24 Hours in Shibuya Budget Edition

Shibuya- tokyo- budget travel- a day away.jpg

Shibuya is often likened to Times Square- full of tourists and busy locals, tons of bright lights and sounds, and a lot of attractions.  I wouldn't recommend Times Square to you, but Shibuya is certainly worth a day.. or more. 

Unlike the Big Apple's center, locals regularly go out there, enjoying a beer, good food, shopping, movies, and more.  It almost feels like a city in itself, crawling day and night.  daslzkxjampsofzcxj 

10AM, let's get breakfast

There's a host of options, but if you're going for Japanese, let me suggest Oichan.  Open 19 hours of the day, they offer classic Japanese fare- including chicken porridge or dumplings for breaky.   Price: 1000Y with coffee

If you're wanting something a little different, a fave is World Breakfast All Day.  Serving up a standard European selection all the time, half the menu changes each month to focus on a different countries breakfast cuisine.  A little trip within the trip.  Price: 2000Y with a drink

11AM Brave the Scramble (episode 1)

"Scramble" is the term used for the busiest street crossing in the world, right outside the Metro station, and nearly impossible to miss if you're going anywhere in the district.  What hits me most about this crossing is that during the day, the crowds are silent, patiently waiting, with ads blaring in the background.  At night, though, it's a different story....   Price: free

shibuya- tokyo- budget travel- a day away.JPG

11:30AM Get Lost!

The best way to get to know a place is to literally get lost in it, and Shibuya has a new surprise around every corner, so take a while and just wander.  You'll probably come across something fabulous.    Price: free

12:30PM Visit Tokyu Hands

Tokyu Hands is a store that would be most akin to Target in the US, but it is so much better.  Floors filled with everything from beautiful stationery to garden supplies to home furnishings and knick knacks, it's easy to work up an appetite around the dizzying possibilities. *you can even order online from home!*   Price: variable

shibuya- tokyo- budget travel- a day away.jpg

1:30 PM Grab lunch at Tokyo Foodshow/Mark City

You know how after a day at a shopping center, you stumble to the food court to choose between greasy fast food options to satisfy your hunger?  Yea?  Well, in Japan, it's floors of stunning, handcrafted goodies instead.  Offering nearly everything under the sun, promise you'll meander through all the isles before making a decision.  Price: 300-2000Y

2:30PM Go see, or "take a nap" on Love Hotel Hill

There's a couple blocks deep in Shibuya that boasts a wide array of hotels rentable by the hour.  While this is not a new concept, most are not frequented as often as those in Tokyo, and the room service offered is.. impressive.  Price: free- 3700Y/hr

4:00PM Catch a movie at Uplink

Set at the bottom of Yoyogi park, Uplink offers a hand full of independent films on the first floor, and a great little bookstore on the second.  A great spot to relax.   Price: about 1000Y for show and a coffee

shibuya crossing- tokyo- budget travel- a day away.jpg

6:00PM  Experience the Scramble at night (episode 2)

As overwhelming as the crossing is during the day, it's only amplified after dark.  People getting rowdy after work, musicians playing on corners, and groups of kids literally parking it in the crowd for the night.   Price: free

7:00PM  Stuff your face, and your liver

Did you know that all-you-can-eat is a big thing in Japan? And that a lot of these restaurants offer high quality meat and almost sterile surroundings?  Yepp.  Try Shabu shabu (hot pot), to get all-you-can eat meat, veggies, and carbs for 1.5 hours.  Oh yeah!  You can add all-you-can-drink at most places for less than $15.   Price: both for 3400Y

9:00PM Grab a drink at Beat Cafe

Offering great music for the area, in an unusually divey bar, Beat Cafe is a must-stop in Shibuya.  Every night the crowd is different, from the Harajuku crowd to American celebs- it's worth the stop every time.  Price: 800Y well drink

shibuya- karaoke- tokyo- budget travel- a day away.jpg


Karaoke halls are in every district of Tokyo, but they are particularly numerous here in Shibuya.  There's one for anything you want: costumes, themed rooms, dance halls, whatever suits your fancy.  Plus, these places are cleverly built without windows, keeping you distracted until the Metro is back up and running again.   Price: varies by hour