A trip to Tokyo must include a visit to Shibuya Intersection! Being known as one of the most congested intersections in the world, it is certainly a sight to see. At times, there are over 3,000 people interacting! Somewhat similar to New York City’s Times Square, there are multiple cafes, bars, restaurants, and big screens.
If you want a great view of the intersection from above, head into the Starbucks that is located across the street from the Shibuya Station. Go up to the second floor and you will see a seating area with a counter against the windows. This is the perfect perch for viewing the chaos of this famous intersection. Another great view is Mag’s Park, which is the rooftop of the Shibuya 109-2 department store. If you haven’t quite had enough, visit after dark on a Friday or Saturday when crowds are pouring out of the subway station and bars.
Make sure you check out the small Hachiko statue located at 2 Chome-1 Dogenzaka, Shibuya City, Tokyo 150-0043. In the 1920s, this Akita would travel to the Shibuya subway station to wait on his owners to return from work. His owner, Hidesaburo Ueno, a professor at the University of Tokyo, named the dog Hachi which means eight in Japan. This is considered a lucky number. Hachi would accompany Ueno to the subway station each day and return to the station in the afternoon to meet him on his way home. One day, however, his owner did not return after suffering a brain hemorrhage at work. Hachi continued to return to the same spot for the next nine years.
Other people tried to take him in after his owner’s death, but he would always, somehow break free and return to the station at precisely the time that his owner would return. He became famous when one of the professor’s students heard about the dog’s story and wrote about him. Hachi became a national symbol of loyalty and “ko” was added to the dog’s name as a sign of affection. Hachi passed away in March 1935 and is buried alongside his owner. The bronze statue was erected in honor of the pup’s unwavering loyalty.
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