Your essential guide to the Shibuya crossing

09 May 2018 in Have Fun

Discover the astonishing facts and figures about Tokyo’s famed scramble crossing!

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Reputedly the busiest pedestrian crossing in the world, the scramble crossing outside Shibuya Station is one of Tokyo’s must-see sights – just a short subway ride from HOSHINOYA Tokyo or OMO5 Tokyo Otsuka

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HOSHINOYA Tokyo

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OMO5 Tokyo Otsuka

It makes for truly hypnotic viewing as hundreds of people converge from all directions in what can only be described as organized mayhem.

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And then there’s the surroundings: a futuristic cityscape of skyscraper towers, flashing neon banners, immense TV screens, and booming sound systems competing for your attention. Nothing says “Welcome to Tokyo” quite like the Shibuya crossing.

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The figures are impressive. The traffic light cycle at the crossing is 2 minutes. There are 10 lanes of traffic and 5 pedestrian walkways. And at rush hour, as many as 2,500 people cross per cycle.

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Why so many people in one place?

Well, Tokyo is the world’s most populous metropolis and Shibuya Station is one of the city’s busiest, with over 1 billion passengers annually. Factor in Shibuya’s bars, clubs and izakaya – and you have crowds aplenty.

The best time to observe the mayhem? A Friday or Saturday night, when hordes of revellers head here for the nightlife. Even better, come when it’s raining to see the skill with which crossers dodge potential collisions with each other’s umbrellas!

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The best place to take a photo?

The second-floor seating area in Starbucks, which has floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking the crossing. Be warned, though: just like the road below, it can get incredibly busy!

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