It is all about Starbucks, but one of a kind and possibly one of the busiest ones that exist – the famous Shibuya Starbucks overlooking the most congested pedestrian crossing in the world (that’s what they say).
You will read about Shibuya crossing in every existing Tokyo guidebook, possibly, you have also seen it in the Fast & the Furious: Tokyo drift. Surprisingly, there also are many people who find this place romantic enough even to propose! Yet others believe that having said a “magic” phrase in Japanese you can choose any girl/boy you like as your girlfriend/boyfriend.
Whichever is the case, the truth is that even those who do not drink coffee go to Starbucks in Shibuya. And coffee is just an excuse, the only way to pass a never-ending queue and get to the 2nd floor, where, if you are lucky, you may get a window seat and be able to observe those myriads of people flowing to all directions as soon as the green light goes on.
I went there with a friend who happens to be both a fan of the Fast & the Furious and is very keen to test the girlfriend/boyfriend theory. Maybe it was the timing or something else, but the pedestrian crossing did not seem as crowded and majestic as in the movie clip (check out this link in case you would like to see it). I did get my tiny shot of espresso in a large coffee cup and we even managed to get a window seat.
Two observations: First, don’t be surprised if they serve you a sip of coffee in a large cup – the only person I saw buying espresso during the past couple of months was a French colleague, the rest of the local population in summer goes exclusively for an ice coffee. Second, if you had hopes to propose or find a girlfriend/boyfriend at Shibuya crossing, think again, the green light is short, people move fast, and it can be anything but romantic…
Despite the above, you should still have a coffee here at least once in your life. If you go there on Friday or Saturday night, you may even witness the real business of the place!