Travel, Tokyo, and a cat: Must-see 3D billboard appears in Japan’s busiest street

Cat lovers all over the world collectively squeaked in delight when they saw a giant cat on top of a building in Shibuya in Tokyo, Japan. That “cat” turned out to be a high-tech billboard featuring a very realistic 3D image of a cat that wakes up, struts around, and even “meows” to passersby.  The 3D billboard was so impressive that my young brother, who is a cat fanatic, even asked me to watch a video from an online link.  

Shibuya (specifically its crossing), as intrepid travelers know, is Japan’s (and even the world’s) busiest street. Pre-pandemic times, this street never “sleeps” – in fact, on average, 2.4 million people cross Shibuya every day or around 2,500 pedestrians every crossing.  Some say you don’t feel the real Tokyo vibe if you haven’t crossed this street. 

With the number of eyeballs in that area, it is only natural that companies would want to have their billboards there, something like the billboard landscape you see at Times Square in New York.  Of course, each billboard wants to catch your limited attention so the newest and most high-tech would be this billboard attached to the Cross Shinjuku Vision, which is across the Shinjuku Station’s east exit. 

Once it is already okay to visit Japan, you will not surely miss this billboard as it spans over three floors. The curved LED screen displays a solid crisp image and allows the 3D image to have that “pop out” effect. Though this technology is not new, it is something to look forward to especially as we wean off from the pandemic fatigue. The billboard comes with speakers to make the experience “surreal” (or “so real”). 

According to the Twitter account of Cross Shinjuku Vision, the cat will have its official launch on July 12, 2021. But this early, it is already gaining buzz as its teaser video has already amassed more than 4.5 million views (as of July 8)!  After July 12, the screen will turn on every 7 a.m., while the “cat” will sleep at 1 a.m.  Throughout the day (and in between ads), the cat will purr, meow, and pose with your selfies and make your IG Story one-of-a-kind.  

If you’re not able to travel at this time or somewhere near the future, you can still follow this billboard cat at this website:   But, of course, nothing beats personally waving hello even though it is just for this “cat” in Tokyo.