Sunday, April 27, 2008


Shibuya is a shopping and entertainment district that is one of the busiest places in Tokyo. It's a shopper's paradise and is best appreciated at night. You can't help but be blown away by it.

On exiting the station the Hachiko crossing is in front of you, with its huge zebra crossings. When the walk sign is green thousands of people walk across in every direction. Surrounding the Hachiko crossing are huge TV screens and at night there's a mass of neon as well. It's this part of Shibuya which was recently made famous by the film 'Lost in Translation'.

Shibuya is also a very popular destination for teenagers and people in their twenties. It's one of the centres of youth culture in Tokyo and is a Mecca for young people with all its shops and the various entertainments that are on offer.

You might remember how I wrote about the popularity of hip hop fashion amongst Japan's youth a few months ago. Well this subculture is here as well as another interesting fashion, which appears to be looking as orange as possible.


Many young people, known as 'ganguro', bleach there hair (which results in making it look ginger) and spend hours getting a tan from a solarium or wear fake tan. The result of this is that they all look like huge walking
space hoppers.

It's something I find a little strange as Japanese people have traditionally tried to look as pale as possible. In fact you can even buy skin whitening cream from the chemist.

Something I find particularly sad and worrying is that Shibuya is also notorious for men accosting young women and teenagers, in order to recruit them into the sex industry. A fact I find even more distressing than this is that it's perfectly legal for them to do this.

Despite this Shibuya is a definite must see when you're in Tokyo.

Here's a short film.

You can see all of the pictures