The Secret Place With An Awesome View Of Shibuya Crossing

Shibuya Crossing

Going to Tokyo and not doing the scramble through Shibuya crossing is like going to a sushi shop and ordering fried chicken. Cliche as it sounds, it’s one of the must do things in Tokyo, because it’s so much fun. You’ll get to see all sorts of characters as you make your way through the massive crowd, from decked out locals to drunk foreigners.


Walking through the Shibuya crossing like a boss.

A photo posted by Wowsabi (@wowsabiblog) on

It’s an incredible sight that has inspired thousands of photos, videos and iconic movie moments, and you’ll probably want to take plenty of pictures of your own too. On my first time here I tried shooting at hip level as I crossed, which turned up some interesting shots. But don’t put your camera too low, in case you get mistaken for one of those upskirt creeps.

For wider shots, one of the best places is on the second floor of Starbucks facing the crossing. But it’s very crowded and almost impossible to get a window seat.

What most people don’t know is that there’s a secret little place just 2 minutes away that has a much better view of the Shibuya crossing, and it’s easily accessible, quiet, and best of all, FREE.

That magic place is the 25th floor of the Shibuya Excel Hotel Tokyu. It’s a floor that houses the hotel’s restaurants and it’s open to the public.

Here’s how to get there from Hachiko:


1. Cross the street over to Shibuya Mark City (it’s the same building as the Keio Inokashira line’s Shibuya station).


2. You should see a small elevator lobby on the left that looks like this:

Shibuya Excel Hotel Tokyu Elevator Lobby Entrance


3. Enter and take the elevator directly to the 25th floor

Shibuya Excel Hotel Tokyu Elevator Lobby


4. Go straight until you see the glass window. Look down and enjoy the amazing view!

View From Shibuya Excel Hotel Tokyu's 25th Floor

Next time you’re in Shibuya give it a try!


Update January 2017: Reader Tolga wrote in with this handy tip – “The guys on the 25th floor does not let anyone pass them unless you have a restaurant reservation – mainly because none of the hotel guests take that route to go there. One should stop on the 5th floor, go straight and take the other hotel elevator to go to the 25th floor – guaranteed success.”


Header photo by Morten Legarth via Flickr



  • ShaZ Ni

    this is awesome! thanks!

  • Keon Wu

    Went earlier today but was disappointed that the hotel has placed a board before the window that entry to the area is only restricted to hotel guests. Guess it was good while it lasted.

    • Hey Keon, sorry to hear that! Did the staff stop you from entering? If I remember correctly the sign has always been there, but you should be able to go to the window if you just put a big smile on your face and look like you know where you’re going. 🙂

      • Keon Wu

        Ah I see. We were hesitant on entering for fear of committing some cultural faux pas if we intruded upon that space. The staff looked ready to stop us as we approached the window ‘cos we looked touristy. I’ll probably try again the next time I’m there and attempt to look like I know where I’m going.

        Anyway, I got a couple of shots and time-lapse videos from the window seat at Starbucks. So that’s good enough for now! 🙂

        • Yeah, I should update the blog post to mention the sign and what to do. Thanks for bringing it up, and glad to hear you managed to get some good shots in the end!

  • Alguien

    Just tried and failed, I was stopped so I had to go down 🙁

    • Thanks for letting us know Alguien! That really sucks, I hope you managed to enjoy the view from another place. The bridge that connects the JR Shibuya station to the Mark City building is another favorite of ours.

      • Alguien

        The view from Starbucks is terrific! I managed to make some really good timelapse videos. It was very crowded and some of the people were in front of the windows checking their phones, so I made loud noises to make them feel uncomfortable, I think that’s selfish from them.

        • Glad to hear that! Starbucks is an awesome place to take pics, but like you said it tends to get really crowded. You’ll have to be pretty lucky to score a seat facing the crossing, and seems like you were! Enjoy the rest of your time in Tokyo!

  • Tolga H. Dur

    The guys on the 25th floor does not let anyone pass them unless you have a restaurant reservation – mainly because none of the hotel guests take that route to go there. One should stop on the 5th floor, go straight and take the other hotel elevator to go to the 25th floor – guaranteed success.

    • Hey Tolga, that is some super ninja stuff right there! Thanks for the awesome tip, I’m sure everyone reading will appreciate it 😊👍🏻✨

      • Clint Beastwood

        The elevators here can be used without hotel key card?

  • Boris E

    Tosha thanks so much for that bit of advice! It worked for us! We were in Shibuya last week and managed to get great viewing with zero interruptions… plus used the glass lifts to get some videos of the crossing in action.
    I’m not sure if the time of day was in our favour though, it was about 3pm, we could hear the restaurant staff but didn’t see any from the window area and had no issues heading for the lift on the 5th floor. For anyone going, there was a sign saying ‘residents only’ but no one there to enforce it.
    Two out of the four lifts are glass panelled with amazing views- it’s well worth making sure you’re in one of these for the ride! Thanks again to everyone who posted on this topic, so much!!

  • Hiro Beh

    I made it with the tips Tolga gave! No one was asking me for checking or anything~

    • Woo! Hope you got some good shots of the crossing!

      • Hiro Beh

        I went there 2nd time yesterday, time was around 6pm, was manage to get some shot for about 5min then the restaurant guy came to me and asking for my hotel card.. I think for anyone who wish to stay there for a longer time you should go around 3pm

  • Peter Butler

    We’ve just been here today – here’s a little update. There seemed to be a women outside the lift helping guests find their way into the hotel…we sneaked in when her back was turned :)! That said…when we came back out she wasn’t there so I’m not sure if that’s a concern or not.

    Anyway upon entering the lift, we went to the 5th floor. We went straight ahead out of the lift to the area mentioned in your blog post, they had put up a sign saying hotel guests only but we ignored that.

    We then took the new lift to the 25th floor and after exiting we simply looked off to the left and snapped some pictures out of the window. Nobody bothered us or told us to leave so I think it’s okay, we may have just been lucky 🙂

    – hope that helps everyone a bit!

  • Nicolas Ngb

    Thanks for this detailed explanation that i follow3d in may 2017 but unfortunately the staff doesn t allow tourists anymore….

  • Martin Renwick

    Hotel have cracked down on this. Signs all over and a rope barrier in front of the window. I managed to get to the window and get a few shots before being asked to leave by a very angry security man.

    • That’s such a shame, thanks for the update Martin. Hope the rest of your Tokyo trip was a treat.

Share This

Share this post with your friends!