Shibuya Crossing is the ultimate reflection of Tokyo’s hectic life. Thousands of people step onto the famous pedestrian crosswalk at the same time! In this article, we will fill you in on everything you need to know, including the best places to see Shibuya Crossing.
Why is Shibuya Crossing famous?
Shibuya Crossing is the busiest intersection in the world. As soon as the traffic lights turn green, pedestrians are flocking to the streets from all directions. It is said that no less than 15,000 people are on Shibuya Crossing at once during peak hours. You probably picture huge chaos right now but let me tell you: it’s not! Japan is a country that manages to avoid chaos at all times. People simply zigzag their way around each other making the traffic flow very smoothly.
If you really want to dive into Tokyo’s culture right away, I suggest heading to Shibuya Crossing on your first day. It’s like visiting Times Square as your first attraction. Even Shibuya Crossing’s backdrop perfectly reflects Tokyo’s neon-lit culture with many colorful billboards that light up the city at night.
How to get to Shibuya Crossing
Shibuya Crossing is located right next to the Shibuya Train station, which is also known to be the busiest train station in the world. An average of 2.4 million people walk in and out of the station on any given day.
When exiting the station don’t miss the bronze Hakichō statue!
Hakichō is Tokyo’s most famous pooch. In the 1920s, the dog meets his owner at the station every day after he came back from teaching at university. Even after his owner died, Hakicho would still return to their meeting point waiting for him. The dog statue symbolizes loyalty and commitment – two major qualities in Japanese culture.
The 5 best views of Shibuya Crossing
Of course, you should cross Shibuya Crossing at least once during your visit to Tokyo. Did you know, however, that there are a few spots from where you can observe the spectacle from above? It’s one of the best views you can have.
The most popular observation point located inside a Starbucks cafe on the second floor of Shibuya’s Q-Front building. The walls of the building are entirely made of glass, allowing visitors to enjoy flawless views of the pedestrian crossing. Because of the spot’s popularity, however, you may have to wait to get a great seat in the front. The good news is that you can enjoy fresh coffee and free WiFi while you wait!
Magnet by Shibuya 109
Alternatively, take in some breathtaking views from the eighth floor of Magnet by Shibuya 109. Take the elevator inside the department store Magnet and head up to the eighth floor to reach the rooftop. It’s open from 11 am to 11 pm and gives you a perfect birds-eye view of the scramble. To get in, they charge an entry fee of about $6. It’s honestly worth the view!
From even higher up, you can check out the iconic intersection from Shibuya Sky. The skyscraper Shibuya Scramble Square reaches a height of 755 feet and has been completed in September 2019. The Shibuya Sky observation deck provides a fantastic 360-degree view of Tokyo’s most famous landmarks, including Shibuya Crossing. To enjoy the views from here, I strongly suggest you purchase your tickets online and in advance. Online tickets are much cheaper but also allow you to avoid standing in line.
L’Occitane Café Shibuya
Fancy a meal whilst enjoying the scramble? Head to the L’Occitane Café Shibuya, a restaurant that does not only offer organic food and mouthwatering desserts in an elegant atmosphere but great views of Shibuya Crossing.
Relaxing and enjoying delicious food at Shunsai’s Restaurant, 328 feet above the ground, is another way for you to see Shibuya Crossing. Here, you will find Japanese delicacies and if you get a window table, you will have a solid view of the Shibuya Crossing. Breakfast starts at $26, lunch at $28 and dinner at $55. It’s a little pricy but includes the view for free!
What to do near Shibuya Crossing
The Shibuya District is Tokyo’s epicenter of youth fashion and culture, and its streets are the birthplace of many fashion trends. You will find numerous major department stores as well as designer boutiques in the area. Additionally, Shibuya is famous for its vibrant nightlife packed with bars and nightclubs and attracts swarms of visitors every day.