Joining the city makeover with giants like Shibuya Stream and Scramble Square, the new-and-improved Miyashita Park is not just your average shopping mall – it’s a dazzling, architectural masterpiece that harmoniously blends the past and present, whilst defining the future of city living.
The park had humble beginnings back in 1948 as a public area with a small playground, and remained as such until 2011, when new ideas to add to and re-envision the space were first murmured. As of 2020, it’s been transformed into a 330m long, triple-story complex, comprising an elite shopping mall, a trendy hotel and a daringly adventurous rooftop park. The building officially opened its doors to the public on July 28, just in time to bid farewell to the unusually long rainy season.
Shopping at Miyashita Park
With over 90 new shops and restaurants set in smoothly transitioned clusters, the unique shopping experience is further enhanced by its neat mix of international and local brands. Ranging from record stores and skateboard apparel, to high-end fashion labels and American cafés, there really is something for everyone.
Global brands like Coach, Adidas and Tom Ford paint the space with an air of familiarity, but there are also quirky and unique stores like Hario Lampwork Factory, a Japanese glassmaking company from the ’20s that makes glass accessories, and Equaland Shibuya, which acts like an emporium for young designers and entrepreneurs emerging from the Shibuya-Harajuku fashion scene.
The ’90s Tokion culture magazine makes a nostalgic comeback with a flagship merch store to honor its place in Japan’s printing history, and Shibuya Souvenir Store is a great place for tourists to find something real special to woo their loved ones. There is also a glass-paneled art gallery so you can catch a panoramic glimpse of works of art on display while you shop.
Dining at Miyashita Park
To make sure you get your coffee or smoothie fix too, cafes like Japanese Tea brand Commo Togo and Californian franchises Jamba Juice and Egg Slut are interwoven amongst it all. Tokyoites are particularly excited for the world’s first build-your -own-Kit Kat store, along with the other restaurants.
Fast-food chains like Panda Express, Taco Bell and Maguro Market are found in the food court, while more high-end establishments like Tiger, Gran Sol and New Light line the serene, shaded corridors overlooking the end of Harajuku’s fashionable Cat Street.
Furthermore, The Hotel Sequence boasts its own café and workspace, as well as a restaurant and bar, Dōngxī, with incredible views of the rooftop park and the bustling Mitake Dori street. Indulge those cravings of yours for Mexican, Spanish, Singaporean or Hawaiin cuisine – you name it, Miyashita Park has it.
Outdoor Activities at Miyashita Park
Having been much anticipated for its Asian-flagship stores of North American brands like Kith and and Moose Knuckles, the building’s real showstopper (we think) is the spectacularly luscious rooftop space.
Its bright green lawns offer an exquisite contrast to the speckled blues and greys that plaster the surrounding skyscrapers, and is the perfect place to catch a breather from the baking concrete of Shibuya. Equipped with an edgy skatepark and a beach-inspired volleyball area, you’ll see skateboarders skimming the tarmac against the backdrop of a glitzy skyscraper, and chiseled athletes playing bat-and-ball while a Yamanote Line train screeches to a halt just below.
The boulder wall adds a cute and funky twist, providing much entertainment for the little ones. And particularly eye catching were the nifty railings along the side that you can pull down to act as a desk, appeasing students and freelancers alike. This multi-purpose, aesthetically pleasing and user-friendly space will certainly give world-renowned rooftop parks like Fukuoka’s ACROS and New York’s Highline a run for their money.
Old Meets New
With all that’s been introduced, it’s also great to see that Yokocho Alley – a lanterned-flanked favorite for locals to drink and eat at since the ‘50s – still exists (with a few new restaurants of its own) and provides the authentic foundation for the futuristic stories that rise above it.
The park was originally set to open a month before the Olympics in June 2020, but was delayed to help curb the spread of Covid-19. What better time to go enjoy it all before an influx of tourists begin to overflow once more?
With a motto that loosely translates to, “Humans, wind, flowers, birds – please come,” Rayard Miyashita Park beckons Tokyoites to come and enjoy this flowing communion of multipurpose space.
This article was updated in Nov 2021.