Tokyo 4: Shinjuku Government Building (東京都庁舎)

I’ve been going to Tokyo a lot recently. Although I really like Tokyo generally, usually I go maybe once every three months, if that, so it’s always nice to go. The past few months, however, I’ve going at least once a month, and this past month twice. It’s exhausting!

It also means that while I’m getting plenty of new pictures for this blog, it’s getting pretty Tokyo-centric around here. I promise to start posting more from other prefectures soon… I’ve just been going to Tokyo too much to go anywhere else!

While I hopefully gather some new material this weekend, let’s talk about the Shinjuku Government Building in Tokyo. Shinjuku is one of the most famous stations in Tokyo (and the biggest station in the world!), and is a well-known tourist destination. There’s a lot to see, a lot to do, and a lot to eat in Shinjuku at all hours of the day and night. While you’re there, consider heading to the Government Building to see not only its unique shape, but the view from the observation platform. If you get lucky, you might catch a glimpse of Mt. Fuji!

This past trip was extremely rainy. I grabbed this picture in a light drizzle, but it wasn’t worth going up to see nothing but rainclouds!

So I’m also posting a few pictures I’ve taken before in fairer weather!

The view from the observation platform around sunset

The Shinjuku Government Building Observation platform is open from 9:30AM to 11:00PM, although the times differ a bit depending on which Tower you visit. You can read more about the towers and how to get there here, and if you go, don’t forget to check out the second story as well… if you’re lucky, there may be a fair going on! There wasn’t when I went unfortunately.

Tokyo 6 – Shibuya Scramble Crossing (渋谷スクランブル交差点)

Ahhh, Tokyo. Always filled with thousands upon thousands of people. When you’re a country-living girl like me, going to Tokyo is at once fascinating and stressful. The idea of living jam-packed with people like that is an exhausting one… I like visiting Tokyo because I know I can leave!

One of the best places to people watch the mass of humanity is in Shibuya. Right outside Shibuya Station’s Hachiko exit is the famous “Scramble Crossing”… 5 roads meet at an intersection that allows pedestrians to cross any way they wish, resulting in a “scramble” from one street to another in all directions. Standing in the middle is a bit exhilarating. Trying to take a picture in the middle and realizing you have about .5 seconds to get to safety is terrifying. Tokyo traffic means business!

Tokyo Postcard and Shibuya Scramble Crossing

And the crossing without the postcard

There are a ton of youtube videos and pictures of the crossing on the internet, and it has been featured in many a movie, including “Lost in Translation” and “Fast and Furious: Tokyo Drift” among others. A great place to watch the action is at the Starbucks across from the station. Its second floor has a great view of the entire crossing. I particularly like this article from which perfectly describes the crossing experience.