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The Japan Times

Shibuya, I once wrote, is the heart of Young Japan, and the street named Center Gai is its throbbing artery. Some people pay handsomely for cliches like that.

In truth, Shibuya is the nation’s digestive system, mashing its myriad flavors into a creation that’s odorous and crude but, if we’re honest, something we glance at proudly once in a while. And so Center Gai is not the artery but the colon: a long, thin tract funneling slop from the cecum (Shibuya Station) to the rectum (Outback Steakhouse). The good stuff has already been sucked away, and the colon ends up lined with crap.

The analogy holds true for the street’s shops, restaurants and cultural diversions, but curiously not for its bars. Good eats are rare, but great drinks are plentiful, and here’s an itinerary to prove it.

Photo: Will Robb

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