The rats that occupy Tokyo’s district of Shibuya are very much like their New York city cousins, except they’re smaller, politer, and probably place a lot more significance on hierarchy and seniority. They’re still rats though, and they’ve come to invade the streets of Shibuya after being driven out of their lairs thanks to Typhoon Hagibis.
If you haven’t heard, Japan faced one of the worst storms in 60 years when it made landfall last Saturday (Oct 12). Already, Typhoon Hagibis has racked up a body count of at least 35 people, injured more than 170, and pretty much paralysed Tokyo after causing enough damage to cut power to nearly half a million homes.
The torrential rain has caused river banks to break, resulting in floods that reached as high as the second floor in residential neighbourhoods. But humans aren’t the only ones affected by the typhoon, and it’s highly apparent in Shibuya where rats have pretty much taken over the streets.
It gets pretty stomach-turning in both clips posted on Twitter by @okamura_0207 last Saturday night. With the locals and shop-owners bunkered down at home post-typhoon, Shibuya’s rodent residents came out to play in droves, scurrying outdoors in search of shelter and food.
SoraNews24 reported that the footages were recorded along a street in Shibuya that hosts a number of popular restaurants like Ippudo and Genki Sushi.
Shibuya rats haven’t been strangers to making headlines, though. Even before the floods, the busy Tokyo district is known for its ratty reputation, including a time when a FamilyMart convenience store had to close after clips of a rat infestation emerged online.
Another time, a rat was seen trying on a dress for size in Shibuya’s H&M store. It didn't fit.
Perhaps it’s time to call in the residents of Japan’s cat islands to handle the rat problem in Shibuya. Oh, and don’t believe the reports of the typhoon wrecking Okishima island — pictures of the island's cats supposedly being relocated are from 2017.