Rumoured to be the busiest intersection in the world (and definitely in Japan), Shibuya Crossing, is like a giant beating heart, sending people in all directions with every pulsing light change. Perhaps nowhere else says ‘Welcome to Tokyo’ better than this. Hundreds of people – and at peak times said to be over 1000 people – cross at a time, coming from all directions at once yet still managing to dodge each other with a practised, nonchalant agility.
There’s a particularly hypnotic view over the crossing from the Starbucks on the 2nd floor of the Q-front building across the street (though it’s hard to get a seat).
The intersection is most impressive after dark on a Friday or Saturday night, when the crowds pouring out of the station are dressed in their finest and neon-lit by the signs above. The rhythms here are, however, tied to the train station and after the last train pulls out for the night, the intersection becomes eerily quiet.