Translated by Laura Jacob
Shibuya Scramble Crossing - 5 Best Viewing Spots
Shibuya Scramble Crossing in Tokyo is known as the busiest intersection in the world, with up to around 3,000 people crossing at one time. Experience this famous spot from above; this article includes the best five spots to view from.
Written by Kazuyo
See Shibuya Scramble Crossing
Photo by Pixta
Shibuya is known around the world for its famous Scramble Crossing. When the crosswalk signal turns green, the estimated number of people crossing the street at a single time can reach up 3,000 people.
This crosswalk has been featured in films such as "Lost in Translation," directed by Sofia Coppola," Resident Evil: Afterlife" and "The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift," as well as music videos like One Direction's "One Way or Another (Teenage Kicks)" which helped propel its status as a landmark known around the world.
Many visitors enjoy visiting this intersection, where being completely enveloped in this sea of people can make you feel like you are in a movie yourself.
In this article, we will introduce some of the best spots for observing and taking photos of the intersection. Visit day and night to get both fantastic views.
1. Starbucks Coffee - The Most Famous Viewing Spot
The best-known spot for observing the scramble crossing is the Starbucks Coffee located within the Shibuya Tsutaya video rental store.
It's quite easy to understand why: the walls of the building are completely made of clear glass, with no other buildings or object to obstruct the view of the intersection. It is also the closest of the spots we will be introducing in this article. Here you can enjoy a close-up and personal view of the crosswalk.
However, because this location is so popular, securing a good viewing spot is completely dependent on your luck. There is also often a considerable wait to get your drinks, so it is best to plan ahead and come early.
2. Magnet by Shibuya 109 - Impressive City Views
Another great option where you can see the crossing is from MAG's PARK, on top of the Magent by Shibuya 109 building. Go up to the rooftop for a stunning view of the scramble crossing at day or night.
Admission is 300 yen, and the roof is open from 11:00 to 23:00, making it a great spot to go any time of the day or night. You can enjoy a snack or drink on the rooftop, and events are held there periodically as well. For more information, see the official website.
3. L'Occitane Cafe - Take in the Sights in Style
In search of a place where you can take in the view while enjoying an upscale, elegant atmosphere? Look no further than the L'Occitane Cafe.
This sophisticated space is operated by the French cosmetic maker L'Occitane. The shop is located on the first floor, while the second and third floors house the airy, spacious cafe with large windows. Here you can enjoy teas or cocktails flavored with fruits and herbs, all while leisurely looking over the Shibuya scramble crossing.
4. Gusto: A Bird's Eye View
Another fantastic place to observe the intersection is Gusto Shibuya Ekimae, a chain family restaurant. This location is nestled on the 7th floor of the same building as the L'Occitane Cafe.
This spot is the ideal location for tilt-shift photography, to capture this world-famous scene as if it were a toy town. Gusto is your best option if you want to take in Shibuya from a high vantage point.
5. Shibuya Mark City: Free Admission
If you want to appreciate the view without having to pay for it, head over to the Shibuya Mark City Walkway.
This walkway is located between the JR Yamanote Line's Tamagawa Exit and the Keio Inokashira Line Exit. Since the walls are all made of glass, you can observe the intersection from above at a relatively lower height. However, take care not to block the walkway if you are taking photos since this passage is often crowded.
Pictured above is a view of the crossing from the Shibuya Mark City's walkway.
Every day, many people cross this intersection. Within seconds, pedestrians flood this intersection from every single direction. Somehow they all slip past each other without colliding and eventually disperse toward their respective destinations. Come witness this kaleidoscope-like phenomenon with your very own eyes.
Main image by Pixta