Shibuya Walkers

MJG Japan, People / Culture 6 Comments

Hachiko Crossing in Shibuya is the Times Square of Tokyo- big streets intersecting, hordes milling and meeting and crossing, massive LCD screens flanking the sidewalk and up and down the nearby buildings. Stand outside the JR entrance for long enough and the world will walk by you.

No cooler dude than this.

Hachiko Crossing is famous for the little dog Hachiko. Everybody knows this simple story- he’s a dog who waited for his owner outside the station every day, even long after his owner died. It’s a very Japanese kind of pining for the impossible and yearning for the proper order of things, respect, duty, to be observed.

Now there’s a statue of Hachiko and it’s where all the freaks and foreigners meet to go off and do whatever weird things they’re into. I was there midday and caught some not-so-weird foot traffic passing by.

Walking.
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Texting.
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Watching distrustfully.
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Face mask to protect against allergy.
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He wept out of his cheek.
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Sidelong.
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Chipmunk.
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Interesting combo.
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Crazy face.
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Pimping a new cell-phone.
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Spy, on counter-surveillance.
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He wants my blood.
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Race car!
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Japanese Poirot.
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Freak.

TOKYO

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Comments 6

  1. I remember sitting outside a train station for ages waiting for yuka and being fascinated by the streetlife! Best spot of people watching ever that was!!!!!

  2. Post
    Author

    Al- Was that at Fuchu Station? It’s true, that girl was not very punctual ;). Lot of variety in the people-watching for sure- at least in terms of style.

    Jason- I’m partial to a decent moustache myself also.

  3. I think it was Shibuya. It was very very busy and had a big crossroads section near it which saw a thousand people cross it every time! I think it was Shibuya for sure. Or somewhere very busy with lots of young people, shops and stuff. It was after we had that night out and stayed at your friends and I was well and truly hung over!!!

  4. I really enjoyed the pictures from this blog post but your comments seem very disrespectful. I realize that this is your own blog and you are free to say what you want, people are going to be different everywhere and you should appreciate this diversity. If every person was the same, the world would certainly be a very dull place. Labeling someone a ‘freak’ or ‘chipmunk’ just because they look different not only seems ignorant but childish at the same time.

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    Author

    Alice- Right, that sounds like Shibuya. I don’t know if I even recall that particular event- was it Scott’s house we stayed at? Must have been I suppose: he’s back in Japan now (after leaving for a while) with wife and baby.

    Drew- Fair enough. I don’t label the guy freak or the girl chipmunk in an aggressive or pejorative way, just descriptive. The guy ‘is’ a freak- how else can we describe him? Perhaps we look at the word freak in different ways- I’m thinking using it like someone who might appear in a circus freak show. This guy is not all the way to that, but going that way. The girl- well, she’s pretty, so I think it’s OK to say her face is a bit chipmunk-ish. If she was not pretty, I wouldn’t say anything,

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