Discover 20 Free Things to Do in Shibuya!

From the iconic Hachi Statue to the revered Meiji Shrine, Shibuya is one of Japan’s most vibrant and eclectic neighborhoods—not to mention it’s full of free things to do. Although there are many places in this area that can be expensive for travelers on a budget, don’t worry! Whether you are a local Japan enthusiast or a first-time foreign traveler, we’ve come up with 20 free things to do in Shibuya to help you enjoy the thriving culture without breaking the bank. 

In Front of the JR Shibuya Station

1. Hachiko Statue

The Hachiko Statue in Shibuya is a heartwarming tribute to the unyielding loyalty and love of a canine companion. Erected in 1934, the bronze statue commemorates Hachiko, an Akita dog who captured the hearts of Japanese citizens with his unwavering devotion to his owner, Professor Hidesaburo Ueno. After Ueno’s sudden death in 1925, Hachiko continued to wait for him at Shibuya Station every day for nearly a decade, until his own death in 1935. The story of Hachiko has become a symbol of loyalty and an enduring example of the bond between humans and their pets. Today, the Hachiko Statue serves as a popular meeting spot and photo opportunity for visitors and locals alike.

The statue is located just outside of the main entrance of the JR Shibuya Station.

2. Shibuya Crossing

Channel your inner Frogger and join the masses at the world’s busiest pedestrian scramble. It’s the iconic, synchronized chaos that has become an instantly recognizable area of Tokyo. Walk with the masses and snap some Instagram-worthy photos or videos while doing so. Bring a selfie stick to capture more aerial shots. This is probably the number one free thing to do in Shibuya.

Shibuya Crossing is located just next to Hachiko Statue, right outside of the JR Shibuya Station.

Check out: 22 Things to Do in Shibuya

3. Shibuya Center Street

If window shopping is appealing to you, feast on your eyes as you navigate this vibrant shopping district that Shibuya Scramble leads right into. Explore quirky boutiques, find unique trinkets, sing karaoke, and then visit a British-style pub to get a feel for what some current trends might be in Tokyo.

Within Walking Distance of the JR Shibuya Station

4. 109 Shibuya

If you’re on the hunt for the latest fashion trends, look no further than 109 Shibuya. This iconic Tokyo shopping destination boasts over 100 stores (check out the list here) with everything from streetwear to high-end fashion, making it the perfect spot for fashionistas of all styles. Of course, you don’t have to spend money at 109 to enjoy it. You can window shop, try on clothes or try skincare products. But the most entertaining is people watching—109 attracts young people with unique or just downright awesome fashion, so it’s a good place to see what the current, overall fashion trends may be in Tokyo.

5. Shibuya Parco Rooftop Garden

Take a breather amidst the urban jungle on the rooftop garden of Shibuya Parco. Find a quiet spot to relax, people-watch, or engage in intense philosophical conversations with pigeons.

6. Tokyu Hands DIY Workshops

Tokyu Hands is a store that sells arts and crafts, stationary and home improvement products. Just looking at the wide selection of things from pens to yarn is fascinating. But you can really unleash your creativity at Tokyu Hands’ free DIY workshops. From origami to jewelry making, you’ll leave with newfound skills and a sense of accomplishment. Picasso, who?

7. Hikarie Observation Deck

Shibuya Hikarie’s Sky Lobby offers a free panoramic, bird-’s eye view of Shibuya and more. Ascend to the deck and imagine yourself as a modern-day superhero surveying your domain, but please, no capes or masked vigilantism.

8. Bunkamura Gallery 8/

Unleash your inner art connoisseur and explore contemporary exhibitions. Remember, abstract art is subjective, so pretend you totally get it. However, Bunkamura Museum will be closed until 2027 with the exception of Orchard Hall. They are slated to open Bunkamura Gallery 8/ in June 2023, and it seems like entry will be free just as it was for the Bunkamura Museum Gallery. Click here to find out up-to-date info or see what exhibits are coming up.

Both the Hikarie Observation Deck and the Bunkamura Gallery 8/ are located within walking distance of Shibuya Station.

9. Farmer’s Market at UNU

Savor the flavors of local produce, freshly baked goods, and international treats at this vibrant farmers market in front of the United Nations University. You can find food trucks there as well. The market is held every Saturday and Sunday from 10 am to 4 pm, but you can always confirm the market will take place on this website.

Around Harajuku Station

10. Takeshita Street Fashion

Window shopping is one of the free things to do in Shibuya if you’re not, well, buying anything. Embrace your wild side and immerse yourself in the eclectic, youthful fashion scene on this crowded street. From cosplay enthusiasts to trendy streetwear, to more crepe flavors than you knew existed, Harajuku is a playground for unique fashion and an excitable atmosphere. The entrance of Takeshita Street is directly across from Harajuku Station.

11. Cat Street

Almost the antithesis of the densely crowded and excitable Takeshita Street is the understated, yet posh Cat Steet or “Yuhodo” in Japanese. Wander through this trendy road connecting Shibuya and Omotesando to admire street art, and window shop, and see what cute cafes have on their menu. You can get to Cat Street from Harajuku Station, JR Shibuya Station, Shibuya Subway Station, and Omotesando Station.

12. Yoyogi Park

Escape the concrete jungle and find solace in this urban oasis. Perfect for picnics, strolling, or practicing your yoga. During these warmer months, the park is always sprinkled with visitors chilling on their tarps. You’ll also find street performers providing some really awesome, free entertainment like singing, themed dancing and guys doing tricks with basketballs.

