So kind of a click-bait title I will admit. While we may have had some stressful moments in Shibuya, we fortunately did not have a full blown authentic “Shibuya Meltdown” nor were we fortunate enough to spot one in the wild.
But I can see how the Japanese are some of the most exhausted people out there because after running around Shibuya, we felt like we could very well pass out face first in some ramen as well haha.
And I apologize for how scatter-brained this post will be. It’s kind of a random compilation of photos I took just walking around Shibuya.
I’ll kick this off with a boring and ugly picture that will hopefully make up for what it lacks in aesthetic, in helpfulness! What am I talking about? Storage Lockers! I saw some YouTuber vlog about how annoying it was lugging their bags around the city until they could check into their Airbnb and I was over here like pffffffff amateur. These coin storage lockers are at almost every station in Tokyo and we saw them in the stations in Kyoto and Osaka as well. Toting around heavy or unnecessary bags is dumb. Spend a few yen and lock those bags up! It will give you a receipt with a code to unlock the locker so don’t lose it!
Shibuya is a great place to walk around, people watch and shop. So that is exactly what we did. It can get a little wild if you’re not paying attention because there are people everywherrrreeeee. It is home to the Shibuya Crossing that I’m sure most of you have seen at some point in your travels on the internet.
Mario-Kart-ers in real life. I had wanted to do this but felt satisfied just seeing it in person.
They have these in Hawaii and if you’re craving a burger this was a really good spot!
There a lot of these types of stores in Japan. A store with a bunch of different independent brands or little stores within the store. A department type store if you will. This spot was really cool and the guy hooked it up with free stickers with my purchase. “Present!”
Manga is everywhere in this city. I wish I could read kanje because they all look so interesting!
Just a couple cool girls on the sidewalk.
Another really cool spot! They had apparel and accessories downstairs and then a huge homeware shop upstairs!
They absolutely love furry pompom stuff. Snagged some earrings and a scrunchie ;)
A pink mug I regret not buying. Learn from me, people:
IF THERE IS SOMETHING YOU WANT TO BUY, BUY IT RIGHT THEN AND THERE. Whether it’s a mug, a shirt, food from a cart, you might not be able to come back to that spot like you assume you will and then it will haunt you like it does me. Seize the moment and buy it. NO RAGERTS.
Shibuya transforms at night. The lights everywhere are quite cool.
Ice cream vending machine at the station!
I couldn’t really tell from the picture what mine was. I thought those were coffee beans but turns out there were Adzuki beans. A sweet red Japanese bean. Still good!
4 Stories of Kawaii Heaven. I’d take the elevator straight to the top where all the Sanrio stuff is.
Purika No. Mecca. How do I even begin explaining this place. Simply put, it is a photo booth arcade. Booth after booth of different themes and styles of machines that take cute pictures of you and your friends. I knew ahead of time that Japanese girls love these things but it’s not the same as when you see in person the degree that some of them take this!
A room to get ready in. I have no idea if this was on the extreme end of the spectrum of fanaticism but there were girls that brought small suitcases with looked like changes of clothes, makeup cases, curling irons, etc. WILD. Seems like something the post processing/editing could take care of. You can draw on your photos. Digitally add makeup, make your eyeballs crazy big, decorate with stickers, as much or as little as your heart desires.
Lucky for you, I can’t find our photos we took but I’ll have you know that I looked like an actual alien!
My tried and true app I tell people about all the time…..failed me. CityMapper, what the hell, man. I used it reliably all over Europe and in New York. No hiccups. Used it in Japan and it got us hellllla lost. I guess I made an obvious enough of a declaration of frustration and despair when we “arrived” at clearly not our destination and a Japanese businessman asked us if we needed help. I showed him the map of where we needed to go and he told us we were not near it at all. Hopped in a cab and we made it just in time for our appointed time.
Cabs here are $$$ and using them a lot will really add up. So another seemingly obvious tip would be to tack on even extra time to the amount you give yourself to get somewhere on public transit so that you have a buffer if you get lost. Normally if I had gotten mixed up in the past it’s no big deal because I wasn’t trying to get somewhere at a very specific time, but on this trip we had several things that we had to be there at set times for. Which can be stressful if you don’t give yourself that buffer. So buffer it up.
If you’re not familiar with Yayoi Kusama I would definitely check her out. Her art and her perspective and her life story is fascinating and inspiring. She wasn’t supported by her family, particularly her mother, with her art and her goals to become an artist. She sought the help and coaching from the American artist, Georgia O’Keefe, to show her the way and to help her navigate her craft. Kusama has battled with mental health challenges that have also greatly impacted her work and overall I find her so amazing.
This entire building was just a vertical vessel for her art that with each level you were quite literally taken to a new place. With the top level having an open skylight.
Some influencer/blogger/instagram girl? No clue who she was but she had a squad of photographers taking her photos.
A really subtle subway entrance. You have to really be on the lookout with some of these things because they might be hiding from you. I couldn’t find this particular one and figured we could have a break and get a snack while we were looking for it. We got some snacks and sat down on a brick wall outside the shop and then realized that this was the station as soon as a tiny person came out of the ground haha.
Gonna end this post with the most elegant of photos of a squat toilet. Some of the train stations only had one normal toilet with a stall and then had several of these bad boys. I had to go sooo bad at one point that I thought I could tough it out and use it but then just couldn’t pull the trigger. Couldn’t do it!!
There you have it folks. Hope you found some things helpful, useful or at least entertaining. As always, thanks for reading. Only 2 Tokyo posts left before we gtfo and head to Kyoto! Look forward to the wildest time getting to an Owl Cafe and us spending our birthdays at Sanrio Puroland. Have a great rest of your day/week :)