Tokyo's Shibuya crossing to get huge new ad screen

Agence France-Presse

Posted at May 21 2014 06:03 PM | Updated as of May 22 2014 05:33 PM

TOKYO - Tokyo's thunderously busy Shibuya pedestrian crossing, where up to 3,000 people merge into a seething mass of humanity whenever the lights change, is to get a huge new advertising screen, its operator said Wednesday.

The crossing, a visual shorthand for crowded Tokyo beloved of documentary makers and movie directors, already has several big screens.

But the new one will dwarf them with a whopping 420 square metres (4,500 square feet) of moving pictures -- the same size as a basketball court.

"It will be the largest LED ad screen to be set up outside in Japan" said a spokeswoman for operator Hit Co. "It was made possible by reducing the weight to about three-fifths of a conventional screen."

The screen will sit opposite the statue of the dog Hachiko, a popular meeting place for Tokyo's young and trendy.

It will be 17.3 metres tall and 24.3 metres wide (57 feet by 80 feet), and will go into service on June 1 after a ceremony next week.

The Shibuya scramble crossing -- alowing pedestrians to cross in every direction, including diagonally -- is outside a busy train terminus in the capital's fashionable west and is one of the city's best known landmarks.

Around 500,000 people use it every day, with as many as 3,000 people there during peak hours.

Among its famous cinematic appearances was when a young Scarlett Johansson wandered through the crowds there in the 2003 film "Lost in Translation".

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