One of the most famous areas in all of Tokyo is Shibuya. This special district was founded on March 15, 1947. According to 2008 data, it has a population of 208,371 inhabitants and a density of 13,540 people per km². The total area is 15.11 km².
Shibuya means “quiet valley” and is the name of the family descended from the Fujiwara clan that resided in that place until the beginning of the Meiji era (1968-1912).
Today a trip to Tokyo would not be complete without stepping on the great Shibuya crossing. Walking through the rising wave of people that floods the intersection outside Shibuya station every two minutes is an experience in itself.
Shibuya Station handles an average of more than 2.4 million passengers each day. This makes the Shibuya crossing one of the busiest roads in the world. About 2,500 people are believed to cross it at once.
The origins of Shibuya Station date back more than 100 years, when operations began in 1885. At that time, it served as a stop on the Shinagawa Line, which has since expanded and is now known as the JR Yamanote Line.
Currently, Shibuya Station serves more than eight different lines and is jointly operated by the JR East, Keio, Tokyu and Tokyo Metro subway companies. Tokyu Corporation, one of the major operators of Shibuya Station, is planning to complete a 47-story commercial building in 2019. This new structure will be the tallest in Shibuya, one more reason to visit Shibuya Crossing, the busiest pedestrian thoroughfare in Tokyo
In 1923 an Akita breed dog moved to Shibuya to accompany its owner, Professor Hidesaburō Ueno. This little dog was called “Hachiko” and he accompanied his owner every day to Shibuya station and waited for him until his return. Unfortunately in 1925 he suffered a brain hemorrhage during his work and died suddenly. Hachiko, unaware of this sad event, continued to wait for his owner at Shibuya station for the next nine years. Shibuya residents noticed this beautiful gesture of fidelity and in 1934 they erected a bronze monument in his honor in front of Shibuya station. Hachiko passed away in 1935 surrounded by the family of Professor Ueno.
Hachiko quickly became a national symbol of family loyalty and love. Two extremely important traits in Japanese culture, therefore the importance of Hachiko cannot be underestimated. Every year, on the anniversary of his passing, a ceremony is held at the Hachiko Monument at Shibuya Station.
Then, as you cross, you will find the birthplace of many Japanese fashion trends “Center Gai”, a pedestrian zone located in the heart of Shibuya, lined with shops, boutiques and game centers. At night the street fills up with young people heading to nightclubs, restaurants and bars, etc.
The streets of Shibuya continue to dictate global fashion trends. The iconic Shibuya109 building is a mecca for teens interested in following the pattern, while Shibuya Hikarie and Seibu are modern complexes for shopping and visiting sophisticated restaurants. Not only is it a place for the modern fashionista, if you are a designer or creator, head to the modern Tokyu Hands or Loft lifestyle mega-stores; Or pick up some quirky souvenirs from the well-stacked shelves of the discount store giant, Don Quixote.
Shibuya is a symbol of high technology and modernity of Tokyo, therefore it is highly recommended to visit this sector during your trip to Japan.