You can get to Yoyogi Park by at least three stations: Yoyogi Station, Yoyogi Koen Station, and Yoyogi Hachiman Station.

13. Meiji Shrine

Once you’ve exhausted Yoyogi Park, hop right next door to Meiji Jingu and be one of the 10 million visitors this historic place sees every year! Here, you can escape the hustle and bustle and find serenity as you explore the tranquil Shinto shrine that’s surrounded by lush greenery. Pray for good fortune, but don’t forget to clap your hands—twice is enough! You might even catch a traditional Shinto wedding procession as it’s not uncommon for these to be held in front of the public.

You can get to Meiji Shrine from the same stations listed for Yoyogi Park, and also from Harajuku Station.

14. Shibuya Street Performers

Be entertained by the talented street performers who grace Shibuya’s sidewalks. From musicians to magicians, you’ll never know what kind of unexpected show awaits you. Two hubs for street performers include outside of the JR Shibuya Station, outside the entrance of Meiji Jingu shrine, and all around Yoyogi Park.

15. Shibuya Central Library

Channel your inner bookworm and explore this modern library in Harajuku with a vast collection of literature. Curl up with a good book and pretend you’re a character in a Haruki Murakami novel. Be sure to bring a form of ID as you may have to sign up for a visitor’s pass. You can find more information here.

Further Out in Shibuya

Before that, make sure to also read about other neighborhoods to visit besides Shibuya.

16. Inokashira Park

Located in the heart of Tokyo, Inokashira Park is a peaceful escape from the hustle and bustle of the city. Stroll through the park’s serene pathways and enjoy the natural beauty of the surrounding forest at no cost. A low-cost activity idea could be to buy a tarp from a 100-yen store, buy some snacks, and have a picnic under some trees in the park. Of course for a fee, you can take a relaxing boat ride on the park’s large pond. If you’re feeling adventurous, rent a swan-shaped paddle boat for a romantic experience.

17. Toguri Museum of Art

The Toguri Museum of Art in Shibuya is a hidden gem dedicated to the appreciation and preservation of Japanese porcelain art. Established in 1987 by businessman and collector Toguri Shigeyoshi, the museum houses an impressive collection of over 7,000 exquisite porcelain pieces, including Imari and Nabeshima wares, spanning from the 17th century to the present day. Visitors can admire the intricate craftsmanship, vibrant colors, and stunning designs that have earned these ceramics a prestigious reputation both domestically and internationally. Through its carefully curated exhibitions, the Toguri Museum of Art aims to showcase the beauty and cultural significance of Japanese porcelain, fostering a deeper understanding and appreciation of this delicate art form among its visitors.

Admission fees are sometimes free, but based on the exhibit, so check before going to confirm.

All Around Shibuya

18. The 17 toilets of the Tokyo Toilet Project

The Tokyo Toilet Project is a groundbreaking initiative aimed at revolutionizing public restroom design in Japan’s bustling capital. Launched by the non-profit Nippon Foundation, this project enlists the talents of renowned architects and designers to create innovative and inclusive restrooms that cater to diverse needs, while also challenging conventional perceptions of public toilets. With a focus on cleanliness, accessibility, and aesthetics, these 17 uniquely designed restrooms across Shibuya are transforming public spaces and elevating the user experience. By reimagining the humble toilet, the Tokyo Toilet Project aspires to set a new standard for public restrooms worldwide, demonstrating the potential for functional design to enhance urban life.

19. Shibuya Street Art

Explore the vibrant street art scene in Shibuya. Graffiti, murals, and colorful installations breathe life into the urban landscape. In particular, it’s important to note the work of a world-famous artist named Invader. You can find pixelated versions of his art all around Shibuya. One such piece is Astro Boy under the train tracks near Tower Records.

20. Shibuya Street Photography

If photography is a hobby of yours, capture the essence of Shibuya through your lens. From bustling crowds to quirky fashion statements, the streets are a photographer’s playground. Just be sure to ask for consent before snapping close-ups of strangers. I’ve been approached by Japanese street photographers, so don’t worry about it being out of the ordinary.

One extra activity that’s not free, but extremely low-cost:

21. The Tobacco and Salt Museum

Established in 1978, this museum is a unique cultural institution that delves into the history, production, and significance of tobacco and salt in Japan. The tobacco section explores the evolution of smoking culture, and the development of tobacco-related industries. and the artistry behind various smoking paraphernalia. On the other hand, the salt section highlights its importance in Japanese cuisine, preservation techniques, and the fascinating process of salt production. By offering insights into these seemingly ordinary substances, the Tobacco and Salt Museum invites visitors to appreciate their multifaceted roles in Japanese society and history. The best part is that admission is 100 yen, which is less than $1 right now! Check out their website for the latest updates.

Planning to travel to Japan soon? Check out our other travel-related articles:


There you have it—20 free things to do in Shibuya! From losing yourself in the infamous Shibuya Crossing to admiring the serenity of the Meiji Shrine, you’ve got plenty of activities available for free. While Tokyo is undoubtedly a great place to spend money, it’s also possible to have equally impressive experiences without having to fork over your bacon. Remember to check the opening hours and any specific guidelines of the venues mentioned, as they may vary. Now go forth and let the vibrant energy of this iconic district enchant you for little to no cost!

Coto Academy will be opening a fourth location in Shibuya for foreigners and international residents who wish to start or enhance their Japanese language proficiency. That adds language learning to the list of things you can do in Shibuya!

If you want to learn in Shibuya with Coto Academy, contact us through the form below!

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