One of the cultural hotspots of Shibuya, the shopping complex, Shibuya Parco, reopened its doors on November 22nd, 2019, after a major three-year renovation. This establishment has been providing cutting-edge fashion style to youngsters in Japan since 1973 .
Shibuya Parco now features 193 eclectic stores and has enhanced its value as a creative, stimulating destination with the concept of a “unique, next-generation commercial facility".
Shibuya Parco aims to entertain fashion lovers, as well as new shoppers, emphasizing fashion, food, technology, entertainment, art and culture. By expanding its fields of curation and adding the likes of Nintendo Tokyo and the Pokémon Center, Shibuya Parco has now embarked on a new journey as a modern shopping hub open to all generations.
In this article, we walk you through this cultural hub of Shibuya.
A chaotic mixture of food, music and youth culture
Shibuya has always been a sought-after destination in Tokyo among youngsters, not only in the field of fashion but also in music. Shibuya-kei (Shibuya-style) is one of the pivotal movements in the history of Japanese music, becoming popular in the ‘90s. Characterized by the likes of Cornelius, Pizzicato Five, and Flipper's Guitar, Shibuya-kei bands incorporated Japanese city pop music from the ‘80s and Western pop music. The name Shibuya-kei is said to originate from the fact that record shops in Shibuya started carrying those CDs before they became cool. Those who spent the springtime of their lives with Shibuya-kei music must be elated at the renewal of Shibuya Parco, as elements of that indie movement can be seen on its basement floor. Fun fact: the background music of this shopping complex is handpicked by Cornelius , and the jingle you hear on the hour is also produced by the band.
Arriving on the basement floor, vinyl record lovers can make a stop at Union Record. This underground store carries an extensive selection of vinyl, including some second-hand items, so you might be able to find rare records that you've been looking for.
Union Record was established in 1967 as the predecessor of popular music store Disk Union, which replaced it following the rise of CDs. Owing to the recent vinyl revival in Japan, the store reopened its first branch in Shinjuku in 2018. The store in Shibuya Parco is its second branch, attracting both old and new vinyl fans.
QUATTRO LABO is a music cafe/bar produced by Club Quattro, a renowned concert hall in Shibuya that has supported emerging Shibuya-kei artists. This place holds a massive collection of more than 3,000 records and boasts high-end analogue audio equipment. The background music is handpicked every day by the staff, so you can unwind accompanied by the warm, mellow sounds of vinyl records.
If you are lucky, you might be able to grab curried lemon rice at lunchtime, which is served in limited quantities. This South Indian-style dish was developed by another Shibuya-kei musician, Hoff Dylan (not a typo of Bob Dylan), who is renowned as a connoisseur of Indian curry. The perfect combination of spiced curry and lemon flavor will add culinary satisfaction to any music fan's blissful moments.
Lemon rice 1,000 yen
Situated diagonally opposite Union Record is another music-related shop, Gan-ban. This is an official goods shop for the Fuji Rock Festival, Japan's largest annual music event. The store stocks apparel from the "Fuji Rock Collection”, with a portion of the brand’s profits donated to the Joe Strummer Foundation, which supports aspiring young musicians and projects that promote new music. The shop also operates as a concert ticket retailer, so it might be fun to check out what tickets are available for upcoming gigs.
Fuji Rock Festival official shop
Decorated with 400 modular synthesizers , the record store Wave (1F) will appeal to anyone who appreciates hip aesthetics. It was an important spot for savvy fashion and music fans in the ’80 and ‘90s, with the concept of being a "new space for music and pictures, and a cultural base of new subcultures". Now making a fresh start as an experimental space for new music, fashion and culture, the store plans to launch various artistic collaborations and projects.
The basement floor of Shibuya Parco is also known as "Chaos Kitchen" and is packed with a variety of unconventional eateries. While the shopping areas in Shibuya Parco close at 9 pm, these eateries mostly close at 11:30 pm, so you can rely on them to be open even at the end of a long day. “Chaos Kitchen’s” eateries include a Michelin-starred American Ramen shop MENSHO SAN FRANCISCO, a Haral Japanese Steakhouse Kiwamiya, and a vegan Japanese pub Masaka.
A deep-fried Japanese skewer restaurant, Kushikatsu Arata, presents authentic Osaka cuisine in a neo-futuristic setting.
The Kubota Sake Bar is a casual yet stylish Japanese sake (rice wine) bar where you can use an AI-assisted app to help you discover the types of sake that suit your taste buds.
