Shibuya (渋谷区 Shibuya-ku?) is one of the 23 special wards of Tokyo, Japan. As of 2008, it has an estimated population of 208,371 and a population density of 13,540 people per km². The total area is 15.11 km².
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.
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. It was incorporated as a village in Minami-Toshima County (Toyotama County from 1896) in 1889, as a town in 1909, as a ward of Tokyo City in 1932, and as a ward of Tokyo Metropolis in 1943. The present-day special ward was established on March 15, 1947.
One of the best-known stories concerning Shibuya is the story of Hachikō, 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 Hachikō was built adjacent to the station, and the surrounding Hachikō Square is now the most popular meeting point in the area.
Yoyogi Park in Shibuya was one of the main venues for the 1964 Summer Olympics. The ward itself served as part of the athletics 50 km walk and marathon course during those games.
In 1965, 18-year-old Misao Katagiri, who had already shot and killed a policeman, went on a shooting rampage, and injured 16 more people. He was sentenced to death and was executed by hanging in 1972.
Shibuya has achieved great popularity among young people in the last 30 years. 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-kyū," which translates as 1–0–9 in Japanese, the name is actually a pun on that of the corporation that owns it — Tōkyū (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; Omotesandō, 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 ind
ustry 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.