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One of Tokyo’s busiest shopping and entertainment areas, Shibuya is a sometimes overwhelming mix of shops, restaurants, bars, and clubs. Shibuya Scramble is known as one of the world’s busiest pedestrian crossings and nearly a tourist site in its own right. While most smaller shops tend to be youth-focused, the area’s department stores, restaurants, and nightlife draw in people of all ages. Unlike many other parts of Tokyo, Shibuya offers little in way of museums, temples, or traditional culture, but more than makes up for it with its pure energy and atmosphere.

Shibuya gets its name from the samurai family who presided over the area in the 11th century; the family name Shibuya and the land was granted to a Heian Era general as a gift for thwarting an attack on the Imperial Palace in Kyoto. For the next six centuries, Shibuya remained a small hamlet of the city. With the opening of Shibuya Station in 1885, the area began to grow, taking off in the 1930s when it became a key terminal linking Tokyo and Yokohama. After being leveled in the war, Shibuya was quickly rebuilt and reestablished its reputation as an entertainment district. In the 1980s and ’90s, it was the center of Tokyo’s youth and fashion culture as well as the center of the technology industry.

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Fodor's Tokyo: with Side Trips to Mt. Fuji, Hakone, and Nikko

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