• Profile

    Shibuya Crossing is an extremely busy and famous pedestrian scramble crossing in the fashionable Shibuya district. Shibuya Crossing is an iconic scene and frequently used to depict how busy Tokyo is. Shibuya Crossing, also referred to as Shibuya Scramble Crossing, is outside the popular Hachiko Exit of Shibuya Station. This exit was named after the most famous dog in Japan, Hachiko. The Hachiko Statue has become a very popular meeting place. Pedestrian crossings like these are referred to as a scramble crossing as the traffic is stopped in all directions to allow pedestrians to walk in all directions (scramble) through the intersection. Additional terms for this style of pedestrian cross are diagonal crossing or exclusive pedestrian crossings. What makes Shibuya Crossing particularly unique is the crossing is the meeting of five roads in one of the busiest parts of the most populous city in the world.

    A taxi in the middle of Shibuya Crossing

    A taxi in the middle of Shibuya Crossing

    Shibuya Crossing Facts

    Here are some of the amazing facts about this major Tokyo attraction:

    • Busiest Pedestrian Crossing in the World.
    • Up to 3,000 people use the crossing per green cycle.
    • 5 jumbo screens can be seen from the crossing.
    • The busiest Starbucks in Japan is next to the crossing.
    • Hachiko Statue (Japan’s most famous dog) is next to the crossing.

     

    Why is the crossing so busy?
    Shibuya is one of the major shopping districts in Tokyo (see Shibuya Shopping Guide) so many people are walking between the various stores and shopping centres near the crossing. Shibuya is particularly famous for the fashion stores found in the district. Many people are coming or going from Shibuya Station which is on one corner of the crossing. Shibuya Station is one of the busiest stations in Tokyo.

    What happens when the people meet in the middle?
    You might well expect chaos with thousands of people walking in different directions in a confined space. However the people of Tokyo are used to walking in crowded places and the Japanese people are very polite, so generally the pedestrian flow is smooth.

    Who is the Shibuya Crossing Dog?
    A very famous dog, the most famous dog in Japan, used to visit Shibuya Station every day for over ten years to wait for his master to return from work. His name was Hachiko and there is a statue of him next to the crossing at Shibuya Station. They even named a station exit after him.

    Hachiko Statue next to Shibuya Crossing

    Hachiko Statue next to Shibuya Crossing

    Shibuya Crossing Views & Photography

    There are several publicly accessible raised vantage points where you can obtain an overview of the crossing. These includes one of the world’s busiest Starbucks stores, in the Q Front building, opposite Shibuya Station. However being able to see out the second floor window can be challenge as it is a much sort after position. The wait to obtain a prime window position with a view can be very long at peak times.

     

    Shibuya Crossing at Night

    Shibuya Crossing at Night

     

    One of the best times to photograph the crossing is at night when the scene comes a live with all the color and light from the massive advertising, neon signs and jumbo screens. This is when you can get creative with time lapse or long exposure photos to capture the movement of the people. You are likely to need a tripod for some of these long exposure shots.

    Another good time to photograph Shibuya Crossing is during the morning or evening peak, when the crowds are at their maximum.

    At or close to ground level mount your camera on a mono pod, set the camera to timer and where possible multiple exposures or burst mode, then raise the camera up above the crowd. Normally a wide angle lens will obtain a great prospective of the people and the surrounding buildings, but the people need to be close to the camera. This is best performed with a reasonably short exposure time to allow for camera shake. Try adjusting the angle of the camera to obtain the best picture.

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  • Reviews
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    2 Reviews on “Shibuya Crossing”

    1. Felicity James Shibuya Crossing
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      We went to Shibuya on our first ever morning in Tokyo: it was amazing to see. Even more amazing than the pedestrians was the orderly and voluminous vehicular traffic negotiating the 5 roads. We stayed and watched from Shibuya Station, on the walkway overlooking Hachiko , for ages.

    2. Valerie Shibuya Crossing
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      So many go to this intersection for a picture, but there’s really nothing special about it. Yes, there’s a lot of people–but that’s Tokyo. It is pretty impressive when see from afar. My recommended perch is on the steps of Shibuya 109 or the balcony. Great place for photos and to catch a glimpse of the sheer volume of people that flood this section of asphalt.

    3. Craig Fryer Post authorShibuya Crossing
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      Shibuya Crossing is one of the icons of Tokyo. When there are large crowds using the crossing it makes an impressive sight. A very distinct displace of what an organised mega city looks like.

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