Arriving by subway or train at Shibuya Station, you can’t miss Tokyo’s famous Shibuya Crossing. However, the first challenge to get to the iconic Shibuya Crossing is to leave the station through the right exit, the Hachiko Exit (Exit #8).
Shibuya is a universe of entertainment in Tokyo, especially popular with young people with its many fashion shops, anime culture, coffee shops and top-notch restaurants. Likewise, the area is popular among visitors to Tokyo, as you can find almost everything that is trending here. In recent years, a new attraction has started to draw even more visitors, Shibuya Sky, which is a 360° outdoor observation deck right above Shibuya Crossing. It is 230 meters above the famous scramble and gives visitors a stunning view of the teeming crowds below as well as the Tokyo skyline.
The Hachiko Exit is named after the iconic Hachiko dog (and statue) and is perhaps the most famous exit and meeting point in Japan. The Hachiko dog is said to have been an extremely faithful dog, waiting every day at Shibuya Station for its master to return from work – even after his death!
Today, the Hachiko dog has almost achieved cult status in Japan – and many visitors come to Shibuya Station and Shibuya Crossing to see both the famous crossing and the famous dog for themselves!
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Shibuya Station is one of the major train stations in Tokyo, located between Ebisu and Harajuku on the western side of the circular Yamanote line. The Shibuya hub serves a handful of rail and subway lines and therefore provides easy access to many other Tokyo stations and districts.
The station opened in 1885, serving a train line similar to the current Yamanote Line. In 1940, the station was expanded with a new platform, and decades later, in 1996, the Saikyō Line platform was opened. Over the past few years, the station has also undergone some changes, with four tracks now serving both the Yamanote Line, the Saikyō Line, and the Shōnan-Shinjuku Line, as well as the Narita Express.
Leaving Shibuya Station through the Hachiko Exit, you will immediately spot the spectacular crossing with wide white-striped fields covering most of the street.
Facts about Shibuya Crossing can actually be quite overwhelming. Up to 3,000 people can cross here at the times of the day when the Shibuya Scramble is busiest – and even then, real traffic jams and other incidents are rare! What makes it even more incredible is that the entire show is repeated every two minutes when the lights change again.
A great place to watch the entertaining pedestrian crossing and the surrounding neon billboards with their various advertisements is from above – for example from the first floor of Starkbucks right next to the spectacular intersection. That is an awesome place for people watching!
The zigzag crossing is the heart of Shibuya’s shopping district with its vast array of products of all kinds – from the latest trend-setting clothing fashions to countless high-end electronics and geeky anime subculture.
Every time the signals change at the intersection, crowds of people move from all directions into the area of the five zebra crossings, while cars are held back by the red light. In some strange way, it is rare that people bump into each other. The scramble works like a charm – even in the busiest moments of rush hour when myriads of people step out at the same time.
When all the Japanese commuters coming from the station line up at the Shibuya crossing, it’s the countdown… 3, 2, 1 ….and, ultimately, everyone is off in the throng of people on the white zigzagging stripes.
At first glance, it seems like an impossible challenge to cross the opposing group from the other side. It looks really massive. The crowd approaches the magnetic centre of the scramble from all directions, and then miraculously everyone glides smoothly through the mass of pedestrians without touching each other.
Itinerary for 2 days in Tokyo
Stay in a ryokan with onsen in Tokyo
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Read more about Tokyo in our Tokyo Travel Guide which gives you more helpful information and travel tips for your Tokyo stay (see & do, accommodation, price level, transportation, safety, climate, history):
Do you need a 3-day itinerary in Tokyo? Then you might want to take a look at this itinerary, which includes a number of top attractions in Tokyo:
If you are in Tokyo for 2 days, consider our 2-day itinerary: See Tokyo in 2 Days
Read next: Hotel with a Japanese Onsen in Tokyo and Where to Watch Sumo Training in Tokyo for inspiration on where to stay in a local ryokan with a communal hot bath – and where to go to watch sumo wrestling practice at one of Tokyo’s sumo stables.
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Welcome to Shibuya Crossing – Scramble Square in Tokyo
Shibuya Scramble Square Crossing Tokyo:
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