The crowds file in, clogging the lobbies and escalators. They peer and gawk. They shuffle around with phone cameras cocked. It's always like this when any mall or major building opens. Why should you expect anything different at the new Tokyo Midtown Hibiya mall?

Even when you find the restaurants, there's little respite from the inevitable lines and incessant milling around. So it comes as a major relief to finally reach the third floor and find the imposing, polished wood portal of Sobagami.

There are no windows to allow a glimpse of what lies within. This is intentional. Once you slide open that inscrutable polished timber door and slip inside, all is quiet and calm, a welcome oasis that is safely insulated from the relentless toing and froing outside.