Tokyo Neighborhood Quick Tips: Shibuya / by Shane Henderson



Don Quijote – Popular chain of discount stores selling everything you could possibly want, clothes, food, electronics, toys, etc. There are locations all over but the Shibuya one is huge and has really nice bathrooms. It is also one of the few places in Tokyo with a decent selection of Halloween costumes if you are in need of one.

MODI – Our favorite department store in the area. Very stylish, well laid out, and usually not too crowded. Along with selling clothes, accessories, and home goods, they have a 3-story HMV Record Store, a ton of different cafes and restaurants, and even a karaoke place!

Shibuya 109 – A 9-story mall just for women’s clothing and accessories. There are so many shops here, it just keeps going and going. There is a men’s version down the street but it is not as good.



Sushi No Midori – In the US you should probably avoid train station sushi at all costs, but here in Japan it is the way to go! Sushi No Midori is a very popular and affordable sushi spot right above Shibuya station.  For about 800 yen ($7.50), you will get a plate full of fresh sushi made right in front of you. And we are not talking about california and cucumber roll. We are talking tuna, eel, squid, salmon… the real deal! This place gets crazy busy so try to get there 15 or 20 minutes before it opens to take a number.

Torikatsu – If you are looking for incredible cheap eats in Shibuya, look no further. Torikatsu is a tiny, counter-seating only joint hidden down a side alley serving up some of the best Chicken Katsu in Tokyo. When you first step in you might think you have entered someone’s house because you are basically sitting right in the kitchen. Just tell the two friendly old ladies behind the counter you want Torikatsu and they will hand you a huge plate of hot, fresh, breaded chicken cutlet. It is a huge portion of food and it only costs around $6. Amazing.

Ichiran Ramen- One of the most famous ramen chains in Japan, and possibly the world, Ichiran is known for delicious ramen and the fact they serve it to customers in individual little booths. After you wait in line for a bit (there is always a line), you will pick what you want from the vending machine at the front entrance and it will print you a ticket. Once at your own little ramen booth, you can fill out a form with some ramen preferences, like noodle thickness and spice level. Then just hand your ticket through the window and they will bring you a delicious bowl of ramen goodness.

Dolci Cafe Silkream -  A charming cafe that is a great place to try cremia, Japan's fancy softserve ice cream. Cremia is made from highly regarded Hokkaido dairy and doesn't have any flavoring, it just tastes like Japanese milk. For those unfamiliar with it, it might be a somewhat unusual flavor. It almost tastes like cheese. We think it's delicious though! It contains a higher percentage of milk fat than normal soft serve, which adds to it's creaminess. The cone is made of langue de chat (thin, crispy cookie), instead of the normal wafer. 



Tasu Ichi – A standing-room only bar popular with expats and known for its cheap drinks. Beers are only $3 and most cocktails are less than $5. This place gets packed so it's not great for a quiet drink, but a solid choice if you are looking to meet some fellow travelers.

Coins Bar – The Shibuya location of a bar chain where most drinks are only about $3. The small, underground space attracts a fun, young crowd. It’s especially popular on Saturdays for its hip-hop themed nights.

Bar Oath – Although it’s a bit of a walk from the rest of the Shibuya nightlife, this small bar is worth checking out for its stylish clientele. It attracts a good mix of fashionable locals and foreigners looking for good music and affordable drinks. There is sometimes a cover charge but it is usually $5.  Check the website for their upcoming DJs..

Vibe Bar One – This bar located above a sex shop is unique, to say the least. It is decorated with hundreds of dildos of all different sizes, shapes, and colors. The friendly staff will tell you about the different models as you sip your drink, and if there is one you like you can always pick it up at the store downstairs. There is a steep 3000 yen ($25) cover charge to get in for 90 minutes, but it comes with two drinks so it's not too bad. Guys need to be accompanied by at least one girl to get in. If you go, make sure you don’t miss the bathrooms. The decoration in there makes the rest of the bar look PG!

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