The whole object of travel is not to set foot on foreign land; it is at last to set foot on one’s own country as a foreign land.” – G.K. Chesterton

Monday, 10 December 2007

Bright busy Shibuya

Shibuya may be one of Tokyo's more popular shopping and entertainment districts, but its main attractions for me were Hachiko and the huge crossing which is reportedly the world's busiest. Rob had told me of the beautiful tale of Hachiko the dog, of his loyalty, of how the dog greeted its owner at the station every day, and how he did so for ten years after its owner had passed away. Since then I've wanted to see the statue built in Hachiko's honour. And to also see the world's busiest intersection. Lucky for me, the statue of Hachiko is situated right next to the said crossing.

The brightness of the area reminded me a lot of Times Square at night, with all the big screens (except that the quality and clarity of the screens are so much better here!!). I was amazed at how busy this place was! Every time the pedestrian light would turn red, people traffic would build up on all sides, and the moment the green walking man came on, whoosh the sea of people would converge and merge from all sides. The road is cleared for vehicular traffic by the time the red pedestrian light came on and the cycle happens again. There were so many people! Truly a sight to behold. Being night time, it was somewhat difficult to capture the moment on camera, but here are a couple of shots which I hope gives an idea of the experience.

Photo 1: Red man, pedestrian traffic builds up on all sides waiting for the green man to come on; Photo 2: the green man flash on, and the road is swarmed with people:


  1. I believe this is the location they used in Tokyo Drift, when they drifted through the crowd of people. Wah and I made a special detour to there, and it was insane. There's actually an overhead bridge with wire mesh through the windows that you can look down over the intersection; do a few tricks with your camera and you can get a really nice photo there.

    I think it looks better at night though.
    I saw the dog statue and never knew what it was about - thanks for that, I wish I'd known at the time... *sigh*

  2. I heard there's a Starbucks next to the intersection where you can watch the busy action from one floor above. Would be great photo op for nighttime shots with a tripod. I have an actual tripod, but I've just been too busy to actually go use it! And it's kinda clunky to bring it with me everywhere for that just-in-case opportunity which almost never happens!
    I'm sure you'll visit Tokyo again, right?

  3. I'm sure you'll visit Tokyo again, right?
    Does a bear sh*t in the woods?

    I guess I will be then :D

  4. LoL, that's a cute photo! Be sure to let us know when you visit so we can arrange to meet up!