I was determined to make most of the day. After a short tour of Shinjuku, I led my brother to Harajuku once more. We walked along the posh buildings at Omotesando Hills until we reached the Jingumae crossing (intersection connecting Omotesando and Harajuku), turned right and continued walking for another kilometer and a half until we reached the Shibuya Crossing (see our route here).
Ah, back to the most glorious crossing in Tokyo!
When in Tokyo, one of the things that you need to do is to experience the Shibuya Crossing. The crossing is surrounded by lights and huge mounted screens, making it look so lively. But apart from that, it’s the world’s busiest pedestrian crossing, used by about 1,000,000 people each day. It’s fun to watch! When the pedestrian traffic light is red, you see the number of people slowly building up at the corners of the road. But once it goes green, the thousands of commuters from different corners will make their way, going into different directions.
If it looks familiar, it’s because you’ve seen in on Tokyo Drift.
To get to the Shibuya Crossing, all you’ve to do is get down at the Shibuya Station.
The most popular exit at the Shibuya station is the Hachiko Exit, which leads you to the Hachiko Square. There you’ll see the colorful Hachiko wall and opposite it, the Hachiko statue. The area is a very popular meeting point among youngsters, so you’ll see a lot of them here, which means it’s a good location for people-watching. The younger generation of Japanese are generally more careless than their elders, so although Tokyo is generally clean, here you’ll see cigarette butts being thrown on the pavement and some trash.
The square is also popular among the homeless. I’ve witnessed men living in cardboard homes nearby, going through bins to look for something to eat. They won’t bother you, but their presence might explain why the Hachiko Square reeks a little of urine, too.
Although I hate being in crowds, crossing the road with thousands others here is an exception. You won’t get it until you’re part of it! It’s stupid, but I would always cross the roads, over and over again (like I always do) just for the excitement. A lot of foreigners do this and I urge you do the same, too. Keep on crossing and exploring the different corners surrounding the intersection. Do it during the rush hour!
From the Hachiko exit, I suggest you cross the road and grab a coffee at Starbucks. Get a seat facing the window on the second floor (which can be challenging during the rush hour) and watch the pedestrians crossing beneath you. It provides an amazing view, each time. Therapeutic, if you ask me.
I asked my brother what he thought of the Shibuya Crossing.
Discover the Shibuya Crossing on Google Street View here.