If you’ve already heard the name ‘Shibuya’, it’s probably because of the busy crossroads of the same name. But this district of Tokyo is so much more than that. Tokyo lover Nicolas Wauters knows the neighbourhood inside out.
Nicolas Wauters has lived in Tokyo since 2010 and is crazy about this bustling, magical city. He loves the strange contrasts, the people and the culture. Every day, Nicolas takes tourists around the many districts of Tokyo. So he knows Shibuya, a very important commercial centre in the capital, better than anyone.
Shibuya is famous mainly for the legendary crossroads. What is so special about it?
Nicolas Wauters: “It is about the most visited crossroads in the world. Forget Times Square. Every day, over two million people pass through here. The most impressive thing is that all the passers-by cross the streets – from many different directions – at the same time. Shibuya is a busy spot because of the many companies here, as well as lots of great stores and places to meet your friends.”
“What’s more, the Shibuya crossroads is known from the story of Hachiko the dog, who even has a statue here. Every evening, Hachiko waited faithfully for his master at Shibuya train station. After his master died in 1925, the dog stayed devotedly at its post for no less than nine years. Today the statue is still a popular meeting place.”
What do you absolutely have to visit when you are in Shibuya?
Nicolas Wauters: “It’s very busy, but you definitely have to visit the crossroads and the statue. Imagine going to Paris and missing the Eiffel Tower. Be sure to go to Shibuya station to admire the beautiful artwork of Japanese abstract painter Okamoto Taro. The view from the top storey of the Hikarie skyscraper is well worth it, too.”
Where should you eat in Shibuya?
Nicolas Wauters: “Shibuya has lots of good and inexpensive restaurants. Tuck into delicious ramen in one of the shops along Center Gai, a narrow, popular street in Shibuya. Not only is the view from Hikarie great, but you’re sure to enjoy what the chefs conjure up, too. Are you a real gourmet? If so, you’ll love Uchitsu, a starred restaurant with just eight seats.”
Center Gai -
Shibuya is also a popular place for fashionistas. Which store should you be sure not to miss?
Nicolas Wauters: “Shibuya is known for its eccentric, extravagant fashion. It’s not for everyone, but if you love colour, you’ll definitely find something to your taste here. ‘109’ is a very popular shopping centre where you can immerse yourself totally in the ‘Shibuya style’.”
Want to know more about Nicolas Wauters’ guided tours? You can find out on the Connections website. Curious about all there is to experience in Tokyo? Read about it here or pop into one of the Connections travel shops.