You might say that Miyashita Park had one of the best glow-ups of 2020. What used to be a somewhat neglected area avoided by most Tokyoites is now a proper hub for everything Shibuya is known for: Streetwear, local brands, comforting food, and of course, nightlife. While the skate park and bouldering wall have had a lot of press, there are also great things to be said about the shopping complex underneath and the adjacent hotel, Sequence Miyashita Park.
If, like me, you love strolling around shopping complexes and department stores, Rayard Miyashita Park is unlike anything you’ll find on this side of the station. Unlike other new complexes in the neighborhood, here you can walk along from one side to the other while enjoying the outdoor breeze. You’ll hear the sounds of the street below; the cars honking, the high school students rushing to spend their allowance and the sounds of the Yamanote Line trains swooshing through. These are what I like to call the sounds of Shibuya.
In addition to shops inspired by local trends and culture, you’ll find restaurants and cafés, both suited for day and nighttime enjoyment. There is a great variety of cuisines and price ranges, from high-end dim sum to quick-and-easy burritos.
In fact, this is where I found one of the most delicious lamb chop I’ve had in Tokyo so far. It was at New Light, a Western cuisine restaurant on the third floor of the north building famous for its meats. The open kitchen is equipped with a firewood grill and the chefs promise a juicy steak with a crispy exterior every time. The secret? They throw in a fresh log into the fire to quick-cook the exterior of the meat at the last minute.
If you aren’t going there in the evening, their lunch menu will surely satisfy your craving before your afternoon meetings or a much-needed shopping spree. You can’t go wrong ordering their pork chop or steak sets, which includes a soup of the day as well as one drink of your choice.
Stay the Night
Undeniably, Shibuya truly comes to life after dark and Rayard Miyashita Park made sure to not neglect the night owls. On the northern end of the strip is Sequence Miyashita Park, a hotel that offers affordable rooms for travelers and Tokyoites seeking a staycation or a workation.
The same night I treated myself to a dinner at New Light, I booked a night at Sequence. This wasn’t planned, but the greatest things in life are spontaneous. Check-in was smooth and our double room was cozy and compact, just what we needed to decompress. Sequence stands much taller than the surrounding buildings and every room comes with a view of the city. Also be sure to scour the room for art created by local artists. The best perk, however, remains their 2pm checkout time that allows guests to sleep in.
If you aren’t taking time off but want to work from somewhere new, the hotel offers great options for remote workers, too. You can book one of their suites, which come equipped with spacious dining and lounging areas perfect to spread out all of your papers and documents. The sleeping quarters and working spaces are well separated, so you can switch from work to playtime with ease. The suites also have a sumptuous bath to relax at the end of a long day.
Alternatively, you can book one of their special workation rooms if all you need is a space to take an important Zoom call. These rooms are actually double rooms refurnished with an individual desk and a comfortable leather chair. How many are available might vary depending on the season. Be sure to check with the front desk ahead of time if this option sounds right for you. Finally, if you’re looking to stay with friends or family, Sequence also has bunk rooms that accommodate up to four guests, all with the same amenities as their double rooms.
Back in the lobby, adjacent to the front desk, is the Valley Park Stand café, a bright and open space to relax or get to work. I must admit: Being surrounded by entrepreneurs and teams chitchatting and brainstorming away around a cup of coffee, you can’t help but be inspired to work. The café has every type of caffeinated and non-caffeinated drink you might want, from iced coffee to homemade lemonade. Takeout options are available but if there are tables available, I recommend staying put. It’s best to head there in the morning, before the space fills with customers.
It’s unfair to assume anybody can work from a hotel, though, and you might even need a place to host an in-person meeting. Rayard Miyashita Park also has a coworking space on the first floor of the south building, next to Shibuya Yokocho. Workstyling is great if you want a proper office or meeting room to discuss more sensitive or confidential topics. You can easily book online a couple of days in advance or even the day of and can choose between vast conference rooms, private offices and tables. Each room is decorated with colorful, graphic wallpaper, making each space not only functional but inspiring.
Note: Workstyling facilities are available to registered employees from companies that have contracts with Mitsui Fudosan only.
So, Which Will it Be?
After visiting the complex and hotel nearly two years after not visiting Shibuya, I fell back in love with the neighborhood, the people and the lifestyle. All things considered, staying in Sequence and spending two days in Miyashita Park is a fantastic option for a staycation if you want to relax or a workation if you can’t concentrate at home or need to be closer to downtown. It’s easy to distance yourself from others, should Covid cases ramp up again, without sacrificing comfort.
Rayard Miyashita Park
Sequence Miyashita Park