Shibuya! This central business and trade in Tokyo is famous for its intersection. The intersection that is crowded daily of pedestrians. This intersection also appear in numerous movies. Maybe you have watched one. For example the documentary film “Baraka”, fiction “Lost in Translation”, to “Fast and Furious: Tokyo Drift”.
When the traffic light for the transportations is red and the green is on for the pedestrians, thousands of people will roam the intersection heading to multiple different directions. When the green light for the transportations are back on, the pedestrians is by now done crossing. The next bunch of pedestrians waits side of the road to wait for their next green light. It is such a fantastic cycle each day, from day to night.
I recorded this sound during the day of May 23rd 2019. The audio starts with the shopping stores and businesses in Shibuya. I chose to record using a handy recorder while walking, not with a condensor microphone set attached to one stand in a certain spot. Because it feels more interesting to take a soundscape panorama in Shibuya while walking, especially when crossing the famous intersection!
From the shopping block we can hear lively musics and billboards. These sounds comes from different directions and meshes with each other in the air, decorating the fullness of Shibuya’s atmosphere. Speeding cars engine roars can also be heard just like one of the scenes in ‘Fast and Furious’ movie.
After the red light for the transportation is on, I then crossed the intersection together with thousand other people that day. We can hear conversations and footsteps around my left and right, front and back. There is also the sound of people dragging their luggage. Although judging from the volume, the intensity lost to the music and billboards. It feels like walking in a mass catwalk with the music and billboards emitted through the store’s loudspeakers. People walk at their own different rates. The soundscape here is highly hectic.
After crossing the intersection, the traffic light went back red for the pedestrians. As a closing of this record, there is an announcement soared through the loudspeaker hung at one of the traffic light. This is the ritual of crossing the Shibuya intersection in one day at the end of May.