Tokyo, Japan view of Shibuya Crossing, one of the busiest crosswalks in the world.
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Shibuya Crossing

Top choice in Shibuya & Shimo-Kitazawa

Rumoured to be the busiest intersection in the world (and definitely in Japan), Shibuya Crossing is like a giant beating heart, sending people in all directions with every pulsing light change. Nowhere else says ‘Welcome to Tokyo’ better than this. Hundreds of people – and at peak times upwards of 3000 people – cross at a time, coming from all directions at once, yet still to dodging each other with a practised, nonchalant agility.

Mag's Park, the rooftop of the Shibuya 109-2 department store, has the best views over the neighbourhood's famous scramble crossing. It's screened with plexiglass, so you can still get good photos, without having to worry about losing anything over the edge).

The intersection is most impressive after dark on a Friday or Saturday night, when the crowds pouring out of the station are at their thickest and neon-lit by the signs above. 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.

Hotels near Shibuya Crossing

Shibuya has several new accommodations, among them boutique hotels, flash-packer hostels and 'cabin style' capsule hotels (roomier than the average capsule hotel) – suddenly, there's a lot to choose from here. If you're keen to immerse yourself in urban Tokyo and its nightlife, Shibuya makes for a great base; it's got great transit links, too. Options within walking distance of the crossing include Mustard Hotel (15-minute walk), Millennials (six-minute walk) and Hotel Mets Shibuya (12-minute walk).

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Shibuya & Shimo-Kitazawa attractions

1. Hachikō Statue

0.02 MILES

Every evening, Akita dog Hachikō would go to Shibuya Station to greet his companion. It's a practice he kept up everyday for 10 years after the professor…

2. Mag's Park

0.03 MILES

The rooftop of the Magnet by Shibuya 109 department store has the best views over Shibuya's famous scramble crossing. It's screened with plexiglass, so…

3. Shibuya Center-gai

0.09 MILES

Shibuya's main drag is closed to cars and chock-a-block with fast-food joints and high-street fashion shops. At night, lit bright as day, with a dozen…

4. Fukutoshin Shibuya Station

0.11 MILES

Deep underground, Tadao Ando's design for the Shibuya terminus of the city's newest subway line, the Fukutoshin Line, resembles a concrete space ship, or…

5. Myth of Tomorrow

0.11 MILES

Okamoto Tarō's mural, Myth of Tomorrow (1967), was commissioned by a Mexican luxury hotel but went missing two years later. It finally turned up in 2003…

6. Shibuya Sky

0.13 MILES

From below, Shibuya Sky, the rooftop observatory atop Shibuya's newest tower, Shibuya Scramble Square, looks like one of those harrowing infinity pools –…

7. Spain-zaka

0.16 MILES

This narrow, winding brick lane is a classic example of Tokyo-style bricolage with a mismatch of architectural styles, cutesy clothing stores and a…

8. d47 Museum

0.16 MILES

Lifestyle brand D&Department combs the country for the platonic ideals of the utterly ordinary: the perfect broom, bottle opener or salt shaker (to name a…