“Welcome to Japan.”
Shibuya is, above all, an entertainment center and it really comes alive at night. There are dance clubs, live music venues, theaters, and cinemas galore. It’s a place where bars and karaoke parlours stay open until dawn.
As we exited the subway, heading up for the streets of Shibuya, we popped right out at a corner of the busiest sidewalk crossing- Shibuya Crossing. Shibuya Crossing is an epic sight! Rumored to be the busiest intersection in the world (and definitely in Japan), it is said that perhaps nowhere else says “Welcome to Japan” better than this! Hundreds of people- at peak times said to be over 1,000 people- cross here every time the light turns green. Then, in the time that it takes for the light to go from red to green again, all corners have replenished their stock of people. Shibuya Crossing is a prime photo opportunity, but a still image doesn’t do justice to the energy and the sense that this is the center and heart of Shibuya.
In the early 1920’s, a professor who lived near Shibuya Station kept Hachiko, a small akita dog, who came to the station every day to await the return of his master. The professor died in 1925, but the dog continued to show up and wait at the station until his own death 10 years later. The story became a legend and a small statue was put here in the dog’s memory. Hachiko is perhaps Tokyo’s most famous meeting spot.
Our roots will forever be from here, America, born and raised. Yet, life requires us to move more frequently than we care to count. Whether living stateside or abroad, you can always find us traveling somewhere. We scout out places that you only think you can dream of one day seeing and we seek out those that aren’t found in guidebooks. We then bring them to life here in our travel memos, so hopefully, one day you too can visit them or at least be able to live vicariously through us. This blog isn’t just about crossing off places from a bucket list. It’s about absorbing and learning how other cultures grow and fit into the same world that we do. Life is short and the world is big. Enjoy and get out there!