Well, that's rather busy. Interesting to see but you wouldn't want to be in it.
We did relocate quite a lot and I was never so happy to leave a place and never so sad. It was emotionally conflicting. Sad because I had developed the best group of friends and I really would miss them. That emotion was tempered by the knowledge that if it wasn't me leaving it would be them leaving soon enough so the whole friend network was temporary by design. And happy because the place would always be hopelessly foreign, there would never be full integration and because of the intensity of humanity this intersection shows is actually everywhere.
This intersection fascinates Westerners. It is an attraction greater than Tokyo Tower, more so than the imperial palace, the parks or any of its statues. The intersection is featured in news broadcasts, in movies and in television shows. The crossing is not spectacular, just a pedestrian crosswalk at the Shibuya station in the Ginza shopping district, the fourth busiest station in Japan. It's what happens when the lights turn red that Westerners find fascinating. While the lights are green pedestrians amass at its intersections. When all the lights turn red all at once and all traffic stops then pedestrians cross at all angles. How they manage to glide past one another without smashing into each other, as swarms of bees crossing and criss-crossing without damaging each other is a marvel to behold of individual decision making. It is organized chaos. It is exquisitely Taoist.
Shown above is Saturday but it's not always this intense. There are dozens of videos on YouTube of this crossing, mostly by Westerners who just had to go there and are well chuffed having survived it. Here is a live-feed where presently things are much more quiet while no less fascinating.
My brother and I learned to navigate a section of Tokyo that included a tip of the Ginza, our purpose for striking out was adventure, our focus a tiny aquarium shop where we spent untold hours studying the tropical fish in aquariums and making our careful choices. We had eleven small aquariums bubbling away in our bedroom and all of that had to go when we left, except one. The reason all our junk must be culled was "weight allowance," the same reason our parents always gave that forced a major culling. No negotiation. Actually, lots of negotiation always with the same outcome. A single ten gallon aquarium survived four more moves. And that did take a lot of negotiation. And this forced stripping that happened so often formed a lasting impression, an attitude about collecting things, an aversion to hoarding. Having things around that are not actually used, and having an excess of things generally, gives me the creeps. I still cull even without a weight allowance to force it. It just seems like a good idea and that idea started in Tokyo.
I'm sad and happy all over again.
I noticed this intersection featured in the introduction to Diner: Tokyo Stories on Netflix. The glaring neon and compressed advertisements and large billboards are similar to New York's Time Square.