Sanette had just arrived in Japan and to save her from falling into the ‘jet-lag’ trap, I took her out for the day to Shibuya! Shibuya Station is known as the busiest station in Japan and I would believe one of the busiest in the world. From not having experience in traveling with public transport, this day was a true test of character and navigation!
To start the day, coffee was very much needed! Especially for my poor friend that was almost using matchsticks to keep her eyes open! Starbucks is across the street from one of the station exits and has a great view over the Shibuya crossing where you can see the human scramble! The day we went was rather miserable with the rain but made for a beautiful view of dancing umbrellas crossing the street.
From here we visited the famous Shibuya 109 department store with 10 floors of fashion for women. Across the street was the store for men which was also a super tall building! This definitely felt like a Japanese shopping experience seeing the shop attendants dressed up in the clothes they were selling, ice cream earrings and pretty stores playing rock music! Very much a contrast to what we are used to back in South Africa!
Harajuku is in the Shibuya district and that was our next stop. I have already written a post on Harajuku here, but this was an even busier day than experienced before. We got to see a lot more people dressed up and on this particular day, there was a St. Patrick’s Day parade so we saw people and even their dogs dressed up in the famous Irish green!
Harajuku is a really fun district to explore especially when there are sales on! The Takeshita street is just full of energy! We happened to stop in at the Daiso which is a 100 yen store. They have 4 floors of items worth 100 yen (unless otherwise marked). One floor for stationery, another for games etc. Some of the items were rather hilarious as you will see from the pictures!
We got back to Shibuya station to catch the train home and managed to get a photo of the famous Hachiko. This is a statue of a dog that became world reknowned after following his owner to the Shibuya station in the morning and waiting for him until he returned to then walk home together. There is a movie about this dog starring Richard Gere. The dog waited everyday for his owner, even once he’d passed on, making it a rather sad tale but a very well respected dog in Japan! The Hachiko statue that day was dressed up to advertise a Spring Fashion Festival.
Shibuya, definitely worth ticking off the Japan trip list!