Shibuya Pedestrian Scramble is one of the most popular spots in Tokyo that almost every foreign tourist visits. It was not so famous a few decades ago, but it quickly became known to the world thanks to the diffusion of the Internet over the past several years, as well as through TV and movies. Here, we will introduce the five points that you may want to be aware of before you visit Shibuya including the intersection.
1: Look Down to the Intersection
The daily pedestrian traffic in this intersection is the heaviest in the world, not to mention in Japan. But it’s not easy to actually realize how big the pedestrian population is when you’re in the middle of the intersection. So, we suggest that you look down on it from higher places that you can view the whole intersection from. Some of the popular viewing spots near it are the wide passageway on the second floor of Shibuya Station, and the Starbucks above the TSUTAYA across the street. Through the windows that you can see the whole street from, you can take clear shots of the pedestrians crossing on the walk sign .
2: Take Pictures from the Street Level
This is for those of you who want to experience the waves of people! You will find it useful to use a gadget like a selfie-stick so that you can take pictures from the highest point possible. Also, you want to stand in the center of the crosswalk, if possible. If you take images of 360 degrees of people coming from all directions, you will get powerful results. Just make sure to watch when the traffic lights change and not to obstacle the traffic!
3: Consider Hours
The intersection may be located in a big city like Shibuya, however, it’s not that there are tons of people all the time. It may not look so spectacular as expected during the dull hours of the day and late at night. For the best result, you may want to go there during the daytime on weekends or holidays.
4: Check out Back Alleys
There are many areas in Shibuya where you can feel the deep Japan besides the intersection. Especially in the alleys by Dogenzaka and Koen-dori, there are a lot of small yet unique stores where you can experience the Japanese young people’s unique culture, and you will find pop items and fashion that may make you utter, “Kawaii”, meaning adorable, which is now a popular word abroad. It may not feel easy to walk into back alleys, but take heart and try.
5: Explore the Coexistence of Cultures
If you need some break from the urban excitement, let’s get relaxed in the nature. In fact, there are some quiet places in Shibuya, such as Yoyogi Park and Meiji Jingu, that can take your mind off from the hustle and bustle of the city. As the sceneries switch between the traditional Japanese culture and the latest young people’s culture within a walking distance, strolling through the area never fails to amuse you. It may be fun to see the cultures appear one after another. Also, there are numbers of museums, cinemas, and theaters located within a walking distance from Shibuya station. That’s one of the fun parts of Shibuya—being able to easily look around those places of interest.
There are many exciting places other than the 109 (Ichi-maru-kyu) department store and the pedestrian scramble in Shibuya. Explore the town that’s like a theme park where you can discover your favorites just by strolling around.
Top image：JAPAN BOOK
This post is also available in: Japanese