With all the Christmas merchandise already being sold in department stores, you wouldn’t think that Halloween was just like 10 days ago, xD. You can bet, though, as my first Halloween outside Australia, I was determined to experience the Japanese version. And that’s why, when my host mum told me months ago, that I shouldn’t go to Shibuya crossing (rumoured to be the busiest intersection in the world) on Halloween because there would be an especially big crowd there, that’s exactly what my friend and I did, LOL.
My Host mum wasn’t lying when she said that there was going to be a lot of people at Shibuya. There was even a line to get out the train station and when we did finally walk out the exit gate, the square was packed. Like, 9 am Tokyo commuter train packed (I’m sure you’ve heard rumours.).
There were people legit hanging off trees for a vantage point. I figured they must be waiting for someone (ha! Good luck). It also kinda reminded me of the Titanic when everyone scrambled for the ship’s highest point as it sunk into the Atlantic… haha.
We tried pushing through the crowd but to no avail. We were saved, though, when the pack started to move and having no choice but to go with the flow, we found ourselves being herded into crossing a road.
Not a road, we realised, a cross-section. And a massive one at that; Shibuya crossing.
Turned out we didn’t have to find the crossing, the crossing found us, xD. And it was a full-on operation!
There were police everywhere armed with light sticks, whistles and microphones. They were either standing on cars or herding people and traffic on the ground. It was surreal.
I’ve never seen such a big deal made of crossing a road before, or people having so much fun doing so. Everyone was taking selfies and it really seemed like the main event of the night.
I was just relieved that we found the Crossing. This friend and I have a terrible track record for getting lost, and in that crowd, with no wifi or data (#firstworldproblems), it was looking hopeless, xD.
The masses continued to push forward, albeit at a glacial pace, towards a Forever 21, where my friend and I then perched to people-watch.
It took forever to get there, but it was good for Snapchat! The whole time I had my phone out inappropriately snapping any and all costumes that came into my path, my friend, screaming over the noise, to “send them to [him] later!”.
This was the view from our perch: Pretty good right?
The crowd seemingly stretching on forever. And my friend was having a lot of fun picking out costumes he recognised in the crowd (from games usually, so I never got the references, LOL).
My favourite part, though, was when a young and possibly attractive shopkeeper (couldn’t tell but my spidey-sense was tingling) stood by the full-length glass windows in the building opposite us and started waving down to the ground and doing Korean heart fingers; when the thumb and pointer finger are crossed over each other.
I thought it was hilarious and quickly came up with a backstory for him.
He was a Korean model who hated his life, BUT still wanted to enjoy the little things, like having people wave back at him… albeit, with a lot more enthusiasm.
This is a video I took at the scene. You can tell by my voice I was very excited:
Throughout the people watching time, I noticed that another Korean model (yeah they’re all Korean models in my head) had joined him, mimicking his behaviour. And then three…
At this point was I seriously wondering where these people were coming from!? But then the fourth model came from nowhere and I started having an existential crisis.
And meanwhile, we had these two women the floor above, unabashedly taking pictures of the crowd that entire time, strategically having sat at a table right by the full-length windows. Admittedly, I was a little jelly, their perch was a lot cushier looking than ours. Then again… they couldn’t see my Korean models, 😉.
Until next time,
P.S. A selfie we took at the perch when we were photobombed by a flamingo: