One night in Shibuya, by @japon (translated from French)
This is an authorized translation in English of a post in French by @japon: Un soir à Shibuya
Remember that the person that speaks here is NOT me, Vincent Celier (@vcelier), but @japon, a French guy.
One night in Shibuya
It is one of the most popular districts of Tokyo because it represents the archetype of the modern megalopolis. Anyone looking for the image of a futuristic Tokyo goes to Shibuya and especially its famous crossing, used by more than 100,000 people each day. Something that may make you dizzy!
Shibuya is truly a symbol, one of the nerve centers of the capital. And at night fall, eyes are irresistibly attracted by huge giant screens that broadcast continuous commercials. It's a something like the Japanese Time Square.
This place has served as a backdrop for several films such as "The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift" or "Lost In Translation" with Scarlett Johansson and Bill Murray. But also in many music videos, photos or reports. In short, as soon as you want to show a modern face of Japan it is Shibuya that you show!
So it is with a certain excitement that I arrive at the station of the same name. Upon leaving, I notice a crowd in front of the statue of the dog Hachikō. I let you read the beautiful story of this dog; the statue has become the meeting point of the neighborhood. Many people want to take selfies next door. You must wait sometimes for a long time. Fortunately I do not want any selfie, I have better things to do.
I finally discovered the famous "Shibuya Crossing". However ... I wondered if I was in the right place as it seemed small. Photographers and videographers generously abuse wide-angle lenses that distort distances. No, Shibuya is not a huge intersection, surrounded by gigantic skyscrapers.
This is still impressive. Especially since I arrived on a Friday night, this moment where the salary men leaving work meet and the Japanese youth who gather to go out and have fun. There is a lot of people crossing the zebra crossing diagonally in an almost military discipline, punctuated by the alternating waves of cars and pedestrians.
Everyone waits patiently, and when the light turns green it is a real human tide that sweeps from all sides of the street and joins, mingles, then separates. Seen from the outside it can seem stressful. Finally the traffic is very fluid, no one jostles, the atmosphere is absolutely not oppressive.
Just beyond the crossroads, it's a whole set of pedestrian streets, with dozens of fashion shops and also leisure. I immediately notice a change in the dress code, much more casual than when the Japanese go to work.
The hills that extend further are known for the many love hotels that are located there. Not having been able to try this type of experiments I can not unfortunately talk to you about it.
Shibuya remains one of the neighborhoods that attracts and fascinates in Tokyo. But it is also one of the most expensive, both for accommodation and food. I am also surprised to see lines of Japanese form in front of the entrance of trendy restaurants.
I prefer to push the door of a small restaurant a little away from the crowd. If there is one thing that I appreciate, it's calm when I dine. As much as the Japanese are silent when they are in public transport, they speak loudly and chatter loudly when they are in a group. Another amazing contrast of Japanese culture.
I end the evening by tasting gyoza (a fried ravioli in the shape of a slipper) and a chicken dish ... And I'm already thinking of my Tokyo adventures the next day ...
Travel diary in Japan, by @japon
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Ameyoko, Ueno's colorful market, by @japon
Tsukiji, the largest fish market in the world, by @japon
Climb the steps of Atago Jinja Shrine in Tokyo, by @japon
Hama Rikyu, an exceptional park in the heart of Tokyo, by @japon
Jimbocho, old books and tempura, by @japon
Shinjuku Gyoen Park and the best burger in the world!, by @japon