Shibuya Kreuzung
Around the World,  Japan

Shibuya Crossing

Another tourist anchor point in Tokyo is certainly the Shibuya Crossing. the “everybody walks crossing”. And as always: Wikipedia knows everything:

The Shibuya Crossing (English for Japanese: 渋谷スクランブル交差点HepburnShibuya sukuranburu kōsaten, “Scramble crossing  Shibuya”) is a Road Crossing in the district  Shibuya (actually Dōgenzaka/Udagawachō/Jinnan according to the address) of the district Shibuya in Tokyo. It is located in front of the Hachikō exit of Shibuya Station and has the busiest pedestrian crossing in the world, with around 2,500 people crossing the street at the same time.

 Controller Tokyo
Controller Tokyo

However, today’s first destination is not yet the Shibuya intersection. Rather, we first want to take a look at Kappabashi Street, which the nice saleswoman told us yesterday in the knife shop in Skytree. Of course we get there again by subway. We have now mutated into real experts among train drivers.

So we just laugh at the machine ticket seller’s attempts to confuse us again, haha! By the way, now that we are using the machine professionally, a helpful uniformed man is standing right next to it and is watching closely and in astonishment as we process the ticket purchase without hesitation. Ha! If you ever need a local transport guide for Tokyo, don’t hesitate to ask me!

The Q line takes us to station 18, where we get off and round a few corners to reach Kappabashi Street. This street actually has one household goods store after another. You can now buy everything you could possibly need in the kitchen. Of course this also includes kitchen knives.

Japanese kitchen knife
The first shop that specializes in knives is also a pretty exclusive one, it seems. In any case, the prices are quite similar to those announced yesterday in the tourist center. In return, we receive much more professional advice and learn new things about the different qualities.

The Shibuya intersection is moving further and further into the background because one specialty shop now alternates with the next. We find what we were looking for in one of them because we spot a model that appealed to us in terms of price on the one hand and shape and quality on the other.

Unfortunately, the seller made the mistake of first claiming that we didn’t need to worry about refunding the VAT. When we then decide on a specific model, the net price should already be excellent. We feel a little ripped off and leave the store without buying anything.

 Damascus knife
Damascus knife making

After the tenth or eleventh store we lose interest in searching and decide to go back to the cutthroat shop. On the way back we see another good-looking shop on the other side of the street. All right, then this one! But you can’t find anything better there either.

Oops, there’s another shop. Come on, just this one! And that’s where we actually strike. We can expect excellent advice with a great selection. On the one hand, the sales lady takes her time and, on the other hand, she also explicitly responds to our wishes regarding quality, appearance and price.

Damascus Knife Selling
Damascus Knife Selling

This is how you win customers and we leave Kappabashi Street with the feeling that we did everything right.

But now finally: off to the Shibuya intersection. The very experienced subway drivers undoubtedly have no problem finding the right train and stop straight away. We take the Ginza Line to its terminus, which is the station at the Shibuya intersection.

We are in a very busy part of Tokyo. Pedestrian zones with many small and large shops and restaurants alternate with huge malls. It’s extremely loud and colorful everywhere. Many predominantly young people also contribute to the colorful street scene, some of whom seem to have come straight out of a manga.

In any case, this way of dressing does nothing to combat the icy weather. The cold wind whistles so strongly through the urban canyons that we have to find a place as quickly as possible from which the Shibuya intersection can be clearly observed.

Of course, you can also make money with a good vantage point. So we buy a ticket, which at least includes a drink, to go to the roof of a building right at the Shibuya intersection. There is no heating up there, but you are protected from the wind and don’t freeze your fingers.

It’s really an amazing picture when you look at the Shibuya intersection from above. Mainly because all directions are released at the same time and then blocked again. At an intersection there is one zebra crossing per entrance and then at the Shibuya intersection there is another strip that runs diagonally across the middle of the intersection.

The most impressive are time-lapse shots, where a few minutes are compressed into a few seconds. And as rare as the sight of the Shibuya Crossing is, it is still cold and windy. That’s why we’re now looking for a warm place, which we find in the “Shibuya Mark”. There we sit down in a tiny little restaurant where, among other things, we eat three fried oysters for little money.

 Lobster Omelette
Lobster Omelette

And then we head home again, that is, to the Conrad Hotel. It’s warm, cozy, wonderful there. And the catering is second to none! After a perfect lobster omelet and a few glasses of everything, we decide to enjoy the wonderful beds to the fullest again! Well then good night!


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