Shibuya Crossing

Shibuya Crossing information

Location
Tokyo , Japan
Getting there
Train: JR Yamanote line to Shibuya, Hachikō exit
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Rumoured to be the world’s busiest, this intersection in front of Shibuya Station is famously known as ‘The Scramble’. It’s an awesome spectacle of giant video screens and neon, guaranteed to give you a 'Wow – I'm in Tokyo!' feeling. People come from all directions at once – sometimes over a thousand with every light change – yet still manage to dodge each other with a practiced, nonchalant agility.

Then, in the time that it takes for the light to go from red to green again, all corners have replenished their stock of people – like a video on loop. It's a prime photo opportunity (even better, video). There's a particularly hypnotic view over the crossing from the Starbucks on the 2nd floor of the Q-front building across the street (though it’s hard to get a seat).

The intersection is most impressive after dark on a Friday or Saturday night, when the crowds pouring out of the station are dressed in their finest and neon-lit by the signs above. Enter the thick of it and you’ll brush by some of Shibuya’s infamous characters: the fun-loving gyaru (teenage girls who prioritise shopping over studying) in colourful clothes and high-heel boots, her male counterpart (the tousle-haired gyaru-o) and the impetuous scouts looking to lure young women into working at dubious clubs. The rhythms here are, however, tied to the train station and after the last train pulls out for the night, the intersection becomes eerily quiet.