Blog: “Shopping” In Tokyo – Part Two

by | 07. Nov 2012


By Kirsten Kiser, Editor-In-Chief,

Architectural as well as fashion destinations.


Photo: arcspace Mikimoto Ginza 2 by Toyo Ito

Visit the Ginza area on Sundays when the main street is closed to cars. All the big labels, Mikimoto, Louis Vuitton, Apple, Sony, and many more, have opened mega stores designed by starchitects.
The latest addition is Mikimoto’s pink Ginza 2 store, with its irregularly shaped windows, designed by Toyo Ito.


Photo: arcspace  Mikimoto Ginza 2 by Toyo Ito


Photo: arcspace  Mikimoto Ginza 2 by Toyo Ito

The facade of the Dior building, designed by Kumiko Inui, is illuminated by fiber optics at night. The outer skin, made of punctuated steel, reveals the illuminated inner skin.


Photo: arcspace  Dior Ginza by Kumiko Inui


Photo: arcspace  Dior Ginza by Kumiko Inui

The Hermes glass-brick mini skyscraper, by Renzo Piano, has a horse-and-rider statue on top of the building. The next door Sony Tower was designed by Yoshinobo Ashihara in 1966.


Photo: arcspace Hermes by Renzo Piano


Photo: arcspace  Hermes by Renzo Piano


Photo: arcspace Hermes by Renzo Piano

Providing a balanced mixture of traditional culture and new technology Ricardo Bofill’s Ginza Shiseido Building uses color, a red stucco facade and red lighting, to highlight important details and stand out from the competition.


Photo: arcspace Ginza Shiseido by Ricardo Bofill


Photo: arcspace Ginza Shiseido by Ricardo Bofill

The Chanel building, with its massive black glass and steel exterior, was designed by Peter Marino. The facade, symbolizing the iconic quilting, lights up at night to become a giant ever-changing billboard.


Photo: arcspace Chanel by Peter Marino

The renovation of the facade of an existing office building, by Bohlin Cywinski Jackson Architects, uses bead-blasted stainless steel panels on the first three levels. The Apple brand is expressed both in the architecture and in the graphics.


Photo: arcspace Apple by Bohlin Cywinski Jackson

Next to the Apple store is the “Opaque Ginza” store by Kazuyo Sejima of SANAA.


Photo: arcspace Opaque Ginza by Kazuyo Sejima (SANAA)

Do not miss Roppongi and the Roppongi Hills complex with its boutiques, Cinema complex, the Mori Art Museum, and a lot more.
More about the Mori Art Museum by Gluckman Mayner Architects in arcspace feature


Photo: arcspace Ropongi Hills complex

Among others you will find the Louis Vuitton store by Jun Aoki, a monumental pixelized facade of parallel glass tubes in honeycomb formation that is both reflective and transparent. Also the “Issey Miyake by Naoki Takizawa” store designed by SANAA.


Photo: arcspace Louis Vuitton by Jun Aoki


Photo: arcspace  Issey Miyake by SANAA


Photo: arcspace  Issey Miyake by SANAA

Do not miss a visit to Daikanyama, a short ride on the Toyoko Line, where Fumihilo Maki has been adding to his Hillside Terrace development for more than three decades. Today it is one of Tokyo’s hippest neighborhoods with lots of boutiques and cafes.


Photo: arcspace  Hillside Terrace by Fumihilo Maki


Photo: arcspace  Hillside Terrace by Fumihilo Maki


Photo: arcspace  Hillside Terrace by Fumihilo Maki

Photo: arcspace  Hillside Terrace by Fumihilo Maki

“Over the years many of Maki’s design intentions have remained constant from phase to phase. Public functions fill lower levels and private apartments upper ones. Building fronts line up with the street. Vegetation is preserved wherever possible. And courtyards, plazas and other outdoor spaces are designed with as much care as the buildings themselves.”
Naomi Pollock

And finally, going back to the Ginza area, do catch at least one act in the Kabuki-za Theater. Originated in the 17th century it is one of Japan’s traditional entertainments.


Photo: arcspace  The Kabuki-za Theater

Starting point: Park Hotel Tokyo