The Shibuya Shopping District is a shopping district which surrounds Shibuya Station, one of the busiest railway stations, in Tokyo, Japan.
The district is known as one of the fashion centers of Japan, as a major nightlife area, and as one of the more famous areas in Tokyo alongside Harajuku (which is also located within Shibuya ward), Akihabara and Shinjuku.
A popular shopping and entertainment district among young people, there are several famous fashion department stores within the district, including Shibuya 109; a major shopping center near Shibuya Station which became particularly famous as the origin of the Kogal subculture. Other famous locations in the district include the NHK Broadcasting Center and the Omotesandō avenue which leads up to Yoyogi Park and the Meiji Shrine; dedicated to the souls of Emperor Meiji and Empress Shōken.
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 during and following the 1964 Tokyo Olympic games.
Shibuya has been the center of youth culture and street fashion since the 1970s when college-age women began gathering in the district to shop for the latest fashion by the 1980s high-school girls began overtaking college-goers in regards to numbers within the district and by the 1990s middle-school girls became the district's primary shopping market.
During the late 1990s, Shibuya became known as the center of the IT industry in Japan. It was often called "Bit Valley" in English, a pun on both "Bitter Valley," the literal translation of "Shibuya", as well as Bit, the computer term for binary digits.
Nicknamed "Scramble Crossing", the Shibuya pedestrian street crossing outside Shibuya Station is the busiest street crossing in the world, located in front of the Shibuya Station Hachikō Square exit.
Three large television screens mounted on surrounding buildings overlook the crossing, as well as many advertising signs. Its heavy traffic and inundation of advertising has led to it being compared to the Times Square intersection in New York City.
The Shibuya Shopping District is based on the real life location.
The underpass Keitaro and Mustumi take to the Tokyo University induction ceremony is based on Shibuya Station. The appearance of the Hinata Aquarium is also based on the Children's Castle building in Shibuya.
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- One of the most well-known stories concerning Shibuya is the story of Hachikō, a white Akita dog who continued returning to Shibuya Station to wait for his deceased master (a Tokyo University Professor who had suffered a cerebral hemorrhage) to return from work every day from 1923 until his death in 1935. During his vigil, the dog became a national celebrity for his loyalty and a statue of Hachikō was built adjacent to the station one year before his death. The surrounding Hachikō Square is now the most popular meeting point in Tokyo and is almost always crowded.
- Yoyogi Park in Shibuya was one of the main venues for the 1964 Summer Olympics. The ward itself served as part of the athletics 50 km walk and marathon course during those games. Before this the park was once a training base for the Imperial Japanese Army, and later the Washington Heights housing area for the Occupation of Japan following World War II.
- Shibuya Crossing is often featured in movies and television shows which take place in Tokyo, such as Lost in Translation and The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift, as well as on domestic and international news broadcasts.
- Shibuya has traditionally been a place where men meet with geisha or their lovers. In modern times this has led to the development of the Enjo kōsai dating trend in regards to high-school girls and older men.