Shibuya (渋谷, Shibuya-ku, IPA: [ɕibɯja] ) is a special ward in the Tokyo Metropolis, Japan. A major commercial and finance center, Shibuya houses two of the busiest railway stations in the world, Shibuya Station and Shinjuku Station. As of January 1, 2024, Shibuya Ward has an estimated population of 230,609 in 142,443 households[2] and a population density of 15,262.01 people per square kilometre (39,528.4 people/sq mi). The total area is 15.11 km2 (5.83 sq mi). Notable neighborhoods and districts of Shibuya include Harajuku, Ebisu, Omotesandō, Yoyogi and Sendagaya. "Shibuya" is also commonly used to refer to the area surrounding Shibuya Station, an area known as a major center for Japanese fashion and youth culture, and one of Tokyo's most popular nightlife areas.

Shibuya City
Clockwise from top:
Flag of Shibuya
Official seal of Shibuya
Location of Shibuya in Tokyo
Location of Shibuya in Tokyo
Shibuya is located in Special wards of Tokyo
Shibuya is located in Tokyo
Shibuya (Tokyo)
Shibuya is located in Kanto Area
Shibuya (Kanto Area)
Shibuya is located in Japan
Shibuya (Japan)
Coordinates: 35°39′34″N 139°42′02″E / 35.65944°N 139.70056°E / 35.65944; 139.70056
 • MayorKen Hasebe [ja] (since April 2015)
 • Total15.11 km2 (5.83 sq mi)
 (October 1, 2020[1])
 • Total243,883
 • Density16,140/km2 (41,800/sq mi)
Time zoneUTC+9 (Japan Standard Time)
• TreeZelkova serrata
• FlowerIris ensata
City officeShibuya 1-18-21, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo 150-8010



Shibuya was historically the site of a castle in which the Shibuya family resided from the 11th century through the Edo period. 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.

The village of Shibuya was incorporated in 1889 by the merger of the villages of Kami-Shibuya, Naka-Shibuya and Shimo-Shibuya within Minami-Toshima County (Toyotama County from 1896). The village covered the territory of modern-day Shibuya Station area as well as the Hiroo, Daikanyama, Aoyama, and Ebisu areas. Shibuya became a town in 1909. The town of Shibuya merged with the neighboring towns of Sendagaya (which included the modern Senda, Harajuku and Jingumae areas) and Yoyohata (which included the modern Yoyogi and Hata areas) to form Shibuya-ku suburban ward upon being absorbed into Tokyo City in 1932. Shibuya became an urban special ward under the Local Autonomy Act in 1947.

The Tokyu Toyoko Line opened in 1932, making Shibuya a key terminal between Tokyo and Yokohama, and was joined by the forerunner of the Keio Inokashira Line in 1933 and the forerunner of the Tokyo Metro Ginza Line in 1938. The story of Hachikō, a dog who waited for his deceased master at Shibuya Station every day from 1923 to 1935, created a national sensation due to his unwavering loyalty. A statue of Hachikō was built adjacent to the station, and the surrounding Hachikō Square is now one of the most popular meeting points in the area.

Shibuya in 1959

During the occupation of Japan, Yoyogi Park was used as a housing compound for U.S. personnel known as "Washington Heights". The U.S. military left in 1964, and much of the park was repurposed as venues for the 1964 Summer Olympics. The ward itself served as part of the athletics 50 km walk and marathon course during the 1964 games.[3]

In the mid-1990s, Shibuya-kei, a microgenre of pop music, became mainstream in Japan. Distinguished by a "cut-and-paste" approach, it peaked in the late 1990s and declined after its principal players began moving onto other music styles.

Shibuya Stream, a skyscraper and retail complex, was completed in 2018. The East Wing of a mixed-used skyscraper, Shibuya Scramble Square, was completed in August 2019. A shopping mall, Shibuya Fukuras, was completed in October 2019.

During the early morning of January 1, 2019, a 21-year-old man named Kazuhiro Kusakabe drove his minicar into a crowd of pedestrians celebrating New Year's Day on Takeshita Street. The man claimed his actions were a terrorist attack, and later stated that his intention was to retaliate against the usage of the death penalty on Aum Shinrikyo doomsday cult members. The man attempted to flee but was soon apprehended by authorities in a nearby park.[4][5]

Miyashita Park closed in 2017 and reopened in July 2020 as a shopping complex with a rooftop park.


Shibuya in 1952
South of Shibuya in 2020

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


Shibuya seen from Roppongi Hills Mori Tower

Politics and government


Shibuya is run by a city assembly of 34 elected members. The mayor is Ken Hasebe, an independent.



Same-sex partnership certificate


In 2015, as the council passed "Ordinance for Promoting Respect of Gender Equality and Diversity in the Ward",[6] Shibuya Ward became the first Japanese municipality that issues same-sex partnership certificates.[7] According to this ordinance, same-sex couples who live in Shibuya are allowed "to rent apartments together, and have gained hospital visitation rights as family members".[7] The ordinance was intended to bring three benefits to same-sex couples: "(1) rental housing within the ward (co-signing of tenancy agreements for municipal/public housing), (2) medical institutions within the ward (hospital visitation and medical decision-making rights as family members), and (3) employment conditions within the ward (e.g. family benefits, congratulations and condolence leave)".[6] In order to apply for the certificate, couples must be 20-years-old or older residents of Shibuya Ward and have to state that "their relationship is based on love and mutual trust" in a notarized document.[8] Koyuki Higashi (a former member of the Takarazuka Revue) and Hiroko Masuhara (an entrepreneur), a lesbian couple, were the first to receive this certification.[8] Since the Shibuya Ward passed the ordinance, seven other municipalities in Japan have begun offering similar certificates.[9]

