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    5 year resident, to guide around the local wonders
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    1-day walk around the best spots
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    The dark side of the rising sun
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    Skylines, bar streets, markets & islands
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    The best souvenir of Japan is not omiyage
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    Sydney's NYE, Gold Coast & Great Barrier Reef
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    Aloha nature wonders
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    Hiking the Princess Mononoke Forest
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    Top of Mt.Fuji
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    Ciervos nadando en lagos de roca
  • Formentera House Formentera
    Mediterranean Sun

10.12.14

Times Square vs Shibuya Crossing

New York VS Tokyo... FIGHT!!!

1. Lightning

Times Square is way brighter than Shibuya Crossing. Americans win the neon round.

Times Square at night
Shibuya crossing at night



2. Crowd

At 360,000 pedestrian visitors per day, Times Square cannot beat the 3000 people per green light on Shibuya. Japanese have it, when it comes to perfectly organised safe and well behaved population.

Shibuya crossing crowd

3. History

In 1913, when the NY Times moved into Times Square, skyscrapers were starting to arise in the Big Apple. Meanwhile Japan's heart looked more like a village, more or less until the 80s when the darkest era hit Times Square (actually it became the worst area of NY at that time) Shibuya started to blossom. Still, we give this one to the yankees.

Shibuya in 1933
Source dannychoo

4. Scramble

Everytime the green light strikes, a huge mass of people starts walking. Salaryman, yamamba, they all mix and never touch each other, in front of the amazed eyes of the foreign visitors. Despite residing in Shibuya, I never got tired of this sight... So really, Shibuya wins the pedestrian scramble title「スクランブル交差点」。

Shibuya scramble crossing
Source wikipedia


5. Cuteness

All the Disney movies and musicals signs together cannot beat the story of Hachiko, the loyal dog who waited for his owner every day, at the train station, to come back home... Shibuya is much more kawaii!

Times Square at night
Times Square at night

6. Crazy People

I would say even on this one - still remember the Japanese Jesus preachers on Sunday morning - but Times Square does look a million times packed with them, basically because you do understand what they say, not because there are more strange preachers of all kinds... Even on this one.

Times Square at night


7. Tourism

If we focus on the visitors, Times Square is the second largest attraction on Earth - after Vegas!!! Times Square generates roughly 5 billion USD in retail, shows and hotels - 20% of each dollar spent in NY by a tourist is, on average, spent in here! Completely crazy. Shibuya is a key station in the life of many Japanese, but it does not drive the same business by any means. Still, I have a lot of good ideas for shopping in Tokyo, many of these you can find around these streets of my favourite neighborhood. But OK, NY wins this one.

Times Square at night

8. Old memories

I actually attended the opening of the American Eagle store in Times Square with Christina back in 2008, can you remember?? NY won the good old times prize! There are many memories with many good friends in Shibuya, but this one is way oldest.

Times Square at night


9. Free amazingness

Shibuya is really the place to sit, stare, watch Japanese life past by. In front of your eyes. It is maybe not so bright, large or crowded with tourists, but these streets and the station capture pretty well a snapshot of what living in Tokyo is. Fast, unexpected, safe, organized, fun, amazing. I still miss and know that I will miss the rush everyday, for the rest of my life... But it keeps beating inside of me, as there's nothing more empowering than to know of one place where all dreams come true. At least, for the time you are there (^_^)

Shibuya Moai

...Times Square probably wins most of the points which can be quantified, but it will never ever win my heart over my beloved Shibuya.
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