Friday, September 11, 2009

Shibuya, Tokyo

Of Interest: shopping, entertainment district
Lodging: multiple
Tourist Office: Probably yes, but probably unfindable
International ATM: post office (check map in the station plaza)
Computer Access: multiple internet cafes with good prices
Accessible: No, lots of barriers, lots of stairs

Shibuya is the fourth busiest railway station in Japan and the single most confusing train station that I have ever been in. Almost every line has its own little station so you have to change stations to change trains. The Ginza line is inside Tokyu Department Store. Other changes require walking through a mall.

Shibuya Station is in the middle of Shibuya Ward's central commercial district. The area is very businesslike during the day, but at night it attracts young people from all over Tokyo. Because of the variety of people the area attracts, you can find almost any kind of leisure activity. Prices are very reasonable here. If you are looking to save money by staying overnight at an internet cafe, this is the place to do it.

JR East, Tokyu Corporation, and Keio Corporation serve Shibuya Station. JR trains all come to one set of tracks, but there are two different Tokyu station areas. (They want you to walk through their store and buy something.) Three subway lines also come here. Ginza comes into the third floor of the department store while the Hanzomon and Fukutoshin lines run underground. You can change between those two lines without going through a ticket gate.

Here is a review of a Shibuya area hotel, the Granbell Hotel, by Aki, one of my favorite bloggers. Another post on the same hotel has a nice picture of a typical Japanese breakfast. Yum.

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