Shibuya is one of Tokyo’s most famous special wards for many reasons. This area has lots to offer from the famous ‘scramble crossing’ to the iconic stores. It is also one of Tokyo’s busier areas, with bustling nightlife almost any day of the week. Many travellers planning to go to Tokyo struggle to find an area ideal for them to stay in. Shibuya is undoubtedly an amazing palace in Tokyo, but is it a good place to stay in Tokyo?
Shibuya is a great place for tourists to stay when visiting Tokyo. The special ward is home to many luxurious hotels, fine-dining restaurants, high-end fashion stores and attractions. Hotels can range from cheap to more luxurious and expensive, making Shibuya a good place to stay for any budget.
There are many factors that go into deciding whether or not Shibuya is the best place for you to stay when in Tokyo. It comes down to budget, your preferences and what is around locally, which will determine if it is the right place for you to stay.
In this article, I aim to provide you with all the information needed to make an educated decision for your trip to Japan’s capital city.
Should You Stay in Shibuya?
Shibuya is very popular, not just within Tokyo itself, but across the globe. It is famously known for its scramble crossing which has appeared in many Hollywood movies. But, take away this fame, is it actually a good place to stay? And does this area have more to offer?
I would go as far to say that when I went to Tokyo in September 2023, some of the most memorable moments were made right here in Shibuya.
One of these moments was walking across the Shibuya crossing in the pouring rain while holding an umbrella. But, when it rains in Tokyo, literally everyone holds an umbrella. So, picture the streets full of thousands of umbrellas as you cross the busiest crossing in the world.
To any outsider, this may seem like a very small thing. But, being there in the flesh was truly a one-of-a-kind experience.
This is just a small example of the moments that Shibuya has to offer, and it offers so much more.
From Yoyogi Park and the Meiji Jingu shrine to the Ebisu Garden Place, Shibuya has lots of things to do and things to see.
With all of these things to do, I cannot recommend Shibuya highly enough as a place to stay.
Pros of Staying in Shibuya
- A variety of things to do and see
- Easy access to transportation
- It is surrounded by other popular areas, such as Harajuku
- Fashionable, lots of stores selling high-end fashion items
- A plethora of restaurants
Cons of Staying in Shibuya
- Is known to be very busy, both during the day and night
- Can be expensive compared to other wards in the city
- Has a busy nightlife, can be a downfall for people wanting a more relaxing trip
Is Shibuya A Good Place To Stay For A Solo Traveller?
Solo travelling in Shibuya is a great choice for those who want to visit areas on their own. However, this can be said for almost any area in Tokyo!
Getting around via the trains and metro is super easy.
There are also very cheap accommodation options, making it suitable for solo travellers on a smaller budget.
There are many attractions and spots for amazing photographs to be taken, so if you are looking to get high-quality photographic memories from your trip, Shibuya will provide this as well.
Is Shibuya A Good Place To Stay For Families Or Couples?
There are many benefits that Shibuya offers for both families and couples. Families may appreciate the variety of entertainment options, from the iconic Shibuya Crossing to kid-friendly attractions like the Excel Hotel Tokyu’s observation deck.
The area is also home to many diverse dining options.
On the other hand, couples can enjoy the romantic prospects of Shibuya’s trendy cafes, stylish boutiques, love hotels and intimate dining experiences. However, the lively nightlife may be a consideration for those seeking a quieter or more peaceful atmosphere.
Additionally, Shibuya provides convenient access to Tokyo’s extensive transportation network, making it easy to explore other family-friendly or romantic destinations in the city.
Is Shibuya Safe?
When deciding whether or not to stay in an area you have never been to, an important factor to take into consideration is whether it is safe or not to do so.
It doesn’t matter if you are a solo traveller or travelling with family or as a couple, safety is always a main consideration.
You’ll be pleased to know that yes, Shibuya is definitely safe.
The streets are always well lit and busy, meaning that not much crime can happen really.
Tokyo as a whole is a very safe city, and this area is seen as one of the safer parts with an active nightlife.
Even when looking at Shinjuku, which is known to be the most ‘unsafe’ area of Tokyo, it is not actually that dangerous or likely that a crime will take place.
Check out my other article to find out more about the safety of Shinjuku.
Just because an area is known or deemed as the most unsafe place of a certain city, doesn’t mean it will be any more unsafe than back at home, wherever that may be; because realistically, Tokyo is extremely safe for travellers.
Shibuya Neighbourhoods & Districts
Shibuya is a large area and it is home to many commercial and residential districts. I have put together some descriptions of the most popular neighbourhoods within Shibuya, so that you can look into the best place to stay in Shibuya.
Shibuya Center-Gai is the main centre point of Shibuya. It’s where a large majority of Shibuya’s main attractions and stores are. From the scramble crossing and Shibuya sky to the Mega Don Quijote store, there is a lot to see and do in this district. There are also lots of bars and clubs, and the nightlife is always bustling with large crowds and lively music, meaning it can be a great place to experience day and night.
Harajuku is a famous district within Shibuya known for its clothing and souvenir stores as well as amazing street food. In particular, Takeshita Street is a popular destination for both residents of Tokyo and tourists. There are plenty of clothing stores for anyone who wants to get some new fashion while on their travels.
This is a luxury shopping district in Tokyo, much like Ginza. It provides many high-end fashion stores and restaurants, making it an absolute shoppers dream. However, it can be quite pricey and the variety of hotels aren’t vast. But, if you are wanting to stay in a more luxurious part of Shibuya, then Omotesando may just be worth visiting.
Ebisu is one of the larger districts in Shibuya, and once again is very well known for its shopping and dining establishments (as you can see, Shibuya is very commercial). The Ebisu station is part of the JR Yamanote line, making it that bit easier for travelling to other areas around Tokyo.
If you have been planning to stay in Tokyo and looking at options of places to stay, Shibuya is a great option. It offers culture, entertainment, and convenience. From the iconic Shibuya Crossing to the luxury fashion stores and outlets, this special ward caters to diverse preferences and budgets. Accommodation can range from budget-friendly options to higher-end hotels, meaning that Shibuya is accessible to all types of travellers.