We are seeing new malls reopening recently in Shibuya. After the opening of Shibuya Scramble Square, there are 2 new places to hang out in Shibuya. Not to forget there is Shibuya Hikarie and Shibuya Stream which are also the relatively newer malls.
Shibuya PARCO has closed some 3 years ago and unveiled for this grand reopening on 22 November 2019. It’s meant for the younger crowd who are into music, art, fashion and pop culture. Each floor is decorated with its own theme.
We went on a rainy weekday so we couldn’t make it out to the rooftop but there is still an indoor area where you can enjoy some view of the buildings in Shibuya.
Games and Anime galore
While all the floors featuring concept and products for the youth, I thought the 6th floor is probably the one that will attract most visitors, especially foreigners, with their anime-related characters and products.
There was even a line to enter Nintendo Store. Hopefully, after a few weeks, we can just enter the store without queuing to see some Super Mario related products, etc.
Other floors will also feature product collaboration with retro characters, offering shoppers with a time-travelling experience.
In case you are thinking where to have some food and drinks, there’s a whole floor at B1 where they called it the “Chaos Kitchen” and feature many different restaurants and bars. There is an interesting “bug restaurant” called “Rice and Circus” where you can enjoy different bugs only for the brave ones! 😛
Tokyu Plaza Shibuya
Also renamed as Shibuya Fukuras, this is the latest shopping complex reopened on 5 December 2019, with the concept to target the older crowd. We went to brave the crowd on the day of reopening, and surprisingly still manageable if we avoid the areas with a line.
There are other malls for Tokyu Plaza with one sitting in Harajuku/Omotensado and another in Ginza. I notice they all have a similar building design with long escalators at their entrance.
Famous icon of Shibuya
On the second floor, you will see some shops like Beams Japan and Akomeya Tokyo to give the first impression of Japanese culture and products. At the same time, you can see a digital version of the famous Shibuya icon, Hachiko.
We went there with a purpose to experience being served by robots in this premium cafe called Pepper Palour located on the 5th floor.
Be amazed by the futuristic but natural green interior design of this cafe. I appreciate the way they design this cafe to balance out the modern/futuristic concept of a robot cafe but covered in dry moss green lighting. It makes the whole experience very comfortable.
How to order
Basically, while this is a robot cafe, there are still human beings around to assist you (obviously!). At the entrance of the cafe, there was staff to help us find seats and showing us to the seats first before we proceed to order at the reception.
Once the order is taken, there will be a receipt given which you can then pass to another counter with human beings to prepare your drinks and food. You will receive a digital plate where the staff will bring the drinks / food to your table later.
Note that only those who can pay with credit cards can order with Pepper-kun at the reception. If you can only pay with cash, there is another counter with human beings to take your order.
There was an old lady seated next to us for a while with nothing arriving at her table, so one of the staff came over to check on her order. It turns out that she didn’t order anything and thought that the staff will come to her table with a menu and take her order as per what normal cafes will do. The staff patiently explained to her again on the entire process and directed her to the counter with human beings for her order. I then realise this system may be a little confusing without clear or repeated instructions especially if this shopping complex is targeted at older consumers.
Cute Pepper-kun souvenirs
“End of Life” Salon
In case anyone is not aware, there’s an increasing marketed trend called “shuukatsu (終活)”. It basically just means “end of life preparation”.
In Japan, there are a lot of “activities” that people will do at different stages of their life, with “job hunting aka shuukatsu (就活)”, “marriage hunting aka konkatsu (婚活)”, pregnancy attempt aka ninkatsu (妊活), etc.
Be blown away when they start to open up salons for the elders and their families to walk in and discuss about the wills, funerals, etc. Something real but uniquely Japanese for now.
And they also adeptly place a Namboya shop besides this salon, which is basically a store to buy and sell 2nd hand luxury items, with specific aim for people who are looking to sell away items left behind by their loved ones.
Visit and experience the New Shibuya!
So next time you are in town, you can allocate a day in Shibuya to visit all these new shopping malls. Do leave a lot of space in your luggage for all the shopping items too. 😀