Shibuya

Shibuya Station is located in Shibuya, one of the 23 wards of Tokyo. It is the third busiest train station after Shinjuku and Ikebukuro with over 2.5 million passengers traveling on an average weekday. Shibuya Station serves Saikya/Shonan-Shinjuku and Yamanote Lines of Japan Railways; Ginza and, Hanzomon Lines of Tokyo Metro; and the private railways Keio Inokashira, Tokyu Den-en-toshi, and Tokyu Toyoko Lines.

The main station building is occupied by the Tokyu Department Store. Tokyo Metro Hanzomon Line and Tokyu Den-en-toshi Lines share the underground platforms, the JR Lines (Saikya/Shonan-Shinjuku and Yamanote) and Tokyu Toyoko use parallel platforms on the second floor, and the Tokyo Metro Ginza Line uses platforms on the third floor. The Keio Inokashira Line uses platforms on the second floor of Shibuya Mark City building to the west of the main station complex. The Saikya/Shonan-Shinjuku Line is also used by the Narita Express trains. A new Tokyo Metro underground subway line (Line 13) is under construction and is due to open in 2007.

Although Shibuya is one of the 23 wards of Tokyo, it generally refers to just the shopping and entertainment area surrounding Shibuya Station. This very busy and colorful business district is mainly known as a fashion and trend-setting center of Japan as well as a nightlife area. Recently it has also become known as the center of the IT industry in Japan. Shibuya is unique in the sense that each of the things that it is known for is in a different area and each of these areas has a different atmosphere. These are:

Center Street: Center Street, or Center Gai as it is known, is youth dominated. This busy pedestrian zone is lined with youth fashion shops and boutiques, restaurants and fast food shops, game centers and night clubs. This is where new fashion trends for youths are born and then spread all over the country. Center Street is always crowded with teenagers on whom the latest trends are very obviously visible.

Koen-dori Street: Koen-dori Street is a shopping street which attracts mainly families. The street is lined with large department stores and fashionable buildings. Local people often refer to Koen-dori as Park Street as the street extends to Yogogi Park, and also because of the department store Parco, which in Italian means "park".

Shibuya Mark City: This biggest shopping complex in Shibuya is known as "Bit Valley" (for the computer lingo "bit" and the word Shibuya translates to "bitter valley") because of its large concentration of IT industry venture enterprises. Located just next to Shibuya Station, this "city within the city" also includes the large-scale Shibuya Excel Hotel Tokyu, business floors, and a wide range of stores and restaurants.

Shopping:

Shibuya is a popular shopping area. Most of the department and other stores are owned by either of the two rival corporations: Tokyu or Seibu .

The larger Tokyu affiliated stores are the main 10-floor Tokyu Department Store (The other branch is where Shibuya Station is located); the 8-floor Tokyu Hands , which has everything from interiors, gifts and crafts to the outdoors, stationery and much more; Shibuya 109 , a trend-setting 10-floor fashion complex; and the Shibuya Mark City.

The Seibu stores include the Seibu Department Store , featuring mainly fashion goods on its 9 floors; Parco , a shopping complex of numerous buildings focusing on fashion; and the 7-floor Loft , offering a large array of products related to interior, hobby, crafts and gifts.

Points of Interest:

Hachiko Statue

Perhaps the best known of Shibuya's landmarks is the statue of the legendry dog, Hachiko. This life sized bronze statue stands just outside of Shibuya Station's exit which opens onto the large six-way crossing heavily decorated by neon advertisements and giant video screens. According to legend, between 1924 and 1925, Hachiko accompanied his master, a professor at Imperial University, everyday to the station. Upon returning, the professor would always find his dog patiently waiting for him at the station. In 1925, the professor died at work and could not return home. Still, Hachiko continued to wait for him at the station everyday. The waiting dog became a familiar figure to the commuters for ten years until he died in the very spot in 1935. The people who saw him each day were so touched by the scene that they had a statue erected in his honor in 1934. During the war, the bronze statue melted down, but later in 1948, people had another statue made and erected at that same spot. Today, the Hachiko Statue is one of Tokyo's most popular meeting points.

