Shibuya scramble crossing at night
Location of Shibuya in Tokyo
|o Mayor||Ken Hasebe (since April 2015)|
|o Total||15.11 km2 (5.83 sq mi)|
|Population (May 1, 2016)|
|o Density||14,679.09/km2 (38,018.7/sq mi)|
|Time zone||UTC+9 (Japan Standard Time)|
|City office||150-8010 Shibuya 1-18-21, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo|
Shibuya (, literally "Astringent Valley", is a Shibuya-ku)special ward in Tokyo, Japan. A major commercial and business center, it houses the two busiest railway stations in the world, Shinjuku Station (southern half) and Shibuya Station.
The name "Shibuya" is also used to refer to the shopping district which surrounds Shibuya Station, one of Tokyo's busiest railway stations. This area is known as one of the fashion centers of Japan, particularly for young people, and as a major nightlife area.
Shibuya was historically the site of a castle in which the Shibuya family resided from the 11th century through the Edo period. 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.
The village of Shibuya was incorporated in 1889 by the merger of the villages of Kami-Shibuya, Naka-Shibuya and Shimo-Shibuya within Minami-Toshima County (Toyotama County from 1896). The village covered the territory of modern-day Shibuya Station area as well as the Hiroo, Daikanyama, Aoyama, and Ebisu areas. Shibuya became a town in 1909. The town of Shibuya merged with the neighboring towns of Sendagaya (which included the modern Sendagaya, Harajuku and Jingumae areas) and Yokohama (which included the modern Yoyogi and Hatagaya areas) to form Shibuya suburban ward of Tokyo-fu (outside of the central Tokyo City) in 1932. Tokyo-fu became Tokyo Metropolis in 1943, and the present-day Shibuya-ku was established as an urban special ward on March 15, 1947.
The Tokyu Toyoko Line opened in 1932, making Shibuya a key terminal between Tokyo and Yokohama, and was joined by the forerunner of the Keio Inokashira Line in 1933 and the forerunner of the Tokyo Metro Ginza Line in 1938. One of the best-known stories concerning Shibuya is the story of Hachik?, a dog who waited on his late master at Shibuya Station every day from 1923 to 1935, eventually becoming a national celebrity for his loyalty. A statue of Hachik? was built adjacent to the station, and the surrounding Hachik? Square is now the most popular meeting point in the area.
During the occupation of Japan, Yoyogi Park was used as a housing compound for U.S. personnel known as "Washington Heights." The U.S. military left in 1964, and much of the park was repurposed as venues for the 1964 Summer Olympics. The ward itself served as part of the athletics 50 km walk and marathon course during the 1964 games.
Shibuya has achieved great popularity among young people since the early 1980s. There are several famous fashion department stores in Shibuya. Shibuya 109 is a major shopping center near Shibuya Station, particularly famous as the origin of the kogal subculture. Called "Ichi-Maru-ky?," which translates as 1-0-9 in Japanese, the name is actually a pun on that of the corporation that owns it -- T?ky? (which sounds like 10-9 in Japanese; this is numerical substitution, a form of goroawase wordplay). The contemporary fashion scene in Shibuya extends northward from Shibuya Station to Harajuku, where youth culture reigns; Omotesand?, the zelkova tree- and fashion brand-lined street; and Sendagaya, Tokyo's apparel design district.
During the late 1990s, Shibuya also 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.
In 2015, as the council passed "Ordinance for Promoting Respect of Gender Equality and Diversity in the Ward," Shibuya Ward became the first Japanese municipality that issues same-sex partnership certificates. According to this ordinance, same-sex couples who live in Shibuya are allowed "to rent apartments together, and have gained hospital visitation rights as family members". Shimizu expects the ordinance to bring three benefits to same-sex couples: "(1) rental housing within the ward (co-signing of tenancy agreements for municipal/public housing), (2) medical institutions within the ward (hospital visitation and medical decision-making rights as family members), and (3) employment conditions within the ward (e.g. family benefits, congratulations and condolence leave)" . In order to apply for the certificate, couples must be 20-years-old or older residents of Shibuya Ward and have to state that "their relationship is based on love and mutual trust" in a notarized document. Koyuki Higashi (a former member of the Takarazuka Review) and Hiroko Masuhara (an entrepreneur), a lesbian couple, were the first to receive this certification. Since the Shibuya Ward passed the ordinance, it has had a national impact with seven other municipalities offering same-sex partnership certificates.