Campy! Bar (originally from Tokyo’s largest LGBT town, Shinjuku Ni-chome) invites girls, boys, and anyone in between for a witty chat and good drinks. The bar opens its doors in the evening, taking over from the old-school Japanese cafe, Hamano Parlor, which operates between 7 am and 5 pm.
Adventurous eaters can pay a visit to Kome to Circus. Here you can enjoy a dreamy parfait accented with a giant water bug, as well as a variety of game meat platters that include bear, crocodile and pheasant.
B.1 Food floor "Chaos Kitchen"
The basement floor also contains a few other non-food retailers, including a cheeky sex toy and condom shop, Condomania, and a boxer shorts shop, HIP SHOP, which caters for both sexes.
A feast for your eyes - dynamic fashion floors with detailed decorations
The lineup of fashion brands in Shibuya Parco won't disappoint any fashionistas looking for quirky, edgy or sophisticated styles.
The 1st and 2nd floors are dedicated to a variety of international high-end fashion brands.
Gucci occupies the largest space on the 1st floor. This luxury brand's Shibuya Parco branch is designed with a beautiful blend of elegance and dreamy ambience, characterized by a geometric patterned mirror ceiling, tube-shaped hanging lights, and lime green walls. This chaotically balanced interior decor reminds us of the organized chaos that’s experienced at Shibuya's Scramble Crossing.
Other high-end brands on the 1st floor include LOEWE, KENZO, Issey Miyake, alexander wang and THOM BROWNE.
At the 1st floor’s pop-up store “the window”, you can check out the suitcase collection by Dior and RIMOWA until January 21st, 2020.
MM6 Maison Margiela store's industrial atmosphere resembles a modern art museum, accented with minimalistic display racks that are made using concrete blocks and white pipes.
Catch up with Japanese fashion trends
One of the most exciting aspects of Shibuya Parco is its visually arresting displays. For instance, the s pecialty store 2G is a unique mixture of art gallery Nanzuka, a boutique space and a bearbrick shop. Nanzuka will feature various artists’ exhibitions every two months, and visitors can also check out those artists' limited-edition collaboration items with 2G.
Renowned for its heart-shaped logo with two eyes, COMME des GARCONS has also opened COMME des GARCONS GIRL (1F), which exhibits an eye-catching, vivid pink coach jacket in its shopfront.
COMME des GARCONS GIRL
You can also check out COMME des GARÇONS HOMME and JUNYA WATANABE COMME des GARCONS MAN (2F).
COMME des GARÇONS HOMME
When you think of Japanese fashion, you can’t forget about Urahara style, which originated in the hidden back alleys of Harajuku. This style is a mix of casual sportswear, street and hip-hop culture.
Undercover is a major Urahara-style brand and its Shibuya Parco branch boasts one of the largest store spaces in Japan.
Produced by NIGO (the creator of iconic Urahara-style brand BAPE), Human Made (1F) is also a must stop. This store also transforms into a sake bar known as Storm Cowboy, which is produced in collaboration with the age-defying American artist Pharrell Williams.
Another exciting part of Shibuya Parco is the fashionable dress of its shop attendants and incoming shoppers. You might get some inspiration from their stylish outfits.
A mecca for Japanese subculture fans: Cyberspace Shibuya
Located on the 6th floor, Cyberspace Shibuya is like heaven for Japanese subculture fans as it's dedicated to games, anime and character goods.
Game fans can make a pilgrimage to Nintendo Tokyo, the first-ever official Nintendo store in Japan. You can check out the irresistibly charming Super Mario merchandise, including stationery, clothes, tableware and plush dolls. The store also features a game experience zone where you can play the latest Nintendo games for free.
Read more about Nintendo Tokyo : Geek out at the new Shibuya Parco!
Pokemon Center Shibuya:
Look out for a life-size hibernating Mewtwo if you are going to Pokemon Center Shibuya. The store is uniformly painted in black, which sets a super-modern neo-futuristic tone. The selection of Pokemon goods are as stylish as the Parco's fashion floors and will whet any shopper's appetite.
Read more about Pokemon Center Shibuya : Pokemon Center Shibuya is now open!
A cool mix of shops, entertainment and art
With its grand renewal, Shibuya Parco strives to offer a whole new urban experience and reinforce the image of Shibuya as a youth town. If you are planning your trip to Tokyo, make sure you pay a visit to this hip commercial complex.
- SHIBUYA PARCO(渋谷パルコ)