#34: Do the Shibuya scramble crossing
Well, I made it to Japan. After 1 1/2 days of traveling, a thrilling 10 hour wait in Sydney airport, having my toothpaste thrown out in Australia and my toothbrush in Japan, I finally made it, tired and horribly unprepared for dental hygiene. When I say tired on arrival… I can’t even begin to describe how shattered I was when I finally made it to Narita Airport! There was turbulence on my night flight from Sydney to Tokyo, which in itself was terrible because I couldn’t sleep, but also because I hate flying and turbulence makes me flip my proverbial waste– that, and I happened to find myself in the midst of a 70 strong Japanese high-school convoy that seemed to be returning to Tokyo from Sydney for a school trip.
I didn’t have much sleep the day before either, having realised I didn’t have a travel document wallet and coming to the obvious and sensible conclusion that I had enough time to sew one together before I left NZ. I did, but in hindsight, that should’ve been sleeping time and not sewing time. Stylish, though.
Okay, so, anyway. Japan. Bucket list. Things! This is my fourth day in Japan so I’ve been incredibly slack, but Tokyo so far has been a huge blur of awesome people, trains and my feet hurting like nothing I’ve ever quite experienced before. At least I’ve knocked a few things of the Japan Bucket List that I can write about now– and my previous fear of the Tokyo trains is now allayed. I am a Tokyo Train MASTER. I can even get on one and not get lost!
The Shibuya Scramble. Something to behold, for sure. I had been told how busy this intersection was, but I had never really considered how it would actually feel to have about 2,000 people walking towards you with the bent intent of getting to the other side in just a few seconds. Coming from a tiny Kiwi city, I didn’t know quite what I had gotten myself into as I repeatedly bumped into EVERYTHING in my path, but it was an experience I was glad to have. I went through it the first time with a couple of friends at about 11am, and it was fairly tame, but I returned today at rush hour and… I have no words. I have never in my life seen so many people in the same place, heading straight for me.
The scramble is just outside Shibuya Station at the Hachiko exit, and you can watch it from the Starbucks there– but beware, the line is often out the door and seats watching the scramble are prime real estate. It’s the it place. You can also get a good view of the scramble from some places inside Shibuya station, which is easier than standing around watching it– if I’ve learnt anything about Tokyo, it’s that no-one stops.
My first visit to Shibuya was a fantastic one, to be honest, and after traveling around Tokyo for a few days, Shibuya is the place I love the most. There is so many things to do and diverse shops, that it’s hard to get bored there– I imagine I will be visiting it a lot more before I leave for Aomori. A couple of my Kiwi friends and I met up at Hachiko, wandered for a bit, had curry, sang karaoke, wandered some more, did purikura, went to Shinjuku, and it was just an awesome day on the whole!
Also present was another Kiwi friend off to Keio University! I wish Ryan & Siobhan the best for their travels to Osaka/Kansai University, and the definite awesomeness & adventure that will follow them. In the meantime– more things to cross off the bucket list!