I visited the Shibuya area twice this past May -- once in the evening, and once in the afternoon a couple of days later. It really is a fascinating area with great people watching.
It's best know for three things: the major street crossing, the Hachiko statue, and the shops.
The Shibuya Crossing is a Barnes Dance, or Pedestrian Scramble. It's a major intersection where all directions of traffic get a red light at once so pedestrians can cross in all directions at once. This design is common at pedestrian heavy intersections. What makes the Shibuya crossing interesting is the scale. Hundreds of people cross the street during each cycle of the light, and they do that throughout the day. All these pedestrains are going to someplace or coming from someplace, and they need to cross that street. Even while crossing the street, those hundreds of people still (mostly) stick to the crosswalks.
I shot this 2 minute video during a visit. It features a look at the general area, a view of people crossing, and a shaky view of actually crossing.
This is Hachiko, a major meeting point just outside the train station. You can read more about Hachiko here. Basically, in story that would one day lead to an episode of Futurama, Hachicko was a loyal dog who used to meet his owner at the train station everyday. His owner became sick and died, but even after that, everyday Hachiko still went to the train station to wait for him.
I wandered around just amazed at not just the neon, but the high quality video signs. I had the sense I was walking around a city that's just about 10 years into the future. During the day, it's busy, and has energy, but the buildings themselves come to life after the sun goes down.
I took the night time pictures below with a 50mm f1.4 lens. I was quite pleased with how it performed in low light.
I wrote about this Starbucks once before. It's one of busiest in the world, and, I'm guessing, one of the safest.
Video screens are almost as prevalent as traditional bright signs.
You can get a late night haircut in Shibuya.
You can surf the web while you do Karaoke.
You can buy new electronics.
You can buy used electronics.
You can buy a dog.
You can even find a Guinness.
There are plenty of other ads to soak in and shops to wander about.
It's easy to get caught up in the excitement and energy of Shibuya after dark.
For more pictures from this trip, click here.
For more posts about our Tokyo trip, click here.
Here's one more awesome thing. I have nothing to do with this video, other than being glad it exists.