Shibuya, Tokyo

Shibuya, Tokyo
—  Special ward  —
渋谷区 · Shibuya City
Shibuya crossing at night

Location of Shibuya in Tokyo
Shibuya is located in Japan
Coordinates: 35°39′50.53″N 139°41′53.56″E / 35.6640361°N 139.6982111°E / 35.6640361; 139.6982111Coordinates: 35°39′50.53″N 139°41′53.56″E / 35.6640361°N 139.6982111°E / 35.6640361; 139.6982111
Country Japan
Region Kantō
Prefecture Tokyo
 – Mayor Toshitake Kuwahara
 – Total 15.11 km2 (5.8 sq mi)
Population (2008)
 – Total 208,371
 – Density 13,540/km2 (35,068.4/sq mi)
Time zone Japan Standard Time (UTC+9)

Shibuya (渋谷区 Shibuya-ku?) is one of the 23 special wards of Tokyo, Japan. As of 2008, it has an estimated population of 208,371 and a population density of 13,540 persons per km². The total area is 15.11 km².

The name "Shibuya" is also used to refer to the shopping district which surrounds Shibuya Station, one of Tokyo's busiest railway stations. This area is known as one of the fashion centers of Japan, particularly for young people, and as a major nightlife area.



Following the opening of the Yamanote Line in 1885, Shibuya began to emerge as a railway terminal for southwestern Tokyo and eventually as a major commercial and entertainment center. It was incorporated as a village in Minami-Toshima County (Toyotama County from 1896) in 1889, as a town in 1909, as a ward of Tokyo City in 1932, and as a ward of Tokyo Metropolis in 1943. The present-day special ward was established on March 15, 1947.

One of the most well-known stories concerning Shibuya is the story of Hachikō, a dog who waited on his late master at Shibuya Station every day from 1923 to 1935, eventually becoming a national celebrity for his loyalty. A statue of Hachikō was built adjacent to the station, and the surrounding Hachikō Square is now the most popular meeting point in the area.

Yoyogi Park in Shibuya was one of the main venues for the 1964 Summer Olympics. The ward itself served as part of the athletics 50 km walk and marathon course during those games.[1]

In 1965, 18-year-old Misao Katagiri, who had already shot and killed a policeman, went on a shooting rampage, and injured 16 more people. He was sentenced to death and was executed by hanging in 1972.

Shibuya has achieved great popularity among young people in the last 30 years. There are several famous fashion department stores in Shibuya. Shibuya 109 is a major shopping center near Shibuya Station, particularly famous as the origin of the kogal subculture. Called "Ichi-Maru-kyū," which translates as 1–0–9 in Japanese, the name is actually a pun on that of the corporation that owns it — Tokyu (which sounds like 10–9 in Japanese). The contemporary fashion scene in Shibuya extends northward from Shibuya Station to Harajuku, where youth culture reigns; Omotesandō, the zelkova tree- and fashion brand-lined street; and Sendagaya, Tokyo's apparel design district.

During the late 1990s, Shibuya also became known as the center of the IT industry in Japan. It was often called "Bit Valley" in English, a pun on both "Bitter Valley," the literal translation of "Shibuya", as well as Bit, the computer term for binary digits.


Shibuya in 1952

Shibuya includes many well-known commercial and residential districts such as Daikanyama, Ebisu, Harajuku, Hiroo, Higashi, Omotesandō, Sendagaya, and Yoyogi.


Sasazuka, Hatagaya, Honmachi
Uehara, Ōyamachō, Nishihara, Hatsudai, Motoyoyogichō, Tomigaya, Yoyogi-kamizonochō
Sendagaya, Jingūmae
Kamiyamachō, Jinnan, Udagawachō, Shōtō, Shinsenchō, Maruyamachō, Dōgenzaka, Nanpeidaichō, Sakuragaokachō, Hachiyamachō, Uguisudanichō, Sarugakuchō, Daikan'yamachō, Ebisunishi, Ebisuminami
Shibuya, Higashi, Ebisu, Hiroo

Politics and government

Shibuya is run by a city assembly of 34 elected members. The current mayor is Toshitake Kuwahara, an independent backed by the Liberal Democratic Party and Komeito.


Sightseeing and historic sites


Green areas


Streets and places

  • Aoyama Dōri, a major east-west thoroughfare
  • Center Gai
  • Dōgen-zaka, a road in central Shibuya famous for its surrounding nightclubs and love hotels
  • Komazawa Dōri – running past Daikanyama, down the hill to Ebisu, crossing Meiji Dōri and up the hill through Higashi, Tokyo and Hiroo. The road stops at the Shuto expressway in Minami Aoyama. Famed for its beautiful trees that turn bright yellow in autumn, cafes, restaurants and large replica of Michelangelo's David outside of the Papas building. Prince Hitachi and Princess Hitachi have their official residence in a palace in large gardens off Komazawadori in Higashi [2]
  • Kōen Street, in central Shibuya between Shibuya Station and Yoyogi Park
  • Meiji Dōri, a major north-south thoroughfare parallel to the Yamanote Line
  • Miyamasu-zaka
  • Omotesandō, an avenue leading up to the Meiji Shrine with a number of famous-brand boutiques
  • Spain-zaka
  • Takeshita Street, a shopping street through Harajuku
  • Yamanote Street
  • Shibuya
  • Ebisu
  • Harajuku
  • Hiroo
  • Sendagaya
  • Yoyogi


Shibuya station (JR Line)
Shibuya station (Tōyōko Line)
Shuto Expressway No.3 Shibuya Route
  • Shibuya is famous for its scramble crossing. It is located in front of the Shibuya Station Hachikō exit and stops vehicles in all directions to allow pedestrians to inundate the entire intersection. Three large TV screens mounted on nearby buildings overlook the crossing. The Starbucks store overlooking the crossing is also one of the busiest in the world. The Shibuya Scramble is featured in the movie, Lost in Translation [3] and The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift.
  • On the northwest side of Shibuya station, there is a popular meeting place with a statue of Hachikō, while on the southwest side of Shibuya station there is another popular meeting place with a statue called "Moyai". The statue resembles a Moai statue, and it was given to Shibuya by the people of Niijima Island in 1980.



