“Tokyo Review 060” Shibuya area-14
The World-Famous “Shibuya Crossing”
Since we had already explored all around Shibuya briefly, let’s go back to Hachiko Square. The story of Hachiko was introduced in the Hollywood movie and the faithful dog became world famous. In the past, Hachiko square was the most popular meeting point in Shibuya, and in the era when people didn’t have mobile phones, there were so many people waiting around Hachiko that some people appointed more detailed spots such as “Hachiko’s tail” as a meeting point.
Shibuya Crossing, the intersection with scramble crossing system in front of Hachiko Square became a popular destination for inbound tourists. Hundreds or thousands of people crossing from all directions at once when the traffic light turns green. It seems unusual for foreigners to see people nonchalantly dodging each other in an accustomed manner. We often see people taking photos and videos with their smartphones or selfie sticks. The CNN website also states, “Scramble crossing in Shibuya, Tokyo, often crossed by more than 1,000 people at one time and often referred to as the busiest pedestrian crossing in the world. Ten lanes and five pedestrian crossings, it meets in the valley of buildings colored with neon lights in the middle of Tokyo.”
This scramble crossing system at the intersection started in 1973 to cope with the sudden increase in pedestrian traffic following the opening of Shibuya PARCO and other facilities. If you observe carefully, it seems that there are more traffic going back and forth from the Hachiko Square to the Center Street and Dogen-Zaka. People who go to SHIBUYA109, Tokyu Department Store Main Store and BUNKAMURA also go across this scramble crossing, it is inevitable that pedestrians’ volume is increased.
A Chinese website states, “Japanese people skillfully change their walking pace and never collide. Unconfident people should walk behind others.” To whatever extent Shibuya Massive Developments will go on, we had better not to lose this two-dimensional intersection, which is an important resource for tourism.