Shibuya crossing junction Tokyo Japan

Japan: Shibuya – the busiest crossing in the world, and home to a loyal dog

Date: 26th March 2015

After I left Ueno Zoo, I walked back to Ueno station as I decided to go to Shibuya next.

Ueno building pavement Tokyo
On the way back to Ueno station, I looked across the street and noticed a busy alley
Ameyoko shopping street Tokyo
This is Ameyoko street, a busy shopping area
It was filled with street shops selling discounted clothing and fakes
It was filled with street shops selling discounted clothing (and a few fakes)
Crabsticks shop Ameyoko street Tokyo
A few food stores too
Doner kebab Ueno Tokyo Japan
Doner kebab, what Turkey calls the shawarma
Shops Ameyoko street Tokyo
I didn’t really find anything appealing or worth buying

I went back to Ueno station to go to Shibuya.

Ueno landmark map Tokyo
A map at the subway station showing the attractions in the area
Shibuya crossing from station Japan
At Shibuya station, I looked around for the ‘Hachiko exit’. Right through the window at the station I could see the world famous Shibuya Crossing
Shibuya crossing from station Tokyo
The world’s busiest intersections… at least for pedestrian traffic
Shibuya crossing Hachiko crowd Tokyo
I was trying to locate the Hachiko statue because I read that it was very close to Shibuya station
Shibuya train station Hachiko Tokyo
I just followed the direction signs at the stations and picked the right exit
Hachiko statue crowds Shibuya Tokyo
I found the Hachiko statue… and boy is he famous! I had to wait for the crowds to disperse for a second to get a clear shot.
Hachiko dog statue Shibuya Tokyo
There he is, immortalized for his loyalty

For those who aren’t familiar with the story, Hachiko was a real Akita dog who was adopted by a professor back in 1924. For months, Hachiko would accompany the professor to Shibuya train station and would wait until evening when the professor returned from work.

One day in 1925, the professor suffered a cerebral hemorrhage and died, never to return to the train station where Hachiko was waiting. Hachiko never knew about the professor’s passing but the dog continued to wait by Shibuya station… for the next 9 years! The entire story is remarkable, and true. Hachiko’s story became well know throughout Japan and he was honoured with statues and a place in Tokyo’s National Museum of Nature and Science. Hachiko’s story is taught to kids in Japan as a lesson in loyalty.

Hachiko statue loyal dog Shibuya station
This bronze statue outside Shibuya station was the first to come up. And it remains a popular meeting point.
Shibuya crossing junction Tokyo Japan
Now, to cross the famous Shibuya intersection
People crossing Shibuya road Tokyo
At one go, four such zebra crossings turn green and see a mad flurry of people who cross it in less than a minute before the cars pass through again. That’s the famous Starbucks location — one of the most profitable Starbucks in the world and always busy — because visitors get a good view of the crossing from there.
Exile promotional truck Shibuya Japan
I noticed a promotional truck advertising Exile’s new album
Exile album promotional truck Tokyo
I had just gotten myself introduced to Exile’s music the previous year
H&M Shibuya store Tokyo Japan
Shibuya is a major commercial district in Japan — be it for fashion, shopping, offices, or even its nightlife
Shibuya nightlife Tokyo Japan
After withdrawing some money from the Citibank outlet here, I walked around Shibuya for a bit and checked out a few stores
Shibuya street Tokyo night
I did some shopping at the flagship Forever 21 store and then went to the Uniqlo… because I don’t know why, but Uniqlo stores keep drawing me in
Shibuya 109 building Tokyo Japan
This is the famous Shibuya 109 mall. An epicenter for fashion trends in Japan.
Shibuya 109 Womens fashion Tokyo Japan
It’s mostly for women
Shibuya 109 women fashion stores
But you won’t find the department store filled with the usual well-known brands here. It contains boutique shops, local designers and brands that are just starting out.
Shibuya pedestrian crossing smaller roads
From Shibuya 109 I could witness even the smaller roads that see a flurry of people crossing at the same time the bigger roads turn green
Shibuya crossing vertical panorama Tokyo
This a panorama comprised of 5 shots
Shibuya 109 Mens mall Tokyo
There wasn’t anything for me at the original Shibuya 109, so I hopped across over to the men’s 109 department store
Hello Kitty Japan Shibuya 109 Tokyo
Which… has a Hello Kitty store… for men?
Inside Shibuya 109 men Tokyo
The men’s store is a smaller counterpart to the women’s store
Gostar de Fuga Shibuya 109 Tokyo
Again, no recognizable brands. Seemed like Japanese designers coming up with European-sounding names to sound global
Lab Shibuya shops Tokyo Japan
I found nothing to my liking at 109, so I stepped out and walked around Shibuya a bit more
Shibuya shopping malls Tokyo at night
Shibuya is a ‘must experience’ when in Tokyo — especially at night
Shibuya intersection red light Tokyo
It’s pretty damn impressive
Shibuya zebra crossing Tokyo
It was now time to cross and head back to Shibuya station

