Marvel at Shibuya Crossing’s flashing neon lights, gigantic video screens and up to 2,500 pedestrians surging into the street simultaneously. The experience is chaotic and compelling. This intersection encapsulates the city’s energy and is a popular setting for Tokyo street scenes in photos and motion pictures, including Sofia Coppola’s Lost in Translation.
As you exit Shibuya Station and approach the crossing, take a moment to say hello to the much-loved statue of Hachikō, an Akita dog who met his owner every day at Shibuya Station as he returned from work. When the owner suddenly died in 1925, Hachikō continued to wait for his master at the station daily until his own death many years later. A statue of the dog was erected to honor Hachikō’s unflinching loyalty.
Join the crowd and cross Shibuya’s famous intersection yourself. Shibuya Crossing is a “scramble” or “diagonal” crossing, which means that all the intersection lights turn red at the same time and pedestrians cross in all directions. You’ll find that despite the enormous number of people, everyone moves with an unexpected smoothness. You’ll rarely be bumped or jostled by other pedestrians.
View the spectacle from above at the Starbucks in the QFRONT building, which is located on the crossing’s northern side. Its second-floor seating area has full-length windows, which provide an amazing view of the crowds crossing the street below. This spot is well known for viewing the intersection, so you’ll need to be patient as customers take turns snapping photos from the window.
To reach Shibuya Crossing, take the Hachikō exit out of Shibuya Station. Visit in the evening, when the intersection is particularly crowded with commuters heading home and the surrounding buildings are illuminated against the night sky.