Located in the bustling heart of its namesake area, Shibuya Parco (stylized as PARCO) exudes style and modernity. The flagship location of the now-famous Parco brand, it first opened in 1973, with the help of legendary creative director Eiko Ishioka, before it was redesigned and reopened five years ago; the new, refreshed space represents a renewed commitment to blending the best of shopping and culture, and stands as a testament to the past and future growth of the Shibuya area.

Each Parco is different, boasting brands and shops unique to its location and showcasing the cream of the crop from the surrounding area. Shibuya’s iteration is particularly exciting, shouting, “This is now!” from its mirror-ceilinged basement to its plant-bedecked rooftop. It’s far from your typical mall — in addition to high-end boutiques, it’s also filled with ample opportunities to experience art and culture. Here are six of the shops and restaurants that embody the eclectic Shibuya Parco experience.

Discover Japan Lab

Discover Japan is a monthly magazine focused on rediscovering and displaying the country’s charms. Opened in 2019, Discover Japan Lab translates this mission into the physical world: It’s a dedicated shop with a constantly changing product lineup, where anyone hoping to experience a hand-picked selection of the finest Japanese goods can test each exquisite item for themselves.

Discover Japan Lab specializes in ceramics and dishware, tools, sake, sundries and craft beer, all made in Japan and all the products of unparalleled craftsmanship. Browse from a variety of alluring goods from all across the country: pottery from Gifu, matcha from Shizuoka, glassware from Chiba. Because the products change regularly, you can discover something new every time you visit, making this the ultimate place to visit to buy gifts for friends and family back home — or simply to treat yourself and admire the work and care at the heart of Japanese craftsmanship.

shibuya parco pokemon center

Pokémon Center Shibuya

Visiting a Pokémon Center in-person is a must-do for travelers and lots of residents, too. What makes the Pokémon Center Shibuya stand out is its cool, futuristic interior, designed especially to complement the chic, urban environment of Shibuya and its Parco surroundings. This location also boasts the world’s only Pokémon Design Lab, at which visitors can design their own, custom T-shirt with a Pokémon (or Pokémons!) of their choosing, which is printed right at the store. 

Perhaps the store’s most iconic feature is a 2-meter-tall animatronic Mewtwo statue that greets visitors at the entrance; it’s incredibly detailed and lifelike, and even appears to be breathing softly. Past Mewtwo, you’ll find a sea of merchandise, like Pokémon omiyage and special seasonal collections.

Vegan Izakaya Masaka

A rarity in Japan, Vegan Izakaya Masaka allows vegans and non-vegans alike to enjoy an authentic Japanese izakaya experience — without any animal products. There’s a plethora of delicious dishes on offer, including soy karaage and veggie gyoza. Diners sit at classic izakaya tables and browse the menu either on tablets or the quintessential yellow tabs stuck onto the walls. 

Top sellers include the soy meat fried chicken — which comes in five different flavors, from the classic Japanese tartar to the less common green onion, salt and lemon topping — and the spring rolls. Wash your meal down with a classic Japanese izakaya drink like a lemon sour.

Rice and Circus

Have you ever eaten bugs? Should you be interested, Rice and Circus has you covered. With a menu boasting over 30 types of game meat and insects, this is a restaurant for those who fancy stepping out of their comfort zone — where you can try a roast locust, a deep-sea isopod or an entire crow. The aim of the establishment is to ensure people can enjoy eating exotic creatures with a clear conscience; menu items are ethically sourced. 

Despite its intimidating offerings, Rice and Circus is quite relaxed and trendy on the interior. You’ll be eating snake bits before you know it!

shibuya parco

Campy! Bar

The original Campy! Bar is located in Shinjuku’s Nichome, known as Tokyo’s most bustling gay neighborhood. The second site is nestled in the bottom of Parco. Head into the building when the other shops are closed, and you can find the bar by following the laughter and sounds of karaoke. Working like a typical Japanese “snack bar,” Campy! Bar replaces the snack mama with drag queens, who chat the night away with the guests and get the party going.

Each drag queen is dressed to the nines, and even if you’ve come straight from work, you’ll soon be feeling glamorous as well. The light-hearted atmosphere and party vibes are infectious — soon you’ll find yourself singing karaoke with all the other customers.

shibuya parco

Nintendo TOKYO

One of the busiest shops in Parco, Nintendo TOKYO, an official Nintendo store, is a destination that visitors flock to for a chance to sample one of Japan’s most famous exports. More than just a retail space, this shop offers guests the chance to soak in the spirit of Nintendo, through gacha toys and merchandise for beloved Nintendo franchises, such as Mario, the Legend of Zelda, Splatoon and Animal Crossing.

Stand next to a Mario statue, check out the cute Pikmin keychains, peruse character outfits. There’s also a huge selection of goods that are only available in Japan.

Shibuya Parco is located at 15-1 Udagawacho, Shibuya city, Tokyo. For more information, visit their website.