Spain Slope

Spain Slope, or Supeinzaka, is a narrow road with stairs leading up to Parco department store from the street below. This 100 meter long rising pedestrian road is lined on both sides by boutiques, cafes and restaurants. It has been named Spain Slope because it resembles a Spanish street scene.

Love Hotel Hill

This is the area in Shibuya that has a high concentration of love hotels. Love hotels are places which offer couples a private room for "rest" (for 2-3 hours) or "stay" (overnight). These hotels may be cheap or expensive, architecturally garish or very ordinary looking simple buildings.

Bunkamura

Bunkamura is located right next to the main Tokyu department store. Literally meaning "culture village", Bunkamura complex consists of a concert hall, a theater, two cinemas, a museum, shops and restaurants:

Orchard Hall : Orchard Hall is a world class hall for concerts, opera and ballet. It is equipped with state-of-the-art features like an inclining stage system, adjustable orchestra pit, and an open sound control booth.

Theater Cocoon : The first of its kind in Japan, this theater is designed to offer every variation of dramatic expression †from musical dramas to concerts and contemporary dances.

Le Cinema : Located on the 6 th floor of Bunkamura, these are 2 theaters: Cinema 1 (seats 164) and Cinema 2 (seats 2,128). The state-of-the-art equipment in both the theaters produces pictures of unrivalled clarity and an acoustic system which is both powerful and sensitive.

Bunkamura Museum of Art : This museum has won recognition both in Japan and abroad through its theme-oriented approaches and views toward the future. Its pillar-less 837-square meter exhibition space with movable walls, exhibits personal exhibitions of important artists and introduces masterpieces of major foreign museums.

Bunkamura Gallery: The Gallery is located on the ground floor in the main lobby area. It features works of established Japanese and foreign artists, as well as promising new artists. The art exhibitions at the Gallery exhibit art of all genres - oils, prints, sculpture, and photography.

Restaurants and shops : Bunkamura's shopping and dining area includes a French restaurant, a cafe, a flower shop, a book shop, and a Swarovski shop.

Tobacco and Salt Museum

The Tobacco and Salt Museum traces the history of tobacco and salt in Japan and other countries of the world. Located just a short walk from Shibuya Station, the museum is made up of three floors. The first floor shows how tobacco spread from its South American beginnings to the rest of the world. The second floor deals with how tobacco has spread and affected Japan. There is also a section that shows the procedure of tobacco manufacture. The third floor is dedicated to salt. It shows the different techniques of producing salt, both from the sea and mines.

To some foreigners a museum of tobacco and salt may seem odd, but to the Japanese the products have been very important both culturally and economically. The museum is operated by Japan Tobacco (JT).

Electric Energy Museum (Denryokukan)

Operated by the Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO), the Electric Energy Museum explains the different aspects of electricity. It shows the process of power generation and the role of electricity in society and everyday life through several models and experiments.

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Featured Hotels in the Shibuya area that we represent
Cerulean Tower Tokyo Hotel    
Cerulean Tower Tokyo Hotel (G01, Z-01)

The 40-story Cerulean Tower Tokyo is the tallest building in Shibuya. Located just 3 blocks from Shibuya Station, the hotel offers stylishly decorated accommodation with high speed internet access. Facilities include 7 restaurants, lounges, bars, and a large scale conference room.

Shibuya Excel Hotel Tokyu  (G01, Z-01)

Directly connected to Shibuya Station, the Shibuya Excel Hotel Tokyu offers 408 rooms, each designed for comfort and relaxation. The Business Travel Floors offer rooms with speaker phones, spacious desks, fax machines and high-speed internet lines. The ladies floors have features that enhance security and provide more peace of mind.

   
 
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