Shuffling through Shibuya

It doesn’t take long for the uninitiated to get their head around the rather logical Japanese transport system, however it’s negotiating the myriad of entrances and exits, at the stations themselves, that can be daunting for the novice traveller.

Entering the wrong one, can leave you lost or disorientated.

Where am I

Google maps appears to work really well for getting in and out of some of the busiest stations in japan, as it gives you directions and even platforms numbers.

There are also various apps that are useful, such as MapswithMe, (can be viewed when offline) and Hyperidia, or you can go old school with a free tourist map, but remember it is essential you have 20/20 vision to read the small print and they are hard to read at night.

Shinjuku station, seen below, which is really five stations in one, has over 200 exits.

Just one of the exits from Shinjuku station

3.5 million people pass through Shinjuku station daily.

Another entrance to Shinjuku station – a bit different from the above picture

Shibuya in Tokyo, is renowned for being the busiest pedestrian crossing in the world, and that was where we were headed – if Google was leading us correctly. Following a sign leading up from the Shibuya station platform that indicated the Hachiko exit, we ended up in a large and busy shopping mall, so when I spotted a large window, I looked out to see just where we were:-

Exiting Shibuya station towards the crossing

It looked like we were headed the correct way – I could see the famous Shibuya Starbucks.

And here we are taking it all in, not yet game to cross. Looking this way and that.

Sometimes Japan can give the traveller sensory overload. But in the nicest way.

Everyone in Japan, is so polite and respectful.

Are you ready to cross Shibuya? Here we go….

That wasn’t so bad at all…….

And a view from the top – kind of magical really!

Do you use Google maps or some other navigation app?

Which ones have you found useful on your travels?

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Something to Ponder About

55 thoughts on “Shuffling through Shibuya”

  1. How can people LIVE in numbers like that ??
    (What signal allows walking and then stops it ? – I couldn’t see anything.)
    Honestly, watching that footage makes me feel agoraphobic. Never want to do that again, so I shall not look at your little video any more.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Really? Wow. Sorry to trigger an attack, M-R, but I think it us because they grow up with it. A Singaporean lady once said to me she was used to crowds because she was Asian!


        1. No doubt, SandyL! I think it is a fair point if you comparing Australia – with our wide open spaces and vast dry ( and inhabitable) plains, with the high population density in Singapore. If I remember my high school geography lessons, Tokyo, Hong Kong and Singapore have 100% population density, the few places in the world that claim that dubious honour?


      1. Oh, I didn’t mean it literally, Amanda: just being OTT as usual. But I was even alarmed by Melbourne crowds, a short time after I came down from Sydney. People seem to fill the Melbourne CBD more than they do the Sydney one ! – pas pour moi, là …

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Haha! I know, M-R. I was teasing too! However, your point is very interesting. Melbourne feeling more congested that Sydney! Wow. I never felt that and feel the opposite. Mind you, I haven’t been too much around Sydney other than in the CBD. Is Sydney’s business district more spread out than Melbourne’s perhaps?

          Liked by 1 person

          1. No, not really. The CBD is possibly even a little bit smaller. But on that one time I went up to town I was actually alarmed ! – and they kept walking me off the pavement, which never happened to me up there.

            Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Sabine! It was something that was interesting to visit. Simply because of the sheer scale of people. It is hard to imagine so many people living in the tiny islands of Japan, compared to a country like Australia.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Japan is one of my favorite places to visit. Your point on guide books & fine print is so true. Google Maps is my most valuable travel tool – can’t leave home without it!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I imagine this spot would be far too intense for some people, Manja. But the Japanese gardens make up for it in their solitude and zen. Maybe that is why they had to create them to get some relief from the crowds?

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Getting lost is hard to do in Japan, especially around Shibuya. There are subway and train stations literally everywhere and they are very well signed, Jo! But it is a slightly different pace from Azores, no? I didn’t think I would like Japan when I first visited, for the reason you just outlined, but it is a country that is very easy to fall in love with. Everything is orderly, structured, polite, and interesting. People are giggly, friendly, polite and very, very helpful.


    1. Hi Jessy! Welcome to my blog. I am glad you found it interesting. Japan is a fascinating country. I highly recommend travelling there if you get the opportunity. Are you planning a holiday?

      Liked by 1 person

            1. No I haven’t. I like to know exactly where I am going. I know a few people that have, though. They enjoyed it. I guess you would make the most of it. I don’t take holidays that frequently so I like to pick my destination. What is your favourite place to go? Mine is usually somewhere in Scandinavia.

              Liked by 1 person

    1. I can fully understand why. For all the reasons you enunciated, I love Japan too. Their gun laws are similar to ours and since we made them harsher, we have had NO gun massacres. We do not have the right to bear arms in our psyche. This is something the US will always struggle with I think. Japan on the other hand, always considers the next person. By contrast, this is in their modern psyche. I suspect it comes from the Shinto religion/Buddhist religion?

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Meandered my way here to get a fix of travel – I always feel uplifted and thoughtful after visiting your page, and today I had a yearning for some Japan feeling.

    And indeed I did – this crossing in Shibuya is particularly memorable because on 2 trips in 2005 and 2006, we spent a week or so staying with friends in Shibuya. Even after a week both times, I never got used to crossing here – I always felt just a little out of sync and quite thrilled.

    I didn’t find my way here through Random Raiders, but everything looks in order!


    1. Unusually for one of my posts, it seemed I proofread it perfectly! Thanks for visiting Ju-Lyn. Staying in Shibuya for a week must have been fun. So close to the gardens and the action! Japan is a fabulous destination, one of my absolute favourites. Looking at that final video that was taken from above, makes humans look like ants. In that minute, I wonder how many people actually cross over there? Amazing!

      Liked by 1 person

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