One of Tokyo’s busiest and most colorful districts, Shibuya has the flash and bustle of Japanese youth fashion and culture, making its packed Shibuya Tokyo streets the origin of many of Japan’s fashion and entertainment trends. This district may be known for Shibuya shopping, and it’s definitely known for its immense multi-directional Shibuya crossing, said to be the busiest street crossing in the world with over 1000 people at once at peak times. Despite being one of the top places to go in Tokyo, Shibuya may not be known for is its food—that is, unless you know where to look! And for any foodie looking to uncover the tastiest Shibuya points of interest, there’s no one more qualified than Arigato Japan Food Tours. For our first visit to Tokyo, we joined their Shibuya Tokyo Food Tour for an epicurean odyssey to discover these hidden Shibuya Tokyo gems for ourselves!
Here’s our Japan travel guide to taking a Shibuya Tokyo food tour!
- 1 Arigato Japan Food Tours
- 2 The Value of a Tokyo Food Tour
- 3 Shibuya Street Food Tour with Arigato Food Tours
- 4 5 Shibuya Restaurant Food Stops
- 5 Shibuya Sushi
- 6 Hiroshima and Osaka Okonomiyaki
- 7 Kobe Beef or Wagyu Beef Skewers
- 8 Kansai Takoyaki
- 9 Taiyaki at the Shibuya Depachika (Underground Food Market)
- 10 Arigato Shibuya Street Food Tour Information
- 11 Like this post?
- 12 You Might Also Appreciate…
- 13 What’s your favorite kind of Japanese food?
Arigato Japan Food Tours
The chaotic, melodic beauty of Tokyo sightseeing is a treat for the senses, but it can be overwhelming, particularly for short Tokyo trips. To make your Japan travel more convenient and interesting, a Tokyo Japan tour can show you what to see in Tokyo—plus it can offer you valuable insight into off-the-beaten-path Japan travel foodie experiences inaccessible to most tourists. For thoughtfully crafted itineraries sure to bring delicious bites and unforgettable experiences, Arigato Japan Food Tours is unmatched in the quality of their culinary walking tours which can teach you some of the best places to go in Tokyo as well as the best restaurants in Tokyo.
Heading somewhere else in Japan? Arigato Food Tours has several tours throughout Tokyo as well as Osaka, and Kyoto. Check out Arigato’s full food tour list.
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The Value of a Tokyo Food Tour
The thrill of indulging in Japanese cuisine in its mother country is an unmatched Japan travel experience—the value of a Tokyo food tour is in contextualizing each bite of food so that you can appreciate and understand it beyond its taste.
Ryan, our Arigato Tokyo guide was incredibly knowledgeable, and taught us a variety of cultural nuances from the perspective of someone living in Japan. In fact, one of my favorite pieces of knowledge I picked up from the Tokyo food tour were the lessons on Japanese table manners, as well as acceptable and completely unacceptable behaviors within Japanese culture! Ryan introduced us to a world in Shibuya that we wouldn’t have known about otherwise, and taught us interesting tidbits of Japanese culture that went even beyond the food we were eating! From Pachinko and Japanese gambling to karaoke, cat cafes, and love hotels, Ryan was a wealth of information that taught us so much about the culture (and of course, the food) of Japan during our Tokyo food tour.
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Shibuya Street Food Tour with Arigato Food Tours
Our Arigato Shibuya Street Food Tour started at the famous Hachiko Square near the Shibuya crossing, then wove around the delicious backstreets of Shibuya Tokyo to discover a world of culinary wonders hidden away from most tourists. Our Tokyo food tour gave us a valuable introduction to this part of Japan, taking us off-the-beaten path in Shibuya Tokyo!
5 Shibuya Restaurant Food Stops
On our tour of Shibuya with Arigato Food Tours, we made 5 different food stops to sample some of Tokyo’s culinary delights. Now, Ben and I love to eat. We’re talking LOVE. But by the end of the food tour, we couldn’t believe how INCREDIBLY stuffed we were! Arigato Food Tours makes sure you get the opportunity to dive into a variety of different epicurean delights, and you definitely won’t be going hungry here—the walks in between each Shibuya restaurant were very much welcomed to help us digest our food while we explored some more! So, what scrumptious morsels did we find ourselves eating first? Why, that would be some Shibuya sushi, of course.
If there’s one kind of Japanese food I can most certainly label my favorite, that would have to be sushi. We even took a Tokyo Sushi Making Class to learn how to prepare the delicious bites of fish ourselves! On our Arigato Tokyo Food Tour, we were delighted to find that our first Shibuya restaurant stop would be to try some scrumptious Shibuya sushi at a standing sushi bar.
During our Shibuya Tokyo Food Tour, we tried several types of sushi: akami tuna, chu toro, salmon, seared salmon, and an eel handroll—and each and every one of them was a delicious, creamy, perfect bites of sushi. Our tour guide, Ryan, was very attentive to the tastes of all four of us on the tour, so the variety of sushi you try on your own tour may vary according to your own tastes!