The main station in Shibuya is Shibuya Station.



NTT DoCoMo Yoyogi Building

Several companies are headquartered in Shibuya.

Calpis,[4] Casio,[5] Niwango,[6] and Tokyu Corporation have their headquarters in Shibuya.[7] East Japan Railway Company,[8] Square Enix,[9][10] and Taito Corporation have their headquarters in Yoyogi, Shibuya.[11] 81 Produce has its headquarters in Tomigaya, Shibuya.[12][13]

Foreign operations

Campbells Soup's Japan division is headquartered in Shibuya.[14] The ABB Group's Japan headquarters are located in Shibuya.[15][16] Virgin Atlantic Airways's Japan office is on the sixth floor of the POLA Ebisu Building in Shibuya.[17] MTV Japan Ltd., which controls Nickelodeon Japan, has its headquarters in Shibuya.[18]

Former operations

At one time Smilesoft had its headquarters in Shibuya.[19] In May 1985 the headquarters of Bandai Visual moved to Shibuya. In March 1990 the headquarters moved to Shinjuku, Shinjuku, Tokyo.[20]

A.D. Vision - Tokyo, Y.K., the Japanese subsidiary of A.D. Vision, was in Shibuya.[21] Acclaim Entertainment once had its Tokyo office in the Nomora Building.[22]



Colleges and universities

United Nations University, Shibuya campus

Primary and secondary schools

Shibuya operates public elementary and middle schools, while Tokyo Metropolitan Government Board of Education operates public high schools.

  • Aoyama High School
  • First Commercial High School
  • Hiroo High School

Public libraries

Shibuya operates several public libraries, including the Central Library, the Nishihara Library, the Shibuya Library, the Tomigaya Library, the Sasazuka Library, the Honmachi Library, and the Rinsen Library. In addition, the Yoyogi Youth Hall houses the Yoyogi Library Room.[23]

See also


  1. ^ 1964 Summer Olympics official report. Volume 2. Part 1. p. 74.
  2. ^ Kunaicho |The Imperial Palace and other Imperial Household Establishments
  3. ^ Glionna, John M. (2011-05-23). "Japan's orderly Shibuya Scramble". Los Angeles Times.,0,4327748.story. Retrieved 2011-08-28. 
  4. ^ "Company Outline." Calpis. Retrieved on February 12, 2010.
  5. ^ "Corporate." Casio. Retrieved on February 25, 2009
  6. ^ "会社情報." Niwango. Retrieved on February 26, 2011. "〒150-0001 東京都渋谷区神宮前1-15-2 ニコニコ本社ビル."
  7. ^ "会社概要." Tokyu Corporation. Retrieved on November 27, 2009.
  8. ^ East Japan Railway Company. "JR East Corporate Data". Retrieved 20 June 2009. (English)
  9. ^ "Corporate Profile." Square Enix. Retrieved on January 30, 2011. "Headquarters Shinjuku Bunka Quint Bldg. 3-22-7 Yoyogi, Shibuya-ku,Tokyo 151-8544, Japan."
  10. ^ "Map." Square Enix. Retrieved on January 30, 2011. "Location Shinjuku Bunka Quint Bldg. 3-22-7 Yoyogi, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo 151-8544, Japan."
  11. ^ "Company Overview." Taito Corporation. Retrieved on January 30, 2011. "Head Office 15F, Shinjuku Bunka Quint Bldg,3-22-7 Yoyogi,Shibuya-ku,Tokyo 151-8648,JAPAN."
  12. ^ "株式会社81プロデュース 会社概要." 81 Produce. Retrieved on April 5, 2010.
  13. ^ "株式会社81プロデュース アクセスマップ." 81 Produce. Retrieved on April 5, 2010.
  14. ^ "Profile." Campbells Soup Japan. Retrieved on November 10, 2008.
  15. ^ "Addresses in Japan." ABB Group. Retrieved on February 6, 2009.
  16. ^ "Tokyo (26-1 Sakuragaoka-cho)." ABB Group. Retrieved on February 6, 2009.
  17. ^ "Japan Office." Virgin Atlantic Airways. Retrieved on 14 December 2009.
  18. ^ "会社情報." Nickelodeon Japan. Retrieved on August 31, 2010.
  19. ^ "会社概要." Smilesoft. February 12, 2002. Retrieved on February 11, 2010.
  20. ^ "History." Bandai Visual. Retrieved on March 16, 2010.
  21. ^ "Contact ADV." A.D. Vision. Retrieved on May 8, 2009.
  22. ^ "Worldwide locations." Acclaim Entertainment. June 23, 2000. Retrieved on July 8, 2010.
  23. ^

External links

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