- ”This is the very best view of the crossing,” says Takahiro Oikawa, Manager, Sales & Marketing, at Shibuya Excel Hotel Tokyu. We’re chatting in a corner twin room on the 22nd floor, where the panoramic view from the room’s huge windows feels like looking at a movie screen. We can see the green forest on the shrine grounds of Meiji Jingu and, beyond that, Shinjuku’s skyscrapers. And right below us lies the renowned crossing: quite possibly the busiest in the world.
- Leaving Shibuya Station via the Hachiko exit, the crossing is at your feet, and thanks to frequent appearances in movies and music videos, it’s a familiar sight to people around the world. Sofia Coppola’s 2003 Lost in Translation, set in Japan, tells the story of a love affair between Bob Harris, a Hollywood actor in Japan to film a television commercial, and Charlotte, who is married to a photographer. Scenes in the film feature Charlotte walking on Shibuya Crossing in the dark as a light rain falls and running across it while holding hands with Bob. Shibuya Crossing also appears in the 2006 The Fast and the Furious: TokyoDrift, a car movie, and Resident Evil: Retribution from 2012.
- At busy times, 3,000 people are said to cross whenever the traffic light changes. Standing among the waves of people drifting across the road, it really does feel like you’re in a movie. Tourists from abroad are so absorbed in taking selfies or photos with friends that they fail to notice the light will soon change—even while standing amid the crossing!
- Manager Oikawa shares another great way to see the crossing. “You get a close-up view from the window seats at the very back of Estacion Cafe, a fifth-floor lounge,” he says. I later learned, when checking it out, that some people are already in the know, as several seats were occupied by customers relaxing and watching the crossing. There’s a different feel looking down from here than from the corner twin room on the 22nd floor: from my seat in the cafe, I can see the passing crowds really close.
Shibuya Crossing view from a large window of a corner twin guestroom, 22nd floor, Shibuya Excel Hotel Tokyu
- Shibuya Excel Hotel Tokyu is a fashionable urban hotel located on the fifth to 25th floors of Shibuya Mark City, a multipurpose high-rise complex. Shibuya Mark City has everything you need, B1 to 4F, from restaurants and various shops to hair salons and chic variety stores. It also connects directly to Shibuya Station, a highly convenient transportation hub. You can even get a great view of Shibuya Crossing from the glass-walled passageway connecting Shibuya Mark City and platforms for the JR and Inokashira lines.
- Just like Shibuya Mark City, many of the latest Shibuya trends originate at the Shibuya Hikarie high-rise complex. The building has 34 floors above ground and four basement floors, and the 11th floor hosts the Sky Lobby observation area. From here you can look through huge windows at the Shinjuku skyline and get a great view of the crossing. Visitors from abroad often come here to take photos of Shibuya Crossing or souvenir snapshots in front of the view. There’s also a large model of the ongoing Shibuya redevelopment, so you’ll get a good idea of how Shibuya will look in the future. Contemporary and new, Shibuya never stops changing.