Hiroshima and Osaka Okonomiyaki
Okonomiyaki, another of Japan’s most popular and delicious quick eats, also originated in the Kansai region. With a batter made of flour, yam, dashi, eggs, and shredded cabbage, this savory pancake is then filled with tons of ingredients, ranging from shrimp, onions, meat, squid, octopus, vegetables, and even mochi and cheese! Okonomiyaki is sometimes known as “Japanese pizza” or “Osaka soul food.”
The Hiroshima okonomiyaki differs from the Osaka-style okonomiyaki by layering the ingredients rather than mixing them. Three to four times the amount of cabbage is used, and soba or udon noodles are also used as toppings. It’s then covered in a generous amount of okonomiyaki sauce and ready to enjoy!
On our Shibuya Tokyo Food tour, we were able try both kinds of okonomiyaki, right after they were cooked right in front of us. Even better—at this Shibuya restaurant stop Arigato provided a free alcoholic drink. We got ourselves some shochu and enjoyed sipping on the Japanese spirit while chowing down on the 2 kinds of fried pancakes.
Kobe Beef or Wagyu Beef Skewers
The Arigato Shibuya Food Tour brings it big with our next Shibuya restaurant stop—a taste of the world-famous Kobe beef or Wagyu beef and its decadent marbled goodness! Wagyu just means “Japanese cow,” and refers to the intensely marbled and tender cuts of beef most prized in Japan. We devoured our prized beef skewers fresh from the flaming grill right on the street, while the night lights of the city sparkled in our eyes.
This ball-shaped snack originated in Osaka (Kansai Region) and is one of Japan’s most popular street foods. The delicious fillings of this ball of goodness usually include minced octopus, tempura scraps, pickled ginger, and green onion. It’s then brushed with takoyaki sauce, which is similar to Worcestershire, and mayonnaise. Toppings of laver seaweed and bonito flakes complete the savory delight of takoyaki.
WARNING: DO NOT EAT THE TAKOYAKI BALL WHOLE.
Despite the warnings of one of our companions, Ben eagerly stuffed the entire takoyaki ball into his mouth, and suffered tremendous death-by-firemouth as the piping hot, fresh-from-the-fryer ball scorched his tongue.
The rest of us, on the other hand, took bites from the takoyaki and, without the firemouth, relished in the decadent taste of the indulgently crisp fried morsel. This stop also sells whiskey highballs on tap, if you’re so inclined. After all, nothing goes better with fried food than a cold, boozy beverage!
Taiyaki at the Shibuya Depachika (Underground Food Market)
Depachika (depa: department store, chika: basement) are food halls in the basements of department stores. Depachika can be massive in size, with hundreds of different stores and stalls selling food ranging from sushi and other seafood, snacks, desserts, and all kinds of international cuisine.
We finished up our Tokyo Food Tour by visiting the Shibuya Depachika and sealing the meal with a kiss from a fish—or rather, a fish-shaped cake filled with a variety of sweet or savory fillings. No actual fish is used in the making of this desert! How do they make this gooey treat? First, waffle or pancake batter is poured into a fish-shaped mold and then cooked on both sides until it is golden-brown. The most common filling is sweetened red bean paste made from azuki beans, but taiyaki can also be filled with custard, chocolate, cheese, or sweet potato. I got the custard myself, and enjoyed munching on the cute and yummy fish as the perfect end to the food tour!
Arigato Shibuya Street Food Tour Information
Here are the essential things to know about this must-try Tokyo food tour. You can also find more info about Arigato’s Shibuya Street Food Tour on their website.
- When: Every day, meeting time between 4:20 – 4:29 PM . The tour starts at 4:30 PM and ends at 7:30 PM. Don’t be late!
- Where: The meeting point is in front of the green Information Bus (facing the Shibuya crossing) that is near the Hachiko statue. The nearest exit from Shibuya Station to the meeting point is the Hachiko Exit. You can copy and paste this address below to Google Maps or just search “Hachiko Square”
2-2-1 Dogenzaka, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo-to 150-0043
A visit to Tokyo isn’t complete without visiting the buzzing neighborhood of Shibuya. And I can assure you, a Shibuya visit is made even better with a belly full of the area’s tastiest treats enjoyed with good company. The perfect combination of lively city energy, jovial conversation, quirky facts about Japan, and of course, the ultimate variety of delectable Japanese food to be enjoyed in Shibuya, our Arigato Food Tour instantly became a highlight of our time in Japan. With each bite of food surpassing the bar set by the last, our epicurean Tokyo Food Tour adventure with Arigato entertained our bellies as well as our minds, and we recommend them to anyone looking for good eats and good times!
Disclosure: This post is a collaboration with Arigato Food Tours, but as always, all opinions are very much our own!
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What’s your favorite kind of Japanese food?
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