It’s considered to be the busiest crossing in the world… reportedly having up to 2,500 people crossing every time the signal changes.
I’m unsure as to how accurate the above statistics is, but I was able to witness first hand the bustling vibe in this world renowned intersection.
We were there on our second day in Japan. We had just spent the entire day ticking away as many places as we could on our “Tokyo to do” list (we we were leaving for Kyoto the next day) and this was our last stop.
We were already a bit worn out after walking around the whole day and our phone and portable wifi batteries were already running very low.
We briefly contemplated on whether we would carry on and check out the crossing or call it a night and go back to our hotel instead. We now know what we decided in the end, don’t we?
It was already 8pm but the area still looked very busy.
Initially the plan was for us to grab a drink at Starbucks and take photos from the shop’s window overlooking the crossing,however, we still needed to find where exactly Starbucks was located; and with our phones and portable wifi having low batteries, we didn’t want to keep on using them for GPS and risk them completely turning off before we can find our way back to our hotel.
So instead, we opted to watch the organized chaos that is “The Scramble” from the sidelines.
It started with everyone waiting for the pedestrian lights to turn green.
When it did, the intersection was then flooded by a sea of people.
As time ticked by the crowd started to slowly thin out until there was only a couple of people left rushing to cross while there was still a bit of time.
Then the lights turned red and the vehicles started moving in and people were back to waiting idly by until the next change of lights signalled another round of bustling activity.
I stood at the sides fascinated with what I was seeing — so many people crossing from different directions (all at the same time) without hitting or jostling each other… quite impressive, really.
Also, people watching has always been one of my favorite past times and this was a perfect time to do just that. Not in a creepy-psycho-stalker sense okay?
Just a little harmless and quiet observation of people walking past, thinking of made up stories about them in my head.
‘Where are they going?’ ‘What are they thinking?’ — ‘This one’s off to have a drink after a long day at work.’, These two are friends but the girl is in love with the boy’, ‘These two lovebirds are on a date’… But I digress.
All in all this was a pretty good experience. I know it’s nothing grand like seeing the Eiffel tower all lit up at night or looking at the breathtaking view of the sea at the Amalfi coast on a bright summer day, but it was good all the same.
I’ve always been a bit curious about “the scramble” so it was nice ticking it off the Japan bucketlist among many other things during this trip.