Tokyo is back with another year of 8-bit fun, where the winning entries from Shibuya Pixel Art 2019 turn the neighbourhood into one massive outdoor gallery until June 30. This is one of the world’s largest pixel art festivals and this 'treasure hunt' is part of its appeal. There are posters scattered throughout Shibuya, featuring a map of all the artworks – better yet, download a PDF version of the map from the Pixel Art website before you go.
There are 100 pieces of pixel art on display and you can find them at every corner in Shibuya – on the walls, across a digital billboard, in a window display, etc – from the famed crossing to the edgy Shibuya Cast complex at the entrance of trendy Cat Street. Of course, we had to go take a look ourselves, and after touring through Shibuya, we've rounded up a few of our favourite pieces from the festival.
This six-piece collection by artist Yacoyon can be found in the basement of the Adidas Originals store on Harajuku's Cat Street. Titled 'Shibuya Girls / Shibuya Boys', the bold and colourful works depict the diversity of modern urbanites who throng the streets of Shibuya.
Hidden around the corner from Magnet by Shibuya 109, this artwork is a highly detailed depiction of Shibuya's famed crossing with a manga twist. The artist @ta2nb completed this piece in just a month, and he confessed on Twitter that he probably wouldn't have finished this piece if it wasn't for the contest. The scene depicted in the art certainly has a festival vibe. Take a closer look and spot all the small details, such as the cuttlefish in the onsen and the triple-headed Hachiko.
A myriad of colours, the 'Rainbow Shibuya Festival' by @senboi49 is found in the backstreets of Magnet by Shibuya 109. We like that this cheerful piece of art has managed to brighten up the somewhat dingy alleyway. The image is an Obon matsuri (festival), featuring animals dancing outside the Shibuya 109 building. There's even fireworks in the background to complete the celebratory vibe.
The theme of this piece by @hattori2000 is leaning on the dark side. However, scan the QR code at the corner of the image and you'll discover that the artwork is actually a fun, animated gif. You'll find this pixel art down the street to the right of Shibuya Hikarie.
The grand-prize winner of this year's festival, 'A Town Reborn' by artist @m7kenji is a short video inspired by Shibuya, and it occupies prime real estate at the Shibuya Crossing. Just keep your eye on the screen above the Starbucks in the Tsutaya building and you'll eventually see this fun film come to life.