Shibuya & Shimo-Kitazawa

The narrow streets of ‘Shimokita’, barely passable by cars, create a streetscape like a dollhouse version of Tokyo. It’s been a favourite haunt of generations of students, musicians and artists. If hippies – not bureaucrats – ran Tokyo, the city would look a lot more like Shimo-Kitazawa. Unfortunately the massive redevelopment of the train station area is cramping its style a bit, but it's still a great place to wander – and bar-hop.

Restaurants, bars and entertainment venues are clustered on the south side; the more laid-back north side has many cafes and second-hand shops.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Shibuya & Shimo-Kitazawa attractions

1. Japan Folk Crafts Museum

0.68 MILES

The mingei (folk crafts) movement was launched in the early 20th century to promote the works of artisans over cheaper, mass-produced goods. Central to…

2. Toguri Museum of Art

1.47 MILES

The Toguri Museum of Art has an excellent collection of Edo-era ceramics, displayed in informative, thematic exhibitions with English explanations – great…

3. Bunkamura


Meaning ‘culture village’, Bunkamura has a theatre, concert hall, cinema and museum. Offerings swing between commercial and artsy; the Tokyo Philharmonic…

4. Dōgenzaka

1.62 MILES

Dōgenzaka, named for a 13th-century highway robber, is a maze of narrow streets. Home to one of Tokyo's largest clusters of love hotels (hotels for…

5. Yoyogi-kōen

1.72 MILES

If it’s a sunny and warm weekend afternoon, you can count on there being a crowd lazing around the large grassy expanse that is Yoyogi-kōen. You'll…

6. Spain-zaka

1.77 MILES

This narrow, winding brick lane is a classic example of Tokyo-style bricolage with a mismatch of architectural styles, cutesy clothing stores and a…

7. Shibuya Center-gai


Shibuya's main drag is closed to cars and chock-a-block with fast-food joints and high-street fashion shops. At night, lit bright as day, with a dozen…

8. Shibuya Crossing

1.87 MILES

Rumoured to be the busiest intersection in the world (and definitely in Japan), Shibuya Crossing is like a giant beating heart, sending people in all…