Published on September 22nd, 2014 | by shibuya0
Shibuya Station, the railway station of Shibuya is just like its host – fast, busy and having a special place in people’s lives. While Shibuya is among the most fashionable areas of Japan, Shibuya station is among the busiest stations of the country. In fact it is the fourth busiest, after Shinjuku, Ikebukuro, and Umeda/Osaka. It is an important hub which connects people from suburbs of west and south, to city center, and vice versa.
Shibuya station is operated jointly by East Japan Railway Company (JR East), Tokyo Metro, Tokyu Corporation and Keio Corporation. In 2014, it has handled a huge traffic of more than 3 million commuters till date.
A number of lines operate at Shibuya station like Yamanote Line, Tokyo Metro Hanzomon Line, Tokyu Den-en-toshi Line and Tokyo Metro Ginza Line. Amongst all these the most useful and popular one is the Yamanote Line from a tourist’s point of view, because it stops at all important stations and also at other popular urban areas like Harajuku and Akihabara.
At present Shibuya station is undergoing notable renovations; however, all the railway and subway lines are operating smoothly. Some entrances and exits of the station too are undergoing changes. The main station building which was earlier largely occupied by Tokyu department store has been closed and ready for demolition, while the west building of the Tokyu department store is operational as before.
Shibuya station has six exits from the main JR/Tokyu/Tokyo Metro complex. The most famous is the Hachiko Exit on the west side, named after the statue of the Hachiko dog famous for his loyalty towards his master, Prof. Eisaburo Ueno, which is placed near the well-known scramble crossing of Shibuya. The Tamagawa Exit on the west side takes you to the Keio Inokashira Line station. If you get confused about which exit to use, the most preferable is the Hachiko Exit which takes you right to the center of Shibuya’s shopping district. Also it is the best exit to experience and enjoy the energy at Shibuya crossing.
There is a famous mural “The Myth of Tomorrow” by Taro Okamoto in which a human has been depicted being hit by an atom bomb is set in the linking passage to the Keio Inokashira Line entrance. It was inaugurated on 17th November 2008.
Shibuya station is particularly marked by its surrounding area which is considered to be one of the most fashionable areas of Japan and a famous Japanese pop culture hub. No wonder, shopping is a must-do activity here, which is indulged by Shibuya station in form of the Tokyu Department Store which is housed in the station itself, and many other huge and fashionable department stores which are within walking distance from the station. The famous Starbucks branch is standing just opposite Shibuya station and provides an excellent viewpoint from its second floor to view the scramble crossing.
You will be amazed by the fact that River Shibuya runs directly underneath Shibuya station. Because of this, the east part of Tokyu Department Store (which is due for demolition) had no basement retail space.
Being a tourist in Shibuya station can be a bit confusing; but, if you learn a little about how to navigate the gushing crowds, you will be alright. Streams of people keep coming from all directions all at once; however it works somehow, because people at this fourth busiest station of the country are always polite and cooperative to others around them despite being in a rush. It is useful to navigate this unspoken system as best as you can. For example, you can make sure that you stand out of the way, when you want to look at the map or taking something out from your bag. It is also remarkable to see how people waiting to board the train step aside for passengers inside to get down the train more efficiently.