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Shibuya Crossing

Shibuya, Tokyo, Japan Shibuya, Tokyo, Japan
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Shibuya Crossing. Shibuya, Japan
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It would be a shame to come to Tokyo and not take a walk across the famous intersection outside Shibuya Station. On sunny afternoons or clear evenings, the surrounding area is packed with shoppers, students, young couples and commuters. When the lights turn red at this busy junction, they all turn red at the same time in every direction. Traffic stops completely and pedestrians surge into the intersection from all sides, like marbles spilling out of a box. You can observe this moment of organized chaos from the second-story window of the Starbucks in the Tsutaya building on the crossing's north side.

After experiencing the "scramble," follow the trendy teens into Shibuya 109, a big shiny mall with more than 100 boutiques, for a look at the latest in disposable fashion. Or duck back into Shibuya Station and down to the bustling Tokyu Food Show for an elegant array of gourmet eats and an education in local tastes: grilled eel, fried pork, tiny fish salad, octopus on a stick, seafood-and-rice seaweed wraps and much more. The prepared dishes and grocery items are all sold from immaculate counters amid a chorus of "Irashaimasen!" ("Welcome!"). There are aisles full of beautifully packaged treats — rice crackers, mochi cakes, jellied confections — but the pickle counter is my favorite.

Take the JR Yamanote line to Shibuya station, Hachiko exit

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