The BBC notes that in practice, the ordinance is not binding, though their names will be posted on the ward's website if they violate the ordinance.[10] Shimizu says the system "is not equivalent to marriage, as it does not accord same-sex couples the same rights as heterosexual couples when it comes to inheritance, joint filing of taxes, or social welfare".[6] As it requires at least a hundred thousand yen to apply for the certificate, it can be restrictive to some couples.[11] Shimizu argues that Shibuya Ward has been criticized for pinkwashing as "while passing this ordinance, the administration also moved to expel the homeless in Miyashita Park and other parks in the ward".[6] Pointing out that the mayor of Shibuya Ward in an interview stated that this is not a matter of human rights, but of diversity, Yuri Horie claimed that the term of diversity seems to be used to divide citizens into the good and the bad; it raises only the ones who contribute to the consumeristic society as representer of "diversity of sexuality" while excluding the useless ones.[12] Yuki Tsuchiya, a lesbian activist, also argues that LGBT individuals are used to promote the ward.[13]

Sightseeing and local landmarks

Shibuya's scramble crossing from Shibuya Sky observation deck

Shibuya is famous for its scramble crossing, called Shibuya Crossing.[14] 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. Shibuya Crossing is the "world's busiest pedestrian crossing", with upwards of 3,000 people at a time.[15][16][17] A statue of the dog Hachikō, remembered for his unwavering loyalty to his deceased owner, is installed outside Shibuya Station. The statue and its surrounding Hachikō Square are a common meeting place and are almost always crowded. On the southwest side of Shibuya Station, there is a Moyai statue, given to Shibuya by the people of Niijima Island in 1980.

Green areas

Yoyogi Park

Commercial complexes

Shibuya Scramble Square
and Shibuya Hikarie (left)

Cultural institutions


Religious institutions

Meiji Shrine


Love hotels concentrated in Dōgenzaka


Yoyogi National Gymnasium


Aerial view around Shibuya Station in June 1963
The former Tokyu Toyoko Line station (now demolished)
Shuto Expressway No.3 Shibuya Route



The main station in Shibuya is Shibuya Station. The southern half of Shinjuku Station, including the New South Entrance, is located in Shibuya.




NTT Docomo Yoyogi Building

Several companies are headquartered in Shibuya.

Calpis,[19] Casio,[20] Mixi,[21] Niwango,[22] Nihon Dempa Kogyo,[23] and Tokyu Corporation have their headquarters in Shibuya.[24] East Japan Railway Company[25] have their headquarters in Yoyogi, Shibuya. 81 Produce has its headquarters in Tomigaya, Shibuya.[26][27]

Former operations


At one time Smilesoft had its headquarters in the CT Sasazuka Building in Shibuya.[28] In May 1985 the headquarters of Bandai Visual moved to Shibuya. In March 1990 the headquarters moved to Shinjuku.[29]

A.D. Vision - Tokyo, Y.K., the Japanese subsidiary of A.D. Vision, was in Shibuya.[30] Acclaim Entertainment once had its Tokyo office in the Nomora Building.[31] The Japanese subsidiary of Titus Interactive, Titus Japan K.K., had its head office on the eighth floor of the Kotubuki Dogenzaka Building in Dōgenzaka.[32] The former animation studio; Group TAC was also located here.

Square Enix headquarters were located in Yoyogi before moving to Shinjuku in 2012.[33]




Aoyama Gakuin Majima Memorial Hall

Colleges and universities


Primary and secondary schools


The Shibuya City Board of Education [ja] operates public elementary and junior high schools, while Tokyo Metropolitan Government Board of Education operates public senior high schools.

  • Aoyama Gakuin Elementary, Junior and Senior High School—private co-ed school, in Shibuya, affiliated with Aoyama Gakuin University
  • Aoyama High School [ja]—public co-ed school, in Jingūmae
  • The British School in Tokyo Shibuya Campus
  • First Commercial High School—public co-ed school, in Daikanyama
  • Fujimigaoka Junior and Senior High School—private girls' school, in Sasazuka
  • Hiroo Gakuen Junior and Senior High School—private co-ed school, in Hiroo
  • Hiroo High School—public co-ed school, in Higashi
  • International School of Sacred Heart, in Hiroo
  • Jingūmae International Exchange School (JIES), within the Shibuya Ward Jingūmae Elementary School in Omotesando
  • Jissen Joshi-Gakuen Elementary, Junior and Senior High School—private girls' school, in Higashi, affiliated with Jissen Women's University
  • Kantō International Senior High School—private co-ed school, in Honchō
  • Kokugakuin Senior High School—private co-ed school, in Jingūmae

Public combined elementary and junior high schools[45][46]

Junior high schools:[45]

Elementary schools:[46]

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.[47]


Shibuya has appeared in the manga Alice in Borderland, Jujutsu Kaisen with its 'Shibuya Incident' arc, Super GALS! Kotobuki Ran, Tokyo Revengers and Ya Boy Kongming!.

It has featured in the television series Jellyfish Can't Swim in the Night.

It has also appeared in the videogames Chaos;Head, Ghostwire: Tokyo, Hatsune Miku: Colorful Stage!, Persona 5, The World Ends With You, Neo: The World Ends with You and Tokyo Mirage Sessions ♯FE.

International relations


Friendship city


International organization offices in Shibuya

United Nations University Headquarters Building

There are following offices at the United Nations University Headquarters Building in Jingūmae, Shibuya.[49]

Diplomatic missions in Shibuya

Embassy of Croatia in Hiroo, Shibuya

Following countries operate their embassies in Shibuya.[50]


See also

Similar venues with electronic billboards, jumbotrons and media towers.


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