Jun 302010
 



 
The Japanese football team got into the round of sixteen of the 2010 FIFA World cup. Unfortunately, their match against Paraguay was at 11 p.m. local Tokyo time on a Tuesday night (where the last trains leave downtown well before 1 a.m.). Nevertheless I went to Shibuya crossing after having heard that there would be public viewing on the large advertising screens. When I arrived there were already a few thousand football fans gathered on all sides of the scramble crossing but traffic was still ongoing. However, each time the pedestrian crossing lights turned green, the people would roar and run towards each other in the middle of the intersection, dance and jump around while shouting “Nippon, Nippon!” and leave the intersection again after the lights turned red.

Unfortunately, it became clear that there would be no public viewing at the Shibuya crossing as the advertising screens continued to show their regular commercials. After half an hour after I arrived at Shibuya, a large number of Japanese police turned up and began to control the crowd. First they tried to talk the people out of their dangerous behavior, but in the end they changed the flow of traffic by changing the sequence of the traffic signals and herding the crowds with yellow police tape.

Since it was drizzling all the time and with the fun activities curtailed, I left the crossing and went to watch the game on a tv screen in an izakaya in Dōgenzaka. After a long and rather uneventful game Japan lost 3-5 in the penalty shootouts and I had to walk home in the rain.

Spirits were running high and the Shibuya crossing was a large party zone every time the people ran on the intersection.
Spirits were running high and the Shibuya crossing was a large party zone every time the people ran on the intersection.
These Japanese guys were dressed up as some kind of ninjas with their DIY masks.
These Japanese guys were dressed up as some kind of ninjas with their DIY masks.
The Japanese football fans were really excited about the game against Paraguay.
The Japanese football fans were really excited about the game against Paraguay.
Despite the intervention of the police these two Japanese girls were still in a festive mood.
Despite the intervention of the police these two Japanese girls were still in a festive mood.
Japanese soccer fans celebrating with the white-and-red hinomaru flag.
Japanese soccer fans celebrating with the white-and-red hinomaru flag.
People gathered in front of a small restaurant watching the game in the light rain.
People gathered in front of a small restaurant watching the game in the light rain.
In this goalless match the Japanese fans were hoping for a game-winning goal all the time.
In this goalless match the Japanese fans were hoping for a game-winning goal all the time.
As the evening wore on, each free kick was accompanied by intense invocations.
As the evening wore on, each free kick was accompanied by intense invocations.
The penalty shootouts provided lots of tensions for the Japanese football fans.
The penalty shootouts provided lots of tensions for the Japanese football fans.
 Posted by at 04:20

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