However, a BBC's reporter points out it has little legal binding force, saying "the ordinance amounts to a moral obligation on Shibuya businesses, which will not be penalised if they do not recognise the certificate" though their names will be posted on the ward's website if they violate the ordinance. Also, Shimizu discusses that this system "is not equivalent to marriage, as it does not accord same-sex couples the same rights as heterosexual couples when it comes to inheritance, joint filing of taxes, or social welfare". Additionally, as it requires at least a hundred thousand yen to apply for the certificate, it can be restrictive to some couples. Furthermore, Shimizu argues that Shibuya Ward has been criticized for pinkwashing as "while passing this ordinance, the administration also moved to expel the homeless in Miyashita Park and other parks in the ward". Pointing out that the mayor of Shibuya Ward in an interview stated that this is not a matter of human rights, but of diversity, Yuri Horie claimed that the term of diversity seems to be used to divide citizens into the good and the bad; it raises only the ones who contribute to the consumeristic society as representer of "diversity of sexuality" while excluding the useless ones. Yuki Tsuchiya, a lesbian activist, also argues that LGBT individuals are used to promote the Ward.
Shibuya is famous for its scramble crossing. It is located in front of the Shibuya Station Hachik? exit and stops vehicles in all directions to allow pedestrians to inundate the entire intersection. The statue of Hachik?, a dog, between the station and the intersection, is a common meeting place and almost always crowded.
Three large TV screens mounted on nearby buildings overlook the crossing, as well as many advertising signs. The Starbucks store overlooking the crossing is also one of the busiest in the world. Its heavy traffic and inundation of advertising have led to it being compared to the Times Square intersection in New York City and Dundas Square intersection in Toronto. Tokyo-based architecture professor Julian Worrall has said Shibuya Crossing is "a great example of what Tokyo does best when it's not trying."
Shibuya Crossing is often featured in movies and television shows which take place in Tokyo, such as Lost in Translation,The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift, and Resident Evil: Afterlife and Retribution, as well as on domestic and international news broadcasts. The iconic video screen featured in the above movies, in particular Lost in Translation with its 'walking dinosaur' scene, was taken down for a period of time and replaced with static advertising, although it resumed operation in July 2013. Contemporary British painter Carl Randall (who spent 10 years living in Tokyo as an artist) depicted the area in his large artwork 'Shibuya', exhibited at the National Portrait Gallery in London 2013.
On the southwest side of Shibuya station, there is another popular meeting place with a statue called "Moyai". The statue resembles a Moai statue, and it was given to Shibuya by the people of Niijima Island in 1980.
Several companies are headquartered in Shibuya.
Calpis,Casio,Mixi,Niwango, and Tokyu Corporation have their headquarters in Shibuya.East Japan Railway Company, and Taito Corporation have their headquarters in Yoyogi, Shibuya.81 Produce has its headquarters in Tomigaya, Shibuya.
Campbells Soup's Japan division is headquartered in Shibuya, on the 10th floor of the Tokyo Tatemono Hiroo Building. The ABB Group's Japan headquarters are located in Shibuya.Virgin Atlantic Airways's Japan office is on the sixth floor of the POLA Ebisu Building in Shibuya.MTV Japan Ltd., which controls Nickelodeon Japan, has its headquarters in Shibuya.
At one time Smilesoft had its headquarters in the CT Sasazuka Building in Shibuya. In May 1985 the headquarters of Bandai Visual moved to Shibuya. In March 1990 the headquarters moved to Shinjuku.
A.D. Vision - Tokyo, Y.K., the Japanese subsidiary of A.D. Vision, was in Shibuya.Acclaim Entertainment once had its Tokyo office in the Nomora Building. The Japanese subsidiary of Titus Interactive, Titus Japan K.K., had its head office on the eighth floor of the Kotubuki Dogenzaka Building in D?genzaka. The former animation studio; Group TAC was also located here.
Square Enix had its headquarters in Yoyogi before moving to Shinjuku ward in 2012.
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The Shibuya Ward (The Shibuya City) operates public elementary and junior high schools, while Tokyo Metropolitan Government Board of Education operates public senior high schools.
Shibuya operates several public libraries, including the Central Library, the Nishihara Library, the Shibuya Library, the Tomigaya Library, the Sasazuka Library, the Honmachi Library, and the Rinsen Library. In addition, the Yoyogi Youth Hall houses the Yoyogi Library Room.