Here is a two-clip video I shot of the Shibuya crossings.

I headed back to Asakusa.

Assorted tempura miso soup
For dinner, I ate assorted tempura (over some rice) and miso soup on the side from a restaurant that specialized in tempura

Tomorrow I would spend the entire day in Shinjuku district. All that and more in the next post.

Next posts in this series:

Japan 2015: Nishi-Shinjuku — views from Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building sky deck

Japan 2015: Shopping in Shinjuku, and Kabukicho

Japan 2015: Denboin garden, near Sensoji Temple

Japan 2015: Cherry blossom celebrations by Sumida River

Japan 2015: Boat ride to Odaiba; giant Gundam statue at DiverCity Mall

Japan 2015: Cherry blossoms at Tokyo Imperial Palace east garden

Japan 2015: Cherry blossom sightings at Shinjuku Gyoen

Japan 2015: Harajuku on a Sunday – Meiji shrine and Yoyogi Park

Japan 2015: Harajuku at night — Takeshita Street

Japan 2015: Visiting Akihabara a second time, because why not?

Japan 2015: Cherry blossoms in full bloom at Ueno Park

Japan 2015: Rikugien garden’s weeping cherry blossom tree

Japan 2015: Getting to Hakone; Lake Ashi sightseeing cruise

Japan 2015: Hakone ropeway; onsen at Hotel Green Plaza

Japan 2015: Ōwakudani sulphur springs, views of Mt. Fuji — and last night in Tokyo

Japan 2015: Getting to Narita Airport — and flying an Airbus A380 for the first time

Previous posts in this series:

Japan 2015: Ueno Zoo – pandas, a lonely polar bear, and more

Japan 2015: Nakamise street, Senso-ji temple, and Ueno Park sakura at half-bloom

Japan 2015: Nadagiku Shuzo Sake Brewery, leaving Himeji for Tokyo — and my last bullet train ride

Japan 2015: Himeji Castle, and the unexpected air show

Japan 2015: Kyoto Station, and arriving at Himeji by shinkansen

Japan 2015: Kyoto – Monkey Park in Arashiyama

Japan 2015: Kyoto – Bamboo Forest in Arashiyama

Japan 2015: Kyoto – Gion Corner Cultural Show

Japan 2015: Kyoto – Kinkaku-ji and Kiyomizu Dera temple

Japan 2015: Kyoto – Fushimi Inari-taisha, and climbing to the mountain top

Japan 2015: Kyoto – Nishiki market and Teramachi

Japan 2015: Kyoto – Nishi & Higashi Honganji, Shijo street, and Gion

Japan 2015: Riding a bullet train for the first time, Tokyo to Kyoto

Japan 2015: Walking around Akihabara and Ginza

Japan 2015: Going to Akihabara, and spending way too much time in Yodobashi Akiba

Japan 2015: Landing in Tokyo… and using a communal bath for the first time

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  • Tara Nair


    It is so chaotic. Yet so well described, beyond pictures.

    Mithun Divakaran Reply:

    Unlike India, the crowds here felt like organized chaos.

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