After spending the day at Ghibli museum and Inkoashira Park, we decided to stop off at Shibuya on the way back to Shinjuku to take a look at the famous crossing and see the crowds.
We were not disappointed. Shibuya is very busy with lots of people seemingly hanging around in the square outside the station with no real purpose. Most of the crowds centred around the Hachiko statue, a monument to a faithful dog which supposedly came to wait for its owner by the train station long after his owner had died. We crossed the famous crossing with thousands of other people but, being outside in a large open space it actually felt less busy than many other places we travelled.
We found a restaurant in a side street for dinner. We were drawn in by the “English Menu” sign and found that as well as English menu they had English instructions. We had found a cook-it-yourself restaurant which served, among other things, okonomiyaki something which I had been determined to try whilst in Japan. Okonomiyaki is a kind of savoury pancake cooked on a flat hotplate with a variety of fillings. It was great fun to be brought your ingredients and mix and cook them at the table and eat them hot off the hotplate. I made mine slightly wrong but it was still very tasty and extremely filling.
After dinner we went back to Shibuya crossing and got into Starbucks which has second floor window seats overlooking the crossing. We drank hot chocolate and watched the people crossing back and forth over the road. This was actually not as dramatic as I had imagined, perhaps we should have come on a Saturday afternoon.
At the back of Starbucks is a huge CD rental shop and I spent a while browsing the J-Pop section and marvelling that there would even be such a shop in this day. I’m a big fan of CDs but I’ve never considered renting them! As you can see from the photos above, it was getting late now and we headed back to the hotel and bed.