By Sherilyn Siy
In practically all guides to Shibuya, it is touted as a center for young people, where the latest trends are born out of their youthful power and vibrant culture. The developers behind the new Tokyu Plaza Shibuya wanted to challenge this idea and create a space right at the heart of Shibuya for adults who seek things of higher sophistication.
Opened just last December 2019, Tokyu Plaza Shibuya's state-of-the-art glistening building has successfully executed modern sensibilities. This is not your usual humdrum uppity department store. Instead, Tokyu Plaza Shibuya carefully curated stores to transform the shopping experience into something closer to that of an interactive musuem. Lifestyle, personal and home goods shops, dining and entertainment establishments are thoughtfully selected for their avant-garde offerings.
Each display is an invitation for visitors to look, touch, feel, and ultimately enjoy making new discoveries.
An exemplar of this museum concept is this branch of Kiya. Originally located in Nihonbashi, this cutlery shop dating back to 1792 sells high quality knives especially crafted for specific food items (i.e. raw fish carvers are different from fruit knives). In their Tokyu Plaza Shibuya branch, Kiya's product display is elevated into an art gallery featuring its quality handmade wares.
Akomeya, a shop that celebrates the happiness found in a bowl of freshly cooked rice, goes one step deeper into the museum experience by providing detailed explanation in Japanese and English for some of their rice cookware. Unlike a museum, you can purchase and take home the pieces you like.
Sometimes, there's beauty in the most unexpected places. I didn't think much of eyedrops until I saw Rohto's display. Rohto at the Tokyu Plaza Shibuya goes beyond eye care, expanding their long pharmaceutical experience into total skincare as well.
If going to a regular kampo center was too daunting, the Nihondo Kampo Boutique, set in the non-threatening environment of the Tokyu Plaza Shibuya is sure to feel more accessible. Here, the items of the kampo medicine cabinet become lessons from the natural museum.
Tokyu Plaza Shibuya is home to shops where you can get Made in Japan souvenirs such as gorgeous wood products crafted using Echizen lacquer (urushi) techniques from Fukui Prefecture at Hacoa, Shodoshima Island olive oil products at Inoue Seikoen, environment friendly Kyoto bamboo crafts at Kohchosai Kosuga, and edible treasures of Japanese snacks and sweets at Tamayose.
Cap your stimulating visit with a stop at CÉ LA VI, the trendy rooftop hangout inspired by Singapore's Marina Bay Sands. Here you can sip your drink overlooking Shibuya, safe in the knowledge that a space has been carved out just for you in this bustling town.
The Tokyu Plaza Shibuya is a two minute walk from the West Exit of the JR Shibuya Station.
For Sherilyn Siy, Asia is home. Born in Hong Kong, Sherilyn spent time in the Philippines, China, and now lives in Japan. She speaks English, Filipino, Chinese (or putonghua), and Hokkien, her family's local dialect. Running is one of her favorite ways to explore Japan. She proudly finished the 2...