So you’ve made it on the subway at least once, successfully, now you’re ready to tackle Shibuya! Shibuya is the bustling area in Tokyo, similar to times square but locals actually go here. It is famous for the 5 crosswalk simultaneous crossing and neighbouring the famed Harajuku district.
I’ll take you to Harajuku, Meiji Jingu shrine, Shibuya crossing, a fully automated sushi joint, cat cafe, shopping and karaoke which is all completely possible to be accomplished in 1 day. Where do we start?
Take the metro to Harajuku station and get out and do a quick exploration around. There won’t be a ton of Harajuku girls hanging around sadly but if you want to try, take a walk through Shibuya 109 (the mall).
Next follow the signs to Meiji Jingu shrine. It shouldn’t be hard to find. You will probably at most spend 1 hour here. Along the way you’ll see donations of Sake and wine from Japan and France. France and Japan have a very good relationship and the Japanese have a crush on France, look closely when you walk around town and you’ll see french things everywhere.
There are a few gorgeous gates at this shrine but you’ll notice a very big one which is actually the biggest one in Japan. Before entering you should first wash/wet your hands and mouth with the water (don’t drink) then proceed.
In the Shrine you can make a donation at the temple which you follow up with bows and claps (follow the sign). You can also get your very own poem/fortune (omikuji) written by Emperor Meiji and Empress Shoken available for 100 yen. You can also make a wish or intention on a wodden plank for 500yen. When done you can walk around and appreciate the beauty and visit the gardens on your way back to Harajuku station.
Once you cross the street towards the station look up, you’ll see a cat cafe! MoCHA. Head up the elevator and check it out. Entrance is 200 yen for 10 minutes or you can just look in the window but don’t be rude or take up too much space and be discreet. They have industrial pet hair rollers and hand sanitizer etc. if you’re worried about cat hair so go get weird.
Next take the train to Shibuya station which is more than possible to walk. I used the free WiFi outside The Gap in Harajuku (beside the cat cafe) to grab a quick google map directly here. Once out you’re looking for Genki sushi a fully automated sushi joint.
There will be a line up depending on the time of day so head inside and put you name down and go wait outside. Take this opportunity to check out the side street there’s fun to be had.
Once you’re in sit down, pour yourself a cup of powdered green tea and get started. Change your screen to English by tapping the bottom left hand corner button which should be green or blue. This will make you life so much easier. The types and prices are all there so go nuts, I only managed to spend 550 yen but the boys going all out beside me still only spent 1600 yen. The sushi comes whizzing to you on motorized trays it’s like dinner and a show, enjoy.
Stumble out of here in your sushi coma and walk straight into the Karaoke place across the street. It’s priced well and you and your friends will have a blast. Need a second to digest? Hit the vintage store to your left and find some gems.
Last but not least Head to Shibuya square and walk across the street, feel the buzz. That was cool wasn’t it? Now find the Starbucks, grab a drink and head upstairs to see what the fuss is about. You’ll have the perfect vantage point to see the crosswalk if you manage to score a spot at the window. There’s free WiFi in here so you can post all your cat and sushi photos while you digest your perfect Tokyo day.
Depending on when you started your day you can shop around Shibuya, see
the video game centers or rakuen and end your evening with an Izakaya, Shibuya is crawling with them.
Look for one with lots of locals and not too pricey.