Shibuya’s Scramble Crossing never misses a chance to party, but the massive seas of humanity had an extra-special reason this time.


On Tuesday night, sports fans across Japan were glued to their TV sets as the men’s soccer team took on its first opponent of the World Cup in a match against Colombia. Then, when the game ended with a 2-1 victory for Japan, they flooded the streets of Tokyo in celebration.

It was after 11 p.m. local time when the game wrapped up, which meant large groups of supporters had gathered to watch the contest in pubs and sports bars. As a result, many fans were in close proximity to the famed Scramble Crossing in Shibuya, one of Tokyo’s prime nightlife neighborhoods. The iconic intersection is crowded at any time of day or night, but overhead views showed it packed to an even more amazing, and joyous, capacity.

Japanese athletes and sports teams have become increasingly competitive on the global stage over the past two decades, but the country often still retains an “us against the world” attitude in international competitions. That’s not to say foreigners weren’t welcome at this party, though, like the man shouting “Japan is the best!” is stilted Japanese in this video.

That said, Tuesday’s victory had some genuine historical significance, marking the first time an Asian team has defeated a South American opponent in men’s World Cup play.

As excited as the fans who amassed in Shibuya were, the Scramble Crossing is still a working intersection with pedestrian crosswalks. So every time the walk sign came on, it became the site of high-volume continuous high-fives.

With the rise of social media, the intersection has become well-known as celebration central when Japan wins important sports contests, and so police officers were also out in large numbers, helping to maintain order and safety.

As wild as things got, though, this is still Japan, so there were no reports of roiting or property damage.

And while the shots of seas of humanity are mesmerizing, some of the best videos from the scene are the ones where you can see individual faces of happiness. For example, if you watch no other videos here, check out this guy’s song of joy.

Up next for Japan is Senegal, with that match scheduled to begin at the stroke of midnight on Monday, Tokyo time. Still, if the Japanese team can pull off another victory, expect to see the Scramble Crossing packed again, regardless of what time the game finishes.

Featured image: Twitter/@hoduki0729