First of all, I really wanted to see the huge crossing they show at the end of the movie ‘Lost in Translation’. I thought that crossing was somewhere in Shibuya, but I couldn’t find it in my travel guide, but it did say something about Tokyo’s busiest crossing being in Ginza, and that description really fit the crossing in the movie. So out first stop was the yon-chome crossing, which is Ginza’s main intersection. When we arrived there, it seemed eerily deserted, especially when your travel guide tells you it’s one of the world’s busiest crossings. It was so empty that we were wondering if we were in the right place, but then we turned around and we were facing the San’ai building. So yeah, we were on that 'busy' crossing alright. Some friendly guy handing out free maps of the area told us that it was so empty because it was early and a national holiday (coming-of-age-day), which is why there were hardly any people about, yet. Well, it was for the better because I never really enjoy being stuck in a Japanese crowd.
Even when I imagined a couple of thousand extra Japanese people on the street this somehow this didn’t seem to be the place where Scarlett Johansson and Bill Murray said goodbye to each other. And it turns out it wasn’t, because a little research on the almighty internet told me that it was actually the Shibuya scramble crossing, where they filmed the last scene. Shibuya is where we just got off the train to take a picture in the station and then immediately got on the next train again. You really have to prioritize when you have limited time, and my travel guide told us that Shibuya didn’t have anything to offer that we might find interesting.
First ever Starbucks in Japan
Next was Tokyo Tower. With our hopping on and off train after train while traveling up and down Tokyo, we found ourselves very happy with our earlier purchased day pass for the JR trains. When we got to the station nearest to Tokyo Tower, we found out that the walk there was about 20 minutes, so we decided not to go up Tokyo Tower to enjoy the view. Not that we were in a lazy mood or anything, but going there and back to the station would at least take 40 minutes and going up the observation deck and checking out the view would at least be another 20 minutes, and we just didn’t have an hour to spare for just one sight. We still wanted to see a lot more of Tokyo and we had just about 2 hours left to do it in, so we just took a quick walk into the Tower’s direction, took some pictures and headed back for the next train.
We did some browsing around and a little shopping, I got some perfume and birthday gifts for people back at home. But we got over it really quickly and decided to go back to the hotel. So all in all we spend about 4 hours roaming about the streets of Tokyo with a JR day pass and an outdated travel guide, but we were satisfied with the amount of sightseeing we did in such a short amount of time! To quote Kristin: “We pimped the shit out of Tokyo!”