By Daiki Sugiyama
Komaba Campus is located in Tokyo, the center of Japan, and surrounded by many famous spots. Since we are students of this campus, we should learn about the neighborhood in order to enjoy our daily lives.
Let me introduce the nearest entertainment district, Shibuya. Shibuya is famous as the district of youngsters, and is one of the center of Japanese youth culture. There are many ways to spend your leisure time by enjoying activities such as Karaoke, darts, bowling, or whatever else you like. Also, Shibuya Station has many railway lines, so if you wish to go somewhere far from the Komaba Campus, you must stop by this station.
Firstly, to enjoy Shibuya, you should remember two important meeting points. The more well-known one is the Hachiko statue, which is the statue of a dog in front of the station. This dog is famous for having waited for its owner in front of Shibuya Station for about 8 years even after the owner died. The other one is called “Mark Shita”, which is on the 1st floor of the ticket barrier of the Keio-Inokashira line. Most Todai students use this one to gather.
Shibuya Scramble, the symbol of Shibuya, can be seen from both of these two meeting points. This intersection is crowded most of the time everyday, and surrounded by many big advertising boards and tall buildings. It is always lively and busy here, but on special days even more so. For example, on Halloween day, a lot of people dress up and gather. When Japan wins in world sports games such as the soccer World Cup or Olympic games, you can see many excited fans share the joy of winning.
If you stand on the scramble with your back to the station, you can see the outstanding building, Shibuya 109, on the left hand side. 109 is read as “Marukyu” and it has many popular clothing stores in it. Broadly speaking, the area behind 109 is Dogenzaka. You can walk to our campus in about 10 minutes through the Dogenzaka area. The right hand side of 109 is the central district called “Center Gai”. There are a lot of restaurants, karaokes and bars in these two areas. You can enjoy until mid-night. However, there are also some shady areas, so be careful if you walk there at night.
If you go out the station the other side of the scramble, there is a new big building called Hikarie built last year. It has expensive restaurants, clothing stores, and business offices. The view from the top is beautiful especially at night.
I only covered some very general and popular landmarks of this big and fascinating district. Why don’t you try exploring by yourself to find more hidden spots, and share your findings with your friends!
Daiki is a second-year student at the University of Tokyo.