I imagine all tourists go to Shibuya at some point since it is extremely japanese. There are dolly girls dressed up as dolls at 109 which is a huge clothes shop for teenage women, with another one for men nearby. There are huge Pachinko parlours full of very loud noise and tinging of bells and balls. There are department stores, cinemas, a huge Tokyo Hands (a kind of John Lewis) and umpteen other things. There is also the Shibuya Scramble - said to be the busiest crossing in the world. Apparently up to 3,500 people cross at peak times. And since peak times are 8am to 10pm that means most of the time.
I was there on Friday night to see Captain America 2 at the cinema. This is a small part of the crossing (which goes at least 16 different ways across, I think, 6 different roads at a junction) while people are starting to gather ready for when the lights change.
Just as they start to cross.
Much better photo than mine via creative commons licensing.
If you've seen oxford circus on christmas eve or been leaving Wembley at the end of a match you might think that would compare to the mass of people but it doesn't quite come close. You add in the noise from all the neon screens (unlike somewhere like Piccadilly circus they're all playing music/talking at the same time) and the light pollution from all the signs plus any smells from nearby restaurants and food carts and it is quite uniquely Japanese.
One thing that does seem universal though is buskers.
This quartet were playing some big band tunes from the fifties and the small girl on the left was doing all the swing moves and clearly calling the shots, backed up by the three larger guys.
However busy it gets I've always felt safe in Tokyo. I have been very used to a busy London, having lived there for 16 years now, but there you always kept in mind that there were pickpockets and muggers about. Here, there genuinely doesn't seem to be that problem. Plus if you get some tall Gaijin like me (5'7") sitting in front of you at the cinema, you can always take one of these cushions to give you a boost.
My review of Captain America 2? Pretty good stuff. It ties in with "Marvel Agents of Shield" the TV series which I was totally hooked on for the last few months and so added some extra clarification to the rise of Hydra (Hail Hydra! except not really). Scarlet Johannsen was the Black Widow again and I thought they were setting her up to have a huge crush on Cap but it didn't go anywhere - I think maybe they're working towards him being gay.
Not really but wouldn't that give the free world a funny moment. She was a lot more animated than usual (she's been so bland in everything I've seen her in I don't get her popularity, apart from "that photo" of her bum of course) although the make up department seemed to have given her this weird tango tan to go with her orange hair. It really didn't suit her but then who am I to judge considering I don't tan at all.
Pooch mentioned yesterday that young japanese women have a fear of getting freckles in the sun, hence their extensive use of parasols and finger to shoulder UV gloves. Since I am now sporting my full summer allocation of the good stuff I can only imagine they look on me with great sympathy.