There’s always something new at Shibuya. First, there was the opening of Shibuya Scramble Square and its sensational observation deck Shibuya Sky on November 1. This was followed by the reveal of a new Shibuya Parco on November 22. And now, the city welcomes another addition to its evolving skyline: Shibuya Fukuras, which is located at Shibuya Station’s west exit.
This multi-purpose 18-storey building houses a tourist information centre, bus terminal, popular shopping mall Tokyu Plaza Shibuya, a co-working space, offices, restaurants and a great rooftop terrace. To make the most of your visit, follow our guide so you don’t miss these top five things to do at Shibuya Fukuras.
The first floor of Shibuya Fukuras houses a bus terminal and ticket counter, currency exchange service and Shibuya-san, a tourist information and art centre co-produced by Time Out Tokyo. Here you can pick up our latest free magazine and maps as well as get first-hand information on Shibuya’s trending attractions, restaurants and shopps. The centre is staffed by local experts of ten different nationalities. In fact, you can get all your travel needs here: purchase travel SIM cards, charge your electronic devices, use the free Wi-Fi, and even have your luggage stored (a small fee applies).
Shibuya-san is not your usual tourist information centre, though, as the space hosts regularly changing art exhibitions as well. The inaugural show is part of the ‘Artist Buyers’ series produced by the contemporary art group L Pack. It’s inspired by tourism in Tokyo’s bustling Shibuya district and Nagaoka, a small city in Niigata prefecture that was home to Japan’s first contemporary art museum (now closed), built in 1964.
In the evening, you’ll find a cosy bar at Shibuya-san. Lights dim, the ambience changes and the wooden walls slide open to reveal a new atmosphere. Besides a range of house cocktails, there are also house-made soft drinks made with Japanese ingredients. We recommend the Kyoto Uji matcha latte with butterfly-pea tea jelly, the spicy chai sweetened with amazake (sweet zero-alcohol drink made from fermented rice), and the citrus jasmine tea with rose hip jelly that’s made with citrus fruit from Hiroshima (¥680 each).
2. Get your hands on Shibuya Fukuras-exclusive goods and drinks
Tokyu Plaza occupies half of Shibuya Fukuras with a total of 69 stores – and one of them is the second outpost of Beams Japan. This commendable souvenir shop on the second floor is where you shop for the ‘best of Japan’, from cool memorabilia to stylish clothing and accessories. Get your hands on the outlet’s limited-edition shirts (from ¥6,380); they feature the brand’s iconic logo which incorporates an illustration of Hachiko.
You’ll also find a selection of souvenirs including shirts (from ¥8,250), caps (¥6,380), shoes (¥9,350) and phone cases (¥3,960) – all featuring the iconic Shibuya Crossing.
3. Say hi to Shibuya’s first digital Hachiko
Shibuya Station’s Hachiko statue is a popular meeting point, but due to its crowded nature, it’s often difficult to find each other. Hence the GMO Internet Group has created an alternate version of this iconic statue.
On the second floor of Shibuya Fukuras – within the Tokyu Plaza shopping mall – a new indoor meeting point was created, presided over by an adorable Hachiko hologram. Next to it is a tablet, which you can use to dress up Hachiko, make him walk over Shibuya Crossing, and issue a host of other commands.
While waiting, you can watch short movies playing on the three floor-to-ceiling screens. The 30-minute flick, created by projection-mapping maestro Naked, is an awe-inspiring showcase of Shibuya: its picturesque cityscape and vibrant culture, as well as some useful information like the weather forecast.
4. Enjoy a meal with robots
For an unusual café experience, head up to the fifth floor and grab a seat at Pepper Parlor. No, this café-lounge eatery is not about spicy food; its name is derived from Pepper, the quirky semi-humanoid robot produced by SoftBank Robotics.
Here, Pepper will not only take your orders (in Japanese, English and Chinese) but also recommend you a dish based on your current mood. The speciality waffles are worth looking forward to – we love the one topped with foie gras mousse and nuts, and the sweet banana one as well.
Pepper will also visit you at your table with some fun digital games in tow, and every few minutes, a group of smaller Nao robots will start dancing around you.
5. Catch breathtaking city views from above
The large rooftop garden Shibu Niwa occupies the 17th floor of Fukuras and it provides splendid views of Shibuya’s famous scramble crossing, the nearby Yoyogi Park, Shibuya Scramble Square, Shibuya Stream and other landmarks in the vicinity.
On the same level as well as the floor above, you’ll also find the first Japan outpost of Cé La Vi, an entertainment restaurant and bar with locations in Singapore, France and Taipei. While the 17th floor is home to an outdoor club lounge as well as the casual café and bar Bao by Cé La Vi, the 18th floor sky bar has a more exclusive vibe as it serves fine dining and drinks with a side of killer views.