Given the fact that we both live in Manhattan and one of us actually works in the heart of Times Square, believe us when we say that we are unfazed by large, overwhelming crowds. The Big Apple is, after all, ranked as one of the top 10 most populated cities in the world, but that's a part of the appeal, right? It's crazy to say that no matter how suffocating New York City feels at times (especially during a hot summer day in the middle of Times Square), it is nothing compared to Tokyo, which is the #1 most populated city in the entire world!
Shibuya Crossing, which is rumored to be the busiest intersection in the world, is certainly something you cannot miss during a visit to Tokyo. Shibuya Crossing definitely feels like the beating heart of the city, especially around rush hour time when locals and tourists alike come from all different directions to cross the intersection. While it may feel hectic and at times, a bit claustrophobic during the peak hours of the intersection, when thousands of people cross in a matter of seconds in 50 different directions, it is interesting and exciting to watch from a distance. To get the best aerial view of the crossing, we suggest going up to the 2nd floor Starbucks in the building across the street from the Crossing, grabbing a seat by the floor to ceiling windows, and watching the traffic light change 3-4 times. It is quite a show in itself.
Though hundreds, if not thousands of people use this crossing during peak hours, it is strangely quiet and calm during the early hours of the morning. We visited Shibuya twice on our trip, once during the rush hour madness, and again right after sunrise to experience what it is like without the insane crowds. Trust us when we say that it wasn't the easiest to get these shots, but it was an incredible experience to see the crossing in two very different lights (literally).
Shibuya is known for being a fashion, food, and nightlife haven, so don't miss out on all there is to do here. We could have easily spent a few days exploring this "special ward" alone, and we will definitely be back in the future to experience the craziness all over again!