Monday, March 19, 2007

Just an ordinary day in Shibuya

At least a few times a month I go to Shibuya to shop, eat out with friends, or whatever. This is one of the things I dread the most--the unbelievable crowds! I've gotten better at making my way through them, as long as I pretend I'm a salmon swimming upstream. These are the moments when I definitely feel the need to gird my loins!

The Shibuya Crossing is the world's busiest intersection. I've read that about one million people cross here per day, and about 1,500 traverse every three minutes at each light change, 80% of them carrying a mobile phone.

It's quite an experience.


Anonymous said...

Wow - that is absolutely amazing! And you've done this?? I'm very impressed! It looks so scary! Do ALL directions get to go at the same time? There was hardly any car traffic I noticed.
Well, you get bravery points for sure!!

Absolutely Tokyo! said...

Hi BB! Yes, I've done this LOTS of times! It can seem a little overwhelming, no matter how many times you do it, but as long as you try to stay directly behind the person in font of you, it's usually just fine. Whenever I'm in a hurry and try to forge my own trail, it can be a test of marksmanship because people here don't walk in a straight line!

The crossing light controls the entire multi-street intersection and everyone crosses at the same time. As for cars, I think it's mostly taxi drivers in the evening, but during the daytime there are quite a few cars.

This crossing is right in front of the train station, so almost everyone is either leaving or entering the station, and it's the same kind of chaos inside the station!