Japan Tokyo

Japan: Shibuya, land of the young and wild and free

One thing I will never tire of in Tokyo: The sensory overload that is Shibuya Crossing.

I swear, words are never enough to describe the kind of energy emanating from the place the final seconds before the stoplights turn green. The air crackles with electricity as the sea of people converging in Tokyo’s busiest and coolest intersection anticipate the moment inaction turns to action.

Japan 2013

When the stillness finally gives way to chaos, people swarm in from across all directions, each seemingly lost in his/her own thoughts as they head toward their final destinations.

Japan 2013

Japan 2013

On top of all that, there is the overwhelming sight of surrounding buildings proudly displaying the colorful advertisements of the flashiest retail brands. And as if that weren’t distracting enough, adding on to the chaos are the steady hum of rushed conversations and the relentless tick-tock tick-tock sounds of the traffic timer picking up tempo the closer and closer the lights turn red.

Japan 2013

It is, without a doubt, the most invigorating experience ever—and it’s a cycle that happens over and over again in a matter of minutes. At night, Shibuya Crossing takes a turn for the electrifying with lights, lights, and more lights coming from surrounding establishments, the ads, and the huge TV screens mounted on some of the buildings. 

Tokyo 2013

Tokyo 2013

Tokyo 2013

Tokyo 2013

Tokyo 2013

Beyond Shibuya Crossing, you’ll find bustling streets lined with izakayas, restaurants, quirky retail shops, and high-rise buildings that the world’s biggest brands call home. 

Tokyo 2013

Tokyo 2013 

Tokyo 2013

Tokyo 2013

Tokyo 2013

One of the trendier districts in Tokyo, Shibuya is definitely a shopaholic’s fashion mecca. What draws me to the place, however, are the people. I could spend an entire week in Shibuya doing nothing but people watch. They make ’em really interesting in this side of town.

Tokyo 2013

Tokyo 2013

Tokyo 2013

My favorite was this group of pink people wearing lab coats. Now I’m not sure…but I think they really came to the crossing to seek the crowd’s attention. Haha.

Japan 2013

When I chanced upon and took a photo of them again in this less busy street, the one wearing the wig said, in earnest,  “Thank you! Thank youuu!”

To which I replied, “No…Thank YOU.” Haha.

Japan 2013

Being an avid people-watcher, these guys totally made my day. :D

The only downside to getting distracted by the sights and sounds and people in Shibuya was that I actually forgot one of the main reasons I came there for: HACHIKO.

It did not cross my mind at all to find the statue that I have been wanting to see ever since I  saw the movie about the famous Japanese dog who stood by the train station daily, waiting for his owner even beyond the latter’s death. It was one of the most heartrending films I saw and I was really looking forward to seeing Hachi’s statue. I did, however, see this:

Japan 2013

See that part with the rainbow below the photo of the Japanese guy? That’s apparently a Hachi tribute that I learned about after reading one of the blogs I follow. Haha. Oh well. One more reason to come back to Tokyo :D

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5 comments

  1. As I’ve never been past Shibuya’s scramble crossing, it was so interesting to see all the other parts of the borough! Your pictures at night are just wonderful, I really must go there for dinner someday and just wander around and people watch.

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    1. One thing I want to do next time I’m in Tokyo is view Shibuya Crossing from the Starbucks in one of the buildings. A friend told me that he spent half a day just looking at the cycle of people stopping and going below and he found it quite soothing and hypnotic :D

      Like

  2. Your blog is awesome! :) I’m heading to Tokyo and Sendai in July. Just wondering what months you have traveled there as I’ve heard the weather can be all over the place and I’m not to sure how to pack for it haha. Also, is forking out for the rail pass worth it? It’s going to cost me and my other half about £300 for two rail passes.

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    1. Thanks Lely! :)

      I think July is supposed to be the height of summer in Japan—my sister went there around the same time last year—so best to pack light.

      Re your question about the Japan Rail Pass, depends on how long you’ll be in Japan and the destinations you want covered. Personally, I think it’s only worth it if you actually use the shinkansen (bullet train) to go to multiple destinations. As the shinkansens are quite expensive, the JR pass makes things much cheaper (especially if you’re going from Tokyo to somewhere like Kyoto/Osaka). Otherwise, subway fares going around Tokyo range from Y180-Y250. Check out Hyperdia.com—it has the timetable and routes for trains, as well as the corresponding fares :)

      Hope this helps! Happy travels! :)

      Like

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