If you’re planning a first trip to Japan, chances are Shibuya is on your itinerary. Why not get an amazing aerial view of the Tokyo landscape at Shibuya Sky?
Situated about 230 meters above ground, Shibuya Sky is the highest point in all of Shibuya, making it a go-to spot for tourists and locals alike. Perhaps the best part of Shibuya Sky, especially for photographers, is the “Sky Edge,” which is a corner without walls and obstructions at the rooftop. The only thing between you and the view is a glass barrier. This corner is Instagram-worthy because you get a symmetric shot plus a fantastic panoramic view.
When you’re done taking photos, it’s time to relax at the rooftop hammocks if you want to bask in the sky or try to name famous Japanese landmarks such as the Tokyo Tower, Tokyo Stadium, Tokyo SkyTree even Mt Fuji if it’s not cloudy. If you visit at night, you get to enjoy the “Crossing Light,” a light show featuring 18 beams illuminating the sky. Needless to say, being on top of Shibuya gives you a completely different perspective than passing through the Shibuya Scramble Crossing with the crowd.
Speaking of exploring Shibuya with a different lens, the other floors of the observatory are filled with digital art displays called the “Sky Gallery” and a café and bar at the “Paradise Lounge,” allowing you to dine and unwind beside breathtaking views. When done, you might find something at the gift shop featuring Hachiko-themed trinkets, edible souvenirs, clothes, and more.
Adults 18 years and older must pay ¥2,000 at the door, while junior high and high school students have a discounted entrance fee of ¥1,600. The price for elementary students is ¥1,000, while for children aged 3 to 5 is ¥600. Individuals with disabilities are granted a 50 percent discount on admission.
You can head to the Shibuya Scramble Square website for ¥200 off if you want a discount. The catch is that tickets purchased online are assigned a specific time slot, requiring extra planning. Although given the influx of tourists in the country after borders reopened, this route is advised because there is a quota on the number of visitors per time slot. Simply print your ticket or save the QR code on your phone, and you pass through a separate queue on the 14th floor, called “Sky Gate,” which is the entrance to the observatory.
From the Sky Gate, you are directed to a “Transition Pod,” taking you across the “Sensing Hall” filled with animations on the ceiling to make the journey mesmerizing. From the 45th floor, you take a narrow escalator to the rooftop. Take note that you cannot bring belongings except your wallet and phone or camera. The rest are stored in lockers on the 46th floor for ¥100 (refundable upon exit) per locker.
If you are alone and want some amazing shots or don’t have the tech for Insta-approved shots, an in-house professional photographer takes souvenir photos. You can even time your visit and choose the sunset schedule for the day for breathtaking views. Take note that the rooftop might be closed during strong winds or bad weather, so it’s recommended to you’re your visit. Shibuya Sky is open daily, from 10 am to 10:30 pm (last entry at 9:20 pm). More information can be found on the official Shibuya Sky website.
Other things to do in Shibuya
Since you’re already in one of the most popular tourist spots in Tokyo, known for being a hub for entertainment, shopping, fashion, and food, you can experience modern Japanese culture in one stop.
Your first stop would most probably be a photo with Hachiko and the famous Shibuya Crossing. From there, you can stroll through the center street filled with restaurants, cafes, and clothing stores or Shibuya 109 for even more shopping. You can dive deeper into the side streets, such as Udagawachō for artisan cafes, bars, and record stores, and into Oku-Shibu or “deep Shibuya” for boutiques and bistros.
If you’re not tired from all the walking, eating, and shopping, extend the fun at the area’s nightlife destinations, such as Nonbei Yokocho (a retro drinking and eating alley), or sing to your heart’s content at one of the many karaoke joints.
Whether you love shopping, find happiness in food, or prefer relaxing under the sky while hundreds of meters above ground, there’s definitely something for everyone at Shibuya.