Night time stroll in Shibuya, Tokyo, Japan

Many people who visit Japan say that they want to visit Tokyo. In reality, Tokyo is a city which has an area of nearly 2,200 square kilometers (nearly 850 square miles). As a city, it is half the size of the US state of Rhode Island. In reality, although it is called a city by foreigners, it is more like a state.  Just like Londoners refer to parts of London as though they are different cities, the different parts of Tokyo are very far apart.

Although I lived in Tokyo for around 10 years before moving to Kobe, there are parts of Tokyo which I am more familiar than others. One of those locations is Shibuya.

See the mass of people on the other side of the street?
This is the area in front of Shibuya station. And yes, it is always this crowded.

Even “Shibuya” is not a specific name of where I went. Most Japanese people will explain where they went in relation to a major train station. However, Shibuya Ward includes not only Shibuya station, but also Harajuku, Omotesando, Daikanyama, Ebisu, and Yoyogi, just to name the major areas.

Shibuya 109
One of the most iconic shopping buildings in Shibuya, it carries mainly clothing and accessories for teens/early 20s.

Shibuya was the place where I hung out when I was in high school and college. It is fairly close to the schools I went to, and the place where I lived. I’m pretty sure this is where I went on my first “real” date.

Shibuya Center Street
Apparently it was renamed to “Basketball Street” in September 2011, but I have yet to hear anyone call it that.  See the large Forever 21 advertisement in the background? F21 is pretty new in Japan and is still a trendy place.

It has been at least 5 years since I last went to Shibuya. Some of the stores have changed, but there are still quite a few that I used to frequent a lot. Overall though, it seems that I have grown up – I felt that Shibuya was almost “too young” for me! I guess it is time that I step away from the glaring lights, and into the back streets of Shibuya, where there is still a lot of things for me to see. Maybe I should venture further away from Shibuya station, and toward places like Omotesando, which is considered more upscale.

I went to this store a lot when I was in high school. It is inexpensive and has lots of cute things.

Going to Shibuya brought back a lot of memories. I hope that next time, I’ll get to see more places I used to go to, as well as some new places!

xoxo, K

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