After months of hiding behind Akira-inspired murals, Shibuya’s latest shopping complex opens its doors today to an excited fan-base. This new conceptual experience by Parco is meant to create an environment where fashion, arts and culture, entertainment, gastronomy and technology can co-exist and organically interact with one another. If you’re paying the building a visit this weekend (expect a considerable crowd) be prepared to wander for a long time and see what each floor has to offer.
TW had the chance to take a sneak peek earlier this week, and here are five notable things we think will guarantee the success of the new Shibuya Parco.
A New Destination for Japanese Designers
While the first floor houses a beautiful luxury-brand edit, the true essence of the new building lies in its second and third floors. With the goal to provide a stage for Japanese fashion to shine, if you’ve been wanting to invest in a few closet pieces for your fall capsule wardrobe, this might just become your new go-to. From mode to Tokyo streetwear, Shibuya Parco made sure that its selection of shops included local brands and famous Japanese designers such as Jun Takahashi. You can also except brands like Bodysong and Nobuyuki Matsui to take over the dedicated pop-up space and bring some limited-edition goods.
A Blade Runner-inspired Basement
While it’s all bright and fun aboveground, Shibuya Parco brought the intimacy and eeriness of Shinjuku’s Golden Gai and Shibuya’s familiarly distinctive alleys to the basement. With cool neon signs wherever your eyes lay and bits of retro decor in the restaurants, floor mirrors and ceilings, you’ll feel transported right into the world of Ridley Scott’s sci-fi fantasy. Restaurants include many izakaya-like venues, a live-music bar and more, all with very different decors and ambiance. Forget about closing hours because some are open way past midnight.
Dozens of Hidden Masterpieces
Throughout Shibuya Parco, art is a major motif. Most importantly, the displays themselves are reminiscent of a contemporary art gallery. It’s not about stocking up on sweaters and shoes, but rather showcasing the design, prints and avant garde cuts you can only expect to see in Tokyo. With a contemporary blend of textures and design, notably a heavy use of square tiles and reflective metal, the inside of the shopping complex might look more like a fashion museum. Except, of course, you can touch (almost) anything here.
A Dedicated Space to Nerd Out
What brought many fans to look forward to the opening of this new shopping space was the sixth floor named Cyberspace Shibuya. Meant to introduce a wider audience to Japanese popular culture, you’ll find the latest Pokemon Center, a new Nintendo Store and some of the Japanese animation giants like Capcom and Jump. In other words, this is a safe space for visitors to fully indulge in their hobbies or favorite characters. Embracing the popularity of esports in recent years, half of the floor is also a café where livestreams will be shown and fans can sit and enjoy a cup of coffee while they’re watching their favorite players compete.
Technology-Driven Shopping Experience
Finally, Parco’s signature element is the introduction of technology. At their Shibuya location, visitors can try their hand at on-site online shopping simply by scanning a QR code. Then, simply tap on an item you’re interested in and select your preferred size and color. Curated from the shop on this floor (the seventh), customers can always go and try on the pieces before purchasing them. You’ll also find a virtual-reality piece of art only visible once you put on the helmet.
For more details on Shibuya Parco, check out our Concierge listing.