Shibuya Scramble Square
Situated atop the newly built Shibuya Scramble Square is Shibuya Sky – an observation deck that promises millennials glorious Instagram moments. Tokyo’s newest attraction towers over Shibuya at a height of 229m, with expansive indoor and outdoor viewing areas. For those looking for the best view of the city, it’s a significant upgrade over the comparatively claustrophobic Tokyo Tower. Plus, you won’t find a social viewing experience this picturesque anywhere else in the world.
Located directly above Shibuya station, you can treat yourself to a panoramic view of Tokyo with sights like the iconic Shibuya Crossing that’s just a camera-click away. It is said that you could even see Mt. Fuji from here on a clear day. Here’s what to expect at Shibuya Sky, the observation deck located on top of Shibuya Scramble Square.
Getting to Shibuya Sky
There’s more to Shibuya Scramble Square than the view. It is also home to over 200 shops, so you can pop by Level 1 for some confectioneries or coffee before heading up to Shibuya Sky. To get to the viewing deck, you’ll need to find the lift lobby located on the left of the building. The elevator will take you straight to Level 14 – the Sky Gate. On this floor, you’ll be able to collect your tickets or buy them if you haven’t already done so online. You’ll then go up a narrow escalator that will take you to another lift that will bring you to the 45th floor.
Shibuya Scramble Square 45th floor: Sky Gallery
The indoor viewing gallery is situated on the 45th floor. If you’re not sure what you’re looking at or what you should be looking out for, refer to the pillars that’ll tell you all the notable landmarks that are in the direction you’re facing.
It’s easy to capture aerial shots of the Shibuya crossing and the city skyline from here.
Although there are 4 notable things to do on the Sky Gallery level, the best moments of Shibuya Sky belong in the outdoor area above so don’t linger on this floor for too long.
First up is a visual exhibit that may entertain your kids for about 30 seconds before they get bored.
Then, you’ll come across Paradise lounge, which faces South Tokyo. Items on their menu include bar food like hot dogs (¥600) and french fries (¥500). There’s also beverages and desserts such as coffee (¥580), bubble tea (¥780), pistachio ice cream (¥680) and custard pudding (¥450). You can also enjoy Aruba Frose or Mykonos Mojito cocktails (¥1200 each) while admiring views of Tokyo.
There are menus provided in English, so don’t worry about not knowing all the basic Japanese phrases for ordering food.
After that, you’ll come across an area for “trick eye” photography. I didn’t find this realistic because of the background’s desaturated colours, so you might want to skip this if there’s a queue.
And at the very end of this level is a souvenir shop that you might want to skip if you’re not into generic souvenirs, such as T-shirts and mugs.
Shibuya Sky: Outdoor Area Prohibited Items
The winds at the top of Shibuya Sky are strong and the outdoor viewing area isn’t enclosed. So before you head up, you’re required to deposit all the loose belongings you’re carrying in a locker. Tripods, hats, umbrellas, unfinished bowls of ramen and any item that may be blown away has to be stored in a locker, along with your handbags and backpacks.
Make sure your camera’s attached to a strap – you won’t be able to bring it up otherwise. Handphones are allowed to be brought up and don’t require a strap.
Note the ¥100 coin slots are located on the inside of the locker.
Shibuya Scramble Square 46th floor: Sky Stage
The outdoor area is named Sky Stage and its first level has some good spots for photo ops that you don’t have to queue too long for. You’ll be able to see the Shibuya Crossing from this angle too.
After that, take a ride up a very photogenic escalator that’ll lead you to the main outdoor area above.
There’s a huge central area where you’ll find ample spots to relax at.
But the number one thing people do here is spam photos. And with such beautiful views, you won’t be able to resist the temptation to join them.
Follow the queue for the best photography spot – it’s located at the corner, with an unobstructed view of the city and horizon.
And remember to take some shots of their gorgeous escalators before you leave.
Getting the best of Shibuya Scramble Square
Shibuya Scramble Square opened in November 2019, but not everyone is aware of the Instagram paradise atop this innocuous building. Some tips to get the best out of your trip:
- Google the sunset timing for the day and aim to reach at least an hour before that.
- Buy the tickets online at a discount of around 10%.
- Try not to bring loose items. If you’re bringing a camera, it needs to have a strap.
The easiest way to get here is by taking the train to Shibuya station, so be sure to read our guide to Japanese train etiquette to minimise your Gaikokujin vibes on your way here.
Shibuya Scramble Square
Opening hours: 9AM-11PM, Daily
Admission price: ¥1,800 for adults | ¥500 for children 3-5, (discounted online rates)
Address: 2 Chome-24-12 Shibuya, Shibuya City, Tokyo 150-0002, Japan
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Photography by Bryan Choo