The Shibuya crossing and new perspectives
I have been through so many variables in my life that nothing is really astoundingly first time, overly surprising or as exciting as walking through the wonderments of childhood.
I am relaxed, coping with everyday sights, smells and tastes. At the same time things don’t stir me up easily.
All those life scenarios I experienced, I saw, read, heard about (damn you over-informative media age) make sightseeing and life pretty predictable. This is a perpetual traveler speaking. I don’t mean to be on the negative side. I am very happy with how life has turned out for us.
But finding the ecstasy of wonderment is not that easy.
At my age you simply gotta put a bit more effort into it. Tokyo sort of speeds things up.
Walking the Shibuya crossing scramble is fascinating. The most frequented crossing in the world with about a thousand people going for the same place at the same time – it’s like walking into an awesome movie battle scene and coming out alive.
Let’s enjoy the crossing first, before we disembark on new perspectives.
People watching at its finest. See the glass front window above the neon sign that says Tsutaya? That is Starbucks and a popular pepole watching/photo spot for the crossing.
Location: right next to Shibuya Station, take the Hachiko statue exit.
People weaving together into a huge mass, celebrating the modern fun that is Shibuya. Once in the area, do not miss out on some high tech Sushi.
The other photo spot is from inside Shibuya Station which has a huge glass front, where the next picture was shot. The downside is that the glass is always smudgy and the pictures look accordingly hazy.
No old buildings to marvel at – this is an authentic cultural experience in Tokyo.
Cool crossing gives cool cars.
No doubt this is cool but if there is a but it goes like this: I have crossed crowded streets before, I have seen, walked along and tried to get through crossings in Rajasthan in India – which is an adventure if nothing short of miraculous.
The Shibuya crossing is a smooth walk.
Out of over-convenience maybe, we came up with the idea to get a breathtaking Shibuya experience with a totally different perspective.
Sort of like this. Just higher up.
Consequently we had to find the highest building and get to the top. We looked up from the crossing and found the highest building.
Turned out to be hotel with a see through elevator.
Let’s go for a ride! Be warned. It is best to mute the sound and put on your favourite music.
In case you are wondering where we were exactly. The bright capsule going up the building is that awesome glass elevator.
Location: Excel Hotel Tokyu, Shibuya Mark City, 1-12-2 Dogenzaka, Shibuya-ku
The ride is a blast and the view from floor 25 just as breathtaking.
Everything is so tiny. See the cars?
Scramble close up.
View of the Adidas Futsal Park at the top of Tokyu Toyoko department store. Go kick ball at prime location, if you can afford the rental fee. Location: 2-24-1 Shibuya, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo
After the sight, we were getting high on heights and decided to take it to the next level. Literally. We were going to step up.
Looking out for roofs. The sky is the limit. I like that saying.
After checking out various fire escapes on various buildings we did make it to the top – equally smooth as walking the crossing itself.
The feeling of height with nothing more than the sky above us – well okay, there was that huge commercial board – left us speechless and on a giddy high.
Seeing all those huge commercials was rad.
The Shibuya crossing was out of sight and not that big of a sight any more.
The endless streets are far out eye popping. I hardly took any pictures, just enjoyed the breeze taking in the views. I had a cheesy but cool ‘Jack can fly’ moment.
The hotel with the cool elevator.
From the top we discovered a skate park and a typically tiny traditional food street, which was going to fill the rest of Saturday night.
Narrow food streets with mini wooden houses, red lanterns and eateries with room for about 5 customers on the ground floor are an unexpected sight in modern Tokyo (and a major fire hazard after earthquakes).
Don’t miss Shibuya’s Nonbei Yokocho bar district.
Location: 1-25-10 Shibuya, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo
The narrow alleys are very atmospheric – just perfect to travel back in time and relax. Some bars are a bit creepy some are very hip. All is very surreal.
Tradition meets modernity.
Squeeze through maze like streets.
Wood carvings on restaurant entrances.
It is a nice place to rest after a day of city exploration.
Inside the bars you can have beer and sometimes chewy Japanese snacks. The creepy lady cook (not on picture), her strange broth and her son sure woke me up.
Right next to this peculiar world is Miyashita Park – a well planned outdoor activity area with a skater park.
Location: 6-20-10 Jingumae, Shibuya-ku
Skater park from above, sideways.
Skater in the air.
Free climbing zone.
I love to look up and be rewarded with unusual sights. Three kids on the roof.
A rare sight in Tokyo – stencil graffiti. About radiation. We actually measured the Invisible with our Geiger counter – here is on radiation in Japan after Fukushima 3/11.
Vanity looks beautiful.
Life is full of surprises. Even at the ripe old age of 35 there are things left to discover. The streets we have walked numerous times can seem different and fun!
Coming up next: a big apology for no posts – we have had numerous guests for the past weeks. And a promise to make up.