most popular stations.
Shibuya Station is one of the most interesting train stations in Tokyo. It’s also one of my favorites because there’s nothing quite like the energy of this place. There are tons of restaurants and places to shop. And of course, upon exiting the station, you have at your feet, one of Tokyo’s most exciting districts which directly opens to Shibuya Crossing.
Words can’t describe the thrilling feeling of exiting the station to the city’s most energetic district. Below are some suggestions for both shopping, food, and things to do around Shibuya Station.
If you haven’t checked it out already, I highly recommend my book, The Hidden Tokyo Neighborhood Guidebook. It’s over 400 pages of pure Tokyo insight. It covers in detail what makes Tokyo so amazingly complex – its neighborhoods. It promises to take your trip to the next level.
Did you know: Shibuya Station hosts over 1 million travelers a year. This makes Shibuya Station only second to Shinjuku Station for not only the busiest station in Tokyo but in the world.
Train Lines at Shibuya Station
Shibuya Station is one of the largest train stations in Tokyo. It’s also operated by the JR East Seikyo Line / Shonan-Shinjuku Line & Yamanote Lines; the Keio Inokashira Line; the Tokyu Den-en toshi Line & Tokyo Toyoko Line; and the Tokyo metro lines Ginza, Hanzomon, and Fukutoshin Lines. It also has a bus terminal.
How to Travel to Shibuya Station?
Traveling to Shibuya Station is easy. Use Hyperdia.com to schedule train times around Tokyo and Japan. Locals in Japan use this free site to get around Tokyo. It’s easy to use, and you’ll be able to see a list of different train times, routes, and schedules.
The station itself is quite large, but if you’re traveling to Shibuya for tourism, my recommendation is to eliminate the chaos. Simply follow the signs towards the North Gate / Hachiko Mae Exit. This is the most popular exit and the easiest to find as well, which takes you straight to the heart of Shibuya.
Tourism Information Centers at Shibuya Station
The Aogaeru Tourist Information Center: Upon exiting the station via the Hachiko Mae Exit, you’ll see a big green bus called the Aogaeru Tourist Information Center. You cannot miss it, and it makes for an excellent meeting spot. They have maps and English speakers to help point you in the right direction.
The Shibuya Station Tourist Information Desk: You can also find this tourist info desk located inside of Shibuya Station on the second basement floor, near Miyamasuzaka Center Exit. They also have free wifi available. The folks here also speak English & Chinese.
Maps of Shibuya Station
Further below, there’s another map. It has some indications of where you can purchase JR reservations, coin lockers, indicated elevators, escalators, restrooms, and more specific points of reference.
Tokyo, in general, can be a challenge to get around if you have a disability, but Shibuya station is large enough to be able to accommodate this through the use of elevators. Some stations I’ve found in parts of Tokyo and Japan, unfortunately, are not as friendly.
Shibuya Station Main Gates
There are tons of different exits at Shibuya Station, but unless you have a specific exit in mind, I recommend heading to Hachiko-mae. In any case, these exits in the station are clearly labeled and easy to read in English.
If you’re changing train lines or taking the subway, you will need to follow the signs in the station. Refer to the map above to get an idea of the station layout. The Hachiko Gate is located along the North Exit and of course, you can identify the South Gates.
Looking at the maps above, you can see many exits, but these are the ones worth noting:
1. The Hachiko Mae Exit (North Side): This gate is the most popular exit gate at Shibuya Station, named after the famous story of the dog, Hachiko. If you’re not aware of this story, you can brush up on it here. But today, both the dog and professor are buried in Aoyama Cemetery.
Today, the statue stands here outside of the exit next to the green tourist information bus. Often surrounded by young people and used as a meeting point, you cannot miss it. This is the exit that I recommend taking. It opens up to Shibuya Crossing. You can also easily reach the Tokyu Department Store from here.
2. Central Gate Exit 2F: From here, you can access to the Shibuya Mark City Shopping Mall & Keio Inokashira Line. Here’s a reference of the list of shops, restaurants, & hotels located in The Mark City. Also, on the 5F of the Mark City is Highway Buses which have easy bookable tours and day trips.
3. South / New South Gates: This is primarily for those taking the JR Saikyo & JR Yamanote Lines as well as the Narita Express (see the info video below).
4. East Gate & Miyamasuzaka Exit: These exits face directly to the Hikarie Shopping Center and Miyamasuzaka Street.
Luggage Storage at Shibuya Station
Storing your luggage at Shibuya Station doesn’t have to be a challenge because there are several options. First, you might want to check the coin lockers via this map located in the station. Since it’s a large station, the lockers can fill up; however, I’ve always had luck.
However, if these do fill up or if you want to plan more in advance, it’s worth looking into leaving your luggage at a storage center such as the Voyagin Office located nearby.
How to Get to the Narita Express Train Platform at Shibuya Station
I’ve always found that one of the most stressful things about traveling Tokyo is always the trip to and from Narita Airport. The NEX trains only run once an hour, and if you miss it, you’re kind of screwed. Here’s a helpful video on how to locate the Narita Express train platform at Shibuya Station.
Shopping in Shibuya Station
Shibuya Station offers some high caliber shopping malls. You have the Hikarie (East Exit) The Shibuya Mark City (Central Gate / Inokashira Line), and the Tokyu Department Store (Hachiko Exit) all of which are easily accessible from the station. Also, there’s the famous Shibuya 109 located outside the station perimeter. The 109 is a “gyaru” department store that features most young girl fashion, but it’s a landmark in Shibuya.
The Hikarie is the newer shopping center with over 16 floors filled with restaurants, fashion, and a super awesome food basement, or depachika. At this depachika, one of my favorite spots is the Pierre Herme macaron counter straight out of Paris. It has the best macarons in the world, in my opinion. Of course, the depachika itself is a goldmine for foods to try.