Global Traveler

Shibuya: Discover the beating heart of Tokyo

Shibuya:
Discover the beating heart of Tokyo
An estimated 600,000 international visitors will descend on the Japanese capital for the 2020 Summer Olympics and Paralympic Games — a moment the city of nearly 38 million has been preparing for since 2013.
With no shortage of great sites to see – the Imperial Palace, Ueno Park, Meiji Shrine and the neighborhoods of Ginza, Harajuku and Roppongi are just a few ­— the city will sing this summer. And no spot will bustle more than Shibuya Crossing, widely believed to be the busiest intersection in the world.
It’s one of Tokyo’s most famous destinations, yet it requires no tickets and no queuing. In fact, the more people, the better. An astounding 3,000 people can cross it at each two-minute light interval.
More than just an intersection and top selfie-spot, Shibuya Crossing has become a cultural symbol of Japan. As one of the most densely-packed countries in the world, Japan is known for a remarkable sense of efficiency and order. And one trip here demonstrates why.
From local tech workers and teenagers to tourists from around the globe, virtually all who venture into Shibuya Crossing are vexed by one question — where exactly is the best place to photograph the “scramble” below?
For photography tips — both on the ground and from the rooftops — and recommendations on art, history, restaurants and films to watch to see the chaos before you go, enter this 360 Shibuya Crossing interactive special. Click on the red boxes to reveal key facts and little-known tidbits about one of Tokyo’s top tourist destinations.
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